Rapey Lane used to be called ‘Holiday Lane’, as it is so far out of character for our village, you could actually be mistaken and think you were on a little holiday down there. Until my friend pointed out that its remoteness could mean you could easily be boshed on the head and left for dead… hence ‘Rapey Lane’ sort of stuck.
Me and the 13 year old had spotted masses of blackberry bushes there when we last walked the dog, so off we went on the bikes to help ourselves to the pickings. In hindsight, perhaps I would not have worn my oldest summer shoes that have been through the wash so often they have no tread on the sole. I lost count how many times I nearly skidded headlong into the brambles/stingers, trying to slalom past the odd lump of dog doo that someone had kindly left behind.
So – by the end of the excursion, my legs were cut to ribbons and my hands looked like I’d taken a crash course with Sweeney Todd.
Non-the-less, rather pleased with our haul, we put the carton of blackberries in the bike basket and headed for home. At the bottom of the lane it’s quite bumpy, and the first bump saw the lid of the carton dislodge slightly. Too late! The second bump came too quickly for action, and all the blackberries flew out of the container en masse. Lots were caught in the basket, but we lost a few brave comrades all over the lane.
By the time we got home, the juice was oozing out of the basket, and the berries were looking a bit ‘peaky’ to say the least, so we put them out of their misery and … voila… turned them into jam.