Aug 21 2010

Blackberry Way

Published by at 11:12 pm under News

It’s that time of year again. The whole countryside is awash with beautiful, belly-busting blackberries. All there for the taking, free of charge. No tax, no V.A.T, no surcharge, no handling fee just help yourself. My father used to take us up along the canal bank at Broombridge and on up to Ashtown picking blackberries. By the time you got halfway between one lock and the other you’d have blackberry juice all over your face never mind your mouth. We often brought large brown and cream coloured earthenware  jars with us to put the berries in. The Da’ always warned us not to pick any of the berries that were growing too near the ground because ‘the Devil spits on them ones’. It was only in later years that I discovered it wasn’t the devil spitting on them that was the problem, it was other boys p***ing on them. We’d often bring a milk bottle filled with water to drink and slices of bread with drippin’ on them for our lunch. Be Janie we’d sit on the canal lock gates and murder the bread and water. We’d be fighting over whose turn it was next to have a swig from the milk bottle. You’d see bits of bread floating on the top of the water but you didn’t care, you’d just gulp it down in case one of the brothers grabbed the bottle out of your grip. Well there’s nothing in this world that tastes quite like the Ma’s homemade blackberry jam spread over a slice of Batch Loaf. Our jam never made it into a jam jar, with fifteen kids in the house it barely made it onto the bread. Life seemed much more simple then for us kids. Homemade blackberry jam and Batch Loaf, what else could you ask for?

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