By 4:10am I was awake and listening to the dawn chorus tuning up outside the bedroom window (listen to the birds sings). The day started off quite chilly despite the forecast of “a very hot day across London” on the radio. After breakfast and feeding the cats I started the journey to the allotment. Arriving a little after 7am I discovered that I wasn’t the first. One of the elder gardeners who we call Scrub Lane (it’s a long story) was already digging his plot. After I opened my shed I put the kettle on and make the second cup of tea of the day.
Drinking my tea I slowly walked around the allotment to take in any chances since my previous visit. A few more flowers had appeared and I noticed that the red rose, variety Hot Chocolate, had lots of buds waiting to open. Once I had finished my tea and threw the last few drops over a nearby overwintering clematis I set about starting to weed the area where the rose stood. Not paying too much attention I pulled out a handful of stingy nettles out along with the grass. Needless to say my hand felt like pins-and-needles all day.
My plan was to water the plot and leave before the heat of the day arrived around midday. Towards the end of the 30 minutes it took to water the plot Gladys was walking down the central path. She had the same idea as me, “get in early and be gone by lunchtime”.
By 10am the sun was already hitting 24.1*c (75.38*f) on my outside thermometer and I started feeling hungry due to my 4am start. Against the heat I carried on weeding and cleared an area outside the shed. There is a triangle of ground where two paths join and I was unsure what to plant here. Looking around I found a few spare Lavender plants I had forgotten about so used these.
After lunch and a catch up with other plot holders including Jim and Barbara, all at a safe social distance I might add, we realised that our ‘lunch hour’ had turned into two so I didn’t get back to my plot until 3pm. By now the heat of the day was topping 33*c (91.40*f) and I was feeling fine, maybe it was the gentle breeze that drifted across the site occasionally or maybe it was because I’ve lost a little body weight recently and can deal with heat better, I don’t know.
While sitting in the shed listening to the radio and singing along I thought how wonderful it would be to have a window so the breeze could drift through the shed. Within no time, after borrowing a handsaw from Jim, I was sawing away at the back way of my shed. It didn’t take long and there was a large hole in the wall and the breeze gentle filled the shed. Using a few pieces of scrap wood I created a window frame and used some plastic sheeting for the window.
The view from this new window looks out to my plot neighbour and their apple tree. I will have a word and see if I can put a bird feeder in the branches. It would be great to be sat in my shed and observe them feeding. I can also see their compost bin which has a resident fox who sleeps on top of the dry grass but always disappears when I arrive on site and returns everyday around 5:30pm. I can also now see the central path so gave a cheery wave to Jim and Barbara as they left the site.
The fox appeared at the end of my plot as usual, a sign it was time for me to leave. I packed up all my bits-and-bobs and waved goodbye to Gladys who was still on her allotment. As I headed for the gate I realised that I had been on my plot for over 10 hours. It was a beautiful walk home as I recalled the day.