30 November 2010

A story about medlars, now online

Maybe this blog has finally bletted. After some years, the medlars especially are at last getting the kind of delicious interest they've always secretly craved. And from such quality stock!

People like Catherine Moran, that temptress at Shropshire Prune (Don't just post an announcement on your new blog saying that you will soon post. I'm looking forward to what you say!) Then there's Stephen Read of the Reads, Nurserymen since 1841. Even his twitter page is full of such good stuff, now busy with thoughts of quince and medlar.

And who started all this? I'm not sure, but it might have been Nick Mann at Habitat Aid, the purpose of which is something I feel so strongly about that I fear I can be a bore. Nick isn't. As he says, "Help save native habitats and promote biodiversity in the UK" and then shows how beautiful diversity is. Even if you're like me and can't buy any imported plants (I'd be inviting aliens, an illegal and reviled act that I wrote about recently in my story "Gnawer of the Moon Seeks Summit of Paradise"), you can support the efforts of Habitat Aid and its charity partners, in other ways. As a knife fiend, I want to own that Japanese Hori Hori knife so much, I can feel my fingers close on the handle. Or just steal pleasure from Habitat Aid's many beautiful photographs. I especially like the scene of the harvest mouse eating berries. So many would cry, "Warfarin!"

To thank everyone, I've just reprinted a story for your pleasure, not to mention the pleasure of medlars in both hemispheres.

Valley of the Sugars of Salt

NOTE: I'm assuming all of you have already enjoyed Alys Fowler's article titled simply Medlars in Saturday's Guardian. I urge people who haven't had the pleasure, to dig in, even though I disagree with the Marmite analogy. In our modern world of fruit grown for as much colour and as little taste as possible, so as to be inoffensive, the only people likely to meet medlars are adults who are also either already bletted or fighting dentist and cosmetician, to stop their noble rot. In this mutual state of maturity, the adult can find the alcoholic fruit as sensually pleasurable as a drink that every child knows for sure, is stinky poison. But who do you know who has first met Marmite as an adult, and not rolled the lip? I think one has to be born with a Marmite-clogged spoon near the mouth.

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