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!