Lots of non gardening stuff to do today, and so have taken the day off to keep Amanda company. On several occasions, after enjoying an avocado, as one does, I have attempted to grow new plants from the discarded stones. A task that is easy enough for anyone normally, and to the trained gardener should be as simple as hating slug slime. However, they have been my nemesis, my plight, the reminder that even the simplest things can go wrong. I have planted them before, seen the nuts split to show the tender new shoot appearing, only to forget to water them and kill them off. I have without thinking planted them in non-porous pots, seen the shoots appear once again, only for the roots to rot off in water laden compost at the bottom of the pot.....silly things to get wrong I hear some of you smugly mutter, and you would be right. I concluded that on these and other occasions I had tried to grow them indoors during the summer months (technical gardening smoke screen here), when workload is at a peak, and any spare time is spent outside in the garden. Indoors is then reserved for the inevitable slobbing, drinking wine and sleeping. At the end of November 2010, I had decided to have yet another go. The nuts were placed in compost and the new potentials placed in an out of the way part of the kitchen and watered when the compost got dry and crumbly. Then as usual I completely forgot about them due to the various coughs, clots and drug/alcohol induced sleeps that ensued for the last six weeks. Today, I remembered them in their dark and forgotten place. Compost was as dry as a bone, but we have shoots going up into the air, larger than I have seen at my hands before, and so now they have been moved to pride of place by the kitchen sink. Guacamole here we come!
We had an odd start to the day. Amanda had an exam in psychotherapy to sit at Brockenhurst College in the New Forest at 8.30am, and so the alarm was set for 6am ready for a 7am start out. For some reason, and although I blame the old clock, Amanda blames me squarely for this one, the alarm went off at 4.10am, a fact only discovered when both of us were up and dressed and I had seen the actual time on the microwave...ugh! It was decided to try and get another hour and a half sleep and once more trust the alarm. Success this time, and we set off as planned, although by now feeling groggy and regretting going back to bed. Isn't it strange how you can wake up alert, but get that extra hour and it can feel as though you have never slept? Arrived at Brockenhurst earlier than planned and so made ourselves comfortable for a short while in The Cloud Hotel with some good coffee and rather girly biscuits.
After Amanda was nervously, but safely dropped at the college, I decided to park up and take a walk through the village and some of the surrounding countryside.
A beautifully clear and frosty morning. 8.30am, no time like it at this point in the year!
The building below used to be The Morant Arms pub, but unfortunately now is a group of residential flats of the same name. Way on back in the days of kings and hunting, it was an inn offering stabling, ale and food, a bed for the night, and if sire would desire a comely wench for the night. I remember it as the place where at the tender age of sixteen I bought my first pint (illegally of course), for the princely sum of 17p.
Some very clever fence work.
A visit to an old paddling haunt frequented when the kids were young.
And then I finally settled myself in for the remaining time in The Rose & Crown pub until the lady wife arrived.
Before we headed back to Poole Hospital. Me for more jabs, and Amanda for a brain scan!
It's now 7.30pm, and off to Sohos for a small glass of wine....been one of those days.