Allotment and alcohol
My birthday cards last week were very revealing. They were either illustrations of gardening or of wine. It’s a sobering thought that I am most associated with drinking and digging! Thankfully, one was a diagram of the earth going round the sun, with the message “Congratulations. Once again you have successfully completed a full rotation around the sun.” Its a polite way of saying you are another year older!
I have to confess that the allotment does take up a lot of my time. In fact someone asked me the other day how big the allotment was and on hearing it stretched all the way down the slope, commented, “It must be a full-time job.” To which I replied, “No, just half-time.” I am still catching up on the weeding, clearing space so that I can plant brassicas and beans. I keep reminding myself that the fruits of my labours are worth it. And the rhubarb made into crumble or ice cream is just one example.
Having a weekend away at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, which is alcohol-free, helps to keep control of the other birthday themed activity. I was sharing in the Trustee meeting, which was tackling major issues for the future. We abandoned our usual formal processes, sitting round a table and receiving reports and asking questions. Instead we worked in small groups on surveying the landscape, identifying resources and seeking different ways forward. We all felt energised and hopeful at the outcome. it was a bit like my struggle with weeding. We were clearing space to make room for new possibilities.
This might be analogous to some of the processes we are going through nationally and internationally. Some are trying to remove weeds of fossil fuel extraction and white male dominance, unfortunately not everyone agrees that they need to be removed. The British government is still pursuing fracking and may well agree to the expansion of Heathrow airport, when both are significant contributors to carbon emissions. There also continues to be resistance to greater female involvement in boardrooms of major businesses as well as other areas of public life.
In trying to create a healthier and more sustainable earth we need more gardeners, and perhaps less time drinking the fruit of the grape!