Skip to content

A Bethnal Green Mulberry Calamity

August 11, 2019
by the gentle author

Yesterday I fell out of a Mulberry tree in Victoria Park while harvesting Mulberries for our campaign to Save the Bethnal Green Mulberry and broke my arm. One moment I was reaching from the top of ladder to pick the largest juiciest Mulberry. The next moment I lay on the grass with the ladder beneath and my right arm twisted at a painful angle.

Nine hours later, I was discharged from the Royal London Hospital with my arm in plaster. I shall endeavour to continue publishing daily in these pages but I know you will understand if it is a few weeks before normal service is resumed.

In the meantime, I need your help more than ever with our London Mulberry Harvest. We are collaborating with Kitty Travers of La Grotta Ices to make Mulberry ice cream for our campaign.

Pick Mulberries from any of the publicly accessible trees on this LONDON MULBERRY MAP produced by Peter Coles of Morus Londinium. Then deliver your Mulberries to Leila’s Shop, 17 Calvert Avenue, Boundary Estate, E2. The shop is open until 5pm today and from Wednesday to Sunday each week. Drop me a line so we can ensure you get some Mulberry ice cream further down the line.

Avoid becoming a Mulberry martyr, please do not fall off the ladder while harvesting Mulberries!

106 Responses leave one →
  1. Gart permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Ouch!!!! So sorry to hear you rewrote the mulberry bush folksong as “gosh I fell from the mulberry tree!” Get well sooner than soon!

  2. Alan Mills permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Wishing you a speedy recovery.
    Alan Mills
    Reeth, North Yorkshire

  3. Alex Knisely permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Speedy recovery hoped for !

  4. Julia harrison permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Oh no! All my good wishes for a speedy recovery and to a successful campaign. I wish I could send mulberries from the garden in Aldeburgh to you.

  5. August 11, 2019

    Get well soon!

  6. Joan Isaac permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Wishing you a speedy and complete recovery

  7. Ron Wilkinson permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Bummer. Save the mulberry trees! I have not had any since we moved from Ojai (CA) where they sold them at the organic market. I’ll have to check the farmer’s markets around here.
    Get better and take it easy. Love these posts.
    Ron

  8. August 11, 2019

    Sorry to hear about your arm! Hope no further mulberry casualties will be reported. Good luck with the campaign! Valerie

  9. Helen Read permalink
    August 11, 2019

    May you have a speedy recovery and in the meantime enjoy the enforced rest.

  10. jennifer galton-fenzi permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Gentle Author, may I be the first to say how sorry I am ! An accident in a noble cause, but nevertheless painful and inconvenient.

  11. August 11, 2019

    look after yourself. we will be fine.

  12. Rebekah Bristow permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Now that’s what I call dedication. Hope you’re soon on the mend. Best wishes Rebekah

  13. Jean R permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Oh dear – a Mulberry War Veteran!!

    Take a quiet summer and get well soon!

    From experience – also take it easy with the arm for a loooooooonnnng tiiiiiiiiime!!

    Best wishes
    Jean

  14. Simon permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Very sorry to hear of your accident yesterday and wish you a speedy recovery

  15. Keith Brennan permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Hope you get back to full health soon.

  16. Lisbeth Ehlers permalink
    August 11, 2019

    I wish the Gentle Author a speedy recovery.
    Shall miss my early morning read.
    In hopes that Schrödinger will give you comfort!

  17. Irene Potter permalink
    August 11, 2019

    What bad luck! Hope you make a speedy recovery. I do enjoy all off your articles. Best wishes from the Costa Blanca.

  18. Greta Kelly permalink
    August 11, 2019

    I was shocked and saddened to read about your mishap yesterday. At the same time full of admiration for your attitude, the show must go on! You still managed to write with a broken arm! I wish you a speedy recovery.
    Will have to see if I can pick some mulberries in the next few days!

  19. Pen Thompson CBE permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Oh i am so sorry to hear your painful news . I hope you recover soon. What a pain! We are camping in France just now ….and I don’t know what i could do ….but if there were something…take care . Pen

  20. Jane Jones permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Oh dear! With that omenous heading I thought the mulberry tree had fallen a cropper.

