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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Granny expanded

Granny has a piece on the Guardian Book Blog. Go here if you feel like it.

She apologises for not writing more here. It's been very hot; 42 degrees on Sunday, high 30's yesterday, today, God knows. All of it accompanied by a blisteringly hot wind, straight from North East, which is odd; most hot winds on this island come east, from the Sahara; not this time.

Granny and Beloved's house being an old one, restored, has thick stone walls that keep the heat out much better than the new single breeze-block constructions. But even they struggle as the heat goes on and builds up, inside and out. She is trying to dry figs. Her tree is as usual producing more than she can cope with. She could just say 'hang it' but someone her age, grown-up during rationing, finds it a moral problem to reject food - especially in a place where pre-water desalination, people regularly went hungry, the figs they dried in summer one of the the few foods they had. (There are limits to her virtue though; she also has an abundance of prickly pears on her land, but she doesn't harvest them, not liking to have hands like a reverse hedgehog, the spines all sticking in. Which happens unless you know exactly what you're doing, She not only doesn't know, she doesn't enjoy the results of such painful efforts. Cactus fruits taste of sweet nothing in a far from romantic sense.) She hasn't been very successful at drying figs yet. But she is pushing on with it. The alternative is to make jam and bottle compotes which she has done/she will do too, but that's far more effort. Did she say it was very hot? She will repeat that, are you listening you lazy so and so's out there, all the ones not on holiday that is: IT IS VERY HOT.

Back to her hammock. Well no, actually. It is too hot even for that.

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