Thursday 23 July 2015

The last punnet

of ripe red cherries on the stall,
and in fact, the last in their orchard.
All the rest are black cherries from now on.

Hone's Everyday Book records that cherries were brought up from Kent 
and sold by the London Barrow Woman.

This is cherry season, but it is not to me as cherry seasons were. 
I like a great deal that is, but I have an affection for what was. 
By-gone days seem to have been more fair than these; 
and I cannot help trying to
"catch the manners dying as they fall."
I have lived through the extremity of one age, 
into the beginning of another, and I believe better;
yet the former has been too much detracted; 
everything new is not, therefore, good;
nor was everything old, bad.
When I was a boy, I speak of just after the French revolution broke out, 
my admiration and taste were pure and natural, 
and one of my favourite at all times, and in cherry time especially, 
was the London Barrow Woman.
There are no barrow women now.
They have quite "gone out", or, rather,
they have been "put down",
and by many they are not even missed.
Look around; there is not one to be seen.

Round and sound.
Tuppence a pound.
Cherries rare ripe cherries!
Cherries a ha'penny a stick.
Come and pick! come and pick!
Cherries as big as plums.
Who comes, who comes.


  1. It is so true, and the world seeks a new simplicity, but it is more artificial and more costly than the old simplicity, as well as being touted on twitter. Will you make jam?

  2. Not enough for jam. I think I will make clafoutis and leave in the stones as per the Limousin version.I read that it was popular in France during the 19th century.

  3. My husband and I used to drive our big yellow pickup truck onto the sidewalk in front of my parent's house, stand in the truck bed and pick cherries from their lone tree. We had to pick them early before the birds laid waste to the bounty. We ate all we could hold and left the rest for others to enjoy. There was never enough to satisfy, but I think that made them taste even sweeter.

  4. Mmm, Clafoutis - I adore that.