Monday, 29 June 2009

Midsummer gooseberries

It's steamy today - great growing weather. A windless deluge of rain this morning after 10 dry days and now the woods are awash with scent - valerian, fragrant orchids, honeysuckle, clover.

There seem to be more slow worms around than normal this year. I nearly trod on one in the garden while picking gooseberries. There is a bumper crop this year, despite almost complete defoliation by saw-fly larvae, and I have discovered that gooseberry pancakes are an excellent hangover cure. Just like the character in the Chekhov story called 'Gooseberries', I am obscenely proud of my gooseberry bushes. I strive to remember, every time I eat their fruit, that almost everyone is less fortunate than me. I wonder what it is about these tart, pale, stubbly spheres that imbues we gooseberry-growers with such disgusting smugness?