While on the subject of food (we are, aren’t we?) I may as well continue. Not that there is a single book in this. But, Mother-of-witch hated dates. So I hated dates. She couldn’t stand the colour blue. I disliked it too.

That would be the food kind of dates, btw. I’m not talking romance here. She was very fond of figs, and at Christmas she’d go through packets and packets of them. But if someone tried offering her a date at a Christmas party, she’d go quite huffy.

She said, kindly, that it was all right for others to wear blue, which made me feel OK with jeans, at least. We both steered clear of anything even remotely navy blue, in particular.

After forty years of this, I began warming to blue. I realised I didn’t really dislike it. I bought a few blue things, starting with smaller items and working my way up. Someone once remarked on how I had chosen only blue things, and I pointed out there was a lifetime of blue-deprivation to make up for.

And I tried eating dates, and found they are wonderful. Now I can’t be kept away from dateloaves and other date-y things. I buy chopped dates for my porridge. I did turn down the offer of a date at the greengrocer’s the other day, though, because I could see how I’d be walking down the street with sticky fingers and teeth glued together. Better to do dates in the safety of my own home.

And speaking of homes. I have painted Mother-of-witch’s house blue. Not totally, but there is blue where before there wasn’t. I imagine that if she could somehow come back, she’d look round and then she’d shake her head over that weird child of hers.

I’m sure she didn’t introduce the dislikes on purpose. Towards me, I mean. They just happened. But I’m sure I’m busy doing it as well.

What are my blue dates?

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