Mangoes and roses

I thought I’d missed the alphonse mango season when I was away in New Zealand and the USA, but I was delighted to discover that it was still going strong in London when I came back. I bought a whole box of them last Sunday and I’m loving every waft of scent from them, as well as every slippery, succulent mouthful. And after the alphonse mangos – which come from India – it will be time for the honey mangoes from Pakistan, and then, I think, the little Thai mangoes. I’m sorry to say that all these fruits must get flown in, so they’re heavy with airmiles and carbon footprints as well as their exotic scent and taste. But oh! the delight!

Another joy of the season – apart from asparagus and broad beans – is the flowers of late spring. Peonies are in all the shops now, and I’ve had several bunches of the creamy white ones. It bothers me that there’s generally at least one in any bunch that never opens – and my sister in Seattle tells me the same thing happens there. That means it can’t be a function of chilling the flowers for transport, since hers come across from the islands off the coast and are never chilled. Maybe the buds are picked too soon and lose heart?

We’re ¬†very lucky with roses right now – we have a friend nearby who’s gone away, and asked us to pick her roses so that she’ll have a second flowering later on, when she’s back home. What’s not to like about that? So our apartment is filled with the scent of ripe mangoes and lush roses, with the background fragrance of peonies spilling over them both.¬†

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