I will always love you, cumquat may.


8 years ago today we rocked the registry office… well, we said our vows and shed a few happy tears. It was only a few days after September 11 and the world still had that weird, tender feeling, but it was the day we had booked and planned for and we couldn’t see any reason why we shouldn’t go ahead and get married. It was a lovely day.

Five years earlier Phil and I had moved into a share house in Fitzroy together and he gave me a cumquat tree for our first Christmas. It was a delightful surprise when it turned up on our front verandah, delivered by the wonderful folk from the Fitzroy Nursery.

I have always had this kind of (overly imaginative) idea that our tree reflects the state of our relationship – it’s always been happy and fruitful except for a short time during our first year when I think I may have been feeling scared and paranoid having met the “One”, and worried that he might not stick around. It sat out on our balcony above the dusty Fitzroy street away from light and water, and shed its leaves. Shortly afterwards we moved into a little house without the flat mates and it came back to life with lots of leaves and fruit.



13 years later, with love and pruning, rain and sun, our little cumquat is as happy as larry and produces chubby little cumquats in its cheery little pocket of our late Winter garden. There is a pot of marmalade cooking on the stove at this very moment, filling the house with delicious citrusy smells.

And of course, the One did stick around, otherwise he wouldn’t have been the One, right? I don’t know why I ever doubted it – except I thought he was too good to be true. But good he is, and true too.

Happy anniversary Phil.

PS. do you like my pun in the title? My Mum will roll her eyes as there is nothing she despises more than bad puns.

PPS. Oh no, I just burnt the marmalade. Now it’s appropriately BRONZE.


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34 Responses

  1. I LOVE your pun. And your cumquat story. Happy Anniversary!

  2. stephanie says:

    Happy Anniversary to you both! And, I loved your pun. Seriously, it’s a good one I’ve never heard before. 🙂

  3. You are an adorable couple in every way, from your wonderful pun in the title, to the perfectly bronzed jam. Tell your mum to let begonias be begonias! xoxo Happy Anniversary!

  4. sue says:

    How cute and sweet! I do hope the cumquat tree keeps producing wonderful fruit for you. My FIL used to make cumquat alcohol once upon a time, but since he is no longer with us I cant ask how he made it. I never tasted it but it was quite strong apparently. Your marmalade sounds a whole lot better. Will it taste bitter if it has burnt a bit.

  5. jen says:

    Pun away, I love ’em. And happy anniversary.

  6. Prue says:

    Oh sweet! Happy anniversary!

  7. Cinnamon says:

    My Grandmother-in-law has a huge kumquat tree at her house in Arizona and we brought home about 10 pounds of fruit and turned it into marmalade. I found out that the seeds have so much pectin in them naturally that you don’t need to add any. We just strained them out at the end. And it is the tastiest marmalade I’ve ever had. Next time we get some, I’m going to let it get dark like this.Happy anniversary to you and The One.

  8. Emjie says:

    Happy Anniversary!Now you have me drooling for some marmalade, toast and tea.

  9. Cassandra says:

    Joyeux Anniversaire! I like the Cumquat pun, and the story that goes along with it.I hope the jam still tastes good, even after burning it. Do you know how many times I have burnt my baking endeavours because of that time sucker they call the internet? Too many!

  10. Lisa says:

    Ah thats a lovely story and would make a great children’s picture book with a little jam recipe at the end! Happy anniversary 🙂

  11. Mum says:

    No Claire, that is not an eye-rolling pun – it is a charming play on words (or something!)

  12. Tara says:

    Happy Anniversary to you and Phil chickadee. Loved your pun and hope that your little cumquat tree bares happy fruit for many years to come. xx

  13. I personally love the title and I take it you love Moulin Rouge too?? Happy Anniversary… Christine xo

  14. BeckyEtal says:

    I love the pun! Happy Anniversary 🙂

  15. Meg says:

    Happy anniversary, love birds! x

  16. PAULA says:

    lovely post. here in argentina we call that fruit “mandarina” and its great in winter!!! we eat it a lot as a dessert, just pealing it with our fingers!

  17. alex says:

    I seriously think this is the best blog post title ever and gave me an afternoon giggle I needed.Happy anniversary, you two. 🙂

  18. Ack! Love the pun! Too perfect. Happy anniversary!

  19. Leonie says:

    What a beautiful post – happy anniversary! May the cumquat tree be happy and fruit-uitous for years to come!Your story’s put a smile on my face 🙂

  20. Lillabilly says:

    Oh, that is the lovliest story! And puns are awesome. My mother makes yummy cumquat jam – I have some in my fridge at the moment which she has added ginger and brandy to – delish!Happy Anniversary to you both!

  21. Jhoanna says:

    Happy anniversary! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful story. Love cumquats. The post title made me laugh out loud 🙂

  22. Prudence says:

    What a really really sweet post – and what a beautiful little tree! We love kumquats in this household as well – but just tried them for the first time last winter. I’d love to have a little tree! Happy anniversary. xox

  23. Grace says:

    Hi Claire,What a lovely read for me this was!I love kumquats and i can imagine the citrus scent lingering in your place.


  24. hues says:

    happy anniversary claire!my parents also have a huge kumquat tree in their front yard. they like to preserve them in salt and use it as a remedy for sore throats. you just bury a batch of washed kumquats in dry salt (thicker the salk the better) in a glass jar and preserve (i find the longer the better). over time the juice from the fruit is diffused into the salt and the kumquats become wrinkled and shrunken and become dark brown in colour. you mix a couple of the salted kumquats and few tsps of the juice/brine with hot water – it really is great for sore throats! good thing is a jar of this stuff can last several years and still taste good!

  25. Chelsea says:

    I’m a sucker for bad puns and this one is now one of my favourites. Every time I hear the word I’ll think of this little phrase.Happy anniversary!

  26. Holly says:

    Love it! Happy anniversary. Great writing 🙂

  27. freya says:

    that was a lovely pun! Happy anniversary! My husband and I just celebrated ours on Sept 11.

  28. Carly says:

    How lovely that you can enjoy the fruit & marmalade every year… a gift that has truely kept on giving and then giving again… I love it. I want a fruit tree from my hubby too!! (said in a whiney tone)

  29. Emma G says:

    Happy Anniversary – just made my way to your blog for the first time from the nuff nang awards website :DJust a quick question what else do you make with the cumquats my mom has a tree and she never uses the fruit. I think it’s a bit of a waste 🙁

  30. Alison says:

    We have a loquat tree in our back garden – and I share your bad puns because whenever I pick the fruit I always say ‘loquat I found’. No-one finds it as hysterical as me. Oh well.Happy Anniversary (belated).

  31. Jodes says:

    Happy Anniversary – beautiful story!

  32. Mike says:

    Lovely story, I looked this up because I brushed past one of my cumquat trees and all the leaves were coming off. I watered it and will hope for the best. It is good to know that they can recover from this.(hopefully not a reflection of the state of my relationship!!!)

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