Blackberry Picking in Howth

It’s my favourite time of year… the heat of summer is fading and the cool crisp mornings and dark evenings are on their way. I know, I know, summer days disappear and it gets cold and dark, but that’s just how I like it.

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I like summer too, but if I’m honest I’m not a hot weather person – I don’t have a summer ‘wardrobe’ for a start and I overheat easily and burn if I’m not careful… I like the idea of it, but prefer cooler climates. Everything about Autumn sings to me of warmth and cosiness, not in the hot and sweaty sense of summer, but in a ‘sinking into a big comfy sofa with a cup of hot chocolate’ sense. Give me warm boots and woolly jumpers, and a fire to sit beside any day. I love the comfort of winter food too, soups and stews, roasting chestnuts, red wine, and of course blackberries!

blackberry picking

Blackberry picking and Halloween are two of my favourite autumn events. I’m fairly rubbish at making good Halloween costumes; every year I have good intentions but end up throwing something together to take the kids out! As for blackberry picking, it’s all about timing; you really have to keep an eye out from the end of August for their appearance because if you wait for the first frost, like tradition says, you could miss them. Once out in the fields, it’s a compulsive activity… I can’t walk past any hedgerows without scanning for berries and my excitement at finding ‘good ones’ is ridiculous! But spending a couple of hours in the fresh air, walking through fields and letting the kids run riot… and then getting home and having a big dinner – something like a stew, followed by blackberry and apple pie with a dollop of ice cream and homemade custard, what could be nicer?

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