When I saw the photo below I immediately remembered my grandmother telling me that I was born under a gooseberry bush. When I was in my teens I was told that the expression meant a person was born out of wedlock. It seems both “stories” are for the birds. Apparently ‘‘Gooseberry bush’’ was 19th-century slang for pubic hair – and so: ‘‘Born under a gooseberry bush.’’ became an innocuous (and humorous to adults) way of answering a child’s question, “Where do I/babies come from?”
Growing gooseberries of enormous size was once pursued in England’s north west with the same passion as the cultivation of giant leeks in the north east. There are now only seven annual gooseberry shows, but the prize for heaviest berry is as keenly contested as ever. Giant gooseberries are grown by removing all the growing fruit from the bush except one which is submitted in a sealed box.
Graeme Watson. holds two gooseberries, including his world record winner, left, at the annual show of the Egton Bridge Old Gooseberry Society. The winning fruit weighs 64.87 grams, beating the previous record of 64.49 grams.
Boy I bet that was an exciting event to be at!!!!!
PS – I love gooseberry jam. BUT, finding it here is like finding hen’s teeth. You can get it – see here. Don’t buy the Swedish in Ikea – it’s not as good in my opinion.