Blackberry picking has been going on since mid-July. The fruit came on early this year reminding me of school day summer holidays spent in woods and lanes around my home. Back then summers always seemed to be fine and sunny with water meadows in use from dammed up streams in the valley where I grew up. I’d go home with purple stained fingers and mouth and my mother would say, “if you’re gwane to come ’ome like that take this basin and go back and fill it”. Then we’d have blackberry & apple pie on Sunday, with cream from the top of the milk simmering on the Bodley range. What days!
Local names for Bramble include Brimmel, He-Brimmel, Lady’s Garters, Country Lawyers, Yeo-Brimmel, Doctor’s Medicine and Mushes. There are many more. Tis said Christ switched his donkey on the way to Jerusalem and drove the moneylenders out of the temple with bramble. In Cornwall nine bramble leaves were picked and given the purification of spring water then laid to sswellings and inflammations with the charm, “There came three angels out of the East, one brought fire and two brought frost, Out fire and in frost, In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost”, which would be repeated three times for each leaf.
Diseases can be cured by passing the sufferer beneath an archway of bramble rooted at either end. Readers can believe what they like but I have known this to work, so I’m a believer.