Friday, 28 August 2015


Yesterday (Thursday) turned into a fairly busy day. Ann was on the rota to clean Aldham Church; so in the morning she motored over there while I got on with some work in the workshop. The weather was quite cold and threatening rain.  However, after lunch, the rain stopped, the sun came out and we decided it might be a good idea to take advantage of the improved weather to go out and try and find sloes for our winter tipple - sloe gin. Instead of going to our usual meadow straight away, we took a detour to a country back lane we'd not tried before and were lucky enough to find a hundred yards or so of sloe hedge laden with the blue berries. We picked probably about three and a half pounds of sloes, then went on to our usual sloe site across a meadow with a footpath, and again struck lucky with sloes.

Then on to a ford across the River Brett (above). Not so lucky there, but decided we'd picked enough.

By this time the sky was looking a bit threatening again (see photo of harvested field above - doesn't it look autumnal?)   Back into the car, and drove home. Stopped at a water mill tea shop on way, had tea and toasted tea cake, with butter and honey.

Then home, taking yet another photo of my favourite tree on way.

In the evening sorted through all the sloes, picking out stalks, etc.  Weighed them, washed them, and found we'd picked just over five pounds of sloes, which we usually find about sufficient for our needs. Put the sloes in plaggy bags in the freezer, until we're ready to bottle them.

                                                Today (having been given a freebie ticket to an antique fair at Southwold) we motored up there and poked round the fair. Bought one item, and sold three items to  collector friends we'd met (by appointment). Had lunch with friends at the White Hart at Blythburgh on the way home. Food excellent, service not so good. I believe it's changed hands recently - so teething problems  possibly. Home about five pip emma.


Maggie said...

Sloes seem to be in short supply around here this year. However, the blackberries are glorious and abundant, lots in freezer!

Mike and Ann said...

Rather the opposite here, Mag. Decent amount of sloes, but almost no blackberries. EVERYTHING has been early this year. Most years wouldn't have been picking sloes yet, but the ones we've picked have been bright blue ripe.

Crowbard said...

Is your favourite tree a hornbeam, Mike?

Mike and Ann said...

No, it's a middle aged oak tree. It's lower parts (just above ground level) are very hollow. Ann's favourite trees, though, are an avenue of hornbeams in the Chase near Brandon.

Z said...

I've picked some blackberries but there are a lot yet to ripen. I wouldn't say the sloes are ripe yet, either, but there looks to be a good crop.