Thursday, July 28, 2011

Scrumping - stealing or not?

The elm outside my window
Picking wild blackberries and plums has been renamed 'scrumping' by the Brighton Permaculture Trust, a worthy new organisation that runs courses in things we've all forgotten, like scything.
The Trust gets teams of people together with shiny aluminium ladders and buckets to collect unpicked fruit. I encountered a gang of them recently, off to climb some mirabelle trees. 
I thought scrumping meant stealing fruit, specifically apples, so it seems an odd term to use for foraging.
Then if you look in the the urban dictionary its newest meaning is dry sex....which adds another perspective to scrabbling around abandoned allotments.
Some of the permaculture people's courses look interesting - I considered one on pruning old apple trees, another on mushroom hunting, but they aren't cheap. 
And there's something about new enthusiasm for old ways that makes my toes curl. Is is that truth has to be reinvented by each generation? Is it labrador style slobbery gushing that puts me off? Or the language? 
Take the first line of the information on Scything: "A two-day hands-on course held in a beautiful location..."
If people do not pay attention to language, it makes me suspicious of what else they might not be paying attention to. Like the Poetry Society, Arts Council and all the others too lazy to check what their announcements and reports reveal about them.

No comments: