Sep 20
2018

Top Plot

I like Autumn. I look forward to a long brutal winter that freezes the ground and makes gardening impossible. But the season also reminds me of a strange happening five years ago. Dad and I won first prize in our town’s In Bloom competition for best allotment. I didn’t fess up at the time and […]

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Aug 13
2018

Currant affairs

The recent heatwave has defeated many plot holders at our allotments, especially those farthest from the taps. Broad beans have gone black and onions have been overpowered by the soil turning to concrete around them. Currants and berries however, have flourished to the point where preparing them for eating or freezing feels like one of […]

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Mar 23
2018

Sir Dad

Dad has a bad leg. Perhaps that’s only to be expected when you are 94 and three quarters. In a good mood, Dad will say this himself. But struggling to walk and being dependent on others to regularly bathe and bandage ‘the rotting member’ as he calls it, hasn’t improved his incidence of good moods. […]

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Jun 29
2017

Of leeks and potatoes

As well as being excellent soup ingredients, leeks and potatoes are surprisingly versatile in the reproductive area. I don’t mean they’re an aphrodisiac: Mr Mandy Sutter rarely becomes raunchy after ploughing his way through a vast pile of mash. What I mean is that these clever veg have more than one way to ensure the survival […]

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May 2
2017

Rustic woodwork

The Reluctant Gardener has been on a woodwork course. It was great even though it turned out to be for people with mental health problems. I suppose I should have guessed when the application form asked me if the course would help me cope better with daily life. But writers are compelled to craft careful […]

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