By convention, the apples that fall from our tree to the ground before mid-July, mostly small, green and very hard, are the tree thinning itself out and those that drop afterwards are harvest. But so many of the apples on the ground today were large and red that I have cut and stewed them. Usually the first few days' harvest are fairly sour but these are already sweet enough to eat without adding sugar.
Perfect timing: we have only 1kg of frozen stewed apple left over from last year's bumper harvest. This is the first time in 26 years that the crops have overlapped, partly because I make far fewer apple crumbles now the children have gone.
Speaking of children, my Oxford-based daughter travels west to work and I travel east. Our opposite commutes coincide on the towpath where we randomly meet for a quick hug, as yesterday. Today we were both late. I raised my hand in a wave as she approached, she raised hers in response and we did a bicycle high-five as we sped on our respective ways. I wonder whether she grinned for as long afterwards as I did.