Thursday, 24 April 2008

Honkjazz Suffers A Lack Of News (unless you're really into musical theatre)

Now I know how they feel on Sky News when there really is frack-all going on. The weather has been so poor down here that practically nothing has been done on the plot for weeks now. It seems as though the elements have something of a rude-boy sense of humor. The weekdays have been glorious. Looking out of the office window at clear blue skies, blasting sunshine and people wandering around without a care in the world.
And the weekends?

We did get up the allotment a couple of weeks ago, during a rare moment of NOT COLD RAIN and managed to plant some potatoes and some onions. I'll let Herb explain exactly what varieties of vegetable we planted because I can't remember. Deal with it.
So Herbert planted them vegetables.
In the ground. It was a proud, proud moment.
The team is sound. We work well.
See? Like Cagney & Lacey, Statler & Waldorf, Touche & Dum Dum.
I would post the pictures of H popping the FIRST THINGS EVER into the ground that aren't the raspberry canes or the gooseberry cuttings but I'm not allowed for legal reasons. And no, that isn't a poor attempt to hide my pitiful photographic skills. I'd never hide my pitiful photographic skills. I know how much y'all love them!


The boy done good. And now the science part is his. I'm just the schlepper. Herbert is the real brains. And remember, go and listen to/download/dance to his mad mixes.

So last weekend was in my sights. Oh yeah. We'd already filled up three of the finished plots and still had a whole bag of Something Or Other potatoes left to plant so I needed to get my skates on. And Saturday it rained all day long so that was another one lost.
When I woke up on Sunday it was good. I decided to beat the weather and start early. At 1pm (hee) I started to dig the SuperStrong weeds that had appeared in the perfectly weeded plots. Yeah, thanks for that Mother Nature.
Anyway, I had to get stuck into the last bit of plot 4 because Herb has got the seeds ready and time won't hang around but I wasn't feeling too good to be honest. The day before had been so rainy and dreary that I actually got out of bed at 10am, put on my dressing gown and didn't take it off FOR THE ENTIRE DAY AND NIGHT. And it was totally awesome. Seriously, I spent about 16 hours in a dressing gown and felt great about it.
I planted my fork into the ground and felt a wave of lethargy flood over me. I turned the earth over (just about) and was ready to give in if I'm being honest with you. I just had no energy or passion for the whole thing.
As I looked at the newly broken clump of earth I contemplated going back to bed. Bed. Warm bed. Duvet. Bed. Warm. Rest. Bed.
And then.............

He'd popped along to see if he could have some fresh worms. To my utter amazement he sat on my boot. It was a really beautiful moment. A Red Robin sat on my shoe. He (might be a she) looked up at me and I gave him the nod so he helped himself to a few worms and bugs. When I took this photograph on my phone Rob (as I call him/her/it) was about 2 ft away from me. He hopped around plot number 4 for a bit, completely oblivious to me before fluttering off to feed his/her kids/birdies/whatever. All of a sudden I felt the energy. I mean it folks, I felt the buzz. Suddenly I was ready for action, full of beans, nothing could stop this digging machine! My mission was clear! I had to plow on! Had to meld with the earth, with nature, with the elements. Complete my task. I had to work.
So a cup of tea and a sandwich later I was ready to go.
(like you didn't see that one coming huh?)
I started digging bed 4 again.
And, oh, hello.......

Fat Rob's back.
And again, he just hops around the plot,
flitting in between my feet, looking up at me, sadly not mistaking couch grass roots for worms (they do look very similar) and generally making me feel brilliant.
So I dug.
And dug.
And dug.

Slowly. For some reason I couldn't get a proper head of steam up but it was cool and I felt great. There were dark gray clouds on the horizon anyway so I figured I didn't have long left.

Rob came back to visit about five times in all. Each time he reappeared I'd grab my phone/camera and plant my left boot down on the freshly turned soil hoping that he'd decide to hop on again. It really was the best thing ever and I desperately wanted him to do it again. But it wasn't to be repeated.
So the 4th time Rob flew down to fetch food for the kids (like it's some avian farmer's market - plot 34 for worms, plot 11 for berries, etc) I pleaded with him. He turned his little beaky snout-beak-thing up to me and started to whistle a cheery melody.
I joined in, harmonizing beautifully and exchanging knowing and totally innocent glances at key points in the song. Looking down I saw a little, wild rabbit at my feet, he joined in on the chorus. Then a beautiful fawn bounced along and added falsetto.
Together we picked out the weeds, turned over the soil and emptied the wheelbarrow as we sang. A little dance here and there. Sh*t got done. And all to a merry, hummable and sprightly tune!
It was a great Disney moment and if Audrey Hepburn had popped up and started singing along I wouldn't have been surprised in the slightest bit. I also wouldn't have told Herbert because he'd have broken my neck in a jealous fury. I can't believe that my camera malfunctioned at that exact moment or I'd surely have recorded the event just for you.
This is the last shot I took.

Talking of Herb, he called whilst I was taking this shot. Amazingly the awful and very loud operatic ring-tone didn't bother Fat Rob at all. So Herbert asked me how long I'd be on the plot for. I looked at the slowly approaching rain-clouds in the distance. My eyes narrowed slightly as I looked at the sky around me. I took in a good lungful of air, tasting the earth and the wind, knowing what was coming and what had been. I assumed my best John-Locke-out-of-Lost-about-to-say-something-mystical-or-predict-the-weather-to-within-30-seconds look and said, "There is one hour before the rain."
The call finished. I planted my fork into the earth.
And straight away it started to rain. John Locke my ass.
Again. Like you didn't see that one coming.
So the rain sent me home. And that's that. Hopefully I'll be there this weekend, trying to work off a terrible cold. But I'll probably be in bed suffering too much. Bound to bed and sofa, looking out of the window.
While outside the sun shines........