    A massive Get Well Soon and I hope you find a genial typist to help you out in the next 6 weeks or so while you mend. We will miss our regular fix of posts.

  21. Jill Wilson permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Yikes! A calamity indeed… get better soon!!

    I do hope Schrodinger is on standby to offer you a paw or two of consolation xxx

  22. Madeleine permalink
    August 11, 2019

    So sorry to hear of your accident, it must be so painful. Wishing you a speedy recovery!
    Madeleine

  23. Juliet Jeater permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Hope your arm mends soon!

  24. August 11, 2019

    I pray for your quick recovery.
    Phil

  25. Jean Clements permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Sorry to hear about the broken arm especially being your right arm. Must have been painful but what a noble thing you were doing. I wish you a speedy recovery and hope Shrodinger is sympathetic

  26. Eve McBride permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Wishing you a speedy recovery. I shall miss reading your daily blogs but a broken arm needs to heal. Hoping you won’t be too uncomfortable. Best wishes, Eve.

  27. Sarah permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Dear GA, I hope you have some local friends and neighbours who can give you a helping hand with every day tasks. Let us know how you are doing.

  28. Patrick Crowther permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Sorry to hear about your mishap. Get well soon.

  29. Adrienne Rowe permalink
    August 11, 2019

    There is a beautiful mulberry tree in the garden of Keats house in Hampstead. Well worth a visit but not allowed to pick the fruit.

  30. Amanda permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Woe ! you don’t deserve such a calamity GA. Such gallant efforts on behalf of many valid causes.
    The silver lining is Schrödinger’s glee to have you there to take to take care of for a while.

    As Helen says below you will have, and perhaps need, enforced rest.
    When my GP broke her right wrist she took it as a wise signal from above to slow things down.
    (Arnica was a rapid healer for me)

    Your readers’ appreciation and our combined heartfelt wishes will speed you back to feeling tip top in no time.

    (Maybe an opportunity to try out several computer DICTATION apps, speaking into a good quality microphone instead of typing? It first has to get used to your voice.
    Hours of amusement if it doesn’t)

  31. Jill permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Wishing you a speedy recovery, & hope you get plenty of practical support for all those things that are hard to do while your arm is in plaster.

  32. August 11, 2019

    Bad luck GA. hope you can still write…

  33. Jill Day permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Poor you! I seem to remember you had a recovering arm or wrist when you did your Nippers lecture at the National Portrait Gallery and signed books. Hope it’s not becoming a habit and that you heal quickly.

  34. Laura Williamson permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Like Jane, I opened this with great trepidation, anticipating that some ill had befallen the BG mulberry! I think this shows how much that tree has come to mean to so many of us, thanks in large part to you.

    No happier to find out our GA has been in the wars-please rest well and heal quickly!

    With all good wishes and thoughts from Suffolk

    Laura

  35. Liz philipson permalink
    August 11, 2019

    With good wishes for a speedy recovery. Do allow yourself a couple of days of complete rest at least to get over the shock. You will be traumatised by such a fall.

  36. Stephanie White permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Oh no. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

  37. August 11, 2019

    Did you know that you can choose the colour of the plastic cast you’ll soon be fitted with? The wonderful prosthetics team at the Roya London have a rainbow of materials to chose from, both the plastic to the velcro used to make casts. Why not choose purple in homage to the Bethnal Green Mulberry campaign?

    If you can still stand the sight of mulberries!

    A speedy recovery!

  38. Mary permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Dear GA, if good wishes could mend arms, yours would be mended instantly.

  39. Deborah permalink
    August 11, 2019

    I’m so sorry to hear of your accident. I hope your recovery goes as it ought and that it leads to new stories and acquaintances you’d not have discovered ‘but for’. My sincere sympathies.

  40. August 11, 2019

    So sorry to hear about your accident, especially as you had been carrying out a good deed at the time.
    Sending you warm wishes for a speedy recovery, take care, rest and heal and don’t worry about us!
    We all have plenty of your wonderful posts to read from years gone by to keep us busy.

