The sun has been shining on Edinburgh, shining with all its might, even at the weekend, apologies to Lewis Carroll notwithstanding. Last Saturday, we managed an Outing which I am now thinking of as a bramble ramble. The fact that I can also now write about it may make it a (short) ramble about brambles, so the title stays.
The cycle path network is where trains used to run in the past through the north of Edinburgh. Our possible commuting loss is our free time gain, and one of the reasons I like living where we do – easy to get about without always travelling on main roads.
As well as the brambles, we saw quite a lot of (mostly now empty) raspberry canes too, which led me to think that we need an earlier sortie down there next year. We were also able to get some rosehips, some elderberries, and some other berries which I enthusiastically hoped were sloes but turned out not to be when I got them home and checked.
There’s clearly a good level of traffic up and down the cycle paths – some cycles, plenty of people out on foot too. What interested me was the range of responses that our brambling brought out in passersby.
Most positive: two sisters plus dad: “Blackberries! Excellent!” said the younger sister, and they stopped to pick and eat near us. The elder sister lost no opportunity to tell the younger one what not to do; the younger one lost no opportunity to eat brambles and ignore her sister.
Next response: a dad and a son going by. They both seemed to know what we were doing, and the dad then proceeded to talk to the boy about large bramble roots as they then walked on. He had a point – some of the runners coming out from the plants were particularly impressive (or aggressive, depending on your interpretation) this year.
Somewhat worrying response: family and friends party on foot, youngest girl in full princess dress regalia, but still at least four years old, I think. As they passed, she was heard to ask “What are they doing?” I had to hope that someone would tell her, but they didn’t while we were in earshot.
What saddened me about the last response was that such a simple and easy activity was unknown to the girl, and that she and her family were missing out, not just on treats but free treats, and a family activity too. When you can get free and exciting sauces for icecream from cooking brambles, as well as the brambles themselves, what price princess dresses?