The quince is not a handsome tree but it bears a delectable fruit. In spring too, its flowers are beautiful. Delicate little white cups tinged with pink. For me, autumn has always meant quinces. I used to have my own tree. Sadly no longer. But my kind old neighbour J—– gives me a bag of quinces every year, from her garden. I love them so much better than the shop- or even market-bought ones, which are huge and smooth. These home-grown quinces are smaller, irregular, full of dips and crevices which make them a task to peel and core. And the skin is covered with downy fluff, as it should be.