Driving over oranges

not the only fruit 1

I’M sure many of you are familiar with the name Chris Stewart, the original drummer with Genesis, who quit the band, bought a run-down farm in Andalucia and wrote the best-selling book Driving Over Lemons – an amusing and highly entertaining account of his life in the Alpujarras . . .

The book’s title derives from an incident that occurred when he was searching for a place to buy. There were so many lemons – which in their ripeness had dropped from the trees – carpeting the rural roads to a property he was viewing that it was impossible to avoid driving over them.

I recalled this incident when I nudged the van into our rented plot for the first time the other night and there was one solitary, over-ripe orange sitting on the track. I suppose it would have been possible to avoid it. But it seemed like the accepted thing – a rite of passage even – to sacrifice its juices to the dusty earth and perhaps guarantee a rich, fertile and productive future.

So sacrificed it was, like in a pagan ceremony or perhaps even the Eucharist.

Life is full of these little rituals: crossing the equator for the first time in the merchant navy; the prospective bride on a hen night with her L-plates and pink cowboy hat; being sent for a long stand when you’re an apprentice. We play our parts because it’s expected of us. So when you begin a new life in the Alpujarras you crush citrus fruit beneath the wheels of your car. Just once. It’s much more civilised than moving to Pamplona and dashing down the street in front of all those bulls.

not the only fruit 2Besides, I have since discovered that windfall oranges are soon attacked by all sorts of weird parasites so that solitary fruit wasn’t wasted. I merely enhanced the natural recycling process.

not the only fruit 3

  • For Christ Stewart’s blog and website, click here
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16 thoughts on “Driving over oranges

    1. What with all the EU regulations regarding animal welfare, I don’t know how they get away with it. But from what I’ve heard, bull fighting is losing its popularity and there have been moves to have it outlawed. As for the Pamplona bull run, that’s just madness. The people who get gouged and trampled deserve all they get.
      Cheers, Alen

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  1. Good job you haven’t moved to a watermelon growing area. I can picture the van getting grounded on one of those things. Yes, it does seem like a ritual. The first orange of a new life.

    I once sent an apprentice to get a left handed scalpel. Those were the days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Alen could have started another long-running theme here. As a trainee I was once sent to stores to get some tartan thread! You would think I would have learned by then; as new scouts my friend & I were asked to get some blue steam! We carried a bucket all the way to the hardware shop, about half a mile, before we realised what we were doing! You can imagine how we felt!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Watermelons. Ha ha.
      Yes, and sky hooks was another. I was once sent for something ( I can’t remember what because it had a stupid name) and I didn’t go. I got a right bollocking because the thing with the stupid name actually existed.
      Cheers, Alen

      Liked by 1 person

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