In which I get a bit Alan Titchmarsh


Last weekend was a Weekend of Gigs –  in twenty four hours I managed to attend three separate live music events.  Considering that I normally average about one per year, this was pretty good going.  All of them were very different too – from a legendary bhangra star to bands just starting out – but the contrast made me enjoy them all the more.

The one thing they did all had in common was that I couldn’t understand most of the words in the songs (although one gig was entirely in Punjabi, which probably accounts for it) – is this a sign that I’m getting old?  Am I now going to start complaining the my legs ache and what I’d really like is a sit down, a nice cup of tea and a look at the television?

This trend is continuing with the interest I’m taking in our garden.  Gardening, let’s face it, tends to be an activity that your parents and grandparents are into, whereas hip young trendy things like S and me should be out sipping Cosmopolitans in bars and staying out til 6am.  Yet I can feel my garden exerting an irresistible pull.  Come and tend me, it’s saying, I’m just as important as installing a free standing bath and painting your front door a vibrant shade of blue! You know you want to come out her and create a veg patch and become one of those annoying, smug people who claim that they never need to buy salad leaves in the supermarket!

Now that the house is finished, S and I do seem to be at a bit of a loose end and so have turned our attentions to what is in essence a concrete blank canvas.  We’re lucky in that we inherited a shed load (boom boom!) of plants in pots when my parents moved from a house to a flat, which have been doing a sterling job of brightening it up in the summer and providing some interest, but there’s a lot more that can be done.

We’ve started by painting the walls white, which makes a huge difference – suddely our little patch in the West Country looks all Mediterranean!  Well, as continental as you’re going to get in Knowle.  I also got a bit carried away in Wilkinson’s garden section and ended up buying rocket, courgette and sweetcorn seeds.  I enthusiastically (yet probably lacking horticultural expertise) planted these in some pots a fortnight ago, and have been eagerly monitoring their progress out of the kitchen window.  I never thought that I would get so into the whole garden thing, but it’s incredibly satisfying to plant seeds and watch them develop – I am really in awe of the fact that you get a shrivelled up little brown thing, you poke into some earth, and then, by some miracle of nature, it sprouts and grows and becomes a thing that you can actually eat!  Basic stuff, I know, Biology 101, but there’s something magical about it when it’s happening in your own back garden.

I am pleased to report that the rocket has sprung up very nicely, with lots of little seedlings all vying for attention.  The courgettes are giving it their best, but the sweetcorn has yet to make an appearance.  Maybe it’s worried about swine flu.


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