The Lovin Spoonful: Summer in the City
It’s over, gone not going to see the warmth until next year. The winds are blowing through Newcastle. The trees outside our apartment are swaying likes drunks at a party. Here in the North of England we enjoy very short summer nights with the sun hardly setting but in the winter the opposite happens and the sun rises reluctantly like a teenager from its sleep in the morning and goes to bed like an old aged pensioner tired of life. The Lovin Spoonful’s Summer in the City is a last farewell until we meet again next year.
This morning walking down the bridleway that runs along side the apartments I noticed the bramble bushes had been stripped of their fruit and only a handful of blackberries remained. Last September Lynda and I picked bags full of fruit and made hedgerow jam but this year everything has ripened a bit too early and we have missed our chance to harvest this years crop.
When I was in primary school in the 1950’s our half term holiday at the end of October was known locally as Blackberry Week but these days the blackberries are finished by the beginning of September. As I write category 5 hurricanes are sweeping through the Caribbean and the Florida coast, droughts have become endemic in Northern Africa, climate change is becoming a frightening reality that only the deluded can doubt. The changes here are small in comparison but feel part of the same story.
The northern summer has had its last fling
Naked bramble bushes line the waggonway
Their crop hatched early in the hedgerow
They were rich picking for the jam makers
And enthusiastic children with blackened fingers
But I was in a foreign land watching figs and peaches
The treasure trove of ripened fruit passed me by
I remember blackberry week in late October
When parents would take their city kids
Foraging in the narrow lanes of Northumberland
For one final fling before winter’s blanket
Now our wounded world is weeping
And brambles have become a summer fruit
The birds will miss their autumn treat
I will miss hedgerow jam on my morning toast
©Jeff Price September 2017