Note: I hope I can post this blog. My connection to Red Room has been acting up and I have not been able to be as interactive with all my friends as I would like to be. So here goes.............
Blog the day away..........wish I could. But the article on Dunsandle Castle weighed heavily on my mind. The commitment to Malcolm (my neighbour) was, perhaps, more than I could deliver. But, I tend to do that, back away from expectations, do better when nothing is actually expected of me. A terrible confession, but true. I knew too, that if the article has any chance of publication, that it has to be submitted sooner than later. The season is running out fast for pieces of this ilk and soon more serious articles will take over the broad sheets. So, the morning was spent swiftly attacking the basic household chores and finally I could announce that I was heading upstairs to write ''THE'' aforementioned piece.
I swear my house was populated by church mice at eleven a.m. today. People stole through the halls like monks on retreat. Not a sound rang out apart from a dog barking now and then and the faint lowing of a cow that could be heard coming from the nearby meadow. I put my head down, rifled through my copious chaotic notes, tried to form some sort of pattern, a voice to convey the castle in all its glory, without it sounding too historic, too factual. Two hours later I felt I had a grasp on the mould, though rough around the edges,it held potential. I figured one more hour or so and it will be ready for submission. I felt elated, relieved, somewhat delighted really.
I decided what better way to celebrate than to head back to where I picked the last batch of blackberries. I figured they were bound to be plentiful and guaranteed to produce at least another six jars of jam. But when I got there the berries disappointed. They were either barely ripe or so beyond ripeness that they looked dead and grey. I gave up and headed for home. Still, reluctant to give way to not getting what I wanted, I made my way down to the back fence and there they were, ripe, huge and black as coal as they practically fell from the brambles begging to be picked. Without much effort involved, I gathered a hefty bucket full by bending myself down into the bog grass and casting it to one side to discover the bounty that nestled in its folds. I picked despite the strong gale that blew in from the sea. There was nothing to disturb my efforts. No sounds at all, not even a cow, not even a voice or a car, only my thoughts coming in spurts, intermittently to speak of the castle and form more coherent sentences.
When I got into the house I began to make the jam. I was thinking about the gathering process of the berries, how you have to look from different angles. Sometimes, it is when you look back or turn back, that you see what you have missed. When you don't come on something straight away, then, it is then, you seek the other possibility, you look at something upside down and then you find, the ripening thoughts that are already there but where from an odd angle as the sun might catch them, gleaming like purple and black berries, you see what was already there but what might have missed if you had not decided to stray.
© Mary Wilkinson, 2009