The daily prompt for today is “Never Surrender”. I think that this just about qualifies.
I mentioned here about the vegetable patch at the bottom of my garden. The plot isn’t actually part of the garden but a piece of land to which nobody seems to have claim. As the land is only accessible by the neighbours and myself and as some of the less renovated dwellings have a garage opening on to this land, we all sort of assume that it is a communal place to do with as we will.
It is quite a sizeable area to be unclaimed. Adjacent to it is the car park of a church and the church people (with rather unchristian desire) covet our patch of land. The last invasion attempt involved a couple of cars accidentally reversing into the bordering fence and continuing onwards and backwards towards the rather fine apple trees that somebody planted decades ago. The apple trees completely outwitted the cars by not falling over and then we residents (in a show of unity not since since the blitz) assembled one Sunday morning and built a sturdier fence that will resist the attacks of the Baptists. Much like some of the smaller European countries will shall resist our land being annexed.
Back to the vegetable patch. It is quite large. I suspect that it is one of the few vegetable patches in West London that can be seen unaided from space. After 12 months of neglect whilst I was deep in the bowels of Little Project it had become rather overgrown. Waking at the weekend to the curious sight of no rain I decided to tackle the brambles and the weeds. If I could only find a medicinal use for blackberry vine and bind weed then I could easily give up on the intoning board and spend my life in luxury. By Sunday afternoon though I was in a situation where I could sow some seed.
There’s an advert on UK television at the moment for Diet Coke. It may well be showing world wide. It features a handsome and muscular gardening chappy pushing a lawn mower. Several young ladies are watching our hunky hero grafting and one of the beauties rolls a can of Diet Coke down the hill to him. On opening the can the poor chap is drenched by fizzy soda and so has to remove his shirt and reveal the sort of stomach that can only be gained by hours in the gym (or pushing a lawn mower). The girls swoon and everybody rushes out to purchase more root beer.
I spent a pleasant hour or so carefully planting seeds into little containers and transporting them to the flimsy lean-to that I laughingly call a greenhouse (it is at least green, mostly from mildew). There is a water butt that is balanced precariously near to it. Useful for dipping a watering can in. The water butt is understandably full to overflowing at the moment.
I approached the water butt, watering implements in hand with the thought of filling. At this moment the two little cherubs who live next door (aged 6 and 4) approached with some excitement. “Have you seen the dead fox?”.
Because I was distracted by the little angels, I didn’t pay attention to where I placed my feet. A quick stumble and I was embracing the water butt in a manner not dissimilar to a fellow cast adrift in a rough sea with only a barrel to keep him afloat. As I keeled backwards the water butt came with me. The (full) water butt contains 210 litres (that’s 46 gallons to my colonial cousins) or, to put it another way, roughly four times the amount of fluid it takes me to drive 500 miles in my car.
It was no contest really. Once it had decided it was going to get me it got me. The gentle lapping over the side became a torrent as we slowly tumbled backwards. The girls squealed with delight, this was far more interesting than a dead fox. Butt and I ended up in a position that would probably be described by my churchy neighbours as “reverse missionary”. Having disgorged 208 litres of water, Butt then decided that whilst down it would also ejaculate the 2 litres of sludge that had gradually settled at the base of the butt over the last few years.
Wet through and smelling of the stuff that makes roses grow I stood. Two little girls were rolling on the floor with mirth.
Nobody offered me a Diet Coke.