It started when all the seedlings heading for the allotment fell over in the back of the car and no amount of kindly talking could bring them back to the sturdy stems they once were. Prince Charles obviously has the ‘magic touch’ that I lack.
On arrival we find the gate has new combination lock, our hefty key is redundant and it means a detour to a different entrance to get the number.
In just over a week, the grass round the pond seems to have leapt in size to a decent dinner for an ox. I make a huge pile of redundant dinners for lifestock, which includes flowery weeds that have crept cheerfully through the plastic and bark chippings that line our paths. Alan trails to and from the car.
All those who practically live on their allotments in sun hats, with grow your own charts, forks, spades, dibbers and compost bins better stop reading now, because now stagger with our ‘three for a tenner’ bags of bark chippings from Asda, in an attempt to reclaim what is rightfully ours!
Alan had purchased all these essentials while I had been doing aqua aereobics in the gym. He had also thoughtfully filled our bags for life with jumbo packs of loo rolls, apple pie (I don’t even like apple pie) and cans of cider. I dare not ask if there was a sandwich or the ‘multi buy lunch box’ offer, lurking in the glove compartment because I know instinctively there is not.
All this has prompted us to look the allotment more objectively. After all, we have been here for two years and created just eight smallish beds, mainly filled with garlic, onions, a few determined broad beans, three potatoes from Christmas and one lonely parsnip. What is this all about? As we both pause to watch the newts in the pond we agree it was, of course, just for them!
I plant out the sorry looking seedlings, water them in, move the sticks for the runner beans to another bed, my one concession to rotating crops. I then try to remember which bed I didn’t put manure on, some things are too ladylike to live in poo!
We ring Ian, the nice man with the rotivator on our mobile and ask if he can sort out the excess grass round the pond without disturbing the miniature fruit trees. He doesn’t have a pen, we have no idea how to text and don’t want to learn, so promise to ring later.
Whoops. it is three already I should be at the station to get to London to listen to Ruth Padel at the launch of the latest Poetry London Mag. We stop everything and Alan drops me at the station. Wow cappucino, orange twist from Cocoa for the journey.
The good things in life?
More on Poetry London – pics and poets on the following post