A little less than five years or so ago, a long tube arrived at our door via carrier, containing a bare-rooted apple tree. It was a sixtieth birthday present for me from our old friends Mark and Eva Fudakowski, whom we met when they lived not far from us at Northleach: their daughter Alex is my Goddaughter, and Mark is a kind Godfather to Thomas.
This was no ordinary apple tree, but one of the very rare Bardsey Island variety. I'm glad to say that - as my photograph shows - it has settled in well in our back garden, where it is in good company: we inherited five apple trees of varying ages and species when we bought the house - there were more, but they fell to the axe when the building plot at the bottom of our garden (a developer had bought it before we came on the scene) needed a drive to it.
This year, all six trees have cropped well: the question is where to store all the good fruit. Thanks to the juicer we bought following advice from John Seymour - ages ago - windfalls are not a problem. Is there's anything - non-alcoholic - better to drink than fresh apple juice? It smells delicious too.
I like the idea that anyone buried on Bardsey Island is guaranteed eternal salvation. Does it work the same, I wonder, if one's ashes are scattered round the roots of a Bardsey Island apple?