“There is a curse. They say: May you live in interesting times” – Terry Pratchett
I haven’t written anything on here in a long time. I’m not sure why that is. Various reasons I think – a busy life, illness, a garden that is just too tempting to be ignored… I have been spending a lot of time reading instead. I have read fascinating blogs, articles and opinion pieces from all sorts of people around the world. I have read about my friends’ travels and have actually started taking an interest in the news again, for the first time in a very long while. It would seem that we live in interesting times.
About the most interesting thing to happen around here is my new cucamelon plant. This I obtained at great expense from the botanical hothouse of one Dr Frankenstein. I do not know the gentleman in question but I am assured that it shall grow magical fruits of great wonder, that will bestow upon me awesome powers of superhuman ability. I’m hoping for either super strength or the ability to shape-shift but time will tell. At the very least my loud protestations of “but you just don’t seem to be that interested in the cucamelons!” and my husband’s dry rejoinder of “that’s because I’m not” has afforded the neighbours some amusement.
I never mean to grow vegetables in my garden. It just sort of happens to me. Things self-seed and I can’t bear to get rid of them or I visit the garden centre for some cheap plant food but instead walk out with 3 different types of courgette, 2 cucumber plants and 5 packets of “interesting” looking seeds.
I tell myself that it’s silly really. I live in a rented property and making a proper veg patch isn’t an option. I haven’t time for an allotment so make do the best I can with pots and whatever I can sneak into the borders without the local snail population noticing. (The population whom, I am convinced, hold their annual general meeting among my salad leaves) By the time I’ve paid for the seedlings, soil and plant food the cost works out more expensive than if I’d just bought the vegetables from the supermarket. I try to get around this by only keeping unusual varieties or things that taste much better home-grown, but it’s still an expensive hobby.
The trouble is, I just can’t resist the lure of the dream. The dream of living on my own little hobbit smallholding in the woods somewhere and being completely self-sufficient. The dream of a magic, endless supply of delicious vegetables. The thrill of getting something for free. The oh-so-smug satisfaction of being able to say “why yes, I did grow those cucamelons myself, thanks for asking. Yes, they did grant me my powers of telekinesis. No, you can’t have one”.