Inferiority Complex – Circa 2012
A few years ago I made this comment on my fledgling blog :
In the last couple of weeks I have been banned from a metal detecting forum, received an email that said, ‘there is something about you that I don’t like’, told that my writing is ‘crap’, and seen advice to members of a forum not to click on any of my links because they may contain a ‘trap’ and might ‘ravage your computer’. No wonder I have an inferiority complex.
But I am still here – despite the inference from an infamous blogger with a rhino-like epidermis that I am ‘thin-skinned’. So, what crap have I got in store for you today? And what was the catalyst for this post?JW
This is the familiar face of Stephen Grey, of Anglo Celtic Metal Detecting who gave me the idea. On his FaceAche page he posted a picture of blackberries and commented that when finds were few and far between, he collected the abundant fruit in the hedgerow. He’d also penned a poem:
Fields Blown Dry
by Stephen Grey
Tractors slowly coursing through the dust, electric blackberries are a must. Born on a bush under a pylon, eat them lustily and put your smile on. Heat, sweat and dry cracked earth, signals interrupted for what it’s worth. Waiting for the rains and a special conductivity, moist ground and gold for you and me. Cool your heels in a river or stream. on electric blackberries we do dream. Seeing through the Dust and machinery. a born optimist surveying the scenery.
A Little History
Perhaps you’ve heard the story of St. Michael the Archangel who hurled the treacherous Lucifer down from Heaven. When the Devil came to Earth, falling from the skies – guess what – he fell straight onto a blackberry bush. I kid you not! He cursed the fruit, scorched them with his fiery breath, stamped on them and then spat on them making them unfit to eat!
Durham County folklore suggests you should not consume blackberries after Michaelmas because the devil has spat on them.
© John Winter
And that’s why I was reminded of my days spent metal detecting, especially around this time – but before Michaelmas! I was never a very good detectorist and often abandoned my swinging to search through the tangle of thorns in the hedge. At least I was guaranteed to return home with a few pounds of blackberries, a different kind of treasure. Thank you Stephen for reviving those distant memories.
Michaelmas, a wonderful celebration of harvest’s end and the start of autumn’s mists and mellow fruitfulness, as Keats wrote in his famous poem. I have always loved this time of year, for it reminds me of my childhood. I am fascinated with the ancient feast and festivals that surround this now mostly forgotten date.
Stephen – what are ELECTRIC blackberries?
Electric blackberries grow at the feet of those massive pylons. I swear they are bigger and more abundant. Great article John. I did try to comment on your blog but I was asked for a password. I can never remember any 😊Stephen
While I Was Away
The girls took advantage of my time in the Hospice and went searching for treasure. This was the result.