Once I was famed for the beauty of my hands, but I suspect my days as a hand model are no more. The hands that launched a thousand ships are more those of a forty a day Capstan full strength man. That’s what stoning 30 kilos of damsons does to them. The mind is equally scarred.
And afterwards ? Dealing with the trees themselves. It seemed churlish, the harvest being so generous and bountiful. We had friends picking them, gave even more away, and still they came down from the trees. You squelched, as though treading grapes, as you walked through the garden, the grass struggling to poke up through a carpet of damsons and squelch.
Still, however bountiful, we had to reclaim our garden from what is now a small army of rampaging damson trees
Sunday was the day before the damson Armageddon. It seems so peaceful sitting on the small patch of dishevelled garden we could still call our own. Little did the trees know that the chainsaw, mask and gloves we’d ordered had come the following day.
So serene, I almost felt sorry
The following day we struck, and I imagined the damson trees killing themselves laughing as they saw me approach, skidding over squashed fruit and squinting through a B movie horror mask.
Laughter was replaced by guerrilla warfare as kamikaze damsons bombarded us from on high, the ariel warfare accompanied by swarms of erratic end of season wasps. I think Prince may have had this in mind with his song, Purple Rain.
But now, happily round one is done.
To remind you, this particular horror had all but blocked our way into the garden, swallowing up an ornamental tree and threatening a bird table
The ornamental tree is somewhere under there. The bird table its next victim.
Our diminishing access into the garden.
A bonfire emerges
Access and ornamental tree to the right
Round two, well there are one or two trees on borrowed time, this tall maiden for example with its branches so high up it’s almost impossible to harvest.
And next week the bonfire, wrapping potatoes and rosy cheeked children in foil and throwing them into the flames, all the time drinking strong cider. (or perhaps damson wine)