It’s been a strange year. Spring arrived early, bustling Winter out of the door with flapping duster, rushing round pulling the furniture straight, and hurrying off before Summer had a chance to stand and chat.
As Summer was so early, she sat comfortably sipping her coffee for ages before she got into her stride. But then she left early, too – she needed to get her hair done before her appointment down in the southern hemisphere, she said. This has left us in a sort of seasonal hiatus. Autumn is only working a short week, and has mentioned that he feels a little put upon by Summer’s lack of commitment, so we are having to fill the days he isn’t available as best we can.
The sweet blackberries are all gone and those left on the bushes are tasteless or bitter, the holly berries are still green with only tinges of red, but the elderberries have done very well this year.
Elderberries are slightly poisonous and need to be brought to the boil and allowed to simmer for ten minutes – to make them safe. You then add an amount of sugar equal to the amount of liquid and you have a very nice syrup – said to be effective in warding off the coughs and sniffles.
On a more practical note – planting an elder bush near your house will keep The Devil at bay. Useful to know.