It's not over until the fat lady sings
My cheeks are cold. I've just taken the old dog out for a run under the crispy brown beech leaves. The chestnuts are rotting, the new crop is sprouting and as I hugged my tree I heard my voice shouting IT'S NOT OVER UNTIL THE FAT LADY SINGS.
They'll ne no joining in for me then.
As for self sufficiency. Wally Jopson, a retired milk man from The north east used to dig, plant, reap and sew for us. He loved the garden, we loved him, the garden used to be owned by a woman who grew every thing from carrots to rhubarb consequently the earth is dark brown, crumbly and magical., You don't need green fingers the earth does it for you.
Wally, planted, pruned and tended the crops then shared it between himself and us. A dinner comprising home-grown potatoes, carrots, peas and beans is - as you probably know - unbeatable. In fact I parted company with my Best Man when I saw the way he chopped into my new Maris Pipers. He revealed himself to be a man of aggressive leanings with vicious tendencies. I sent him packing never to prick my parsnips again.
I have several photographs of Wally with his foot on a fork, Wally with his cap on the back of his head holding up a bunch of perfectly formed beetroot, Wally kicking the dog off the onion patch. Shortly after the arrival of Jackson, 20 years ago, Wally left a note on the kitchen table.
'I'm not doin' your garden any more, I'm not having a dog pee all over me radishes.'
I cried for a week.
I had two women. GROWING CONCERN, who inspired me to create a comedy drama about them. They were neat and tidy until one of them ran off with the other ones husband. You couldn't have written it! Then I had two lovely Lesbians who made a path, dug a pond, gave me a fountain as a present after which they promptly left to open up a Post Office in Cumbria.
I employed a so-called gardener who turned out to be a professional bullcomposter.
Then I tried to do it myself - Yeah!
Well I like the outcome but I am Aries, which means, I can't bear things that don't happen instantly, are out of my control and, more importantly, don't do as they're told. After all my hard work, emptying the grass cuttings out of the wheelbarrow, picking up the leaves and pruning the roses those pesky plants had the temerity to GROW BACK.
I now have a young man called Dominic, who was gifted to me by my beautician.
Dom is hard working, if a little green round the bulbs. But he keeps my borders trimmed and my weeds down.
As for self sufficiency, I want chickens, a cow, a goat, three sheep and a Llama. Jim says 'No problem love'. But he' says he's booking himself on the next plane back to Leeds.
It's now time for Saturday, if I don't hurry up it'll be Sunday and then where will I be.
So keep up your tales of mow ( ing ) and I'll cul8tr
Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes
No self sufficency, sorry. My garden is a mess. The flowers are fine, but there's been no veg grown for 2 years. My cat kept eating the onions as they were growing, also the runner beans and peppers. He's an odd little cat.
When I worked at a day centre for mental health patients I used to run the gardening group. 8 people with schizoprenia and 12 with manic depression. And me. One guy stole most of the plants, one thought he was a chicken for a few days, (his meds were off) and one told me the voices in his mind were telling him that he didn't much like me anymore. He was saying this looking at me and leaning forward on his shovel. Considering he's about 6ft 5 and 18 stone, it made me a bit unsettled! Now you may think I'm being politically incorrect and unkind to people with these problems, but I'm not. We laughed and gardened together for 4 years, I made some intense friends and learned a massive amount from the ladies and gents who attended the centre, primarily, never judge anyone. There, but for the grace of God, yeah?
Jenni where are u and what are you doing? I sooooo miss Great food live. Have never watched the poseurs who replaced it. I long to see you on the TV again.