‘Sometime in 1924 in London, a little girl, of no more than five years old, I fancy, sat down in a crate of Queensland pineapples and smiled. Her legs were tucked up under the largest and spikiest of all pineapple specimens, and she held a slice in her hand. The occasion was a Queensland fruit promotion at the Empire Exhibition at Wembley. King George V opened the exhibit, and vast numbers of visitors took part—millions, records say, through the turnstiles.
‘Imagine this little girl for a moment, the centrepiece and finishing touch to a display of canned food and condiments in the Australian Pavilion. Imagine her discomfort sitting amongst all those pineapples and in such a confined space, too, the tickle and scratch of straw, the tease of sticky pineapple juice through her fingers. Don’t move! Hold it like that! Keep that smile, that’s good! Not to mention the pineapple crown, spiky at her elbow, and the thorny Fibonacci sequence skin-to-skin against her knee.’
‘The Pineapple Girl’, Queensland Historical Atlas, 2010
Image: Francesca in the garden in St Lucia, c. 1964