Tuesday, 30 June 2015


My history with loganberries began when my parents decided, many years back, to send my older sister, Catherine, and I off to our Wexford cousins for a a long summer of farm training (that at least has rubbed off on one of us). Some of my few memories of this homesick holiday were the hours I spent crying as I listened to the grandmothers clock outside my bedroom door boom out the hour and then the half-hour, reminding me of the time I couldn`t sleeping, the early morning torture as my aunt tried to disentangle my mass of unruly hair with a wire brush more suitable for scrubbing stone floors and the games of hide and seek where I usually ended up shoved between four hay bales, head first down fighting for breathe until I pleaded for mercy. This was not a happy period for the scrawny, moody and more than likely, unbearable pre-adolescent that I was nor my many cousins who probably still hate me nor my poor sister who was acutely embarrassed by my bad behaviour. In retrospect, things cannot have been half as bad as it was the first time I tasted home-baked bread toasted on the Aga, slathered with salted farm bread and topped up with the sweetest blackberry jam and the first time I picked baskets full of loganberries which grew high on the kitchen wall and were served in the afternoon with warm cream that topped the morning milk.

Years later the eastern barn walls of Mailhos are carpeted with these elongated, atomic raspberries that I never expected to flourish considering the climate differences between southern Ireland and souther France. Each berry ripens from a pinkish-red to a deep-purple colour before releasing its juicy, sherbety-sweetness.  To complete the picture, we just have to start milking the Bearnaises....

The new addition to the family is a pigeon called Leopold. A Polish Strawberry Eye who will be joined by his girlfriend later in the week. Leopold and company will soon be serving as internet and post replacement between neighbours and a handy live drone system.... if needs be.

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