Its a very hot, sticky day today and wet here in Wiltshire.      Daisy, my slighty dippy parsons jack russell, that simply means she has longer legs than a normal jack and is, therefore, not quite so low slung and close to the ground, set off on our usual walk.     

We walked out across the fields behind our cottage and found that the cattle were back in the bottom field.    They have five fields that they seem to drift between, following the very best grass I suppose.    They are a very chilled herd and at the head of it all is Pavarotti the bull, who I have heard described as ‘very mellow’!     Pavarotti is my nickname for him anyway.   No disrespect intended to that late lamented and fine Italian Tenor.    The bull is in fact extremely handsome as bulls go.    He is also large and given to bursts of melodious bellowing.  Hence the name.     He also seems intent on pleasuring the ladies of his harem as often as possible and his numerous progeny are available for all to see and admire.   They range from the small and very new to the almost as big as mum in size.   

Their presence in the field, although not in anyway threatening, meant that Daisy and I skirted round the family herd and hugged the bushes along the bottom edge of the field.   This meant, for me at least, a little impromptu breakfast as the hedgerow is teeming with luscious blackberries at the moment.   As the fields are used for grazing and, to the best of my knowledge not sprayed at all, I have no qualms about eating them off the bush or picking them to put in a pie.      I helped myself to quite a few of them actually while Daisy made the best of the break and sniffed hitherto unexplored areas of hedgerow.    By the time I finished my fingers were red with juice.    

The taste of fresh blackberries picked in this way always takes me straight back to my childhood.    In those days of wandering free in my local woodland my friends and I could strip a blackberry bush with the same swift ease that locusts employ when descending on a field.     We would arrive home with our clothes and faces stained with juice.  Who knows what poor creatures were living on or in the berries we consumed.    We didnt care we simply pulled them off the bush and popped them into our mouths.    At least with my more advanced years I have employed the tactic of looking at them to check for spiders, I found one this morning, frozen in terror as it made its way towards my mouth, and other creepy crawlies that might call a blackberry bush home.    

Having had breakfast on the hoof we carried on with our walk.     I stopped for a brief sit down on the large surface root of my favourite beech tree which is always a wonderfully calming experience and then spent some time gathering new fallen leaves for the altars around my house.   I have one in my office, which I use every morning, and one in the kitchen.      The leaves are such beautiful colours at the moment, russet red and green and amber.   They are so lovely it seems a shame just to leave them to decompose.      So, I bring a few of them home and use them to decorate my house.     It brings a little inexpensive colour to the place.      

Daisy may not be so low slung as a regular jack russell which is a blessing in a field full of cows, but she still managed to stand in a cow pat, how does she manage to find the juciest ones(!) and by the time I got her home she had two green feet so it was straight in the bath for her.     She isnt a hound for getting wet so I had my work cut out.      So far, she hasnt rolled in any of the cow pats.  I like to think that she is far too girly for this activity but, in truth, I think she probably hasnt worked out that it might actually be fun yet!