I remember large chunks of my childhood from a very early age and one batch of memories sticks in my head and still makes me laugh …. The blackberry picking afternoons.
When going with my parents there was always the obligatory empty bread bag for each of us and the over expectations of being able to reach into places Stretch Armstrong would struggle with .. well from my Dad at least. Going with just my mum was a far calmer and sedate fair and one that would almost certainly involve helping back the pie or crumble once we arrived home.
I loved these memories of my childhood and yet it has taken till now to finally decide to go with my children.
OK, this adventure want planned and I was beginning to worry about just what I was going to end up baking once we returned but the air was crisp, the sun was shining and I had 2 boys that needed fresh air so a plan was made.
We set off down a long local country lane that would be heaving with those black fruits just ripe of the picking and although Joshua skipped happily down the lane on discovering our first batch of blackberries I am sure he thought I had completely lost the plot when I asked him to start picking them off the bush.
Obviously when your 5 and one of my kids its normal to think that fruits only come from Tesco.
After some slight cajoling and the promise of me not being stark raving bonkers Joshua soon got into the swing of things and that first bush was quite fruitful … pun intended.
However on turning the corner we discovered that some kind of cutting equipment has recently been down the lane and slashed back almost all of the blackberry bushes and what we’re left were intermingled with those precariously prickly nettles.
We didn’t let that deter us and we carried on regardless, collecting one or two here and there but it was not going to be the fruitful trip I had planned in my head.
In fact it became even harder as I explained to Joshua we were not going to be taking any from the bottoms of the hedgerows in case feral cats and dogs on their walks may have peed up against them … his face was priceless when he agreed that the bottom ones would and should be left.
We came away with some beautiful blackberries but unfortunately not enough for a pie or crumble, however Joshua did get to eat some for his tea after a through wash … and wasn’t keen, but hey hoe at least he got to try what he picked from a hedgerow down the road and not from a shelf in Tesco and here’s hoping he can remember this event when he is an adult as I can with my trips.