We made fruit mince today. Christmastime is soothingly melting towards us over the horizon, so we prepare with citrus peel and brandy. November. Perhaps it is not yet time for carols, but maybe for Pavane and Christmas-flavoured adagios? We know a few good ones. And so they play.
They play the way the flavours of fruit mince mingle in your mouth. Tossing and turning in a sea of colour; reds and greens and golds, mixing, folding, wrapping into one another. I put a spoonful of raw, pungent fruit into my mouth and it turns into something extraordinary:
I can almost hear the voices swelling in a vibrant, incomprehensible language that somehow doesn't need translating. Dried fruit swollen in butter and brandy numb my tongue; warm it down the throat; settle it inside me. Christmas is coming. Just wait a moment while I calm the flood of '!!!' that has risen, unbidden, into my lungs and heart. Opera in my mouth. Strong, dramatic, exquisite song with a sharp, gorgeous stab of nostalgia. This is the land-ahoy moment of Christmas. Somehow, it is also opera. But don't ask me how. It just is.