The wind was rising yesterday in North London, as it were. Initially we thought it was great to be based on top of a hill in the middle of the allotments but I regretted our choice after several hours of being buffeted about like a tiny boat lost at sea.
I didn't realise we would be quite so open to the elements on a suburban allotment patch but we very much are. As I pulled up yesterday lunchtime I watched several seasoned allotment veterans getting into their cars and high tailing it home. Undeterred I went about my business, hoeing over two more beds, mowing the lawn and trying to give each of our beds some clearly defined edges.
Despite the fact that most of what I dug up, picked or cut down ended up three plots down, I still felt a bursting sense of pride and achievement. The allotment game is bringing out a whole new side to me I never knew existed. While my better half is off drinking beer in Belgium for a week, I've been knee deep in North London mud and actually, I haven't minded it one little bit. No resentment here.
I've been studiously taping both Gardener's World and Kew On A Plate for hints and tips about planting and harvesting veg and finding that I'm actually happiest when wearing old clothes, sprinkled with earth and reeking a little of hard toil. It makes the gin and tonic at the end of the day all the more delicious.
My one low point this week came when asked to bring a big plastic container up the allotment from home. It was only when I picked it up that I realised it was a vat of manure. Organic manure, but manure all the same. i never thought the day would come when I could be witnessed dragging a massive tub of manure through the gentrified avenues of East Finchley.
Working with compost and manure does however seem fairly appropriate with a General Election looming...
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