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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

steepholm steepholm
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Playing Gooseberry - with a Miltonic interlude

Here are my lovely, lovely gooseberries, in which I am well pleased.

Last year I bought a gooseberry bush, only to see every leaf get devoured by slugs (we never even reached the berry stage). This time round I've put the replacement bush in a pot and lined the edge with copper tape to keep the slugs away. Fearing aerial assault, however, I went this morning to the garden centre for a net, stopping as usual to look at this view from a handy lay-by across to Wales - almost in touching distance, it seems...

By the rushy-fringèd bank,
Where grows the Willow and the Osier dank,
My sliding Chariot stayes,
Thick set with Agat, and the azurn sheen
Of Turkis blew, and Emrauld green
That in the channell strayes,
Whilst from off the waters fleet
Thus I set my printless feet
O're the Cowslips Velvet head,
That bends not as I tread,
Gentle swain at thy request
I am here.

almondsbury view

The picture doesn't do Sabrina justice, but you can see both Severn bridges, either side of the tree in the central foreground. Distances here are as deceptive as the tides, however: the bridge on the left is actually three miles long.

One fruit cage later, and my goosegogs are modestly adorned in an all-encompassing garment:


On current calculations, the berries will have cost me about £8 each. It's totally worth it.

Good grief, my gooseberry hasn't even flowered yet. The difference between the West Country and the North Country, I suppose! (Also mine gets nooooo sun.)