6 November 2023

Of Apples, History and Annoying Utility Companies.

A single morning's crop. Image by (c) Linda Acaster

It was a busy month, to say the least, not helped by British Gas arbitrarily deciding to change the household billing system and then having the temerity to advise me – three times – that it had been corrected. Can you tell I’m getting ready to hit social media??

October also means we have been inundated with apples. We are lucky to have inherited four gnarled mid-sized trees, dating from at least the early 1900s. I’m not sure of their variety but they could be local, Hornsea Herring which originated in 1780 to cope with the coastal climate. They are dual purpose, an eater-baker, but modern apples have been bred to be sweeter than in 1780, so its only an occasional year when they can be eaten from the tree.

We were given a type of Red Delicious eater which we’ve kept stunted so as to pick without the need for steps and a long-handled brush (!!), and helpfully the two apple stocks tend to glut alternate years. Having frozen plenty, we are now eating the last of the Red Delicious. I did try to store them whole one year, and just about lost the lot, so it is to the freezer they now go.

I hate wasting what nature offers for free, hence the header image. It went with a short article written for a publication on Medium – Deliver Me Your Bruised And Your Broken – as a response to a news article on food waste. The publication is usually behind a paywall, but my article carries a ‘friend’ link so as to be read by non-subscribers. It may give you a smile, or turn your indignation up a notch.

My own Medium publication – Escape Into History – now has all my previously written history articles embedded, and I’m adding new ones as I write them. These are behind a paywall.

Over on Substack, my Portals to the Past publication remains free to read, and subscribers get the weekly history article – yes, weekly (what was I thinking??) – delivered to their inboxes. I’ve acquired 37 subscribers in a month, which may not sound much but I find startling, considering I’m still learning the intricacies of the platform.

No mention of my writing fiction, you’ll notice, but that might change in the coming months. Substack has a contingent writing serialized fiction. Shall we say, I’m considering joining them.

More next month, or the end of this month, if I get my act together.