IN Robin and the Sheriff, from The Forresters’ Manuscript I’ve read that the Sheriff
of Nottingham, an unwilling guest at one of Robin’s feasts in the greenwood, recognises
the silver plate he’s eating off as his own, cunningly stolen by Robin.
The Sheriff complains that when he gets home he’ll be reduced to eating from wood.
At today’s craft fair at St Mary’s I ask a wood turner if that’s true; did the common
people really did eat from wood. We’re so used to thinking about fragments of pottery
when it comes to archaeological excavations but in waterlogged sites like the Viking
Jorvik, where wood is preserved, large quantities of wooden utensils are found.
He tells that commoners probably did eat a lot from wood and that for preference
they would have used beech as it has natural antiseptic qualities; it’s still used
in butcher’s blocks.
An archaeologist friend once brought him some fragments of wooden bowls he’d excavated
and asked him to turn a set of reproductions for everyday use.
Val Vardy working on a botanical watercolour; her stall at the craft fair also featured
porcelain flowers and loom work.
Apple tree, Cox’s Orange Pippin at my mum’s. The pears -Conference and Comice have
done well this year. In most years they turn out looking rather thin and spindly;
this year they’ve been juicy and, in the best possible way, pear-shaped.