My love for Claude’s plums is a love which can indeed say its name and, should there be any doubt about that, I shall be happy to shout it from the rooftops. I say this safe in the knowledge that I could shout anything that takes my fancy from our rooftop in the sure and certain knowledge that it would be unlikely to attract the attention of any sentient being with less than four legs. The view taken by local upright bipeds is that when on a roof, shouting is the norm which is worth considering should shouting for help become a possibility as it will be recognised as no more than normal roof shouting and of no particular import. Best to stuff one of Claude’s finest in your gob and fall politely and noiselessly to your doom which cautionary tale clearly defines the downside of not speaking with a plum in your mouth. Plums are so often a disappointment; they flatter to deceive and red plums are at the apogee of this deception. How often have I bought a pile of ripe, red plums only to find, at the first hungry unwashed bite, that the hoped for nectar of plum sweetness was replaced by a soft vegetal texture with sour notes. Engraved in my mind are the luscious memories of the moment of biting into a dribblingly sweet ripe Victoria plum or an intensely flavoured almond shaped deep purple damson but these memories live in too close a proximity to those legions of less happy moments when the too brown, too soft, near rotten plum is popped int0 the unwary mouth producing a near perfect test of the gag reflex. However, up to this point, I have not experienced this disillusionment with a Reine Claude, la bonne reine, or, if I have, that memory or, heaven forbid, those memories have been thoroughly expunged from the recesses of my mind. The recollection that I cherish is that of a neighbour paying me for some photography with a huge bowl of Reine Claudes and, as I recall, not a single one was a bad one. Certainly a memory to treasure which is the ideal purpose of any memory….. however untrue.