This is a long story that begins with a couple of other stories.One of my favourite school memories is that of my mum going into the garden at dawn to pick roses so I could take them to a teacher I had a crush on. These were no ordinary roses either; the Prince Edward is my favourite rose. Its short flowering season and leggy appearance mean that it is largely used these days as a stock rose, if it is planted at all. However, for sheer rose-ish-ness, it is difficult to beat. A voluptuous shape, deep pink colour, and a concentrated ittar aroma mean it has all that defines ‘rose’. I love this, and my mum and I have tried with varying success to grow this wherever we have lived.
And persimmons. The first time I ate one was in Seattle. After I learned the hard way that they are supposed to be eaten when squishy, I fell in love with the silky honeyed flesh. A year after I moved to Dun, I found and ate them again. Then I missed the next season. So yes, I have eaten them twice. I was excited to move to the hills because we have friends here who have a persimmon tree, and I might maybe, perhaps, hopefully, be able to beg a couple off them.
And now the main story.
A couple of days back, Mian and I arranged to meet at a house that we could possibly rent. We were sold on the fact that it is a traditional-style house(!) in an apple orchard (!), but there were a lot of things to be considered before we could allow our hopes to rise. I went there then, and not knowing where the entrance was, left the path and climbed up the hill once I saw the house. 30 seconds of scrambling, and as I came on to flat land, I found myself eye to eye with a stunning Edward Rose. ‘Home’ I thought, but did not dare to voice it.
Mian came along, and with increasing excitement we checked out the internet connectivity (it works!), the bathroom (the most modern thing in the valley), and the kitchen( adequate with a wee bit of work). Then we noted the more important things: a patio which gets the sun (soon to have raised herb beds , pots of lavender, a solar cooker, and comfy seating), a fireplace in every room (calling out for a rug and scrabble and glasses of amber liquid), wooden flooring, a singing stream, a wee view of the high Himalaya, a room for the goats and mushrooms we hope to have.
And then we discovered the four heavily-laden persimmon trees.