Saturday, 25 August 2012

When summer meets autumn

I've always assumed that autumn would start on St Durin's Day, which I've decided should be the 5th November, though due to the Scottish weather, perhaps that would be a better day for the beginning of winter.

But today, with the excitement and frenzy of the Festival gradually beginning to fade, I thought maybe this should be the first day of autumn. I was walking down the abandoned railway which runs from Leith to far further than I normally go and saw one of the last raspberries hanging. I picked it and ate it: the slightly tart flavour exploded in my mouth, the fruit dissolved and left the woody seeds waiting to be spat out discreetly.

And then, I saw one of the first ripe blackberries - first of what looks like a huge crop this year. It was black and glistening, a mouthful of ripe, warm sweetness, yet still with the tint of bitterness.

There's still time for one last autumnal summer pudding of raspberries and blackberries before the elderberries are ready. Last year, there were so many that the boughs bent under the weight of the pigeons, feasting on them. But I still managed to get a few, though the tannin flavour is strong enough to overpower practically everything so, frankly, I was quite willing to leave the berries to the pigeons.

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