By Ailsa B du Bois
I had to be vigilent though, checking every morning and after any windy days, to ensure the net hadn't opened up a space for birds or possums to sneak in. One morning I went down there and found a dear little bird stuck in the folds of the net, unable to break in or out. I set the little creature free, but it spooked me, so I thought I should pick a batch of cherries a.s.a.p., just in case. So, I picked loads and loads, slightly prematurely. They were sweet but still smaller and lighter than they should be, as pictured below. I'd no sooner picked them than I realised I could not possibly eat them all, so I contacted all the locals who had helped with child or pet care and offered them a tub full. And so this went on ... Every three days I'd pick a batch more and give them to people as gifts, if I happened to be invited to their place for pre Chrissie drinkies and celebrations. It's wonderful how' Christmas-ie' cherries are. They make a great, home-grown gift to present to hosts.
On a family level we haven't done much with them ourselves, other than 1) eat individual cherries, preferably when warm from the sun and fresh from the tree; 2) use them as garnishes in gin-based Martinis; 3) use them in my Christmas photo shoot for the fb banner head for my biz 'The Editorial Suite' (as pictured below). Our cats were not meant to be part of the photo shoot, and nor were they part of the finished pic, but they were curious. Fortunately, it turns out they have no interest in cherries, other than to kick one around as a game, if given the opportunity.