Thursday, 16 April 2009


Always a sign of Spring when I find little clumps of chalk grit on the carpet. Bare feet find them best, like tiny stones that resist crumbling under your steps. Of course, the chalky grit has come home with me from my allotment, stuck into the treads of shoes, in the creases of work jeans, clinging to the produce I bring home. 

When I shake it from my sleeves and it hits the damp of the washbasin, it creates moody charcoal landscapes, that cling onto the surface, that resist the water for as long as possible.

I always feel better once the potatoes are planted. This year, there's only going to be one variety - Pink Fir Apple - the bumpy salad one that doesn't appear in most shops. 

The onions, garlic and shallots look radiant after last week's rain, the greenest shoots on the plot. Pity a few monumental clumps of weeds look radiant after that rain as well. And there is new crop rhubarb that I can taste before I cook it. My last basket of produce had the most wonderful collection of colours - the pink and red of the rhubarb, pristine leeks, and shoots of purple broccoli with some of their lovely pink veined leaves. I know - I could have painted it. I ate it instead.

There's lots of writing on the go at the moment which feels great, but the happiest part of my week was digging the trenches for those potatoes and watching the last of the grit run down the plug hole.