• neil

Day 30 (16 April): I hoe, I hoe, it's off to work I go! 🎵

My veggies have the distinction of sounding bizarre to everyone - no matter where you come from.

I ordered them on Amazon and they were delivered yesterday.

I took what little was available, which is why I’m slaving over Yellow Pear Tomatoes, Cucamelons, Rainbow Beetroot, Purple Haze Carrots , Turkish Turban Squash and Chocolate Sweet Peppers. I ask you, whatever happened to cabbage, peas, carrots and cauliflower?

Please allow me to present the newbies:- Cucamelon: As you can see from the photo (I hope you like my nails - they took forever) cucamelons look like tiny watermelons and taste of cucumber with a hint of lime. The instructions state “Slice them for drinks or spear them”. I can see that going down well with the neighbours as I trot into the garden wielding a lance.

Purple Haze Carrots: I’ve got this one Jimmy: Purple haze, all in my brain

Lately veggies don't seem the same

Feeling’ hungry, but I don't know what

To put inside my cooking pot

What are these people on? And do they grow their own?

Turkish Turban Squash: Was the turban being worn at the time? The answer determines whether we are talking cruel and inhuman punishment or simply an act of vandalism. Either way, the idea of unwashed headgear isn’t guaranteed to excite those salivary glands.

Chocolate Sweet Peppers: That’s more like it. Although Cadbury’s Cream Eggs are lockdown essentials I didn’t get one this year, so I’m looking forward to these enormously. And no fiddly wrapping paper!

I think I was still suffering from the surprise of not recognising any of these wonders as potential food because I made the very unmanly mistake of reading the planting instructions.

‘Don’t sow too early’, ‘feed mulch regularly’, ‘don’t crush the leaves as the smell attracts carrot flies’, ‘don’t damage the beetroot when you harvest as this will result in bleeding when cooking’ (their’s or mine?) . The list of do’s and don’ts is endless. The amount of digging, mulching, watering and general caretaking is out of all proportion to the number of calories on offer. So, should you be tempted by a bit of veggie gardening I have simplified things for you.

Uncle Neil’s Guide To Veggie Growing

- Put the seeds in little pots with potting soil. - Cover the seeds lightly. - Water moderately. - When the stems and leaves appear transplant the young plants to a sheltered spot in the garden.

- Forget about them; never go there again. - Buy equivalent veggies in the shop and be seen wheeling them up the garden.

- Boast about your skills to your friends.

Good things happen to those with weight

My kitchen floor is made of high quality tiles. Which is why I was a little surprised to see a distinct path worn into it. Being of a curious nature I followed it - and it led to the fridge. Clearly somebody, or something, is making frequent trips there, and being as I am alone in isolation I am mystified. I have decided to set up a camera trap like those the BBC uses on Spring Watch (this is so exciting!) to film the fridge door. Just as soon as I finish repairing the bathroom scales and taking out the waist on my jeans.

I already did something sensible today. I poured the rest of the Christmas sherry down the sink. I buy sherry and port at Christmas because my Dad did. It makes me feel close to him. But I don't drink it. I stick to wine and beer. So the fact that I have been pouring myself a glass of sticky sweet sherry for the past few evenings is the sure sign of the slippery slope.

I wonder if I shouldn't empty the aftershave?

Nah!'ll be fine with a slice of cucamelon..

The good things

But good things are indeed happening all around us. I was moved to tears this morning by the story of 99 year old Captain Tom Moore, in the U.K. He began a sponsored walk round his garden to raise one thousand pounds for the health service and it caught the popular imagination. 700,000 people made donations to his fund raising page for a total of fifteen million pounds. His daughter said “He’s a beacon of hope in dark times and I think we all need something like this to believe in”.

And we do. This particular act has received a lot of well merited public attention. But there are so very many people doing so many beautiful things.

I just teared up again.

To come back to my theme of yesterday I believe we do not need any more conspiracy theories and we have stockpiled enough bad news. We spend a lot of time checking reports, listening to statistics, worrying over the economy and complaining about the constraints we are enduring.

But there is another side to the coin. There are so many examples of generosity, commitment, service and love.

We have no choice but to accept the bad. Let’s be wise enough to embrace the good.

Normal foolishness will now be resumed.

Kiss somebody.



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