I don't think that I could have ever described my mother as parsimonious; in many ways she was a most generous person who enjoyed her share of the finer things in life - but she was from Yorkshire and the product of a tough upbringing in the post World War I slump. Education took her away from the drudgery and toil of a scrubby small farm on the outskirts of a manufacturing town. She worked and worked to earn whatever came her way, money that key to comfort, was too hard-won by to be lightly thrown away. The phrase 'if I do owt for nowt, I do it for m'sen' was unspoken but pretty close to the truth.
It must then have been a source of some relief to her (again unspoken) that the date of the Harvest Festival service in the parish church of Wroxton St Mary in 1975 was Sunday October 5th.
Why would this be? The date of my wedding was Saturday the 4th and the church would be bedecked with a sumptuous array of autumn goodness - carrots, chrysanths and cabbage, turnips, spuds and mega-marrows - for the service on the following day. There would be no need for wedding flowers. I would walk down the aisle to seasonal munificence. My bridesmaid and I would be permitted a small posy apiece however. I chose white freesias - though now think I would perhaps have enjoyed a walk down the aisle with a bouquet of various herbs.
I remember those massed carrots and turnips as well as I remember the service itself - the abundant veg and the burnished wood of the medieval rood screen we stood nervously in front of. The smell was wonderful too of course - this was a marriage made in a greengrocers shop with overtones of beeswax polish.
A good auctioneer makes all the difference - after years of experience at the the local lifestock mart, Carl at Marton and Malcolm up here in Trelystan can give the professionals a run for their money and their audience a laugh or two.
Such a mountain of produce to buy - and we come home from each Supper with fresh fruit and vegetables.
Back home we sit and look at our haul - we have potatoes and mighty onions, carrots, honey and lemon curd.
Have to admit it tasted pretty good with sweet corn and green beans - and as there are still plenty of pears left it's something we'll be eating again.