The Caromb Fig
The man who painted the above fruit and I dined under the fig tree of the woman who painted the beauties below. The Caromb fig has made it into the e-world at last!
I always think of figs as symbolising the last of the heat; of late Indian summer breakfasts in the turning vines, and I panicked when I sat under the pendulous black baul-bauls of Mireille's tree because, as yet, our summer hasn't really begun. Then Mireille explained that fig trees have three harvests a year. It is apparently advisable, she said, not to eat those that grow first as they are just warming up the tree.
As we perched on her old stone bench to eat, Julian and I ached for a garden of our own; to be protected on all sides from the gaze of others, not to mention their laundry leaping in the mistral, by an old wall dripping in colourful creepers, the smell of roses fading with the light. Mireille paints everything that she has planted in her little oasis and, just like a cook who cooks with her own produce, her love for her subject shows.
I do not feel any desire to 'own' land, but I yearn to bring in a lettuce, put a rose in a vase, or chop a herb I have grown myself.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, the man comes to start work on the terrace next week. Lord knows how he will transform the industrial junk yard in front of our house that is ridden with black bins and gunk from the back of two hundred 'tommette' tiles (six hundred still to go), a cement mixer (to mix hemp and lime), bricks, and several square meters' worth of terra cotta tiles into a mini walled haven for pots of little green things, but maybe one day we may even pick a caromb fig of our own for breakfast instead of stealing the neighbours'.
(I should add our neighbour hates figs and has given us an open invitation).