Open Studios, Open Squares, Open Gardens. It’s all been happening this weekend. I didn’t manage any squares, but Friday night kicked off with a visit, minus camera, to some local artists studios. I went to look, not to buy and took just £5 with me. The plan was to spend an hour or so there and then come home. It was a gorgeous evening. People were sitting in the sunshine enjoying food and drink. Children were running about. The dog friendly café had some happy tails wagging under tables. Despite meeting a friend and having a longish chat, I kept to schedule. I just didn’t visit as many of the studios as I had intended. I deliberately didn’t visit my favourite ceramiscist until today. She always has seconds for sale on Friday night and I knew I might cave in and buy something I really and truly don’t need. I went there this morning instead. The day has been dull and chilly. Maybe that discouraged people from attending, because it was quite quiet.
Although I hovered over a new eggcup, I didn’t succumb. Another customer was clutching the Open Gardens pamphlet and talking about her success in growing beetroot in a confined space. Yesterday, I visited our local City Garden Farm. I loved the new Queen Bee, and paid far more attention to it than I did the plants.
So today, I went to see the allotments which had also opened their gates. I know a couple of people who have plots there, but they weren’t around. Maybe it was the talk the other night, I don’t know, but I ended up putting my name down on the waiting list. Last week there was a piece in the Guardian about allotments being sold off by local councils. It so happened that that day I was at a friend’s allotment in another part of town, my first visit. All around there was evidence of keen gardening. Vegetables predominated, and there were fruit cages to protect the raspberries and blackcurrants from the predations of birds and foxes. Families were there; young children enjoying the feel of the earth in their hands and fresh air, learning skills alongside their parents. People of different cultures were growing things side by side. Something stirred in my soul. I know waiting lists for allotments are long, and I may never get one, but the idea of having a little plot (locally the demand is so high that you can only have half a plot these days) five minutes from home, and growing some of my own fruit and veg speaks very strongly to me. I still got distracted by peripheries, such as this frog.
And I probably paid more attention to the sign than to what was growing.
But I walked home thinking of the tomatoes I used to grow on the balcony of my old flat, and mentally planning a herb garden.
And I definitely want an outside loo like this one should I ever move.