Wednesday, June 24, 2009


This morning I made myself a bowl of granola with natural yoghurt and a handful of blackberries. I say handful as I have to compete with my oldest son James for the berries ! He simply devours anything with berry at the end ! Now, my husband doesn't much care for them. If he does,then it has been a great secret in our almost 16year marriage... So, I guess I have to conclude that James gets his taste buds from me!

I LOVED blackberries as a kid also. However,ours did not come in 8oz plastic containers for $3.99. They came in empty cans, buckets, basically any container you could get your hands on !! We had to pick them ourselves. Normally found sometime in late August or early September. The height of my blackberry picking happened between the ages of 9 and 12. After that I was far too mature to bother with such childish skirmishes.

To think slavery had been abolished. WRONG. My mother knew fine well what she was doing. Sending us poor innocents out amongst the brambles to pick her fare ! Now,as time goes by ,you become experienced at this prickly task. Initially , I would pick just after the rains. NOT a good idea. You see,one of the perks of blackberry picking is eating as you go...kind of like the old fashioned version of a drive through ! After the rain, the blackberries house tiny little worms!! mmmmm

Now,some of you may prefer to purchase yours in the stores and you may even have picked them yourselves in your past. What a pity our kids don't have the pleasure of foraging through the bramble and understanding where everything comes from. There are times during our early years,when we don't understand why we have to study and learn what we must study and learn. Later, it all becomes clear. During my years of studying Speech & Drama with Mrs Bracken ,as an extra curricular activity,some of the poetry and literature would escape me. Now , I can recall whilst writing this, studying some of the works of Seamus Heaney. His poem BLACKBERRY PICKING has never been so poignant as it is now.

" Late August,given heavy rain and sun
For a full week,the blackberries would ripen
At first,just one,a glossy purple clot
Among others,red,green,hard as a knot"

I think Mrs Bracken would be proud!