Blackberry Picking & Picking A New Home

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In early September, I joined my Mum when she visited the local woodland in the outskirts of Cranleigh, which is near my parental home.

My Mum was foraging amongst the brambles, in search of juicy blackberries to fill her homemade pies, and to turn into jam.


Thanksgiving Blackberry Pie

It used to be a bit of a family tradition when I was a young boy to join my Mum and my grandparents blackberrying. We'd pick what was on offer growing in the hedgerows from the common land, near where we lived in Guildford.

Blackberry Film

You may remember I joined my Mum blackberry picking last summer, and I took my camera with me to get some good macro shots of the local wildlife, which you can read here.

Unfortunately, as it had mainly been a rainy, wet, cold and windy summer this year, there were no butterflies, bees, caterpillars, or grasshoppers around to photograph with my camera. So, I instead took my new mobile phone with me, to further test out its photographing and videoing capabilities, as it was not worth me taking out a proper camera out with me.

We walked across some overgrown wild fields behind my parents home, crossed a road, and then walked up a hill full of long grass to where the blackberry bushes were located.

Me on top of the hill

This hill is one of my favorite local places to visit in the area. At the end of summer, there is a sea of long grass, which sounds peaceful and relaxing when the wind blows through it. The area is also very quiet with no people or cars around, and from the top of the hill, there is a panoramic view of the hillside, countryside, fields, and tress beyond.

I attempted to get a panoramic shot from the top of the hill using the camera from my mobile.

A panoramic view from the hill

There was unusual light that day, due the sun trying to shine through the clouds. I got a few shots of the sky.

Cloudy skies

The sun trying to shine

The grass was very thick and green this year. There was also more of the tall grass blowing in different directions in the wind.

The lush green grass beneath my feet

Thick grass

The tall grass

Mum was busy picking blackberries, there was not so many to pick this year, which was due to the wet weather we had for most of the year. I took her picture, and I took a video of her picking blackberries too. Watch the below video, it is quite funny near the end of it.

Mum blackberrying

Blackberrying With Mother video

After Mum had filled her plastic tub full of blackberries, we walked back towards home.

Mum with her bag of blackberries

Blackberry-Picking By Seamus Heaney

Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full,
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard's.

We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn't fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not.

On the way home we walked through a field which appeared to have some form of cotton grass growing there. The seeds floated up into the sky carried by wind as we walked through them.

A field of floating cotton wool

It may be the last time I go blackberry picking near my parents home, as I have picked a new home for myself.

I have enjoyed my time living in the outskirts of Cranleigh surrounded by the green countryside for the last 11 years. I liked the nature, the walks, and the quietness of it all. Although at times, I found it very remote, and a bit lonely for me living there. I didn’t make any friends within the village. The shops and places to go out in the village centre were not very exciting. It was awkward and expensive getting back home after drinking with friends in Guildford and London. I also had to drive a long way to get to where any civilisation existed.


I am now leaving the green countryside and remoteness to become a townie.

Today I received the keys to my new flat. I will be living back in my home town of Guildford, right in the city centre. I am very happy about my new move.

My new flat

This is my very first home, and the first time I will have lived on my own. It has been a long time coming, as I could not afford to have my own independence up until now, it has taken me many years to save up enough pennies to do this.

Everything will be on my doorstep again. I will be able to walk to my new job, so no more hassle of getting stuck in traffic jams and spending too much money on petrol. There are pubs, bars, a cinema, theatres, and friends houses, all just a mere stones throw away from my flat. Guildford train station is a short walk away too, so its now easy for me travel to London and other places. I can look at the river from my living room window, and I'm a short walk from the countryside from when I want to escape the town life. The flat is ideal and the start of new chapter for me.

Goodbye Cranleigh, and hello again Guildford.

Welcome Home

Standing here in your white walls
I feel endless,
like the lines on the floors that stretch
from door to door
With doorways continuing to streets
continuing to wilderness.

Lying in this bed, I feel the pillow
with my pillow case --
Red for my heart, which is open,
while my ears are listening
to whispers
and my eyes are closing.

Cooking at this granite counter
I feel I'm looking
at a calendar stretching onwards
into recipes I thought but never
dared to try,
books I bought but never cared to read.

Locking this deadbolt door
in the rainy mist of morning,
I feel certain
that what I'm securing is mine
and mine alone --
until I choose to open it again.

Blackberry Way - The Move

She's Leaving Home - The Beatles

Comments on Blackberry Picking & Picking A New Home

Posted by Jill (Creative Cafe) | 05 December, 2009 5:17 AM | Jill (Creative Cafe)'s home page | | Permalink

Good Luck in your new flat Barry and I hope you enjoy living back in Guildford. Jill

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