and there hung a swing from one of its branches. The apples were sweet and delicious and my grandfather would place them a few inches apart on a shelf in his workshop so they would ripen fully if they fell early. The aroma in the workshop combined fruit and coal tar creosote which he used to maintain his garage at the bottom of the garden, where the Triumph was kept. He would stew the apples and give them to us with the thick cream which formed inside the top of the milk bottles, which came out of the ice chest icy cold.
Also in his garden he grew hydrangea and he told us they could change colour if you buried a rusty key by the roots. He liked to take our photograph in front of the hydrangea, in our school uniform all pressed and new.
In our school uniform all pressed and new we could volunteer to collect for charity, door to door. I volunteered always. My motives were not necessarily altruisic. It meant I had a chance to fill my lungs with the smell of home cooking and catch a glimpse of a domestic evening unfolding, just for a few moments while the person who opened the door turned to open her purse and then place the pennies in my collection box. The scene was suggested; lit by the yellow glow from the lamp on the hall table or the shaft of light beckoning from the kitchen door not quite pulled to.