Friday 19th Aug; A long cool spring on the West Coast set back our seasons by more that two weeks. Hence along with our garden veggies and soft fruit the local wild Blackberries are similarly late this year. So it was the 19th before the kingberries, those monster juicy specimens that head each thorny sprig, were ripe.
Picking blackberries always takes me back 60+ years to an annual summertime family pilgrimage to Longwood House, (http://www.longwoodhants.info/ ) then derelict and forsaken,
|Longwood House Near Winchester Hants|
Both my parents had worked there prior to WWII for Lord Eldon. My Dad was estate carpenter and electrician and Mum a scullery maid. The grounds were neglected so the surrounding woodland soon reclaimed it and produced the most prolific blackberry patches among the pines and hardwoods that once were a splendid arboretum. Mum packed biscuit tins full with sandwiches for our lunch and a Primus enclosed in a larger biscuit tin along with kettle & teapot. We’d pick berries all morning and sometimes Dad, then the mill manager for the estate, would join us for lunch. I am sure we five ate our weight in berries but by days end the biscuit tins were filled with rip black berries and the sandwiches eaten as we set off back home for tea.
The smell of pine trees in summer or blackberrien takes my there in a flash .