Yesterday was my birthday. And a very fine day it was too. The sun was out and so were we. Ishbel and I took Lyra for a bijou walkette after (or half way through in Ishbel’s case) breakfast, whilst Lachlan had classes, and we scoped out the elderberry bushes for a planned afternoon foraging trip. After a fortifying lunch (shared with Lyra who is partial to tuna mayonnaise) we set out again, armed with a very long walking stick and several plastic bags.
The best elderberries on the first stand of bushes were right at the top so the technique was to grapple the branch down with the walking stick and pick as many as possible before it swung back. This proved pretty effective so before we even got to the Kersfield bush we had a half full bag. The Kersfield bush was laden, but positioned right in the middle of a clump of nettles. The stick came out again and we managed to get a good lot with only a few stings.
Things had gone so well on the elderberry front we decided to move on to brambles. A trip to the little wood to the north delivered a reasonable haul, which we topped up from the hedgerow on the way home. All in we had well over 4 pounds of elderberries and two tubs of brambles (plus the ones we ate).
Getting elderberries off the twigs is best done with a fork (credit to Keith for the technique). By the time I had made it through the bag my hands were well and truly purple. The colour seemed to intensify over time and, as I soaked in the bath later, I observed that, notwithstanding copious scrubbing, I would be going out to dinner with a slightly blue tint. Some old ladies have blue rinses for their hair, I was rocking the blue hand.
After dinner Ishbel and I slapped on face packs and rejuvenated before bed. As a result the extra year has now been wholly nullified and I may even be a year younger.