Allotment life

Tomorrow I have to do one of those things that goes with my ‘real’ job – standing up in front of a couple of dozen people taking a creative writing class. So last night, as well as preparing my various papers and information, I did that thing that ladies have to do, which used to be called ‘grooming’ (a term that now applies only to dogs). And it came as a bit of a shock.

I have five broken fingernails, mainly from planting things in our somewhat stony plot, or pulling out weeds. On my left leg there are four wheelbarrow bruises, from resting it against my thigh while I tip it up (bad habit, must learn not to do it) and on my right ankle a lovely range of bramble scratches. My face and arms are burnt brown by the sun, even though I wear a good sunblock, and yet the rest of me is lily white (where it isn’t bruises or scratches). Put it this way – I wouldn’t want to shake my rough, scratched hand and can’t imagine anybody else would either.

Yes, I should wear gloves, but gloves don’t let you feel the condition of the soil and are useless when you’re teasing out tiny seedling roots into a planting hole. Yes, I shouldn’t use myself as a fulcrum for the wheelbarrow and yes, thicker trousers would probably have dealt with the brambles. But I’m an allotment holder, that’s what I do, and no matter how often I tell myself I’m going to be careful, when I’m on the plot I immediately plunge into the dirtiest jobs with insane abandon.

So my poor students will be taught by somebody who looks like a daughter of the soil and I hope they don’t mind, because I know I won’t change …

… and anyway, on my way to class I just have to nip up to the plot and dig up some potatoes!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Friday, July 4, 2008


Blogger Matron said...

I agree with you about the bare hands gardening, but it just plays havoc with my nails!

July 7, 2008 at 1:57 AM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Nails, what nails? But then, who cares when you're looking at a basket full of new potatoes or fresh peas ...

July 7, 2008 at 4:11 AM  

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