A week or so ago I went out into the vegetable garden (a posh name for a scrappy piece of ground at the back of the house, with a tangle of strawberries overgrown with mint, 4 raspberry canes, some chives and parsley + a single lonely onion left over from last season – oh, and the occasional potato dug up in surprise!) and I began to enlarge one of the beds ready for planting this year’s potato crop.
Now, the thing about a bad chest infection is that it makes you cough a lot. And the trouble with coughing a lot is that you pull all the muscles round your lungs and stomach.  And you damage all the soft tissue in your upper body.  So digging in the vegetable patch isn’t great.
Half an hour of the above and I had to lie down.
‘This isn’t going to get the spuds in,’ quoth I.  And set myself to thinking.  (How long will it be before OV takes pity on me and picks up a fork? Oh no, that’s not fair – he’s SO busy right now.  etc. etc.)
In conversation at the Library Tea Pot book group, later in the week, exchanging gardening horrors (you know how it is!) dear P said ‘We have a wonderful machine.  Borrow it.  It will go through the soil like a hot knife through butter.’   I put up a weak defence of course – you know, the ‘surely you don’t want to trust me with your machinery?  Are you sure?  Oh thank you.  Yes please.’ approach to things.  Then came the negotiation about when I could borrow it.  ‘I’ll have to ask M (husband) to check if he’s lending it to anyone else.  Give me a ring when you get home.’  So I did.
Readers, That Machine came With M Attached to it!  Yes – the man and the machine!!   I didn’t have to lift a finger (in fact I was out when it all happened)  He was wonderful! (Mind you, he didn’t know what he was letting himself in for and I doubt he’d ever let himself in for such a punishing task again… but I kiss his feet! – not literally – but any gardener who has wrestled with a bed of weeds and felt they would never win, will know exactly how I feel!)
So, yesterday, despite a keen north wind, I was out there planting my potatoes (which had been madly chitting in the utility room and risked destruction every time I put something out there for recycling) and my onions.  I look out of the kitchen window at the beautifully tilled tilth with its rows of marks where the planting has been done and I glow with pleasure.  AND it rained in the night too.  What perfection!
I legged it round to M with a thank you note and a token gift of Divine chocolate – more for the sake of the name on it than anything else.  After all, he was divinely generous with his time and muscle.
And how I shook my fist at those jackdaws which flocked on to the patch pecking at the pests and mucking up my straight lines! (But then eco-gardening never does work in straight lines does it?)
Have fun in your garden!  (And may your M equivalent be there when you need him / her!)

About apthomas

I love books, reading, writing, baking, chocolate, painting, sewing, people and fairtrade - not necessarily in that order. I am a lazy gardener - who loves the garden, and a lazy housewife who likes the place to be warm and welcoming. I live in beautiful Somerset. I am enslaved by Sherpa-the-cat. Saturday mornings find me 'playing shop' in the Honey Pot - a second hand bookshop, run from my garage, where along with the books you'll find fun, friendship and refreshments - all in a good cause.
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