A full and exciting two days of talks, discussion, learning, walking, foraging, feasting, fire, making, carving, laughing, exploring, sharing, drinking tea. Thank you Loughborough University.

Pressing Apples was written by Paul Conneally using phrases and fragments, thoughts and observations harvested and gathered during Fruit Routes events on Friday and Saturday.


“hello” she says

“I’m just going for a quick run”

my creaky body


a kiss on both cheeks

wet leaves and beech mast

in the hotel foyer


what is it with spiders?

their webs

my height


twenty big men

in black T-shirts

world experts


pressing apples

“it’s not natural” she says

“freezing your eggs”


the library

a white van

full of Cornish pasties


one kind of luck

or another

crows in a tree


odd thoughts and socks

suddenly make sense


ash leaves turn yellow first

and stay on the tree


pregnant again

Marta tells

of her cravings

sending her husband out

for red apples


a late bee

lands on an ivy flower


brown oak leaves

in still flowering borage


the mould

on an English walnut

can kill you


medlars on a branch

their astringency


under the ginkgo

l look up through yellow fans

satisfying snaps

as they come off the branch

china in my head


leaf veins

red on green



the leaves

I collected for tomorrow

breathe in their bags


squirreled memories

losing myself

in a walnut whip



the brave new alps

humans and nature


precarious workplaces


before the lecture

a few crisps and a wine

to soften us up


wondering why there

are more men at the lecture

than on the walk


touching the iceberg

just what’s going on

below the surface?


the arts council

doesn’t seem relevant

falling leaves



what’s the exchange rate

for apples?



over bat alley hedge

the sound of a strimmer



the wrong number

magic mushrooms


just one gull

on the quidditch pitch

long shadows


security barrier

she picks a small

but very red apple


re-finding my health

and efficiency garden

weeds and geraniums


raking leaves

we discuss the flight

of sycamore seeds


glorious gluts

jars of this and that chutney

all round the house


he tells me

he’s changed his pink shoes

to stop them getting dirty


the midwife

of the orchard

156 fruit trees


asked to play

his accordion

he says it’s not

his accordion

the tune the tune


entry points

the nervousness of an edge

planted with love


a campus

that just keeps growing

how long does a fruit tree live?


not the kind of thing

you can pick up from a book

poisonous mushroom


200 instruments

from all over the world

and a yurt


footballs crashing

against a metal fence

sweet chestnuts


her dog sits patiently

through the artist’s talk

cross pollination


the pump and tap

the rum runner

a railway arch


wait don’t brush

she ain’t heavy

she’s my spider


Paul Conneally

Fruit Routes Poet