Sunday 5 September 2010

A Practical Guide to some of life's top things - A Digestive Special Issue (part 1 of 10)

Hi, welcome to The Digestive – a Sunday only roundup of the last seven posts here on Bitsnbobs (the blog with if not everything then certainly a Sunday roundup).

Normally you can read this and save yourself a whole week of stopping by.

This week is different though as it marks the beginning of a 10 part series that will feature for the next ten weeks – a sort of special – so if you need to catch up on the rest, well, catch up.

This isn’t going to be a “100 Things to do before you die” type of thing.

What would I be able to say about that? If I have a list of 100 things to do before then it would only really make sense to me anyhow and you might have already done all of them.

And surely that sort of list must pretty much depend a lot on your religious beliefs or absence thereof? If you are going to reincarnate anyway your choices might be more selective than mine – I have to pack it all in.

If you do want such a list like that I would recommend The New Scientist publication of the same name published by Profile Books in 2004. It includes such great ideas as swimming in a bioluminescent bay (possible in the Caribbean island of Vieques), seeing Galileo’s Finger (Florence) and turning yourself into a diamond (you need your ashes to do this).

So this isn’t that –it’s more like a guide. Some suggestions concerning things that we sometimes forget to do, but probably make it all worthwhile.

Welcome to the Bitsnbobs - Top 10 things to do with a lifetime, A practical guide in Ten Parts.


Stop and pick the blackberries.

That's it?


Number one? Like number one, the top of the top ten?

No – number one as in the first one I write – I’ll put them in order of importance at the end.

Ah – so explain.

Well, I was out on my bike yesterday and I decided to slog my way up to the telegraph aerial things on the hill south of the house. It’s a long hill and there is a certain importance to doing it in one constant peddle, without stopping, something to do with being 55 probably.

Then again when I was 17 there was a hill on the way to Clara’s and it was imperative that I got up that in one peddle too otherwise she would leave me; though she left me anyway.

Which was ok ‘cos she smelt strange.

Anyway as I neared the top of the climb I saw this bush full of the worlds best blackberries and I just knew that at the beginning of September 2010 these were going to be the best blackberries I had ever tasted.

So I stopped, laid the bike in the ditch and picked two handfuls of the plumpest, juiciest blackberries you could imagine.

When a blackberry is perfect it almost tastes like a nut.

I sat down with my back to a tree and watched the swallows chasing through the blue sky – they’ll be heading south soon.
Then I got back on the bike and finished the climb and returned home.

So – number one, because it’s the first written not because it’s top, in the top ten is eat a blackberry?

No – it’s stop and pick the blackberries!

What’s the difference?

Well, it’s a bit metaphorical. Sure it was blackberries today but it might be plums another day, or apples, or grapes, or cherries or heather.


Yes, at the very top of this climb is a field of wild heather. It doesn’t grow anywhere else round here and right alongside it is a field of ferns. Every time I reach this point I feel like I’m in Ireland – although I’m still in France.

So – pick the heather?

Or lie in it and watch the swallows. It’s a sort of zen sort of metaphor. You know, like in that movie where he films the plastic bag.

With Kevin Stacey?

Yeah, i can't remember the name right now, but when you are climbing the mountain don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.

The top of the mountain is still going to be there but the blackberries might not.

p.s. today's photo has nothing to do with this post, my camera battery is flat so this one is a temporary filler.

part two here
part three here
part four here
part five here
part six here
part seven here
part eight here
part nine here
part ten here
part eleven - there are only ten parts!


Janet Bianchini said...

I totally agree with your choice of number 1 here "Stop and pick a blackberry". Very true!

Like today, I stopped what I was doing to watch Samantha climb right to the top of our huge almond tree. She did it very deftly, did a wriggle up top to show off, then gracefully and nimbly climbed down it. Priceless!

btw, ZEN is a very popular topic today :)

popps said...

Go Samantha!
Sorry about the photo Janet i wanted to go and get one of the blackberries - i'll add it later.
And can you develop or explain your btw - is Zen in the news or something?

Anonymous said...

love it - reading all and harry too - what is the urban equivalent of a blackberry x

popps said...

Hey - welcome Harry then!
Now if i can just get Joe i'll have trippled my readership!
Urban blackberry? - rainbow in a puddle, pavement artist, sand sculpture down by the river, plaque on a wall,person at a bus stop, statue in a park, duck on a pond, flower on a balcony, a shop display on Goldbourne road?

Mary said...

This is great Chris. Knew you had it in you -- starting with blackberries! September is sure to be sublime:-)


Mary said...

One more thing -- it was Kevin Spacey in |American Beauty -- loved that movie -- the plastic bag -- almost made me cry.


popps said...

Ah - spacey!
i wrote Stacey didn't i?
I think he is artistic director of the New Vic in London at the moment.