Monday, October 24, 2005

Apple Bed 

A good crop - Cox’s Orange Pippins, Cornish Gilliflowers, and of course, Bramleys, from up by the old henhouse, next to the potting shed where helpdesk staff go to enjoy relations during their lunch hours, returning to their desks red faced, elbows and fingernails black with John Innes No. 3.

There are apples everywhere, racked up in cardboard crates in reception, free for anybody who wants them.
“Mrs. Rex makes the best apple crumble in the county,” says Rex the green fingered security guard in a matter of fact tone, ruddy cheeked and short of breath, leaving puddles of rain on the chrome and leather armchairs and a trail of muddy footprints on the faux marble floor. He smells of grass cuttings and lawn mower fuel.
“She’s got certificates from the WI to say so, but there’s only so many she can use. Here, take some, they’re delicious,” and he forces a carrier bag full of Autumnal goodness into your hand.
“Tabatha sweetheart, give Tom one of those recipe sheets. There, on the desk. Apple pie. Do you do much cooking? Blackcurrant and apple crumble. Some people put them in soup.”

Apples spill onto the floor, rolling around like ball bearings. Unsuspecting visitors trip on them, sending them and themselves scattershot. They wend their way onto every floor of the building, into every crevice, riding the lift all day, playing hide and seek in cupboards and filing cabinets, leaping out of the coffee machine - Boo! - when you least expect and buggering up the photocopier.
Their favourite place seems to be nestling among the network cables and power leads under the data centre floor, the air conditioning keeping them cool and dry, and of course it’s much healthier for the mice.

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