Our beautiful long summer stretches on. There's been a little overnight rain but mostly days have moved gently on, bathing us in sunshine, calm days and peaceful nights. It's a Bank Holiday in England today, our last until Christmas, and it's been what I can only describe as a belter!
We headed into the hills to sit with an ice cream and watch the dragonflies and housemartins dive across a beautiful pond. It was too hot to do anything else and a hot Bank Holiday is such a rare thing that it just must be savoured and every minute soaked up.
Yesterday was what we around these parts call "proper puthery". Overcast but warm as anything with the air full of thrips and gnats. And it was a day that called for blackberrying.
I've got this mad urge on me to get ready for winter during these last few weeks of balmy weather. We're having fences fixed, a new kitchen fitted (yippee!) and every cupboard in the house has been turned out. Our recycling pile is so high we're car booting to sell soon - a real novelty for us to be honest.
So after a morning turfing out broken toys and jigsaws with bits missing, my boys and me strolled over the fields to see what berry treasure we could find.
Blimey its a bountiful year for blackberries. In the pony field we walk through past the local pub, there are mounds and mounds of them, I've never seen anything like it. We were good and only took those we could reach from the path. The blackbirds, thrushes, field mice and insects must be having a banquet.
We walked on, along the tree line a field back from the canal and watched the new tank engine pull the train down the valley. This maize field is a new feature, it's too hilly for many crops around here so it was quite exciting for us to see this huge crop rolling across the fields. Pheasants and long tailed tits ran ahead of us all along the footpath. (If any of you know Alton Towers, it's a couple of miles over that ridge on the horizon.)
Down on the canal side just typically all the best berries seemed to be on the far side of the hedge but isn't that always the way? My two helpers were so careful and luckily we don't get too badly scratched or nettled and we left lots for the wildlife too. There are tons yet to ripen as well.
As we reached the road again there was a jazz band entertaining the crowd at the pub and we treated ourselves to a well deserved ice lolly from the station café and listened a while.
It was the most perfect afternoon. My boys and me and a couple of hours of wandering and aimless chatter. Whenever I see a blackberry I will think of our special afternoon and smile.xxx