Strawberries: four and a half stars for what is usually a three star fruit. With the recent introduction of technologies such as hydroponics, refrigeration, greenhouse construction, irrigation, agriculture and commerce, you can buy strawberries at about any time of the year. You should not, however, buy strawberries at any time of the year other than Spring and early Summer. The pathetic, insipid strawberries available at other times will not satisfy you, and you will feel hollow. These particular specimens were quite expensive: $4.50 for a punnet. All of the strawberries in this punnet were particularly good. Feel free to draw your own inferences.

Our hope had been renewed by the discovery of the pamplemousse liqueur, which was produced at a nearby plantation on the mainland. I instructed my nephew to pack a travelling bindle with as many pairs of underthings as he could fit, then I set about packing my own bindle. Of course, I would need my own underthings. I would also need other utilities: a machete, a flint, some fishing tackle, and a bladder of water, for starters.

I limped back to the kitchen and found a small aluminium kettle. I dried the kettle thoroughly with a kitchen towel, and then filled it with gruts, which I scooped from a large barrel in the larder. I wrapped all my items in a large piece of oilcloth. For my own sustenance, I packed a few jars of preserved strawberries. Fruits, even preserved ones, would provide essential nutrients and vitamins that were absent from the gruts. Strawberries are also an effective bait for fishing bait: one simply leaves a strawberry out overnight. By the morning, the strawberry will have attracted a bumper crop of slugs. The slugs can then be attached to a hook, thrown in the water, and used to attract larger, more palatable prey.

My own needs met, I now considered my eldest nephew’s nutrition. We would need to carry the month’s supply of orange juice to sustain my nephew. I did not know how we would manage such a load.