Monday 4 February 2008


Each year, my mam asks me when we are going blackberry picking. As a child, she picked blackberries with her sisters, and ate more there in the brambles and undergrowth than she took home to her mam. My nan would always know, though, as the girls came home with blue fingertips, or blue lips, or tiny seeds caught in their teeth.

Mam still loves to go picnicking and picking fruit. While my dad was away in Yorkshire, and later Hong Kong, mam often took us on walks. Golden Gates, Elvaston Castle, Borrowash Dam. Those are the destinations I remember the most. Mam would lug bags of food and drink for the five of us, while periodically ordering "get down off there", or "hold Gary's hand", or "Stop fighting!" or "hurry up". And all the time she had one eye on us, she had the other eye on the hedgerows. Scanning the countryside, searching frantically for blackberry bushes, not wanting to stop, otherwise we would all stop, and it would be hard and tiring to get us all moving again.

Years later, the contageous blackberry picking fever has been passed on. Her grandchillens go blackberry picking too. In Australia, a blackberry bush is a 'noxious weed'. It gets poisoned. The park rangers spray poisons on the blackberry bushes. In the supermarkets, we pay $7 for a punnet of sprayed, noxious weed blackberries.

Not today though. For today, we have organic blackberries by the bowl full. Thanks to the YA YA YAs who went picking in the rain...Getting their faces distorted in the brambles, and coming home with dermographic hands... Resulting in this bounty:


Mmmmmm.........some mmmmmmore...........

Thinking of you, my mam!

PS - Promise I will save you some. Promise.

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