John Pilgrim: Why read on screen when you could enjoy a proper book?

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SO the kids have broken up for the summer and that means that the park opposite our house where the spaniel and I walk will be ringing to the sound of children enjoying themselves.

Just as long as they don’t spoil my plans for a bit of foraging by taking wild fruit before it’s ripe! I have got several trees earmarked for visits in the near future and I have several recipes ready to try.

My real problem is getting too taken away with ideas, and producing too much for the freezer. Friends and family will happily accept some gifts but fruit crumbles begin to get boring after a while, as do strawberries and cream.

I’ve gleaned a fair amount of knowledge from the internet but when I am a little unsure as to whether I have identified a wild fruit accurately I ask my neighbour Tony to try it!

Tony is quite happy with the arrangement and is much braver than me, having been involved in making (and drinking) homemade wine for several years.

As far as TV is concerned, I have to say that there seems a lot of bad news about at the moment and precious little to entertain.

I was desperate enough recently to watch programmes involving James May and/or Jeremy Clarkson.

Although I once met and interviewed Clarkson and found him to be a most polite and straightforward chap, I must say that both of these personalities really do produce childish programmes and need to grow up and look for something new.

I also have problems with anything that claims to be taking over from proper books. I just cannot get my head around reading a book on a screen.

Book reading should mean sitting in the garden with a glass of white wine on a sunny day turning pages and finally drifting off to sleep. There’s something about the smell and feel of a real book that modern technology cannot challenge and there’s nothing better than ambling around second hand bookshops and seeking out some of the more obscure authors.

I’ve been putting together a collection to read in the winter months when the white wine in the garden will be replaced by a small brandy in front of the fire! No Kindle for me.