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Tantalus experience

Tantalus was tortured by having fruit that forever eluded his grasp. This was rather my experience with the apple tree in the photo.

Apple tree with brambles and wild clematis

I took a tarpaulin there today to lay over the brambles in front of the tree and protect myself from the prickles. It worked reasonably well, but what I hadn’t realised was that the tree grows on the edge of a steep bank  masked by those brambles.

As I edged forward, it was as if the tree receded in front of me. I only managed to pick 5 apples before I had to reconsider my approach.

The bank drops into a deep, damp hollow surrounded by brambles and wild clematis but otherwise relatively clear.

What I did was knock the apples I could reach with my stick down into the hollow, then slither down there and pick them up.

When I got back to the house I tried one. They’re hard, juicy and full of flavour – really good apples. It’s such a shame that all these old trees have gone to rack and ruin with canker and invading weeds.

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