Jars of memories

Snow in London and the papers are full of photos of happy children sledging, beautiful panoramas of the countryside and all the other usual cliches of winter. But none of the hundreds of thousands of people who look out of the window or listen to the weather forecast with sinking hearts.

If you’re frail or elderly or ¬†seriously ill, you dread the snow, it feels like a fast track to A and E. I did go out to do a shop yesterday and there was no snow left on the ground but my steps were so tentative nonetheless and I was even more aware of every wet leaf and crack in the pavement.

Back home safely and decided to have some tea and toast. Hunted around my shelves and found a jar of apricot jam that Mum and I made a couple of years ago when she was still at home and I was looking after her. She’d labelled the jam and I remember a happy afternoon with her making it. This is the last pot. I opened it and it smelt of summer, spread on toast it was delicious with an additional kick of kir. I often add a slosh of spirits to jam, but this was a very generous glug. A poignant reminder of all the cooking we did together in that kitchen and how that too has ended. And further back, all the preserving done with Dad, who loved having buckets of pickled onions, bottles of ginger ale, marmalade, chutney and preserves all round the house.

So if you have any family, friends or neighbours who are frail, remember to think of them in this cold weather. And maybe take them the odd jar of jam to warm the cockles.


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