Monday, 18 February 2008

honkjazz - The Allotment! - Part 7

(names have been changed to protect the innocent - although photographs will be posted and I'm also quite happy to supply addresses, character descriptions and any other information that may be helpful to prospective hitmen/bounty hunters)

Thought I'd start this post with a heart-warming photograph.

Saturday 9th, February, 2008
I leave Gavbot sleeping off last nights ale and head to Herbert's house. I have a terrible hangover but I'm quite confident that the schlepping of heavy things will knock some sense into me (I am right). Herbert and I pick up some free pallets and bags of hardcore and then drive on into Exeter to grab some large framed windows thus completing our first completely satisfactory freecycle transaction. And there ends Herbert's involvement in this weekends work. I feel sorry for the poor chap because he desperately wants to work on the plot but the back says no. Still, as soon as he's better I'll hand over the fork and trowel and open up a deckchair and a beer (not in that order). Don't worry Herbert, there's plenty of weeds to go around.
By the time I get back to the plot it's mid-day and Gavulon200 meets me there to help schlep the stuff up the hill. Once that's all done we go and eat a delicious bacon roll in town before heading back to work
Che' Gavana gets stuck right in and I'm amazed because I've never seen him wearing Wellington boots before. There are lots of people I've never seen in Wellington boots. Malcolm X, Wendy James from Transvision Vamp, Sir John Gielgud, Dennis Law. The list is endless. (ending list now)

Here he is showing me what it would be like if his beard and moustache turned into living plant roots that flailed about his face as they search the air for signs of moisture.

So as G-Unit put down a little pathway I finished off the fence-post repairs and raked away all of the dead, loose weeds from the plot which showed the contours of the land in a much clearer light. We also lashed together some pallets to make a compost bin. This will later be heavily criticized by Old Bill forcing me to change the design in the wake of his blinding common sense .
I decided to get some beds started so we marked some out, each one about 5ft x 9ft. It was wonderful to finally get stuck in and start pulling out the endless couch-grass roots. I know it's going to be a slog but this was a real mental victory for me, just walking on-site and seeing squares of soil rather than a weed-covered scratch of scrub has lifted my spirits enormously. We also raised one of the sinks and planted the garlic (the first thing in!!!).

Our days work done we collected Little Snip from the train station and then went and had a lovely load of ale and some pub foods.

Sunday 17th February, 2008

I leave Gunter and Heycorn to sleep off the previous nights ale and make an early start tidying up the plot and chatting to Old Bill. He points out the design flaw in the compost bin (compost will catch onto the horizontal slats reducing the rotting-downyness apparently) and I can see his logic.

He makes up for being a smartypants by offering us some thick wire to lash the pallets together in place of our temporary string arrangment and it's gladly accepted (I will find this wire placed on the top of the compost heap the next time I visit, bless him).
By the time Griffnock and Kazoo join me I'm just about to take a lovely cup of tea. And it's made 1000% better by the bacon sandwich that they bring for me. Aces!
We get stuck into the weeds with great gusto and everyone has a wonderful time. Here is Little Dipper with a wondrous beastie.

Weeding and digging and digging and weeding. Here I am either pointing out something really interesting or screaming at Cockleshell because she's not working hard enough.

The last job I did was to plant the six raspberry canes and put a picket fence around them. I think it looks lovely with the little broken-brick wall that I did make in the morning behind it .

We were also given some potted gooseberry plants by Bob & John. We hadn't planned to grow any fruit but I'm quite pleased about it now. I think it will be a lovely addition.
So loads of jobs got done, we had some pub action, watched 'Grow Your Own' (G's verdict - Doin' The Schmaltz Waltz!) and had a lovely time out of doors.

What more can you wish for?