Archive for February, 2013

Soilman meets soiled man

Something unusual happened to me today.

This has nothing to do with vegetable growing, so not germane to this blog. But I feel the need to share.

I was on the London Underground at about 7am. A pleasant looking blond young man boarded our carriage. He wore only a cotton t-shirt (surprising, given the freezing weather today), but in all other respects he looked like a personable chap. He had the agreeably muscled, well-groomed look of an urban homosexual who takes care of himself.

It quickly became obvious that he was drunk. Very drunk.

He mumbled and moaned, uttered semi-coherent unfinished sentences, tried to engage his fellow travellers in disjointed conversation and generally made a vague but unthreatening nuisance of himself. So far, so banal. This is London. Drunk clubbers on early morning trains are not unusual.

What followed next, however, was rather unusual: the luckless young man shat himself. In full view. Lavishly.

It was really a most arresting sight. A brown stain spread sideways from the backside of his jeans into the seat and down his legs. Liquid shit began to drip out of the bottom of one trouser leg. At the same time, a ghastly and noisome aroma radiated outward, quickly rendering the atmosphere unbearable.

The young man seemed oblivious to all this. Not so the other four occupants of the carriage, who swapped silent and oh-so-British glances of wild surmise. Oddly, given what we were all witnessing, this was the most extraordinary part of the drama – the exquisite intensity of a look between strangers that expresses an eloquence of meaning ten thousand words could never achieve.

I got off at the next stop and moved to a neighbouring carriage. That’s an act nobody can follow.

Posted on 22nd February 2013
Under: Rants | 7 Comments »

Back and not really loving it

Hello – er, I’m back. I think.

God, where did the time go? Can’t believe it’s been so long. Certainly can’t believe the state of my vegetable plot, which is primordial. I hadn’t been for three months until yesterday… and I got a horrible shock.

Reason for this extended absence is obviously the Works, which didn’t finish until shortly before Christmas. But also the not doing the allotment – the not going, the not digging, the not weeding, the not spending hours and hours a week there – has been oddly addictive.

I’ll be honest: I didn’t want to go back. I DON’T want to go back.

Having run a large (a very large) vegetable plot for six years without a break, I’d lost sight of how much time it was costing me, and how much energy it was sucking out of me.

Having had some time away – and enjoyed it – I’ve realised that I need to moderate my time on the plot if I’m going to continue enjoying it. The 12 months to August 2012 were, if I’m honest, pretty miserable. It didn’t help that we had the shittest of shitty seasons last year. But I was also fighting the clock every week, desperately trying to fit in an hour’s digging here, 20 mins weeding there. When I wasn’t at the plot, I was feeling guilty about it. When I was, I was in a hurry and resenting it.

Somehow, this has to change. I need more quality time with my vegetables.

Any suggestions?

Posted on 9th February 2013
Under: Uncategorized | 9 Comments »