The Great Bramble Hunt is an annual tradition in our family.
Each year, Rogan, Meg and I trek out to our favourite spot to try and fill some tubs with this most wonderful berry, staining our fingers purple, while trying to avoid spiders and maggots and getting scratched and stung by gorse bushes and stinging nettles.
Meg usually eats more than she saves
Usually I manage to fill my tub, Rogan half fills his and Meg covers the bottom of hers while managing to plaster herself in more purple mulch than you would have believed possible.
Meg's tub filling up
This year, however, I filled mine in record time; Rogan filled his; and Meg managed to ¾ fill hers by the time we had to head home for lunch. Some will go into bramble crumble, while others will be frozen to be used for Maggie's bramble ice-cream at Christmas.
Our favourite patch is on the coast, and while I was waiting for the other two, I wandered down to the water’s edge where I saw a seal poking its head out of the sea, watching me. It didn’t take long to get bored and disappear, but I just managed to catch a blurry shot of it on the camera.
Are you looking at me?
I then just sat on the stones, watching the waves crash on the shore. Not huge waves by global standards – probably little more than about 3 feet high – but larger than usual. The geography of the Solway Firth and this bit of SW Scotland means it’s quite sheltered from the roughest seas.
But it reminded me why, if I ever win the lottery, I will buy a house overlooking the sea. Although if I did, it’s quite possible I would never leave.