Jonathan: Denise and I are fortunate in that we share so many interests, and even more fortunate in that we’ve had the opportunity to make those interests the basis of our daily lives. But being interested in something is not the same as having the time to do it. We’ve had quite a ‘traditional’ married life in that I’ve been the chief bread-winner, and Denise has been the chief home-maker. I’ve predominantly worked outwith the home : Denise has had periods working in factories and offices and care homes, but mostly Continue reading →
Denise: Jonathan’s been picking gooseberries most evenings of late, topping-and-tailing them and putting them in the freezer before bed time. The desert varieties (mostly Leveller) are pretty much all picked, but now it’s mostly the desert gooseberries, which here are seen varying from first-ripe (green with blushes of bronze) to medium ripe (entirely burnished with gold) to fully ripe (purple). These are so sweet and more-ish! In another week or two they will almost all be the dark purple colour: by then they are good for eating fresh or perhaps minimal stewing in the microwave (and served cold or warm with cream), but are no longer any good for jams or wines. It’s been an absolutely dreadful year for weather – and everything that depends on it, especially home-grown food, but some things have done surprisingly well, and certainly that’s gooseberries, which are late but plentiful and very good quality. (But alas not plentiful enough to sell any!) Jonathan comes into the house with his hands and arms bloodied from the picking, but he says the gain is worth the pain!
Jonathan: As I’m retiring – by degrees – from civil engineering and construction, some of the work that has mainly or even exclusively fallen to Denise over recent years has passed my way. One of the first is picking gooseberries: I wonder why that might be!? The poor weather this year, and the replacement – last year – of many of our bushes with younger stock has resulted in a much smaller harvest this time around: but I’m still kept busy regularly picking! This seed tray full – about one and a half to two kilograms, is from one of the remaining older bushes, and is about a quarter of the total yield from that bush! We’ll not be selling any gooseberries: we’ll need them all for ourselves and for making our preserves for sale.