Plots, Squalls and Charity

I had a friend, let’s call him Steve (why not? His parents did) who was a marvellous storyteller. Steve, at one point in his often-job-changing life had worked as a welder on a North Sea oil rig. He came back, to the pub, as usual, with a wealth of stories. About the former U.S. marine sergeant who had banished his “roommates” from the four bunk cabin to sleep in the corridors. About how the service boats used computer-satellite links to keep them in position when they were delivering pipe. About the load that fell from the crane then bounced off decking and missed killing a whole repair crew because they all were in the head (that’ll be toilets to you and I then) before finding their marble-run to the high swells of the moody sea, always visible (and slightly nausea-invoking) through chequer board grill p deck plates.
About a squall moving so quickly across the sea, and him not knowing what the klaxon meant, that he had to rope himself to a steel rail with his welding hose … and after the quick-fierce thing had passed was, quite literally frozen to the metal.
Well, squalls like that have made the Charity Gardens Open day today a bit of, let’s face it, a quiet day.
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Committee members turned up and waited through the day, making endless brews and snacking on broken biscuits.
Directions in the programme – which lists properties taking part were not, er, well, not direct in our case (our first year of joining the scheme), but ingenuity sorted that out, with our own signs.
Twelve visitors braved the weather – and told us how much they enjoyed the time, how tidy the allotments were and how surprised they were that the site was so big (or, in one case that it was there at all!).
The winds battered blackberry plants into submission (no easy feat!), shook runner bean canes and carried the rain horizontally at some points. At times it was possible to see the Wrekin (tradition says that weather travels from the Wrekin to our site in about thirty minutes). Today it seemed faster than that.

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Money raised by the event goes to Katharine’s House Hospice – and we were all glad to have joined in. The little money that we raised will help, we hope.
But in the meantime there was time for banter, inevitable discussion about crop varieties, and just talking about the world: politicians, the Iron Curtain, the Cold War, extradition, coffee, schools, what it takes to be a magistrate, Plimsoll lines on ships (is it TF (tropical fresh) at the top and WNA (Winter North Atlantic) on the bottom or the other way round?
We came away with a few extra books, a whole lot colder – though not frozen to any metal – and having agreed to share leeks and melon plants.
Wimbledon next week: so I am guessing the squalls will stay for a while.

23/6/2013

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Well it simply has to rain next week for Wimbledon so nothing new there then !

    Reply

  2. UP-date: between us we raised just over £500, pleased to be part of that.

    Reply

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