Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England



There looks to be a glorious crop of elderberries on the way.




As always, seeing these swelling  juicy berries I think of my late father and the  glug, glug of his demi-johns of ‘home brew’ elderberry wine* which during the 1970’s he used to nurture along, snuggled up in the warmest place in the house that he could get away with (against the chimney wall in the bedroom; actually I’m not sure how he got away with that at all!)

It may be the dutiful daughter  in me, or the hunter gatherer, that thinks I should be ‘making something’ of this  bountiful hedgerow crop.  Oh well, I’ll settle for making a blog post, the birds can have the feast.


*Along with elderberry wine there was dandelion, elderflower and most pungent of all (in the brewing at least) comfrey.


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

5 thoughts on “Ripening

  1. I LOVED this! SO SO SO understand and empathise xxxx

  2. I remember one of my parents neighbours making all sorts of home brews. That included bottles of ginger beer one of which would ‘explode’ now and again! xx

    • After my father died, I disposed what was left of his ‘wine cellar’ (the cupboard under the stair) he’d not by this time made wine for many many years. I was horrified to find some of the bottle had screw caps, which I though must be dangerous. I wore as much protective clothing as I could muster!

  3. I share similar memories. When my Dad died we found several bottles of vintage parsnip wine in the cupboard under the stairs. One sniff was all it took; we disposed of it humanely. Drinking it would NOT have been safe!

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