July 25, 2011

The Readers' Fruit

Cherries are the perfect fruit for reading. Peaches and mangoes are too messy. Apples are fine (though they're better for walking: "Apples for walking, and a pipe for sitting . . ." as Sam Gamgee says). Apricots are excellent. But cherries! The handy little stem! The fun little seed!

I remember one vacation in Platres, up in the highlands of Cyprus (and incidentally the town where King Farouk invented the brandy sour: he needed an alcoholic drink that looked like iced tea, so he could drink while entertaining conservative Muslims!). My wife and I were the only guests at a cute little hotel. It had an enormous, sunny balcony, with a view down over the grapevines and tiled roofs. I bought a bag of cherries and put them in a big bowl, and we sat with our feet up, reading and eating cherries. I was reading Middlemarch, as I recall - my first experience with the extraordinary George Eliot, and somehow the cherries matched her sweet, tart, polished prose . . .


  1. AnonymousJuly 26, 2011

    Lovely memory. Do you recall what your wife was reading?

  2. AnonymousJuly 26, 2011

    I (Sofia, K's wife) was reading Jane Austen's Emma. I've never read it since; it was so perfect, I'm afraid it wouldn't be as good without the cherries.