Today we picked blackberries in the convict cemetery down the road from us. This is not the romantic place its name suggests. There are no markers or reminders of the people who lie here, no grottos, no ancient church. Just a small-ish field, dusty and dry, bounded by major roads, trucks and utes shuttling past. But the perimeters are hedged with massive blackberry copses, the slope looks out over a bit of forest and my ears catch on the invisible birds and not the revving from the freeway out of town. Lucy, Jasper and I spent an hour here, plucking and scoffing and saving a few choice berries for Dad, breaking the labour with, in one of Lu’s common phrases, “a sit down and chat”. So we talked about the finches nesting in the bushes – a good idea, so close to the berries – the trucks and the planes, and how some little girls don’t get to go blackberrying with their Mums, how some don’t even eat blackberries and how some only get them at the shop. We discussed how sad this was because if you don’t pick them yourself you can’t get the best ones, the biggest and sweetest ones. Lu agreed with all of this – yes, it was a shame that not everyone had personally selected berries and time with their mums – and I know that in 10 years time she’ll be mortified by my scavenging for food in public places. But for this little while it doesn’t get much better than sitting where the graves once were, sharing the sweetness. To quote Lu again, we were happy-heads.
Plus, dessert for the next few days is sorted: