The pond is back

16 Feb

I had no yen to go to the allotment on Tuesday, so maybe my ardour is cooling already. This morning I had an alarm clock malfunction which meant I inadvertently got the entire house up at 6am. It was only when my oldest sat grumpily down at the table to eat breakfast that I realised it was still only 6.30, far too early! So by the time 9am came around it felt like it had already been a long day. That coupled with the fact we drank a bit of wine the night before meant I did not feel all clippity cloppity heading down the allotment. Whilst drinking the wine I found myself thinking oh God, I have to go back there, to that place and dig. That place where the only sweet thing going for it is the sound of bird song . But dig I did.

The first half hour crept by, not helped by obsessive watch-peeking and the promise of a ten o’clock tea break. I tried not to be put off by the fact the pond had reappeared despite emptying two sacks of sand and one sack of compost into it to aid drainage (pea shingle is the next thing to try apparently). After a slow start in which I mumbled many quiet expletives I did get back into it, the enthusiasm returned fuelled by the idea of growing your own. I finished our first row. Then I busied myself with hand pulling up weeds that have taken over the side of our plot as it dawned on me we are responsible for the upkeep of the edges as well as the muddy beds. Even though I swore to investigate how much petrol strimmers cost when returning home this simple untaxing task felt like a small reward after the digging of clay riddled heavy soil.

return of pond

It isn’t putting the fork in that’s hard, it’s the flipping it over I struggle with. I always have, on every single forkful of earth that I turn over, one resounding thought: thank God there are no witnesses to see my pathetic attempts at digging,  wobbling around in my stupid pink boots, I would surely be hastily disowned by the sisterhood. Pulling up weeds by hand is a doddle compared to that and every few minutes I get to amble to the makeshift bonfire area nearby that Tony and his mate use, which breaks the monotony. Anything you don’t want gets piled high and about once a week he sets light to it with gusto. He has accidentally torched the odd tree in his time during these impromptu bonfire sessions so if I could just wish for anything regarding the plot, along with the disappearance (for good this time)  of the pond, it would be that our shed were not quite so close to Tony’s bonfire pile.

Then I bumped into the man himself who told me I shouldn’t bother pulling up weeds by hand because when he rotovates the land he will chop all that down. It’s difficult because how do you say to someone kindly offering help, well come on then, hurry up. Either do it or don’t but stop tantalising me with the promise of your rotovator like some get-out-of-digging-for-free card every time we meet. Our conversation gave me the added bonus of making me feel almost guilty for continuing to pull up my weeds, as though this act alone showed a deep mistrust of his offers of help and why not? The offer was first made ten months before. I furtively continued to pull up my weeds for a few more minutes but I could already feel that short lived burst of enthusiasm eluding me once more. So I finally sat down to my reward flask of tea and listened to the bird song.

finished row

Our first finished bed (with pond!)


One Response to “The pond is back”

  1. Gill February 26, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    Great writing and photos again my love! The thought of all that work sounds even worse in the heat of Perth – high 30s all day every day! Though I realise it’s still winter at home of course! Tony sounds a great if annoying character! XX

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