Notes from Catherine Rowett, former Green Party MEP for East of England and deputy coordinator of the Eastern Region Green Party*(UK). Biographical reflections on life as an MEP. Longer reflections and discussions on issues relating to policy, the good life, justice, equality, anti-austerity economics and the future of the planet. This is also a forum for exchanging ideas on how to tread lightly on the planet and avoid supporting exploitation and corrupt practices. Here we go...

Friday, 2 November 2007

English Apples

Conversation with boy (apparently white, native) at the Liverpool Street Station greengrocers' stall on Tuesday:

I to boy: "Have you any English apples?"

Boy to me: "English apples? There's no such thing."

I to boy (puzzled): "No, I mean have you any ENGLISH apples?"

Boy to me: "There's various kinds of apples: Golden delicious, Braeburn, [something]-Reds. We don't have 'english apples'".

I to boy, in some desperation: "No I don't want any of those, I wanted some English ones."

Boy (puzzled) to man who runs stall: "What are English apples?"

Man to boy: "Means coxes. There's none left."

I to boy and man: "Oh". Walks away, wondering whether he means that England has run out of coxes, or that the stall had temporarily sold out for the day.

This stall was about an hour's distance from Kent, which was once an orchard as I recall, the "garden of England". The Golden Delicious were probably from France. The Braeburns probably six months old and from New Zealand. The Granny Smiths probably six months old and from S. Africa.

But this conversation is so sad, in so many ways, that you wonder whether there's any hope left. There was, in fact, no British produce on the stall at all, as far as I could see.

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