When you think of the number seven, what comes to mind? Deadly sins, virtues, wonders of the ancient world? Does your mind consider the days of the week? The seas? The colours found in the rainbow? Or are you the kind of person that conjures Seven Brides for Seven Brothers? Snow White and her vertically challenged landlords? What about the Magnificent Seven? Maybe Blyton’s Secret Seven for those of you addicted to racist, sexist, middle class reading from childhood takes your fancy?
Seven. A prime number. A number not divisible by any other number but itself.
I bet you are wondering why I am suddenly obsessed by the number seven, or maybe thinking ‘Is she high?’ or ‘Someone’s been looking at Wiki.’ But, the answer to both is no. And if I had succumbed to the parasite of the web, I suppose I could have cited more (or even stressed “citation needed”).
However, today the number seven was very important to me. Distressingly so, as it happens. For today I found out that I had been robbed of something extremely close to my heart.
Let me put this into some kind of perspective. This is not a scenario led by a masked intruder toting a swag bag and sneaking, soundlessly, through my bedroom window in the dead of night. This thief is more subtle than that and probably waited until dawn for its attack. Going back to the ‘perspective’, I want you to consider this. How would you feel if you had spent the last 18 months loving something, nurturing something, watching it blossom and grow magnificently only to have it ravaged?
And now it is back to the number seven. Seven. The number of cherries I have been staring at for the last two months. Seven. The red plumpness of them seeming to taunt me in their readying ripeness. Seven. The number of cherries eaten by those big fat bastard pigeons in my garden. The same big fat bastard pigeons who now know they are big fat bastard pigeons as I bellowed it out for all to hear upon my discovery this afternoon.
I knew I shouldn’t have named my tree Margaret Thatcher because of her sweetness (Maggie for short – and very tongue in cheek). Knew that I was tempting fate by deliberating before impersonating the man from Del Monte in my exclamation two days ago, ‘The woman from Del Monte say “Not quite yet!” ’I should have covered the tree with a safety net, protected my bounty, stood guard over the burgeoning juicy fruits. But I was complacent. I was arrogant. I believed my cherries would only be popped by me.
So, if you were expecting something about writing when reading this post, expecting something about The Cherry Orchard and Chekov, my apologies. I would apologise more, but I have a tree of plums and one of apples to protect and haven’t got the time – although I did find the time to rant on and on about it.
But, I will make it up to you in the future. Obviously not with a cherry pie, even though it would have been a very small one.
RIP Cherries. May you rest in peace. Or, failing that, give those pesky fruit nabbers the squits.