Picking blackberries

So we walked, Tupperware boxes in our hands down those leafy country paths,bushes and plants towering over our heads, giving the impression we were walking into natures green cathedral. Its a Sunday afternoon, the heat is shimmering on the tarmac, and the breeze is slight. Its not so hot that you have to lie in the shade panting though, and this afternoon looks promising. We walk towards the Méron Marshes. Along the hedgerows we see many bushes bearing fruit, rose hips, hawthorns ,sloes, blackberries, all laden with ripening fruit. Autumn is early this year. Here and there, in those deep dry ditches, we can here animals scuttling, lizards, birds. I warn Tom about snakes, and stay close. But they are just lizards, darting over the stones.

Picking sloes and blackberries, the summer heat beats down on us, walking through those country paths, chatting in the long grass, being stung by nettles and buzzed by insects.Our hands are scratched, blue with juice. Tom and I fill up our bowls with fruit, and head back home.The crunch of the stones as we walk, the summer sun slowly sinking, shadows lengthening.We get to our kitchen and empty the bowls, and head out again.We’ll make a blackberry pie, and the sloes will go in the freezer, and I’ll make sloe gin with them. The warmth of the summer sun can still be tasted then, even in the depths of winter.

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