Old Swedes and Drying Winds

So the Sochi Winter Olympics is over and I am somehow unaccountably proud of the medals we won – and wondering in what kind of Alf-Tupper way the athletes trained, but bless ‘em any road up. Jenny Jones has my respect and Lizzie Yarnold too; she looks and sounds so normal… how does that work?


By the digression way: is there anybody else out there thinking that curling is similar to old-school marbles on ice with big smooth chunks of granite ?

And the heavy, persistent rain is giving way to warmer days, the sun staying in our skies for a few minutes longer each day, and noticeably so too.

Fees are paid for the new year on the allotments, so there are fewer credible excuses and every reason to get up there and, er,  well work I suppose. In my case: moving various manures onto the compost heap (warming up nicely now thank you), cutting back a hedge and laying an –almost – straight slab path and digging over a patch of ground that had swedes (or maybe turnips?), beetroot and shallots growing in it. A week ago the ground was truly water-logged, but today it is dry, workable and friable. The spade shines in the sunlight and cuts the trenches easily. Fairly new spade with an old fashioned grip; comfortable to work with – and that’s important! The shed door, repairs to which are on the to-do list, swings in the wind. So does my put-off shirt – horizontally.


I enjoy the routine of digging, the rhythm and exercise, but break off every now and then to gather handfuls of compost worms that have found succour beneath the big globes of swedes. They are dropped under the compost bin covers. Meanwhile a robin can be heard singing in the hedgerow, but does not venture out to take worms and exposed leatherjackets from my labours. The potatoes that are chitting up into the downstairs loo at the moment will be going in this stretch of ground eventually.

I stop turning soil once I reach the wood chip mulch around the edges of the fruit cage that is leaning a la Cirque de Soleil but the  digging is  a job well done and I come away as the sun starts to sink feeling pleased and thinking about planting seeds.

Image: Lizzie Yarnold www.dailymail.com


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