DAY 39: Tues 21 April

The greening of The Gulch

Up early and downstairs before 8, but still a slow start. So many things to do that it takes ages to decide which to take on first.

Do you really want to know about another day in the garden? Or what the chickens are up to?

I’ll keep it brief. Breakfast over, it was washing out and the lawn mowed. The chickens watched disinterestedly but then scoured the remnant of the lawn for goodies.

Checking all my seedling pots today its quite clear that a few have decided not to appear this year. In their place mustard plants are rampant, with dill and parsley coming a close second.

Meanwhile I decide to cultivates ‘The Gulch’. This is a ‘subterranean’ area beside and beneath my patio, alongside the downstairs loo. I have had it covered over with a perspex roof and mainly use it for storage – logs, straw for chicken etc.. 

It’s main feature are the protruding slabs of craggy rock on which the house was built. They are reached by uneven ‘dinosaur steps’, as my grandsons call them. Beside them there is a depression in the rocks where I did try to develop a water feature once, but the rocks are porous.

This year I have planted five tomatoes plants there as an experiment, along with some more runner beans and courgettes in a small bed at the bottom of the steps. The chickens have never discovered this place so, providing I remember to water the beds regularly, we could have some produce among the ferns and blackberry brambles which normally populate The Gulch.

The bench I set up outside the house proved helpful this evening when a dogwalker with what I imagine is an alcohol problem took a rest and supped from bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag…

Always glad to be of assistance. I recently posted a list of helplines on the community noticeboard opposite the bench.

By the evening I was dirty, sweaty and smelly, even to myself having rounded off the day watering the front garden, donating some books to the Lockdown Library a couple have created in their front garden nearby, and printing and delivering 50 colouring-in sheets for local children taking part in the latest Winter Wonderland scheme.

I still hadn’t had time for a shower when my grandsons were ready for the next chapter of The Master, later than usual. And then it was time to watch the final episode of A Mother’s Son, harrowing though the story was I found it rather disappointing, but it was good to see Paul McGann back in action.

I had to freeze the programme while I heated up a ratatouille and chilli vegan pie, so I missed the meteor shower I understood would happen at 10ish, only to discover that it will not happen until midnight… Perhaps I’ll have had a shower by then.

Mike J

Journalist, trainer, editor; storyteller; amateur historian.

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