The Wartime Banana

Everything was short in the wartime and what there was you had to queue up for. There was one woman I remember who queued up for oranges and ended up giving blood – blood oranges! Apples were also scarce. It depended on the Atlantic convoys whether we ever got them from Canada. Chocolate was rationed and you were allowed one chocolate biscuit a week. My young brother used to see me his for a penny. What this scarcity did would make you appreciate what you did have, such as powdered milk and potoatoes with everything, but we never ever saw a banana.

Many children grew up not knowing what it tasted like and when they started to arrive again from the West Indies near the end of the war, some boys in my class ate it skin and all, not realising you had to peel it.  I was recently told that when my art teacher asked our class to draw a banana, I was the only one who drew it half-peeled. At least I knew how it tasted and to this day, I still regard the banana as my luxury fruit.