Sunday 5 July 2009

it took a whole hour...

...and a whole gingerbread loaf (with big chunks of soothing crystallised ginger in it) to get through that meeting. We sat in the hot sun, in a circle of assorted shed chairs, the dog in the middle looking hopefully at anyone with a piece of cake. Everything I predicted happened, plus much arm-waving and finger-pointing, and eventually - eventually! - agreement was reached to give A time to harvest her crops - a handful of broad beans and a small patch of potatoes, lost amongst the weeds) before she is cast forth into the Vale of Shame that allotment defaulters must face. The old chaps kept muttering "Get 'er off!" while the wishy-washy liberal do-gooders (the rest of us) thought she should be spoken to kindly and not left with searing memories of public humiliation and abandoned beans. It was also agreed that some other plot holders would be sent a Letter too. The rules were read out again and everyone fell about at the one about keeping the plots weed-free.

Several conversations went on at once, getting louder and louder in order to be heard over each other. Out of the blue, there was a racist comment (not that we have any hint of mixed ethnicity amongst the gardeners down there) and a suggestion was made for an Inspection Sub-Committee - duty to inspect the plots on a regular basis, which would almost certainly result in one or two of us either pulling our socks up sharpish or being Thrown Off too. Roger commented later that he had been surprised at the sudden 'bonkers' turn of the meeting, but it could have been even madder. P stood up suddenly, to ease her aching back, and we all took this as a sign that the meeting was over, and drifted off, otherwise we could have been there till nightfall.

No notes were taken, or indeed were possible. The treasurer offered to list all the points raised, in the hope that we can have a clearer system for Throwing Off in the future. I slunk off to pull up my socks and some of the weeds.

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