Lamb’s Tongue ferns under the thick tree cover; shadowed, warm, glossy wet. All the growth is lushly tumbled, and hints at some secret order, a living knot. Where the hedges are straight trimmed, furls of blackberries peek. Simple blossoms summon bees. Punchy green nublets dance flyweight in a bounce of breeze; cumbersome indigo globules drop, ripe, into my palm. Each taste of this year’s hedge crop is palatably pleasant. I test each one I find, expecting the sour sharp thrill of the berry that is not as ready as it looks.
Come home to a long cooling shower, two poached eggs and a coffee zing. Trek down to the old house to puzzle over what bits we should recover from the wreck of the shed; aka ‘Old Farmer Landlord’s Museum Of Agricultural Artefacts And Sundry Items;’ what we should ferry to the tip. Today’s further bounty is a boxful of compost, the old petrol mower, four tyres to stack and cram with future compost, a surfboard rack and a wheel rim, to be used as a portable fire pit. Also I spy a printed slug. I retain the image of it, let the creature keep its liberty, let it prowl under the ivy.
The new house is packed with jobs to be done, with things calling for homes of their own, milling round our feet. Easy to trip up over these things we have.
‘Well, the blackberries are coming. What are we going to do about them?’ Mr is edging towards fretful, thinking of freezer space.
‘Let’s just eat them,’ I advise, ‘and not worry.’
‘Phew.’ He gets the answer he hoped for.
(Although later, I will prattle on about shelves for a bit.)