Summer time

The good news is that, a day after the flat being advertised, there were two people keen to have it as soon as possible. Furthermore, the agents will sort out the cleaning and the disposal of the bed that, with permission, the previous people left behind. I have had a tenant ask me to provide a bed, so it wasn’t unlikely to happen again – I suggested the British Heart Foundation but I suspect it’ll be sold. Makes no difference to me, I’m glad not to have to go to London again next week to dismantle it.

I’m getting to grips with vegetable planting rather late, but the reason is the chickens. Our lot live in the big greenhouse adjoining the kitchen garden but, now they roam free during the day, they wreck it. rather. The bantams aren’t nearly so pecky. I’ve covered all last year’s swiss chard with fleece in the hope that it’ll grow again, but I’ve had to let the spinach go. It’s down to the skeletons. There was no point in planting out anything, or putting in seeds, until I’d covered over the beds. Purpose-made covers are absurdly expensive compared to a bit of DIY, so the latter has been resorted to and two beds are now covered and one sowed/planted.

I don’t have the same enthusiasm for growing vegetables that I used to have, I’m sad to say. I think it was too much work for too long. I love the freshly picked veg but I can hardly be bothered any more with everything else, which I used to enjoy for its own sake. This means I’ve got a lot of unsown seeds, because I’m going to buy aubergine, tomato and pepper plants for the greenhouse, as I haven’t done anything about them. Maybe another year. It used to be such a pleasure, I haven’t given up hope of regaining that. The sight of seedlings poking up through the soil is still as cheering as ever, anyway.

Anyway, local asparagus and strawberries are in the greengrocer’s already, as well as tiny baby carrots, lettuce, spinach and radishes. I buy and scoff them with happy greed. And the chickens are laying – four hens give us two to four eggs a day, at present, which is rather more than we can conveniently eat: not that we complain. We thank them daily.

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