This is a story. A story that I am calling Danda And The Blackberry. It contains adventure, daring, far away lands and valiant mission.
One day, a few months ago, I was out walking. I was listening to Vanessa Paradis’ ridiculous but catchy hit, Joe Le Taxi as I roved. I was pottering up and down hills and following the river through London and having a lovely time. The summer was at that lovely not-too-hot, just-a-slight-breeze stage. The leaves on the trees were green and I stopped often to photograph the beautiful flowers.
I was having a lovely time. That’s when I saw it. The single ripe blackberry on the blackberry bush…
Ah! I thought. Look what the summer day hath delivered unto me. I shall pick this single ripe blackberry and present it as a gift to somebody.
But to whom should I give this beautiful gift of the summer’s first blackberry? Hmmm.
And that’s when I thought, I shall give it to Danda. Because he is a taxi driver, he is quite often on the move and I thought he might be in the area. I gave him a quick call and he was nearby but he was taking someone to the top of the hill that I was at the bottom of. So, thought I, I shall race to the top of the hill and hopefully see him there.
Off I sped, bearing the summer’s first blackberry aloft. It was quite a long walk and really quite steep but I was on a Blackberry Mission and determined. As Danda drove up the hill, I walked as quickly as my legs would take me. He was held at a red light for ten seconds or so. This gave me the edge. Holding the blackberry gently, I power-walked through fields and past trees. I was determined. Danda’s taxi was approaching the top of the hill just as I hurried to the end of the path and out onto the pavement.
It was like someone had organised us, like chess peices, to collide at exactly the right moment. We reached the bend in the road at the same time and waved. Danda drove a little further down the road to drop the person in his taxi off while I stood panting a little and trying to regain my composure.
A minute or two later, Danda was back. He pulled over and I climbed in the back.
“Danda!” I declared with great aplomb, “I have brought you this blackberry from the Alaskan wilds, from whence I have come after my long exploration there.” (Not really, I had just been wandering around aimlessly by the Thames but that’s beside the point. Stick with me on this one.) “I have brought this, the first blackberry of the summer, to you, as it reminds me of your summery disposition and your great love of blackberries.” (He once said he’d had an apple and blackberry crumble which was tasty.)
He looked a little uncertain about the grandness with which I presented the blackberry to him but nevertheless, he took it, popped it in his mouth and ate it.
I waited, with baited breath for his verdict.
“Danda. What of the beauty of the blackberry? Do you approve of it?”
“Mmm….” He said, nonchalantly. “It’s a bit sharp….”
“Do you want a lift anywhere?”