Yesterday, I grabbed a lovely couple of hours at the allotment. There was more digging of the long bed to be done but I'm pleased to report I'm now on the last third of it. The resident robin bobbed about nearby, on the look out for any worms, so when I sadly chopped one in half (and I was genuinely sad about it), I threw him the pieces and he darted off with his takeaway lunch.
Which reminds me, my Mum recently told my niece about the legend that robins are the spirit of departed loved ones, come back to check on you. Pause. "I don't think Grandad is a robin," niece said thoughtfully. "I think he's a pigeon."
Which has made us all laugh for weeks, every time we see a pigeon.
It was good to be up there, with only a scattering of other people around, tending their own plots. The "You want a weed killer on that" man was there, hands in pockets, shuffling about his plot and stopping everyone who walked past to say "Werrrllll, I haven't seen so-and-so for aaaages. He's prah'bly quit." You may imagine that he is a bundle of joy wrapped in a holey jumper with a bad, slightly Hitler-ish moustache to bristle at things.
Also up there were the Descriptive Couple. They like to allotment loudly, telling each other what they're doing. "So, I'm putting in the broad beans while you weed around the onions, right?" "Yes! And then I'll prune the raspberries while you turn the compost." "This is all great fun, look I've found a millipede!" When they got their plot, they smeared mud on their cheeks and danced around, hugging each other. They are adorable but not peaceful.
And there was me, digging, sitting with a coffee, pruning, sitting with a coffee, picking up the blown over fruit cage, sitting with a coffee. I'm probably known as She Who Sits, but my brain is always busy.
It was certainly good to be up there and feeling more positive about the place than I had been back at the start of January. Then, it had all felt overwhelming and depressing. Now, I was reminded that I've done this before and I can do this again. That, although the squirrels have dug up my spring bulbs (*shakes fist in general direction of squirrels*), the rosemary is shyly flaunting it's perfect little blue flowers.