Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Mad Dogs and Englishmen....go out
I didn't go up the Lottie yesterday; I was suffering physically and mentally from my caterpillar experience. (Joke) I was aching too much to do the digging that I had planned and the temperatures were topping 80f and as I am an ageing English Rose, even wearing Factor 50 sun block, and covered from head to toe I would not have been able to last long. Pat went off to golf for the day, so I did some gardening
(yes I do have a garden, and being a corner plot there is quite a bit of it to keep neat.)
I also did a lot of blanching and freezing - the runner beans I picked the day before. I know that John and his wife (see my link to Brilliant Allotment) pick theirs, walk the 100 yards home and blanch and freeze them straight away. But I have a 100 yard walk from one end of my allotment to the other, and then it is a further mile home. Usually I do them straight away, but I felt a bit deflated and worn out after the epic caterpillar safari.
This morning Pat offered to give me a hand - a storm is forecast for overnight and torrential rain tomorrow. Hardly seems possible with the bluest of skies and not a cloud in sight and the temperature over 82f today.
Now as you have gathered I am not a heat lover, so like to get things done as early as I can on a hot day, so that I can spend the afternoon in the shade. Pat is a sun lover, goes brown as a berry, and he likes to have a leisurely morning reading his paper, listening to the quiz on the radio, before doing anything. Marriage is all about compromise. So after dropping several hints, donning my Worzel Gummidge outfit, and depositing plants in pots, a tray of beetroot (bet it is too late to plant them) Swiss Chard (ditto those as well) all around, and throwing in a plaintive look and a couple of sighs, Pat got the hint, and at 10.20am we loaded up the car with lawnmower and all the other paraphernalia and set off listening to the quiz in the car.
He got his own back by taking these Candid Camera shots of me when he was supposed to be unlocking the shed. There are always a few long runner beans that you miss first time around – I just happened to spot some and pick them and hey ho, enough for lunch again. I am beginning to get a bit of a complex now, as I tried 14 times to download my picture here. All the other photos download but not mine. Scary huh?
My next door allotment neighbour has got a new toy, and I was so excited that I thought all my Christmases had come at once. I had asked him sweetly a few times if he could rotorvate all his tall weeds down alongside my fence, then I would sow some grass seed and keep it mowed. I even offered to pay him to do it, such was my desperation to get him to clear some of his weeds, as it is back breaking work for me doing it with a spade, secateurs, jumping on them or pushing them over with my foot – and getting stung through two layers of trousers in the process! So you can imagine my utmost glee when I saw that he has got a tractor and cultivator and a huge trailer all parked down the end amongst the weeds. He has been playing with it and cultivated an area in the middle and wider across the bottom, but not along the edge. But taking an optimistic view, maybe next year he will play ‘ploughing’ every week, and will go up and down so that all the weeds keep ploughed under.
Pat got mowing and I planted out some more perennial flowers, and did a lot of weeding. I know I might sound obsessed, but you would not believe the amount that we get no sooner have you dug out a thistle, or dock, or bindweed, than you find another. The weed seeds flying over look like snow in summer at times, and as the whole area was covered in them to start with anyway, you just have to keep digging up the roots, and digging out the small ones as soon as you can. Relentless work, but I am on top of it at the moment.
We spent three hours up there today, and I can’t believe how quickly time flew by. I was very glad to pack up though as it was so hot. On top of my Worzel outfit in the photo I put on a long sleeved shirt, and a floppy hat to keep the sun off.
Since March 13th when I started an allotment diary, I have also tried to keep a log of the hours we have spent up there. I have missed a number of days where I have forgotten, but so far I have done 292.75 hours, Patrick has clocked up 77.75 hours and relatives 4 hours.
-I have had a couple of comments about me being naughty jesting about my husband, I would like to reassure you that is just British humour and a bit of fun - and of course he does get to see the blogs and finds any remarks that I have made funny. He has the best sense of humour that I have ever come across.