Each day a quota holds, a minimum punnet. Fingernails clipped short, cuticles sundried, dyed in berry shades: criss cross thorn scars, inked in. The weather blows cold, blooms hot; it seems visible, a haze of temperatures, spiralling. They rotate over crop fields. They echo the blades of harvest. The hedges will be cut too: every day a quota holds, to fetch the berries in.
At home, there are two kinds of thing: that which is left, stacked unheeded, undusted, untended, until after picking: that which is paraphernalia for picking (vats for brewing, jam pans, ice cream tubs, bottles, recipes, air locks, siphon pipes, vinegar, sugar, spice and such and such.)
This morning plucked meadowsweet bubbles with honey, flavours our fermented tea.
Variations on our harvesting vocation:
Friday: Acquaintance made with a tiny kitten. Little Granddaughter has named him, or rather announced a string of names and her parents have picked their least unpopular offering. So he is not called Baby Princess Kitten, for example. She shows kitten how to wrap a poorly teddy, but he is not an attentive student.
Saturday: One hour spent bending green ash twig, winding a solar light string, binding in twine: the polytunnel has a chandelier. It holds maximum love and admiration for minimum purpose.
Sunday: A few moments spent, or more, no one counted. Four Roe deer stare and we stare back.
Monday: No pictures were taken we were preoccupied: arms full of one grand child or another, and talking, and eating pizza. Little Grandson and Little Granddaughter both must sit in makeshift clothing after forgetting that they shouldn't play in the water outside: both subdued, briefly, by the reminding, but they soon make finger puppets from jigsaw pieces and thus happy nonsense is restored. The Chap unbuttons his collar, lays it with his tie on top of his new blazer, sits with a fat beagle warming his legs. On the journey home, later than planned, the car windows are wound down to unfog the windscreen. Night air whistles. Rain plays percussion. Beautiful ideas flow. There is one smeary handprint on my shirt, tomato and mozzarella.
Beautiful ideas flow, are stacked: after the fruit harvests, back to words. The house may be messy a good while yet.