We have an allotment.
A sentence that may come as a surprise to those who know me but less so when I explain how it came about.
You see, when it comes to buying presents I often struggle for inspiration. Especially for those special occasions that creep up on you when you least expect them. Like Christmas.
My usual coping mechanism involves deep breaths and Amazon vouchers, but occasionally the mist of panic clears, through which emerges a sign. Literally. It said ‘plots available’.
Now, Janet had been itching for an allotment for a few months. Initially I couldn’t see the appeal so parked the idea in that part of my brain labelled ‘whim’. A part already cluttered by the memories of exercise bikes, foot spas and at least one of our children.
But the seed had been sown (see what I did there). A seed that grew (last one, I promise) every day I passed the allotment on our school run. That blossomed (sorry, I lied) one sunny autumnal afternoon when I noticed a middle-aged man sat outside his shed.
He looked calm. He looked content. He looked happy.
Then my attention was drawn to the kids. Luca was chasing Sonny with a stick.
Middle-aged man was reclining in his deckchair with a newspaper.
Luca had Sonny pressed against the fence, stick held to his throat.
Middle-aged man was pouring himself a coffee from his flask.
Sonny had wrestled the stick from Luca and was whipping him across the backside. Think CBBC meets Eurotrash.
It was at this point I thought,
‘Do you know what, maybe Janet does deserves that allotment after all’.
I’m nothing if not selfless.
A couple of months later and the plot was
My role is a non-executive one. To feign interest when Janet rattles through her spreadsheet of seasonal veg. To try really hard not to mention how cheap the Super Six fruit is in Aldi. To pretend you can never have too much carrot soup.
And when the kids reach peak annoying, I’ll grab my newspaper and flask, doth my cap and announce,
“I’m off t’allotment!”
In other allotment news:
In an early test of my green fingered credentials, Sonny has to take a photo in to school of the sunflower we’ve been growing. Turns out the bottom of his school bag isn’t the most fertile of environments. Can only hope it’s not a competition.
Luca has requested we grow beef!? Ironic given we were only recently discussing the moral rights and wrongs of private tuition for his 11+. I think it’s now safe to say that ship has long since sailed.
It’s also been pointed out that an allotment may have always been my destiny, what with my striking resemblance to a famous gardener.
I know what you’re thinking. The posh-chic appeal of Monty Don, I can see that. Or the rugged good looks of Jamie Durie, yeah, now you mention it.
Well, you’d be wrong on both counts, because apparently it’s this…
Personally, I don’t see it.