Apples and Memories

This week, on a warm day I went into the apple store and realised, by the fermenting aroma, that it was time! Time to sort out all the remaining apples and chuck out all the mouldy ones.

Now a really organised person would have been doing this all along – they’d have done this every time they collected apples – not dashing in, grabbing a few and flying out again, often at twilight, when sorting apples in an unlit shed is not easy.

Red admiral - telling us the apples are ready!
Red admiral – telling us the apples were ready!

As I stood turning over each of the apples that still looked good to check for damage, and chucking the obviously past-it apples into the bucket, I remembered picking this crop. We did it over a number of warm days, the butterflies dancing and tasting apples that had already fallen.

In past years Dad has always been the most assiduous fruit-picker in the family, he’d check the fruit, wait for the dew to dry and then set off into the orchard with a wheelbarrow full of boxes, and steadily pick apples and lay them out in the apple store all day, or until the apples that were ripe were all gathered

This year, ill as he was, he still wanted to help. So, over a few days, he did. I helped him walk down to the trees we were going to pick, and he held tightly to a branch and picked with his free hand, or propped himself against the trunk, and did the same. An hour or so of this and he was exhausted, but happy to have done his bit for that day, and after I’d helped him back he’d settle down in his armchair, feet up, and would swiftly be asleep. wheelbarrow-apples






dad-with-howgate-wonderThere had been an excellent crop, with some real whoppers from the Howgate Wonders – an apple I love to recommend as it is sweet enough for an eater, mushes down like a cooker (needing no added sugar) is a heavy cropper and keeps really well! Here’s a snap of Dad holding one, though not the biggest, of these lovely apples.

All this is going through my mind as I sort the apples, and here we are, the second week of April and I still have a range of apples left.wp_20180408_15_17_11_pro
They do not look as pretty as the chilled, native and imported, apples in the supermarket, but they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides.wp_20180408_15_16_56_pro

They haven’t been waxed or coated in shellac . . . and if you don’t like the sound of these ‘old apples’ please note that *’apples you buy from the shops are usually anything from a few months to a year old’ * Times Newspaper 10/4/18


Yet even after all these months, peeled, they still taste wonderful, are free – wp_20180408_15_17_23_pro



and I reckon I have at least nine kilos left!



The mouldy and too-damaged-to-eat apples I’ve spread out on our open-top compost heap – where it won’t take long for birds to find them to have nice, unexpected, spring feast.


What have you been up to this past week?

What annual jobs in the home or garden are you tackling?

Do let me know in the comments – I love to hear from you 🙂


ps If it is the first time you have written a comment don’t worry if it doesn’t appear immediately, your first comment has to be verified (to keep the spam-bots out) and I do this personally – so I am sure to see your comment – thanks for reading – Ann



6 thoughts on “Apples and Memories

  1. Lovely pictures and lovely memories – I can feel the warmth of summer and smell the fruit. You will miss him.
    As for us – we now have no garden to speak of – just patio and decking but we’ve moved a shed to make way for a new summer house for my pottery (this will arrive next week) and I’m planning my pots and container displays. Going to the RHS show in Cardiff tomorrow – our daughter Jess is part of a team from Bridgend college who are doing a garden. Hope they win a medal!
    Other half has just set off for Brittany to get his fix of mowing!

    • Hi Steph,
      Gardens are both a wondrous glory and a bit of a bind, sometimes we need to have less of the bind, and borrow the glory in gardens elsewhere. Hope you are settling in well, and, incidentally, the OH is also there right now! Glad to hear your pottery is moving with you. 🙂
      Best Ann

  2. Lovely photos and many happy memories keeping your dad’s life always in your heart and mind. As a child until I was 8 our family lived with my Nan in Union Terrace York. In the back yard was a pear tree – Conference pears were collected from ladder and even dropped into a handheld sheet as pears were knocked off from each landing sash window of our tall terraced house. My memory is of those pears bottled in old fashioned Kilmer jars and put in the copper. I can still smell those pears and hear the chink of the jars in the copper. When all the houses were demolished the pear tree remained in what became The Minster Car Park. Only recently the tree had to be felled. It had lived to a ripe old age and had been a focal point in my childhood. I can still feel the sun on my face as I swung on the swing my dad hung from the old pear tree. Happy memories. J

  3. Hi Jean,
    What great memories – and all invested in that pear-tree. And the scent of pears – that must always trigger such lovely memories for you too!
    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    best – Ann

  4. n 12 April 2018, at 12:36, Nina Cox wrote:

    Thanks Ann for a wonderful “moment” reading your blog. I’ve just sat down to take some painkillers and thought I’d check my emails. So glad I did!

    Not only is it an innocent pleasure reading your blog, but so wonderful to see Dad holding a Howgate Wonder! I love the one of him holding on to the apple tree while Bonnie photo bombs the photo!!!
    Keep them coming Ann – we just love reading it all.


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