Yesterday morning, cursed by an insomnia that is no longer funny or acceptable, I got up at 5.30am to go for a run. I figured it was early, the streets would be empty, I'd get to see the sun come up, and when I'm already up, the awakening world is a kind of groovy place to watch.
But I got more than I bargained for, because at about 6.20, just as I was nearing home, I came across a large thicket of blackberries. Now, in the Blue Mountains, blackberries are considered a weed, and as such Council sprays them. When they know they're there. These ones they clearly don't know about, because there are literally hundreds of berries that are ripe and plump and juicy and jet-black, and maybe three times as many as that red and ripening.
I have my reasons for loving wild blackberries, in addition to their obvious tasty merits. One is that they are so much tastier than those farmed hothouse hybrids which cost $5 a punnet. Second, they cost about $5 a punnet less than those farmed hothouse hybrids. Third, they remind me of my late grandfather, who used to come around to our place at Wyee Point, and disappear into the thickets that choked a number of the nearby vacant blocks. He'd emerge with scratches all over his arms, purple-black stains on his shirt and lips, and several ice-cream buckets full of these juicy little numbers.
But best of all, I love wild blackberries because eating wild fruit straight off the bush makes me feel all foragy. I feel like a resourceful nomad. I feel like Adam in the Garden of Eden, but with less nudity. And hopefully less snakes.
I'm going to head up there tomorrow with an ice cream container of my own, and I'm going to forage me several kilos of those bad boys, and I'm going to do it every two or three days until summer ends, or I get sick of blackberries, or Council realises they've missed a patch, whichever comes first.