Only they look a bit like pears and a bit like aubergines. They're fig-like.
I had never eaten a fig until quite recently and I scoffed it in a way that D.H. Lawrence would have disapproved of.
I had never eaten an olive until I was about twenty or consciously ate garlic until I was sixteen. Those were alien to us; my m u m was a Northern European in the kitchen. Food becomes a way to travel without even getting on a bus, never mind a plane. Like the best ideas it comes to you.
I love the shape of figs, and the feel, the size of them in your hand. And the dusty dark colour. Purple-grey. A coloured black. Alizarin crimson mixed with viridian green.
I work on card which acts as a table top against a distant landscape - instead of Lawrence's 'Etna smoking', an Alpinised version of Ruberslaw, the iconic hill near Hawick, which all local schoolchildren learn was once volcanic.
I'm interested in small paintings of big things. Mountains and cityscapes in miniature. It allows you to hold a world in the palm of your hand. (I actually quite often paint on my lap.)