U N E X P E C T E D B L A C K B E R R Y I N G .
Ahead of the start of the new academic year, with my Mum heading back into another year of teaching just as my sister’s getting ready to start at sixth form college, we’ve been trying to seize every opportunity to spend quality time together whilst we’ve got the chance.
It’s been possibly the busiest summer of our lives, and it feels as though we’ve barely spent any time together at all!
Last week, Francesca and I decided to spend a morning taking Teddy out walking somewhere new, and so instead of heading to one of our usual haunts- the bluebell woods, or the lake- we headed out to Windsor Great Park instead. It’s not somewhere I tend to visit very often, though now, having seen how picturesque a spot it is to explore, I can’t think why.
The leaves are just beginning to turn in our neck of the woods, and the air that morning had just the right amount of crispness so it. We layered up well, in light knits and soft scarves and boots that need to be broken in again for another season’s wear.
As we walked, and Teddy moseyed along up ahead of us flushing pheasants from the undergrowth at a rate of roughly one every thirty seconds, we came across a thicket of brambles that was so heavy with blackberries it was practically groaning under the weight of it all.
We’d not planned on picking berries whilst we were out so had come completely unprepared, but weren’t about to let a little thing like poor planning get in the way of gathering such beautiful fruit!
Hats were removed and upturned, and the berry picking commenced!
B E L O W :: We must have more than tripled our bounty after this photo was taken…
We gathered enough berries between us to feed a small army- or at least, two hungry girls plus the naughty spaniel who stole a mouthful for himself- until at last it was time to take ourselves and our purple-stained hands home again.
Francesca snacked on her share whilst we walked, and whilst I had visions of making my portion of the hat-bounty into a crumble, we wound up being too impatient to bother baking them and instead ate them that evening with a little natural yoghurt and a drizzle of acacia honey.
It was completely delicious, but given that I’ve had a hankering for blackberry and apple crumble with fresh vanilla ice-cream ever since, I guess we’ll just have to make a date to go back…