Never, ever, in the history of everything, has a woman waited with such excitement for a mountain of well-rotted compost to be plonked on her doorstep.
Oh hang on, perhaps I need to rewind this a teensy bit. Shall we knit/crochet a little whilst I explain? If it’s OK, I’ll finish sewing the buttons on to the Trip To Town cardigan that I’m making for my friend Alice. (Pattern by Drops here.) If you’re reading this, Alice, please pretend not to have noticed that last sentence, or the photo below, or indeed the fact that it is now ‘some’ time since the birthday on which you were supposed to have received this gift. (It’s fortunate that Alice is a tolerant sort of person.) The photo below shows a previous Trip To Town that I finished, because it’s too dark here now for effective cardigan photography:-
Alice’s cardigan is identical to this, but with deliberately mismatched buttons, expertly chosen by friends at knit-night.
Anyway, back to the compost. Maybe it’s Brexit-anxiety (it’s definitely Brexit-anxiety) but I want to increase my home-grown veg output. Ours is a cottage garden, with the occasional vegetable slouching amongst the jumble of flowers. But way too many times I’ve trampled a young asparagus or an onion whilst trying to dead-head the heleniums. Yeah, get me with my fancy-schmancy flower names. Here are the aforementioned heleniums, with bonus hoverfly:-
Also, EVERYONE (by which I mean somewhere in excess of two people) told me that parsnips are really hard to germinate so you should plant vast numbers of seeds in the hope of getting at least a couple of plants. I diligently followed that advice. Guess who now has AN ENTIRE GARDEN RAMMED WITH PARSNIPS?!
…which is great I suppose, because this will save me from having to eat my own husband in the terrifying post-Brexit world we’re about to trigger. (Joking. Sort of. A bit.)
But it’s a known fact that woman cannot knit on parsnip alone. So I put together some raised beds, in order to attempt a proper three-year crop rotation of ALL THE VEG. This is the ‘before’ shot:-
I do love to play with power tools…
Nearly there. Rushing because it’s almost time to fetch the twinnage from school. NOTE THE SEXY PINK GARDENING SHOES AND KNEE-PADS!
So here are the finished objects. Not things of beauty, but they’ll look better once they’re full of compost and overflowing with ready-to-harvest dinner:-
Several days after I started writing this post in my scruffy old notebook, a man turned up at my door. He looked tired. I followed him up the drive to find a lorry containing a stack of boxes of packs of salt and vinegar crisps, and two giant loads of COMPOST. At last!! (I don’t know who’d ordered that many crisps, but I do know that I’d sincerely like to be their friend.)
It took both of us, plus a wobbly old trolley, and some genuinely inventive use of the English vernacular, to shift the compost from the lorry, down our woefully impractical gravel driveway, to our little carpark. But we did it. Tired-looking-bloke departed with his crisps, leaving me with the little job of transporting the compost barrow by barrow round to the back of the house and UP THE STEPS to the vegetable beds.
It’s not finished yet. This could take a while. But see that little red wheelbarrow? The twinnage are helping. 🙂
So dinner will be ready in about three months’ time. I hope you’re hungry. And whilst we wait, I’d better finish Alice’s cardigan, hadn’t I?
One more thing. Thank you to those of you who wrote wise and kind words in relation to my father’s recent health problems. I’m trying to follow your advice. I have managed once or twice to so-quickly-you-could-miss-it mumble “Love you” when I say goodbye to my parents, but We Don’t Talk About Feelings Around Here, and honestly, my stiff upper lip is so rigidly horizontal that it could find useful employment as a bookshelf. My Dad’s doing OK mostly, which is the important thing, but of course one worries.