After a few fine, bright days the rain came back. I had made the most of the fine weather gathering blackberries and rose hips by day and making, progressing and tasting country wine in the evenings. Wednesday was a very productive day for I was out in the fields for hours berrying and listening to Nelson Mandela's 'Long Road to Freedom'. The reading was so engrossing that I probably stayed out longer than I had intended.
Nearly twenty years ago, and after a few failed attempts, I finally passed the driving test and got my driving licence. Within weeks I decided that I'd make the trip to visit my sister in Kerry. It was quite a journey back then, as roads were not as good and there were many little towns and villages that could not be bypassed. I was over ten hours on the road and by the time I got to the sister's house, ten miles west of Dingle, I was completely exhausted. It was good to get to bed that night. The only problem was that every time I nodded off to sleep I woke with a jolt, my hands on a steering wheel and the dusty road ahead of me. I've never had such an experience before or since - until Wednesday night.
That day in the fresh air and the evening sterilising, racking, stirring and tasting had me ready for a good night's sleep. My only problem was that each time I drifted off I was jolted awake, my hand stretched out to pick just one more juicy berry...
Postscript: Bert has just informed me that blackberries picked after the 29th September are 'no good.'
Who says so?
Alan Titchmarsh. He says that after the 29th September they are as bitter as gall.
Because the devil spits on them.