  41. Sally Bernard permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Get well soon .

  42. Paul Loften permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Look after yourself. I don’t know what we would do without you ! take it easy for the next few weeks at least.
    Best wishes Paul

  43. Victoria Cooper permalink
    August 11, 2019

    So very sorry to hear about your mishap – and all in line with your best intentions! Hope it doesn’t hurt too much and you heal quickly.

  44. Sue permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Did you land on the mulberries?
    Sorry.
    Hope you are not in too much pain and can continue your marvellous efforts to save the trees.

  45. Jackie permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Wishing you a speedy recovery. Trust Shroedinger will provide a soothing paw.

  46. Barbara permalink
    August 11, 2019

    So sorry to read this. Take care. Thank you for all your wonderful posts.
    Barbara

  47. Patricia O'Sullivan permalink
    August 11, 2019

    I am sorry to hear about your fall, hope you arm is healed soon and you can get back to your normal self take care :) XX

  48. August 11, 2019

    So sorry to hear about your mishap, G.A. I know Schrodinger will take good care of you, but please try to avoid ladders and smilar objetcs in the near future. Please keep us posted on about you are doing.

  49. Milo Bell permalink
    August 11, 2019

    You silly sausage. Then again: “Mans reach should exceed his grasp or what’s a heaven for?”

  50. Amanda permalink
    August 11, 2019

    I am so sorry. Sending you all best wishes, Amanda.

  51. Pauline Taylor permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Loads of sympathy from me, are you accident prone by any chance as I seem to have a memory of you with a broken arm once before? It seems so unfair when when what you were doing is in such a good cause, but life is never fair. Make sure you get plenty of rest and don’t worry about us, we shall be looking forward to your recovery, but meanwhile we shall cope. Shrodinger will be a great comfort I am sure, they always know when we are in distress .
    Get well soon xx

    PS We have a mulberry tree in the garden of Tymperleys where my shop is but Alice, who runs the tearoom restaurant there, uses them in mulberry tarts and so on, but I love the sound of ice cream.

  52. Miranda permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Oh no! Rest up, heal well. Thank you for all your hard work.

  53. Stephen Swift permalink
    August 11, 2019

    I sorry to hear of your accident! I hope you get better soon and have a quick and easy recovery. I fully support your efforts to save the Bethnal Green Mulberry and know you will be back on the case soon!

  54. mlaiuppa permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Oh, my. Please do take care of yourself. And should you choose to publish, we won’t mind something short with a few typos, being single handed and all.

  55. Helen Breen permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Greetings from Boston,

    Oh, GA, so sorry to hear about your mishap while doing such a good deed. Having your arm in a cast is so cumbersome and interferes with so many everyday tasks. I know because I broke my wrist on a tour in York about ten years ago and had to fly back from Edinburgh.

    Typing will be particularly challenging. Fortunately you have some 3000 great pieces in your repertoire, any of which you could recycle on any given day. Good luck!

  56. Tanya permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Ouch, how painful and frustrating. Wishing you a full and speedy recovery. What a fun campaign though. I will find some mulberries to pick and support it. Very best wishes, Tanya

  57. Linda Granfield permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Please take care–I hope you have lots of people around you who can provide plenty of help for you and for The Feline Who Can’t Cook.

    Your garden will provide a place of comfort–I’m sure over the healing weeks to come you will compile a list of many more splendid subjects we will enjoy in future blog entries.

    You direct us to Nicholas Culpeper’s herbs on occasion. I wonder what he would prescribe for you?!

    I’d say you have well-earned a few jars of the completed mulberry jam!

  58. aubrey permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Wish you better.

  59. Georgina Briody permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Sorry to hear of your mishap, GA, wishing you a very speedy recovery. I’m sure Schrodinger will keep close by you.

  60. Sonia Murray permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Gentle Author, I’m so sorry about your arm. Don’t worry about writing for a few days, it’s time you had a holiday. Go and sit on a beach and take it easy. We’re all hoping you’ll Get Well Soon!

    There was once a beautiful mulberry tree overlooking the bay here. We enjoyed picking the berries to be boiled with sugar and frozen for winter desserts – until moronic city workers in their zeal to clear weeds chopped it to the ground. What a pity!

