13 October 2006


Skipping breakfast tumbled into too much for lunch. Homemade split-pea soup - heavy on the nutmeg but that suits me - followed by a massive bacon baguette. There was nothing for it - I had to walk it off.

So Gilmour and I wandered up to the walled garden to see about apples. And pears. The garden has grown wild over the last 20 years of neglect. Waist high nettles, thorns and thistles punctured denim and jumper. We earned our apples. Every step a new sting or prick while the tree waits with bushels of plump fruit. The wicker basket couldn't take any more and we hadn't even found the pear tree. It turns out the pear tree is outside the walled garden. So we traversed the neighbour's field and avoiding vast quantities of sheep shit. Several fences lept later and we stood below what must be the world's largest pear tree. The fruit towered 20 or 30 metres above the ground. The trunk gnarled and knotted with age. There was one pear on the ground at the foot of the tree, next to the knots and gnarls. With so many apples, the one pear was enough.

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