Sweet serendipity, a kind of medicine

It was my daughter’s birthday on Thursday. Her daytime festivities comprised a walk and a picnic. In late afternoon we all came together to drink tea and squash and sing ‘Happy Birthday’. All eleven of us fellow inmates gathered on what we call the terrace, but which is actually a west-facing paved area between the former slurry pit, (aka the walled garden), and a converted farm building, (now biomass boiler shed number one).

As is customary at these events, lockdown or no, there was something sweet to put the candles in. But instead of cake, my daughter had chosen to celebrate with Bakewell tart. The two Bakewell tarts made for the occasion were indeed baked well. They were things of beauty and truly delicious. Those of you familiar with the above-mentioned English delicacy will know that there is an essential jammy layer.

One of Thursday’s tarts contained orange jam; the other – red jam. We naturally enquired what flavours they were. ‘Fridge jam’ was the reply. They had been made from surplus, from odds-and-ends of fruit, plus, naturally, sugar. And, because they were only designed for family consumption, there was no labelling – no list of allergens or ingredients. ‘Lucky dip’ jam was the name my mother used to give her equivalent creations. Small glass jars of serendipity, providing all of us with the perfect sticky excuse to try at least one slice from each tart.


In the previous post I mentioned a convalescence watching movies on TV with my father. Here is the poem based on my memory of those times – ‘Medicine bears’.

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