I'm so bored it's unbelievable even to me - one of the world's most gullible people.
I am recovering from a relatively minor op - but not so minor that I can much get out of bed and do the things I would normally do. That on a Sunday would include faffing around in the kitchen with a glass of red and cooking chutney, cakes/cookies, or most likely - an enormous roast dinner for just me and my boyfriend. This would usually last us until at least Wednesday, when we would be sick of the sight of cold roast potatoes and shrivelled up parsnips.
Today is different however, and I'm in the guest room (which has an en-suite so I don't have to hobble off downstairs), with my laptop trying to stifle a pressing urge to buy 'stuff' from Ebay which would no doubt get me into trouble with the mortgage people. 'Sorry Mr Santander - I spent this month's payment on an original pine and marble Victorian washstand - it's going to look amazing in my newly decorated bathroom.' Even if no one reads my ranting rubbish, I am hoping the act of blogging will steer me away from a lifetime of financial embarrassment and woe.
I do not consider myself to be a 'normal' near-28 year old. I like baking; chintz; sewing (even though I'm appalling bad at it); all things Beatrix Potter; flowers and pouring through over-priced Homes and Interiors magazines for inspiration. Above all these things though, I like gardening. This baffles my friends, and I am regularly the butt of many an 'old lady' joke. Unlike most of them, I chose to get on the property ladder in Kent - and not London where I'm from. Kent is considered by them to be 'in the sticks', and although my stock standard response to the inevitable questions of 'Why why why Kent?!' has always been 'more space for my £, and a garden no less', this has fallen on deaf ears. I find this funny. At 27 I have bagged myself a 3 bedroom, 4 storey Victorian Terrace with a 65 foot garden. Hardly your average starter home. I am proud of this achievement, and whilst the garden was originally on the must have spec list in order to accommodate my cat and rabbit and to host the occasional BBQ for those brave enough to venture over the Dartford Crossing (for a reason other than to assault their credit cards at Bluewater) - it has since become so much more.
2009 was the year of first tries at tomatoes; sprouts; cabbage; broccoli; cauliflower; potatoes; spring onions; chillies; basil; lettuce; carrots; courgettes and peas. I left mentioning the peas until last, not because they were best, but quite the opposite and almost not worth mentioning at all. They sprouted alright, and then some beastly worms ate them from the inside out, and that was that. All those finished loo rolls I foolishly hoarded to 'train' the pea shoots upwards, were swiftly dumped in the recycling box.
I used to like butterflies before I tried growing brassicas - clearly a tasty favourite of the 'cabbage white butterfly' - much loathed by gardeners all over. Despite many military-esque pursuits to inflict caterpillar genocide (this involved going out twice daily on weekdays, and almost on the hour at weekends, and physically picking caterpillars off leaves and flinging them down the lawn), my sprouts, caulis, cabbages and broccoli's were devastated. Many lessons learned and I will definitely be investing in some good quality netting this year.
The success stories were in the lettuces, and tomatoes. I grew round lettuce upon round lettuce right the way through to November. I finally conceded and dug the remaining crop up, giving half to a neighbour, when frost was threatening to teach them a lesson or two. The 'Tumbling Tom' toms were delicious and plentiful. I hate waste, so the bumper crop of green tomatoes left over were readily boiled to death in vinegar to make several jars of chutney: double result.
As I sit in bed, I am thinking about the oodles of seeds I have waiting in the trug downstairs by the back door. I am very aware of the garlic bulbs which need to be planted by the end of February, which is of course today. I could ask my nurse/boyfriend to do this for me, but I don't want to. I am selfish and I want to hurry up and get better so I can do it all myself. I joke with him that I should have a bell to ring when I need something. I'm not sure an order to go out into the pouring rain and plant garlic bulbs would go down so well.
The last few months have been incredibly dull and dormant. I doubt I am alone in thinking this, but I cannot wait for to get back out in the garden. Muddied hands, aching joints, blisters and even hoards of ruddy caterpillars. There is nothing quite like it, and I think it's the best feeling in the world.