Keeping my eyes open

I think the best tools in existence for living on a budget are these: 

A healthy curiosity and an inquiring mind. A set of eyes helps too.

I called in to IKEA the other day, I’ve covered my love-hate relationship with IKEA before, but I wanted some kids storage items, and it’s a good place for kids when you’re at a lose end. 

Anyhoo, when I was leaving, I had to pull over to fix the baby mirror in the back of the car and when I did, I noticed that the hedges had a plant covered in red berries. And what red berries?

Raspberries. Delicious, ripe raspberries. 

I took this photo first, thinking that perhaps this was a one off. Then I looked around. The whole of the hedge was full of big, fat raspberries. I took a few. More than a few. 

As I was leaving the IKEA car park I glanced to the left into the hedgerows beside the airport. Raspberries everywhere. I want to check to make sure I don’t have to worry about pollution from the aircraft, but I reckon I’ll be back for more. 

Another thing I’ve seen all round Belfast, and I do mean everywhere, are hazelnuts. Stormont, the Comber Greenway, along the outer ring, Victoria Park, even Belfast Zoo. 

Of course, these hazelnuts are not as big as those bought commercially and you do have to compete with the grey squirrels, but there’s enough to go around. A couple of years ago I collected enough for a gorgeous dukkah. 

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