Over the Bank Holiday I went on several walks, foraging for autumn fruit. Actually, between you and me, I’d rather be blackberrying at this time of year than almost anything else. There’s something very calming and spiritual about methodically picking over an abundant blackberry bush.
There’s also an opportunity to see wildlife close-up as spiders scurry along dew-covered threads, tiny snails sway on prickly leaves and wasps hum around the ripest fruits.
Call it God, nature, synchronicity, but my favourite blackberry hedge has swarmed over the branches of an old apple tree conveniently providing me with the contents for a delicious fruit crumble. I was telling a far younger friend about a recent fruit foray and she proclaimed, “Snap! I’ve just bought some from the supermarket!” Eek! I was mortified. I don’t think I’ve ever paid, even once, for a blackberry in my rather long and undistinguished life.
I notice elderberries, sloes, hazelnuts, rosehips and crab apples too as my dog and I trail happily around the parks. In truth, there’s a bountiful harvest out there, right under our very noses. Yet, for years all I could see was litter, dog muck, broken branches and graffiti. Could it really be as simple as an altered attitude?
Caroline Gibbs, Olton, Solihull.