Two separate friends called me up the other day to tell me about these 'incredible fields full of poppies' that I had to go and see. We're not talking about the wafer thin red ones that line the roadsides but full on, real, spiky stemmed, buy-in-a-flower-shop type, lilac ones. Driving the cubs to school yesterday morning I nearly drove into a tree when I looked up to see it was snowing in the fields to my left. And then I remembered the Poppy story.
So with no Cubs in tow, left to my own Cluedo-esq devices I went to track them down. It didn't take a lot of detective work and two minutes later I'd found a gap in the fence and was waist deep in more poppies than I've ever seen in my life.
It sadly turns out that it's actually a massive crop of morphine poppies - Papaver Somniferum - and not a ginormous pick your own poppy field. Morphine's usually imported from Turkey, Tasmania and Spain but as a way of cutting costs and dealing with our growing demand for it, pharmaceutical companies are now paying UK farmers to grow it for them here.
Now I know that they're owned by big old pharmaceutical companies the idea of slipping in with my secateurs makes me feel slightly uneasy. I'm thinking moonlight stroll/ balaclava / camo gear might be the only way of getting my hands on a nice big bunch.