Lexie Conyngham's Blog: writing, history and gardening.

Friday, 1 March 2013

The earth is calling!

Back to Allotment Major on Tuesday to dig the second half of my hotbed. Bucket of fresh compostables, bag of wood and paper ash from the stove, bundle of cardboard, and knapsack with flask, all on the top deck of the bus. It's funny how I so often have a seat to myself on that bus ... Anyway, dig a hole, tip the stuff in, and cover over with the spoil. Then try to cover it with old horticultural fleece which has frozen not just to the top layer of earth but also to the rocks which held it in place. The plan is that this will produce sweetcorn and courgettes in abundance this summer - well, I saw a field of maize in the shire last summer, and N&D have been known to grow it as far north as Edinburgh. Obviously I can grow it on an exposed site in the north east of Scotland.

It was a dazzling, frosty day, when the sun caught a yellowhammer on the telephone wires and made it electric bright, and blinded me so I couldn't see the geese I could hear. Three perfect young roe deer ventured out on to the grass from the wood, antlers soft and downy.

The ground was not so frozen as the day I dug the first half of the (so-called) hot bed - then you could lift whole tops off the beds by inserting a spade at one corner and lifting.

Seeds and seed potatoes have arrived, it's the first official day of spring, the sun is shining and the garden and allotments are calling. I'm trying some new techniques this year, involving collecting rotting wood - more interesting things to take on the bus!

So many other things are calling too, though: house cleaning now the sunlight is showing up the dust; knitting, beading, and all those other too tempting crafts; the actual paying jobs; a whole heap of books; and of course writing. I can't say I'm entirely happy with the way it's going: I'm not sure if one would call it a complex plot or just messy, or whether the mess is in my mind (which has far, far too many things going on in it). Is it just a duff book, or is this pre-publication black dog? I'm not in a position to judge!

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