There’s a quaint little lane that leads to a field near where I live that’s like a megastore for blackberries… if you beat the crowd.
Last week, armed with our trusty bowl-within-a-bag, the youngest and I set off in search of treasure. The scene was idyllic: sun beating down; the farmer herding his cows in; the first ripe blackberries beginning to appear, and our small yapping dog tearing up and down the place, barking her head off.
We soon set to work collecting our hoard. Maybe we should have learned from last year’s adventure to wear slightly more bramble-proof clothing than 3/4 jeans and sandals – we’d forgotten how thorny the plants were, and how far you actually have to get your arm in there to retrieve the fruit. In no time at all, I was in there on my own, and the youngest (having the attention span of a knat) was playing with the dog, but very soon the bowl was looking rather healthy. We set off for home, with a plan to return in a week or so when the next lot would be ready.
Setting off back up the path, we bumped into the farmer, now finished from ‘cow duties’, and had a jolly old conversation about how the brambles could do with a bit of a trim, and how we’d be back shortly to collect some more. We’d been chatting about nothing in particular for about ten minutes, when he informed me that we had, in fact missed the best of the crop They were right at the bottom of the field – he’d seen them with his own eyes this very morning… With a cheeky smirk on his part, we bid farewell and I decided to trawl off back to the field for the secret haul.
The youngest, having XBox withdrawal symptoms (twitchy thumbs and wild eyes) carried on home, taking our noisy dog with him.
It was only when I reached the field that I noticed my shirt had unbuttoned itself way past the mark of decency. It must have been all the reaching in and out of bramble bushes. And it must have been like it for the past half hour or so.