That was foolish. I had gone down to the soft fruit orchard with the aim of picking the black currants, white currants and the jostaberries.
And then I spied some amazingly ripe gooseberries on my two large shrubs just behind the black currants.
I also had Artur on my lap, so there was a lot of leaning and stretching and trying not to dislodge the cat. I tell you, these berries are hard won.
There are only two gooseberry bushes in my large soft fruit orchard. Both were gifts from Teo back in 2011. He took cuttings.
I just delved into my original diary to see the name of the shrubs (I’m going to be taking cuttings this autumn, so it would be sensible to know).
I can distinctly recall Teo wrote out their provenance on metal labels. And I planted the teensy plants with the labels – so either I get to look up the diligent records from the comfort of my laptop…. Or I have to go out into the blazing sunshine and rootle about the sharp and nasty thorns at the base of each plant to find out.
[Pause while you consider whether I’m diligent enough to have recorded the names; or mad enough to attempt the second option. I didn’t write them down. Curses! I’ll wait until later when it will at least be cooler.]
I would have more gooseberries to show you, but alas, I scoffed a lot while I worked. I like the buttery crunch of the thicker skin. And they are fantastic in a tart.
And let’s face it, black currants are great for cordials and my annual batch of cassis liqueur. But I won’t be rushing to make any blackcurrant or white currant jam.
Too many seeds.
Answer? It’s Tour de France cycle time. Which means that the population of France who have the luxury of choosing their work from home life will be spending a few quality hours indoor each day pretending to be picking over berries or sorting the contents of their freezers while watching French countryside and châteaux from the overhead helicopters. Oh and cyclists racing.
[Red Hinnonmaki – and note the marigold washing up glove]