8 April 2011

My Favourite Things

I'm a woman of simple pleasures.

Lots of things come under the heading of "favourite things".

Digging for spuds, buried treasure of precious golden (mis)shapes. Apple blossom on my trees. Watering the garden late in a warm summer day, revelling in the fact that it doesn't really get dark at Mid-Summer and I can be out there at 11pm in near daylight, in near silence.

And listening to my iPod at the Allotment. I put in my earphones, and put on a playlist I have as my workout music when I'm at the gym. It's an eclectic, up-tempo, utterly personal mix of music tracks that I mentally - and sometimes physically - bop around to when I'm weeding and I hope nobody else is around to either notice or bother me. So I listen to things like Texas "I don't need a lover"; All About Eve "Every Angel"; Treacherous Orchestra; Muse; Dr and the Medics "Spirit in the Sky"; T-Rex "20th Century Boy"; REM "The One I Love"; Peatbog Fairies; etc etc. Very much a mish-mash of stuff I like and don't care if anyone else does. I love it and will potter for hours, lost in music (if you pardon the pun).

So this morning I spent a very happy hour or so at the allotment, listening to music, and sowing the first of the "April" seeds: beetroot and Cavalo Nero. I liked last year having flowers round the borders of the plot as they attracted bees and looked gorgeous, so this year I have more calendula (which I really must use to make into cream), red poppies and cornflowers. I ended up opening all the flower seed packets and emptying them into a bag, shaking it and then scattering the mix in the ground so that there's a really lovely mix of flowers. The neighbour across the path from us was there and, glory of glories, building a shed! The last owner of the plot had said she didn't want to put up a shed, she wanted, in time, to put up a greenhouse, much to our dismay because we were hoping that her shed would break the full blast of the wind and give ours some protection. For whatever reason she no longer tends the plot and the people who now do, have decided to put up a shed. We'll wait until it's built then see about repairing ours and re-setting it on the plinth it was blown from.

Back at the garden I've sown chamomile seeds - I love the scent of chamomile and I love chamomile tea. I suffer from periodic migraines and drinking the tea when I have one is immensely soothing. Again though, I really should do something with the flower heads beside tea, and make cream. It's a very healing and soothing herb, great for burns and soreness.

Also sown courgette seeds - I admit that neither of us really care for courgette. But a friend last year gave us a plant and it would have been rude to not have planted it, and if was a roaring success. We were harvesting courgettes on an almost daily basis from July to November. A food magazine contained a recipe for a courgette and garlic tart, and since it required courgettes and lots of eggs, it seemed like an ideal recipe for using up gluts of both. And it was delicious, really lovely. Moreover, it froze beautifully, so I was able to make up plenty lunches for work. This year, based on the success of the courgette, we're going to plant a couple of plants - to be honest I think they're a better crop for us than fennel which we grew very successfully, then decided we really didn't like the aniseed taste and had about 30 fennel plants to get through...

Not sure whether there will be much planting tomorrow: we have to go to Stirling Farmers Market and pick up pigs' cheeks from Puddledub, and, since today has been gloriously sunny and warm, tomorrow is forecast to be misty and cool along the Forth.

If nothing else, it's nice to feel that I'm on top of things... How long do I leave if before I regret saying that?!!

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