My nose has been hijacked for the last two months by hay fever, but even I could smell the thyme on the way home from an early morning’s walk. The side of the hill was dotted with the stuff, the pink flowers still hanging on despite recent cold weather.
“Shame we didn’t bring a bag” I said to my husband “we’re almost out of thyme”. I looked around, half expecting to find one caught on a nearby bush, like we did once when we found an unexpected crop of mushrooms, but this time we were bag-less.
He didn’t answer, but stripped off his t-shirt. He walked over to an old wire fence, wiggled at a bit of wire until it broke off then wrapped it tightly round the bottom of the shirt. “Here’s your bag” he said handing it over “careful of the rust”. “Good idea” I said looking at him with a gleam in my eye “why don’t you make another one with your shorts?” The look was returned, the gleam wasn’t. He was too intent on hacking at the thyme with his pocket knife.
A few minutes later we’d filled the t-shirt it so full that flowers had started falling out of the sleeves. “It must smell good in there” he said, prodding at it with his knife. I stuck my nose through the neck and breathed deeply. The smell of sun warmed, sweaty cotton hit me so hard that even my hay fevered nostrils couldn’t filter it. I pulled my face away and gulped. If there was an underlying hint of thyme in there it was subtle.
I plastered a smile onto my face and watched as he swung the t-shirt over his shoulder and set off down the path. One thing’s for sure – our herbal tea will certainly have character this year…