Back home and poor Benji is ailing so we took him across to Chorlton Meadows, one of his favourite walks. He rallied and his spirits seemed to lift, being back on familiar turf.
By the side of the brook the hedges were laden with blackberries, so I found a bag in my pocket and we filled it in rapid time. Tomorrow we'll get some tasty apples from Unicorn, the organic grocers we're lucky enough to have as our local. I will bake a bramble and apple pie... mmmmm
And here's two blackberry poems to feed our souls
Nobody in the lane, and nothing, nothing but blackberries, Blackberries on either side, though on the right mainly, A blackberry alley, going down in hooks, and a sea Somewhere at the end of it, heaving. Blackberries Big as the ball of my thumb, and dumb as eyes Ebon in the hedges, fat With blue-red juices. These they squander on my fingers. I had not asked for such a blood sisterhood; they must love me. They accommodate themselves to my milkbottle, flattening their sides. Overhead go the choughs in black, cacophonous flocks -- Bits of burnt paper wheeling in a blown sky. Theirs is the only voice, protesting, protesting. I do not think the sea will appear at all. The high, green meadows are glowing, as if lit from within. I come to one bush of berries so ripe it is a bush of flies, Hanging their bluegreen bellies and their wing panes in a Chinese screen. The honey-feast of the berries has stunned them; they believe in heaven. One more hook, and the berries and bushes end. The only thing to come now is the sea. From between two hills a sudden wind funnels at me, Slapping its phantom laundry in my face. These hills are too green and sweet to have tasted salt. I follow the sheep path between them. A last hook brings me To the hills' northern face, and the face is orange rock That looks out on nothing, nothing but a great space Of white and pewter lights, and a din like silversmiths Beating and beating at an intractable metal.