This day starts smoky from our bonfire. The heat is blown through by a pleasing wind as ash scatters over the washing, over the cut grass. We had cooked potatoes in the flames, got them just right, blazed up inside a pile of ivy root. We watched the woody stems twist. In agonies, Mr said, making mock-horror. They are just born, I contradicted; fire snakes, they wriggle into being. Overhead were stars and dark and one aeroplane flying and the shadowy tall pines. Nearby, blackberry wine, two glasses.
In the polytunnel this morning mould is found, it blights the tomato stems. A procession of tainted foliage trails to the hedge and back. Two pots of crisis cropped fruits pause on the picnic table while the fridge is reorganised. To have one's head in the fridge is coolly angelic. The phone rings, it is one of my Dear Readers with some hot tips for Chapter One. She is halfway through the novel so far, in spite of her computer troubles. I agree with her assessments, though the hedge-birds are loud like chattery monkeys and make it difficult to hear. I am sitting with my bare feet pressed in damp grass, drinking cold espresso.
A second washing load is pegged. Dog hangs around hopefully. She makes eyes that seem to be reflecting the river and a wide cut field so we take an empty two gallon tub and walk exactly there. I talk to myself about how I should sort out what aspect of which project to focus on and at what point but there are so many berries that is what fills my mind, effortless, peaceful, disorderly in the best way. Every branch bunched has characteristics not unique except when combined with this spray of seeded grass or that sapling oak, how the leaves are egg-dotted, my shadow is made of small pieces placed on twigs and leaves, how the breeze bobs a leaf, a lone bird's call, this confident spider, legs akimbo across her web.
The full tub is hefty. I carry it on my shoulder all the way to my garden, put it down on the picnic table. There is no more room in the fridge, I remember, it will have to be the freezer. It will be heavenly to feel ice temperatures on a hat-hot head. In the kitchen brewing buckets blip. A blue fedora rests on a cheap toaster. Home grown food lingers in the crockpot.
Nights have been creeping in, we say, later, as the blinds are dropped. We hear the sighs of rain on windowpanes. The last day of this summer, we say; and how brilliant the berries are.