  61. Jen permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Ouch that smarts! I’m sorry that happened to you. Heal well!

  62. Althea Pearson permalink
    August 11, 2019

    So sorry to hear this and hoping you soon feel a great deal better and that your recovery is swift and complete.

  63. Adele permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Poor you! Take a well deserved rest and recoup. All best wishes from NY.

  64. Stephanie Bowgett permalink
    August 11, 2019

    I hope your arm heals quickly. xx

  65. Betsy Barker permalink
    August 11, 2019

    See how very many folk care for you…wonderful! Take great care of yourself! Betsy xx

  66. Terry permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Best wishes for a speedy itch-less mend
    A support in all you do from across the pond

  67. Dorothy P permalink
    August 11, 2019

    So sorry to hear of your accident. I hope your arm mends quickly, and that many others will help pick the Bethnal Green mulberries. Your page always brightens my day. Take care.

  68. August 11, 2019

    Oh, hard luck! I recommend a long plastic cable tie for furtive scratching inside the cast – against medical advice – if itching becomes unbearable.

  69. Eric Forward permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Wishing you a speedy recovery as well. Maybe time to pick out relevant or noteworthy past posts to repost until you recover.

  70. Dr Roberta Anderson permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Oh dear, I am so sorry to hear of your mishap – but it’s all for the good of the Mulberry Tree. Good luck to everyone able to pick Mulberries and hope you are feeling better soon.

    Bobby

  71. Elizabeth Olson permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Best wishes for a speedy mend.

  72. Jennifer Newbold permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Oh dear, G.A.!

    I wish I were in London; I was a champion mulberry-picker when I was about 10 years old. As it is I will just have to offer prayers from the States for your right arm and the Bethnal Green Mulberry.

    Best,
    J

  73. August 11, 2019

    Take it easy and get well soon. Good to see Schrodinger looking out for you.

  74. EJ Wilkinson permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Well the number of comments here certainly shows how your readers feel about you, GA! Wishing you a quick mend.

  75. Joni Sackett permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Oh dear–I hope you aren’t in too much pain! Sending healing vibes from Iowa, USA–and hopes for the saving of the Bethnal Green Mulberry Tree! Had a friend who lived in BG…

  76. Doreen permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Wishing you a speedy recovery. I’m sure large portions of ice cream would help !!

  77. Edith Elizabeth Simmons-Richner permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Quel malheur!
    So sorry to hear of your fall in defence of the mulberry tree!
    Hope you are not suffering too much. A few words each day will do just to let us know that how you are doing.
    Wishing you a prompt recovery.
    Meantime, take good care of yourself
    PS. Have discovered that there is a mulberry tree in a park near my home.
    Will investigate next week.

  78. Saba permalink
    August 11, 2019

    GA, May the best wishes of all your Gentle Readers put wind into your sails! Snuggle up with Schroeder and relax! We’ll welcome your return when you’re feeling stronger. Saba

  79. Rosie Crook permalink
    August 11, 2019

    So very sorry to hear of your accident.
    Very best wishes for a speedy recovery and don’t worry about posting – we’ve got your wonderful archive to peruse.
    Sending solidarity in your campaign too.

  80. August 11, 2019

    This is a calamity indeed. I hope Schrodinger takes good care of you.

  81. Susan Pike permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Oh dear I’m so sorry.
    Do look after yourself.
    Your wonderful stories must come second for a little while.
    We will all be here waiting when you’re up and running again
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery

  82. Cyndra permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Ohhhhh….. I’m Sooooo Sorry! Please rest, and take care of yourself.
    Best Wishes for a quick recovery!
    & Thank You for your wonderful blog.

  83. August 11, 2019

    Oh no! So sorry to read of your accident & I wish you a good recovery.

  84. Mo E permalink
    August 11, 2019

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery – good suggestion above to use the archive until we have the pleasure of your thoughts again. You gladden many hearts.

  85. Peter Holford permalink
    August 11, 2019

    We don’t bounce as we get older. My mum succumbed picking loganberries at the age of 92. Make a speedy recovery and don’t feel obliged to produce every day – your audience will still be here.

