Monday, April 23, 2007

Work's crashed again and I feel as if I'm becoming more unemployed than employed - withdrawn from the world as most people know it, with the occasional invite to the party. As a result I'm barely even reading a paper, because it's not quite the same sitting at the kitchen table as on a train. My news comes from Radio 4, which isn't too bad, but can be irritating. I don't know where poetry's gone, but it's disappeared somewhere over the Downs or along Lewes Road.....neglected or kidnapped, who's to say, but I haven't written anything that I'd call a poem for weeks. Pathetic scribbling, sometimes, in my notebook and all this time on my hands. Some of it I've spent on the allotment, some of it on prose and with the prose, a seemingly insatiable need to research this, that and the other. Well, various bizarre but connected topics ranging from Breton collaboration with the Nazis to pheasant farming. Perhaps one day it'll all come right and together.

I'm making a stone garden on the allotment with flints sieved out of the soil. There was a rather isolated looking lavender bush and I thought I'd offset that particular shade of green that lavender has with white and grey. It has expanded from there. The patch is stony anyway and has an upturned zinc bath with a tabletop on it, plus a bench made from a plank and a newly made fire container. So it's crazy to try and grow anything there, anyway. I like the look of stone gardens and like the idea of making one from my own stones, not stones bought in bags from the garden centre. And on the subject of the garden centre. What have garden centres become? Once a place to buy plants, now another shopping opportunity. I suspect you'll be able to buy the weekly groceries in garden centres soon.

Thank god it's rained. But I think every school should have an allotment and every child should learn what it means to grow food. Maybe if more of us grew food, more of us would be aware of what it takes, of why climate change matters when seedlings are either swamped by flash floods or shrivelled in the sun. Take your pick, really, this year, how can we know what the next few months have in store after the last few days?

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