Tuesday 21 October 2008

If I did housework...

... all the time I spend at the allotment, I would be Anthea Turner's Perfect Housewife, and my husband would shower me with gratitude.

However, we cannot all be perfect, so I must content myself with being the allotment's "whirlwind" and take pleasure in the extremely limited domestic glory that the title provides...

Quick visit to the allotment, community feeling.

It was such a good day today that I could not resist going out of the office dot on the hour and pop in to the allotment, where I met my new neighbour: Keith, who is a newbie but will have his green-fingered wife's contribution. Actually, I discovered that I have two new neighbours: Keith in the bottom half and another guy (the angel out of my dreams who felled the tree) at the top.

And I realised that my nickname of "whirlwind" has stuck, and fellow holders are still talking about me in those terms. I must say it is flattering, I pride myself in being "a doer", although I would not know about actually being a "whirlwind". The nickname originated when in a matter of a month or so I built both the greenhouse and the shed. Well, I needed them, I hoped to set everything up before the planting season (but I ended up running late anyway).

It is nice that people bother to stick nicknames onto you, it creates a community feeling. I bet it's Nikki and Tom that spread the word, they are so nice and friendly and have spent a lot of time chatting with me, advising, helping me identify plants, sharing cuttings etc. They themselves are nicknamed something like "the farmers" as they are very organised, very meticolous and have a very professionally-looking greenhouse.

Other characters are Geoff (who has three plots, considerable experience and I dare say a very respectable age besides a generous attitude) and the lawyer (I do not know his name, but he is there most evenings and has even gone some lenghts to greet me in Italian!).

Those are the people that I meet more often, then there are some that I meet occasionally, as my other neighbour Tony, Jean the allotment manager, the guy who looks a bit like Robert Redford and whose accent I do not understand, Claire (who got the allotment this summer, after some hankering), the Scottish lady whose orderly plot I really admire...

A lot of us are newbies, and it seems that there are more and more people in their late thirties to early forties. Sometimes there are kids playing on the path, or helping out and some dogs as well (very controversial topic, that of the dogs, as it can be argued that they are not overly hygienic besides devastating seed beds and seedlings, albeit occasionally and unwittingly).

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