Picking our own strawberries

………….We drove for miles under the bluest of skies and the thermometer crept up towards telling us that outside it was over 28 degrees.
Eventually we saw a sign for PYO peeping out from the bushes and Grant swerved the blue car carefully on to the gravel. We walked for a while and found lots of baskets with a message to pick your own gooseberries or strawberries from the field over the bridge.
We waved to the young women in the farm shop, picked up the raffia baskets and headed towards a working farm with tractors and farm workers galore.
The bridge over the road was completely covered by large trees that had grown together at the top. No sky was available in that gloomy dingily dell of a walkway and I reached out for my husband’s free hand whilst holding my hair back with my now unnecessary sunglasses.
Suddenly as the sunlight re-appeared a scene that would have taken Constable’s breath away appeared. These hills around us were the softest of green and in the centre of the view was a large red brick public school with playing fields full of young men in their cricket whites enjoying the English man’s favourite summer pastime.
To the left of the scene was an expanse of water that shone and rippled in the sunlight. It looked like a reservoir and you just knew without getting any closer that large blue dragon flies would be hovering there, stretching their new translucent wings upwards to the sun.
To the right of us behind a huge oak tree were the rows and rows of perfect red strawberries. Red was the only colour in this green apparition. We got down on our knees and I bent forward to inhale that strawberry scent that is like no other.
On closer inspection each strawberry looked as though it had been painted with a fairies’ tiny paintbrush of shining lacquer, so it that it shone as exquisitely in the sunlight as my rosewood desk after a vigorous polish with lavender wax.
The strawberries tasted even better than they looked as each one was a perfect work of art. Then suddenly we felt our backs ache and it was time to stand up and make our way back the way we came. As we stood looking at our treasure trove I gave an anguished thought for the people who do this day in and day out with the sun shining down on their heads.
We got back to the stand to have our produce weighed and the powerful smell of mint beckoned me into the shop. I stood talking to the girls I picked up lettuce, new potatoes and fennel for that night’s supper.
We were back on the road when I said to Grant “Oh, I never got my cherries.” “Have a little faith” he said “You are not home yet.”
About ten minutes later he pulled off the road and an apparition appeared before me. A chap sitting in a field with a table and on the table were boxes and boxes of fat, sweet almost dark purple cherries.
“Just for you” said my husband, with a flourish.
I walked up to the man and smiled and then ordered a kilo of the perfect sweet orbs. As he handed me the bag I ventured “The last time I bought cherries by the side of the road was last year in Budapest.
He put out his hand “I am so pleased to meet you, my name is Michael and I am also from Budapest….”

About carolemccall

I am an Author,Life Coach,NLP Trainer and Pyschotherapist .My first book The Fourth Generation is about my family and goes back 100 years. My second book The Lotus Generation is an amusing account of my life when I lived in Spain next door to my sister.I also did a lot of travelling around the world.There are two more books in the series.The third book The Boomer generation is out in May 2015. I am a Granny to seven small people and live in Tunbridge Wells with my husband and small white dog called Stella.
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