Allotment stories: greenhouse at our Yorkshire allotment

Broken sightline

Last year, a romance at our allotments suffered a setback.

The blossoming affair between Harry and the Lady of Shallot was stymied by an unfortunate erection.

A plastic greenhouse appeared on the next plot that broke the all important sight line between them.

The Lady considered moving, but being an old-fashioned girl (1833) she decided it was up to rainbow-fingered Harry to make the first move.

At the time, Mr Mandy Sutter, who seemed to know how Harry’s mind worked, advised me not to hold my breath. But, incurable romantic that I am, I never stopped hoping.

However, that hope took a terrible knock on my most recent visit to the allotments.

Harry is stationed on a corner. I walk past him on the way to our plot. All year I have searched his face for clues as to how things stand between him and the Lady. All in vain because as noted before, Harry is master of the poker face. He would, it seems, rather die than express so much as a flicker of emotion.

Allotment blog humour - Harry the scarecrow

Lost face

I have come to accept this. Even so, when as usual I tried to catch his eye in passing, it was a shock to find that he’d taken his stubborn unresponsiveness to a whole new level.

His face was missing. I did a quick reccy of his plot, peering under the shed, wondering for moment if he was just saving face, and that it was hidden nearby, safe and sound. But it was nowhere to be seen.

He had obviously become so afraid of losing face that he had, well, lost his face.

My fears were all for the Lady and how she might be taking this. I hurried to our plot, nearly going arse over tit on the path, turned to a quagmire by recent snow and slush.

If the state of affairs on Harry’s plot made me blink, the Lady’s plight made me gasp aloud.

My worst fears were realised. The twists and turns of this fated love affair had taken their toll: she had lost her head.

Gardening stories: headless

Grinning up

It lay a little distance from her body, grinning up at the merciless sky.

With another shock, I saw that her torso was also affected. It was no exaggeration to describe her as a broken woman.

It was hard to know what to do first. I ran around lamenting.

Dog MS thought it was a game and started chewing the Lady’s head. I shooed her away, and gave her a Savoy cabbage  to practice her paramedic skills on.

Allotment blog humour: Lady of Shallot

A broken woman

I crouched down next to the Lady and took her hand. She had taken off her Baco-foil ring, the charming symbol of Harry’s devotion, and thrown it onto the compost heap. Who could blame her?

Words were inadequate in the face of such disaster. Cliches were all I could summon.

‘You’ve had a bad knock. But you’ll come back stronger.’

‘A man without a heart isn’t a man at all.’

‘We can store your head in the shed and make you a new body out of a broom handle.’

Cold comfort when one’s heart is broken, I know.

But it would have to do. At least for now.