Sunday, 19 September 2010

not like jordan

The sea breeze blew gently through our hair and the expectancy was high. A slightly salty smell reached our nostrils.  Just a few hundred yards away from the town where we live, but we needed to cross the River Deben to get there.  We'd had reports from friends that there was wild food in abundance nearby.  It was late afternoon and Mrs Dave and I had managed to complete any outstanding work - I'd got up at the crack of sparrow-fart and marked some essays. We'd had breakfast, and indeed lunch (Raclette with potato and prosciutto, wonderful).  The ferry from our town to the Radar capital was still running (until 6:00 pm) so we were able to go across the water and enjoy an hour or so foraging.

Bawdsey is well known for its place in the WWII war game  - the home of radar and all that, but now it offers a quiet hamlet that is only disturbed by the occasional tourist seeking solitude or, indeed, wild food.

We parked at the local pub ( there was a space - why pay?) and jumped onto the ferry.  We asked the Ferryman (Mrs Dave paid - haha*) where we could find the reported wild plums and he, cryptically told us we could go left or right.  Thanks.  We went left and found a huge amount of blackberries.

Wandering on a little further we found a single bush that offered us enough sloes to make a couple of  bottles of sloe gin. Whilst I took off my gloves and got down to business, Mrs D concentrated on blackberries.  When we got a bit bored we thought we'd wander on - bramble on? - down the road apiece.  What did we find but a load of wild cherry plums?  Wonderful! We - I say we but I mean I, managed to ensconce myself into a small roadside grove that offered a huge amount of wild plums and plucked to my heart's content. Beautiful red fruit growing wild, fantastic taste.  Heaven.

I don't know why this particular area is so abundant with fruit - if you want elderberries, look no further.  I will be here in the spring when I want to collect elderflowers to make champagne.  I suppose it has been ignored generally through either lack of interest or just plain secretiveness (?) and this area of Suffolk is generally quiet. Ah well, I need to get across here more.

I have only ever been across to Bawdsey a few times in the twenty years or so that I have lived down here - I strongly suspect that I will be taking more and more advantage of the opportunities available now that I know that I can forage successfully.

Sloe Gin, blackberry pies and some sort of plummy sauce beckons.  I've already seen a few useful sites for picking fruit in the future - heaven on Earth.

We move in god's country.

* Who pays the  . . . .

waiting for the ferry, tickets in our hand
good people that were never out of sight of land. . . 

. . . and we're all on board
it's not very far to ride
your river is not like Jordan
we'll meet on the other side

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