  86. Leslie A Eaton permalink
    August 12, 2019

    Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery.
    Mulberrry ices sound wonderful.

  87. Gavin BAKER permalink
    August 12, 2019

    Get well soon. Q. Is a big juicy Mulberry worth a brocken arm. A. No. Thanks for your lovely, sad, interesting, nostalgic andthought provoking stories. Great to mull over whilst slurping Mulberry Wine.

  88. Vivienne Cuff permalink
    August 12, 2019

    Get well soon!

    I hope you have lots of mulberry jam on buttered toast to speed your recovery.

  89. Judie permalink
    August 12, 2019

    I was very sorry to hear of your fall, and do hope your arm heals well and quickly.

  90. Chris permalink
    August 12, 2019

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery

  91. Mark permalink
    August 12, 2019

    Poor you, but how good is that for your street cred! Falling from a London Mulberry tree while picking the berry’s!

    Well done mate!

    I am a London Tree Officer and read you blog every day. (as a meter of interest… a Tree surgeon for thirty years and have pruned a few London mulberry over the years)

    I have found the Mulberry blogs very interesting and have passed it on to my fellow Tree Officers.

    What a great Map, I will keep that for future reference.

    Thanks for a great blog and hope your arm mends well.

    well done you!

    Mark

  92. Garrick Davis permalink
    August 12, 2019

    I hope that you can adopt a Zen approach to this misfortune and the daily frustrations you will
    face in carrying out hitherto routine tasks. Keep that flame burning.

  93. Esther permalink
    August 12, 2019

    Happpy to read the tree is still standing but what a bad luck for you! Wish you a swift recovery :)
    Would love to help out with the picking of mulberrys(unfortunately I live in Germany not in London) What a wonderful idea to make mulberry-icecream to sell for the good cause :)

  94. Maev Kennedy permalink
    August 12, 2019

    Rest and heal well, Gentle Author – a nobly earned injury

  95. Richard permalink
    August 12, 2019

    Good luck.

  96. August 12, 2019

    Sorry to hear that, wishing you a speedy recovery.

  97. Anne Scott permalink
    August 12, 2019

    So sorry to hear about your accident – best wishes for a painless-as-possible recovery!

  98. August 12, 2019

    Very sorry to read of your accident in pursuit of such a good cause. I hope the Morus Londinium map is useful for foragers and look forward to tasting the ice cream… All the best Peter and the Morus Londinium team

  99. Ruth Hope permalink
    August 12, 2019

    My Greek friend Fotini, in an attempt to emulate my lowland Scots ‘ocht’, says ‘oicht’, which deviation I love as it gives the phrase a philosophical twist Greek in flavour. I think this might be apppropriate here since despite all advice you seem like a woman driven to climb where you will, if it is to achieve a meaningful goal. Wishing you a good, smooth recovery in as swift a time as possible.

  100. August 12, 2019

    I wonder if the bakeapples we have in Newfoundland are a type of mulberry? They grow on bushes here but look quite similar. Oh, speedy recovery as well–you’ve lots of work to do!!

  101. Kasey Grier permalink
    August 12, 2019

    Oh dear! Please take care of yourself, Gentle Author.

  102. Ian Silverton permalink
    August 12, 2019

    Good article On Line Daily Mail today in UK on your Mullberry Tree problem in Bethnal Green worth a read GA, sorry to hear about your arm all power to your speedy recovery Sir, take care London.

  103. nicholas permalink
    August 13, 2019

    sorry to hear this, get welll soon

  104. Sal permalink
    August 13, 2019

    Hope it isn’t too bad. You did at least manage to choose a particularly appropriate tree out of which to fall. What happened to the mulberries you had already picked? I have visions of you lying on the grass with squashed fruit all over you.

  105. August 13, 2019

    Ouch! Very best wishes for a speedy return to health from me and all your friends at the British Guild of Tourist Guides.

  106. Ria permalink
    August 17, 2019

    Sorry to have heard of your accident.

    I do hope your arm mends rapidly and you rest as much as you can.

    Mulberry ice cream sounds delicious.

Leave a Reply

Note: Comments may be edited. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS