Culture Articles


When I was growing up I’d never seen a real pineapple. Such fruit came in a tin, and was a favourite in our house as , in those long ago days of sugar rationing , because it was  for some reason  usually available in our area. We kept hens and so my father would barter some spare eggs for the delicious tinned fruit and some ham for salad. The pineapple cubes would be eaten with great enjoyment during Sunday tea, with evaporated milk poured on top.

There is a radio programme on at the moment about anthropology – in particular about kinship. As far as biological kin is concerned I am a daughter, a wife, a mother, a sister, an aunt, a cousin and so on, but I am also a friend, a colleague , a customer, a client, and sometimes a patient. 

Union Jack

Round here it looks as though the whole of the United Kingdom is gradually being covered in red white and blue in preparation for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Every garage forecourt seems to be selling flowers in these three colours , often petunias, I guess because they grow so quickly. The colours are, of course, those of the British flag, or should I say that of the United Kingdom.

Confused?  You will be!

There are probably very few people who use this word in just the way we do as a family. Usually it means to move or cause to move rapidly up and down or from side to side, but we have a large garden from which we obtain lots of fruit, vegetables and herbs. I pack some in brine or syrup,  make sauces, jams, and have even bought a dryer (not a clothes dryer) so that I can produce such things as semi-dried plums.


Rites of passage are what we call those times in all our lives which mark a transition from one way of living to another, a moving forward. They are different in different parts of society in different countries, and often dictated by religion - Jewish children for instance have their bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah in their early teens.