...that I have been gathering blackberries from its hedgerows, our local cemetery has changed. Along the path that I wander, heading for the thick brambles, heavy with their fruit, there are now slanted rows of graves, all pointing towards Mecca. Over the next years, we will see fewer and fewer crosses in our cemeteries. The newer graves that are non-Muslim sometimes have teddy-bears, footballs, or family mementoes on them, or the remains of floral arrangements spelling out "Our Mum" or similar.
Not many people gather blackberries in the London suburbs now - it tends to be an older-people thing. I take scissors to hack away the long wandering brambles with sharp thorns that rip into my legs, and the tall feathery nettles with their cruel stings. It's worth a few scratches, though, to bring home a bowl of fruit that will shortly be turned into jam.
The Ladies Ordinariate Group is running a stall at the Towards Advent Festival, so I'm busy making jam for that.