This blog is of course named after Jarrow's allotments, and I've been itching to get back to earth, work and location permitting. The last allotment I had, the third one, in West Kilbride, was fun whilst it lasted. In fact, I remember thinking, if nothing else, I've taught myself to dig an irrigation ditch.
But it was always a bit too far away, and it needed a lot of work which I couldn't give it, working away from home so much at that time. I hope someone with a good back took it over and got all the stones out, and I like to think that whatever else happened, it's properly drained now.
But with the (imminent) move to Glasgow, there are four sites within a couple of miles cycling, and I'm getting my name onto waiting lists. I'm told that cycling and hard gardening is the best exercise at my age, and I certainly need it stuck at this feckin laptop and thinking all day.
I spoke to the Old Man on the phone and he's been faithfully keeping my tools safe for me: an African hoe I brought back from Libya, (never see them used in Europe), and a very posh spade, passed to my Aunty Mabel by a neighbour who worked for South Tyneside council, and which we reckon had the shiny looks of the spade kept by to turn the first sod at the site of a new school by the Mayor, or some other twat, whilst someone from the Shields Gazette took a photo. How the neighbour came by it is a case of least-said-soonest-mended.
I've also got a coffee jar half full of papaver somniferum seeds from the Second Allotment, the one I shared with the Old Man. They've been in the jar for years, and smelt a bit ripe when I checked them the other day, but poppy seeds are notoriously robust, so we'll wait and see. Pig Sty Avenue comes to Glasgow.