Today marks six whole months since I signed up for my allotment. Half a year on plot 33 has been an absolute labour of love.
In that time I have completely transformed a once weedy patch with scrubby lawn, rampant raspberries and endless strawberry plants well past their best. And I certainly won’t forget the piles of rotten wooden planks complete with fat slugs hiding sharp nails and screws. The slugs on plot 33 are brutes.
Six months ago on a cold day in March I stood alongside the allotment site manager as he showed me a neglected plot I might be interested in taking. As I nodded enthusiastically at plot 33 the joy and excitement I felt at that moment suddenly disappeared, smashed sideways on with self-doubt and worry. It was my second bash at being shown around the site, I’d gone through this routine years before with a different plot that I loved and sadly had to let go. I had every reason to worry and doubt my ability, just 2 months prior to that day in March I’d undergone major surgery. My body was tired and I hid how frail I really felt with weak smiles and lots of nodding in the right places. The very thought of taking on another allotment should have been furthest from my mind, but I really wanted a plot. I missed the place terribly and told myself if I could just get past the tiredness and take it easy, build up stamina first then I’d be fine. I knew I could do it, more importantly I wanted to do it. And I did!
I’ve been made to feel very welcome on the allotment site again, any insecurities I felt about returning were my own. I’ve even met the new tenants of my old plot and chatted happily about my time spent there. My old plot neighbours are thrilled I’m back on the site, there’s a real sense of community and I missed that. My allotment truly is my happy place, it’s been a tonic for me and I think it’s important to celebrate things that make you happy. There’s far too much sadness in the world after all. My allotment makes me feel like the old me again and I forget my troubles there. It’s more than just a place to grow veg to me and I’m proud to share it through my blog and other social media such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Right now I have harvests to look forward to and the beauty autumn brings. I’ve already dusted off my wellies, fingerless gloves and knitted scarves will soon come out of hiding too. As the year comes to a close I’ll be looking forward to spending chilly days in the shed, planning and scribbling things down for the new growing year ahead.
I’m sure there’ll be lots of tea drinking and warming homemade soup too.