01 September 2006

Go blackberrying

Not until recently have I realised that actually the word 'blackberry' refers not only to the edible aggregate fruit of a blackberry shrub, which we also call bramble in Scotland, but also to the activity of gathering blackberries in the wild. Therefore, you can go blackberrying, just as you can go fishing or shopping. However, it does confuse me why British people don't go some other berrying nor do they go lemoning or cherrying.

Anyway, today I went blackberrying in the early evening before the sun sank under the horizon. Walking along the footpath around the Kings Park, I found loads of blackberry shrubs spreading on one side of the path. As these blackberries are wild, unlike those cultivated thornless varieties, their dense arching stems carry countless short curving sharp spines – that's why I've got loads of cuts in my arms, palms and fingers, as well as some spines left in my skins, after today's blackberrying activity. I wonder if there are some techiniques to avoid being cut and punctured by those damned thorns.

BlackberriesWhat can I do with a pile of blackberries? As not all of these berries are sweet enough to be eaten straight, it may be a good idea to make some blackberry jam. Hope a spread of the sour, sweet jam can pacify a big crying boy, like myself, and bring some light to the last chapter of my thesis. I wish May, Ellen and of course my fiancée were here so that they could have a taste of the first-ever jam I will have made, whether successful or not, in my life.

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