Enjoy watermelon on the verandah, just like the Calthorpes family did to cool down on a hot summer afternoon.
A man we do not recognise but feel he must be a visitor walks up the drive and, seeing us on the verandah, steps up onto the courtyard and, of all things, asks if we would like to buy a watermelon. This is most exciting and extraordinary, especially on a Sunday. Pop knocks on the melon to see if it is ripe then asks the man to tap it. With a long knife he cuts a deep triangle and draws out the reddest, ripest dagger. We buy the whole thing for two shillings, then rush it to the kitchen and cut four big rounds. We are surprised when Pop announces that he is not all that keen on watermelon, he only wants the little bit in the centre. He is howled down with a chorus ‘And who doesn’t?!’ He is given the usual slice on a plate with a fruit knife and fork as he can’t bear sticky fingers. Del and I sing ‘I like watermelon coz it wets my ears,’ as we return to the verandah. We sit in the deck chairs and blow pips over the verandah railing.
From Chortles, Chores and Chilblains by Dawn Calthorpe