The very name "Snitterfield" conjures up what it was and is: a quintessentially English place, in the heart of England - Warwickshire - and a place where childhood memories were forged without my even realising it.
Granny would take us, probably once each Summer. It was a pick-your-own fruit farm. Two white plastic punnets placed in the green cardboard metal handled basket, on the ground that if you only used a basket, there was a risk of the fruit tipping out.
Then out to the fields. Raspberry hedges almost always. We tried strawberries once. But mostly it was raspberries. Long rows of hedges where we would separate and then try and work out, through sound, where the others were. The sun, always, beating down. Other families wandering past. Keeping a rather superior eye on my younger brother to ensure that he wasn't blithely gathering underripe raspberries.
Full punnets. The hut where the fruit was weighed and paid for. The baskets now stained purple. The repetitious joke in the queue: "They should weigh you when you go in and when you come out".
Back at home, fresh raspberries and cream, occasionally with meringues that made you cough. Some of the raspberries into the freezer to have when there was snow on the ground. We spent one afternoon over a saucepan making raspberry jam so thick you could hardly spread it.
Once, we were disloyal to Snitterfield. My mother and aunt Christine accompanied us and, on the way in the car, Granny spotted a new pick-your-own-fruit farm and a decision was made to try it out. We ventured into the fields but a few samplings later, my mother concluded that the raspberries were not worth eating. Granny was not entirely convinced but Christine agreed: "I'd rather eat a bowl of bread and butter". She also suggested an alternative use for one of their punnets and our minds were quickly made up. Before her threat could be put into action, we left and headed to Snitterfield.