After a week of fluctuating weather - some days glorious, some positively autumnal, some days had a bit of both, I finally had what looked like edible tomatoes.
They had been fully formed and green for some time, but it has taken perhaps 3 week for them to actually turn red - at first there was a patchy flush of peach colouring, it deepened to an all-over orange and finally this week, they actually looked like proper tomatoes. At least a few of them do - I still have about 40 green specimens, at this rate, they'll end up in chutney.
My husband has monitored them like a kid waiting for a cake to rise, wide eyed and salivating. He loves a flavoursome tomato and loves the smell of them, commenting on the fragrance everytime he brushed past the plants.
I think we'll have to be satisfied with enjoying them this way - as a visual creation. Please click to see a larger copy.
Last night, he could contain himself no longer and went out and picked the 5 tomatoes shown - he called me down to witness them and ceremoniously grabbed our best serrated tomato-cutting knife and chopping board and sliced the juiciest example right down the middle, mercilessly splitting it asunder.
We stood in admiration at the perfectly formed centre and juicy fruitiness of something that came into being at our own hand. We steeled ourselves to savour the moment of glory and each mouthed a half. It's true to say that the flavour was good. Very good. Just what you'd hope for from a home grown, loved and well tended specimen.
But it was mushy and soft and the texture was pretty unpleasant. I suspect the long period they took to ripen was not kind on the fruity flesh. I feel so sorry for him, he was so looking forward to eating them, I feel that he has been cheated and it was with a heavy heart as I put the breakfast things back in the fridge, I saw that the remaining four specimens were sitting there un-loved. They never even made it into his lunch box. What a cruel blow for him after all that anticipation.