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Tony Grist

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Berries [Jul. 28th, 2010|10:04 am]
Tony Grist
I've got nothing against blueberries. They're fine. It's just that they're a bit bland and unexciting. As this guy said on the radio the other day, they're "an easy listening fruit".

It was in a programme all about berries. Apparently the industry talks about major berries and minor berries. Major berries would be strawberries and blueberries- possibly raspberries- and minor berries would be everything else. Apparently the only British supermarket that still stocks gooseberries is Booths.

Until quite recently blueberries were exotic. I'm sure I never saw them in the shops when I was a kid. Their success is down to their hardiness; easy to grow (in the right climate), easy to store and transport. Those blueberries in your local supermarket- that have elbowed the minor berries off  the shelves-  could well have been harvested a month ago. It suited the industry to sell us blueberries, so they marketed them to us as a health-giving superfood. Complete tosh, of course. They're not bad for us, but they're no better than any other fruit. Gah, what saps we are!

I regret the gooseberry. The gooseberry is a wonderful fruit.  We had a gooseberry patch at the bottom of our garden. I remember picking them and "topping and tailing" them with a sharp knife and my mother or grandmother baking them into pies and crumbles. The taste is utterly distinctive and the acid makes your eyes water- but in a good way. I want them back. Please Mr Sainsbury, if you're listening, how about clearing the blueberries out of one just one little bin and filling it with gooseberries instead? You stock 'em, I'll buy 'em. Do we have a deal?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: michaleen
2010-07-29 10:59 am (UTC)
I was about to say that bilberries are something different, but having thought to check Wiki first, looks like bilberries and blueberries and huckleberries are all in the same family.

Strangely, I know of bilberries because of the magical research of John Dee and Edward Kelly.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-07-29 11:34 am (UTC)
Really, what did they use them for?
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2010-07-30 12:14 pm (UTC)
Not a use, but a descriptive comparison that sent me scurrying for a dictionary. Kelly received a vision of the watchtowers of the four quadrants, through the office of an angel named, "Ave". The spirit subsequently expounded upon the vision and, at Dee's request, agreed to "Notifie this mornings Vision, by words: as all other holy Prophets have recorded theirs" -- Cracow, Wednesday, 20 Jun 1584:
A Vision.

The sign of the love of God toward his faithful. Four sumptuous and beligerant Castles, out of which sounded Trumbets thrice.

The sign of Majesty, the Cloth of passage, was cast forth.

In the East, the cloth red; after the new smitten blood.
In the South, the cloth white, Lilly-colour.
In the West a cloth, the skins of many Dragons, green: garlick-bladed.
In the North, the cloth, Hair-coloured, Bilbery juyce. ...
Historically, I suspect it to be one of the more influential things to come out of the entire affair.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-07-30 12:39 pm (UTC)
Wow.

A wonderful combination of the majestic and the homely.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2010-07-30 05:32 pm (UTC)
Exactly. The watchtowers are fundamentally elemental, so I find this combination of majestic and homely to be most appropriate. The Dee-Kelly material has several little surprises like this. I should have expected it to be less earthy in its imagery.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2010-07-30 05:34 pm (UTC)
Love your new head, by the way, though at first glance it seemed curiously shocking.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-07-30 08:34 pm (UTC)
Yes, it kinda leaps out at you...
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