Under the Apple Tree


Our story of the week is a story about reflection from the writer Richard Corney.

Richard has been writing since he was a child. His first love was poetry, although he did try to write a novel in his twenties. He has published a few poems and a couple of short stories, and has also recently written a novel which is ready for publication. Richard loves the ‘sparsity’ needed in poetry, but he confesses to enjoying the space novel writing gives you.

Richard recently retired from working in the NHS, leaving him free to concentrate on playing the piano, writing, cycling and paragliding.

In Under the Apple Tree, Richard delves into the mind of a man caught in a maze of contemplation.


It wasn’t as if he really minded, after all. Well tried to convince himself he didn’t mind that much, anyway. It was only a pond for heavens’s sake. Although given the size she wanted for it, he would lose his tree. He loved that wizened, unapologetic apple tree; sitting under it reading, there in the dappled light flickering through its leaves. It was somewhere he could find some peace; sat there by himself. And he did see it as his tree, given all the time he sat under it. He’d hung a bird feeder from one of the branches. Meticulously replenished the peanuts when they had all been taken. It was lovely there, watching the little birds tugging at the nuts, working out how to winkle them out, the birds accustomed to his quiet, unmoving presence. His tree. “They’re only scabby apples anyway,” was his wife’s riposte to his polite protest. They might be scabby but they still taste nice, and the birds liked them well enough as windfalls, he thought, but didn’t say. She was not for moving. She wanted a pond in the back garden; a big one. He pointed out they would lose most of their lawn. Didn’t say that he was quite proud of the lovely striped pattern he achieved with the old-fashioned push mower with its small cast wheels; getting the stripes curving gently round the tree. But a pond, apparently, would be “more interesting”.‘  Read more…