Saturday, 28 March 2009
The Human Rotavator spent much of the day down on the allotment, slowly restoring order to the neglect and chaos, and doing all the heavy stuff that hurts my back. I waited in for a delivery, wishing guiltily that I could be down there with him instead. He had ample reason to suck his teeth in disapproval at my lack of Method, and kindly saved his somewhat robust views for when I could join him; he dug a bean trench, wheeled manure, and stored timber, and as a reward to himself, lit a fire, so that he could disapprove and stay warm at the same time.
When I joined him, rather later in the day, I could wholeheartedly marvel and praise, take photos and generally be bossed about. I was pressed into holding awkward things as he swapped compost bins around (with much bad language and a couple of kicks when it came to the supposedly easy-click-together one). I was made to promise that in future (did he mean for ever?) I would work in an organised and tidy way, including putting things back where I found them. I meekly promised, while pondering inwardly how soon roles are reversed with one's child. He has the bit between his teeth; I can't see him going back to London till he has my allotment licked into shape, and his mother resigned to smelling perpetually of bonfire smoke. I keep telling him how grateful I am, but actually, words just can't express what a relief it is to have such a helper, even if he is a bossyboots who doesn't weed very thoroughly.
The rhubarb is coming along nicely, as it always does, regardless of either care or neglect. Our allotments could be called Rhubarb World, there is so much of it around. I was gratified to see that in Sainsbury, 400 grams of rhubarb was selling at around £3.50. We allotmenteers are the nouveau rhubarb riche!
(Soon it will be time to try rhubarb and ginger ice cream - any recipes welcome, although Ben & Jerry maintain that disasters are few and far between with home made ice cream, and so far they seem to be right.)
The biting insects seemed to have cleared off once the pond was cleaned out; good thing too, as they inflicted the worst bites I have ever experienced. The birds fluttered nearby, despite the smoky fire, and sang their Spring songs beautifully; they also cleaned the fence of the first batch of cat fur in record time. The dog signalled that it was dinnertime by finding a cauliflower stalk destined for the compost, and chewed on that with her few random teeth in a martyred way, and so we relented to plod our muddy way uphill to home and large quantities of tea, ever the gardener's reward.
Posted by rachel at 21:08