Monday, 3 September 2012


I have a friend who just last week knocked on the front door of a house to enquire about the apple tree in its front garden. It seemed that the entire crop was going to waste; the grass beneath the branches carried the low drone of an army of wasps scratching away deep inside warm, fermenting fruit. In an "I might as well" moment, my friend took a deep breath, knocked on the door and politely asked if he might procure a handful of apples off the tree. "You’re not having any - goodbye" was the sharp and somewhat resolute response - the door was pretty much slammed in his face.

I've spoken before about the garden-bound Pear tree that I pass on my walk to and from the station each day. I enjoy its youthful flourish of blossom each Spring; a confetti-like festoon that scatters tiny petals across the pavement each time the wind blows. I marvel at tiny green fruit droplets that appear on its branches, swelling slowly in the Summer sun as the season drifts into Autumn. I despair as one by one they tumble to the ground, quickly rendered a vinegary sludge by insects, mould and the heavy wheels of a family 4x4.

I freely admit to a bit of light scrumping when the opportunity presents itself. Nothing OTT - just enough to make dessert for the family, or to make the fruit bowl look a little less sorry for itself. So it was by the cover of darkness on Thursday night that I quickly confiscated half a dozen pears from the tree after getting home late from work. The lights of the house were out and the street was still - they tasted all the better for their shifty Moonlit acquisition.


  1. My grandmother positively encouraged scrumping and I can still see her standing on the dustbin at the bottom of her garden to reach over the fence for some apples. Happy days!I still scrump and make jars of delight with my ill gotten gains!!

  2. That kind of attitude makes me so sad - to prefer the apples to rotten instead of being enjoyed by others is just mean.

  3. It's very sad Patricia, but thankfully not everyone's quite so mean. I walked past a house this morning where the owners had harvested their apples, and put some of them in a bag in the driveway with a "Help yourself" sign propped up against them. Baked apples tonight I think! Many thanks to yourself and Amberlife for commenting on the post. x