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I cannot quite believe what I did yesterday. My hairbrained idea to make sweet fruit jam turned very bitter indeed and had my daughter in fits of laughter and my hubby scowling. I'd decided that the blackberries, which grow like a plague around the farm, were looking decidingly pickable! I know that they make a lovely jam with crab apples and my family and friends love me making Bramble jelly for them. So I set out with my rather large bowl, firstly stripping the bush closest to my home then venturing further afield. The chickens followed on hoping for a berry or two but they only got the ones I dropped!


My bowl was flilling up quite nicely and I had'nt yet got to the best bush. In fact the bowl was becoming quite heavy but I knew that I needed around 4lb plus apples and at that point I was nowhere near my target. The best bush is the one near the hedgerow slightly up field, I wasn't to be disappointed either. I arrived with bowl in hand and gazed in awe at the huge berries near the top of the bush. The long canes of berries hung with the weight and "Oooh" I just had to get them!


I began with the ones closest to the ground but they were a bit small. I began to stand on my tip toes and move further into the bush. My fingers outstretched as far a I could make them, turning my face away from the thorns. The berries came away quite easily but the biggest, juiciest ones, were still further into the bush. I moved one step closer and stretched "Ughh, errr," I moaned.


"Just a little further..." I moved another step amd then another and then -- "Arrrghh!" My foot slipped and I went flat on my back sliding right under the bush.


I lay there for a moment just trying to take in what had happened. I knew my arm was badly scratched and that my finger was stuck on a thorn "Oouch!" it hurt. If I moved too quickly I'd be in all kinds of trouble. Thorns all round me, no protection on my arms, and canes all pressing in my back scratching my shoulders. All I could think of was I'm going away on holiday and I'm going to look like I've fought a cat and lost. I shouted for my hubby who was completely oblivious to the whole thing, carrying concrete blocks!

My daughter was indoors watching TV or tapping on the computer, so I was completely alone. I wriggled a little, scratching my arm even more and then noticed the chickens having a feast on my bowl of blackberries. "Shooo!" I shouted but it was too late -- there were only about 6 left.


Never mind, I just needed to get out of the bush without any more damage to myself. I wriggled again: "Ouch, Oooch, Ow!" I was out. There was blood running down my arms and big spots of blood on the back of my hands. I'd been stung by nettles in the process -- I wasn't happy!


I soldiered on home with an empty bowl; so much for jam! My hubby met me on the garden. "What's the ****'s happened to you, you daft thing, your'e covered in blood!"


I began telling him about the bush as he grabbed the bowl from me. "Where's the balckberries then?" He asked as he peered into a bowl of juice and no fruit.


"Ask them!" I said pointing to the chickens, whose beaks were purple. "They've had a feast of a time." I went indoors to clean up the mess. My daughter began giggling as she pulled out the little thorns and then exploded into laughter when I told her that the chickens had eaten the berries as well!


I'm very sore this morning, licking my wounds so to speak! I have a thorn rather worryingly stuck in my finger right under the nail. It throbbed all night and this morning it's double the size of my others. So much for my little blackberry hunt and my quest to make jam. All I've succeeded in doing is making a mess, my chickens have diarrhoea and my holiday snaps will be a disaster! Stupid me!

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