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The healing power of The Allotment

18 April, 2013

Caution – this post contains elements of self-sympathy

I’ve mentioned a few times before how I struggle with motivation at the weekends. I won’t rehash all that now, but I will say that a big battle is when I have to drag myself out of bed on a Sunday and work on my allotment. I know the ground needs digging, I know the grass needs cutting, I know the seeds need sowing but somehow it’s easier just to roll over and press the agricultural snooze button – another week won’t hurt. But when I overcome the lethargy or sometimes the depression that is telling me not to go, I always find a few hours digging or weeding therapeutic. The time zips by, I enjoy it and I come home tired but happier.

I have today and tomorrow off work, holiday I have been looking forward to for weeks, but as of Tuesday night a cold descended on me. Headache, sore throat, snuffly nose, blocked sinuses, the whole thing. Now I NEVER get ill, I NEVER have time off sick (my boss and I were trying to remember what time I had been off during my six and a half years, and we came up with seven days, all more than four years ago) so it is BLOODY TYPICAL that as my precious days off approached, I felt shit. And when I woke up this morning, my throat was burning, my head throbbing, my nose streaming. But this is my time off, I had pre-decided I was going to work on the allotment today, and this is where my earlier comments about motivation are relevant. Using the logic that emotionally I always feel better when I visit plot 79, I thought I’d see if it worked physically too. I dragged myself to the allotment (via Sainsburys to buy some cough medicine) and made a start. If it was too much, I would stop but at least I would have made an effort.

I’ve had this plot three years and the wood in the borders has been slowly crumbling in that time, but I have decided this is the year when I will finally rebuild. And today was the specific time when this work was to begin. I’d bought a load of wood this week in readiness, and I didn’t want a cold to beat me.

A few times during the morning I thought about jacking it in, but each time I told myself to give it five more minutes and see how I felt. And I kept working. Four hours in total. And here are the results:


This is not only a triumph of man over illness, it’s a triumph of man over ineptitude. I am truly appalling at DIY, changing a plug is a major effort for me, so to take on this job and make a decent go of it is the biggest success in the history of my handiwork. OK it’s not totally straight, and I should really have taken some pics from the front view so you can see how I dealt with the slope. But I did it. Me.


  1. Morbid Insanity permalink

    Congratulations! I liked that! 🙂

  2. Go you! I hope you feel better as well. 🙂

  3. It’s beautiful.

  4. I hope you feel better. Awful to be sick when you are looking forward to something. What is an allotment? Are you required to take care of this stretch of road? It looks like you have done something to beautify your part. Nice job.

    • I put a link in to the wiki page – click on allotment. It’s a plot of land for growing veg. The bit in the pic is just part of my floral border.

  5. Hey, maybe Nurse CC can do something to make you feel better…

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. I am a DIY master | The Reclining Gentleman
  2. My undeniable talent for DIY | The Reclining Gentleman

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