Monday, 26 October 2015

I got my allotment! POST from 30th August.

All mine
On 30th August the allotment officially became mine.

My greenhouse
This is how it was looking by the end of Summer.

Aubergines and tomatoes in the greenhouse.
Tommy a toes
Runner bean wigwams did well this year.

Pound shop runner beans
I inherited some artichokes and lots of borage which has self-seeded everywhere.



Aubergine flower

This was early on in the Summer, I got given lettuce seedlings, bean plants and the aubergine by friendly fellow allotmenteers.
Early Summer

Chocolate cosmos

James Grieves apple
I'm in the process of trying to dig out a tree stump.

Tree stump to go

This was at the end of May, I cleared a strip where the artichokes were.

This is when I got it, slightly unloved but still perfect.

With a handy water supply.

An apple tree - James Grieves variety.

I have used these bits of wood to make a compost heap.

I was rather overgrown, I found a path around the greenhouse!

There is a path under this grass!

This is a cherry tree, I've planted wild strawberries and forget-me-nots underneath now.


Borage under the apple tree.

apple and borage


This is a gooseberry bush!

And a wonderful fig.

Artichokes before being cleared of grass.

artichoke being strangled by grass


Comfrey great for making liquid fertiliser.

My plans keep changing, but presently I'm leaning towards a peonie and rose bed interplanted with kale.

Anxiety dreams

Dreampt I saw a young girl with a platinum blonde bob pushing a pram up the garden path to our front door, I asked if she was Vera. She walked past me, I asked her again if she was Vera the new owner of the garden flat, she continued to ignore me. The door to the garden flat was propped open with dust sheets on the ground and I followed her in. The entrance hallway was huge, like a ballroom, it was full of young girls, they all stared at me. I tried to follow Vera but lost sight of her, in the end I asked where she had gone, no one seemed to understand me, everyone was whispering and staring at me, someone pointed into another room next to the garden. I asked if anyone spoke English again and a young girl pointed to a huge swarthy guy with long dark hair stood next to a large window. I asked him what work they were planning to do, he didn’t answer me either. I said I lived here and was one of the joint freeholders and that they were not to do any structural work without consent and that we had a right to see the plans. He wouldn’t look me in the eye but sniggered and said: I know, we are taking them to court’.  I felt he was too angry to look at me. I went to leave but the corridor back to the front door had sunk 5ft. To get out I had to pull out shelves as makeshift stairs to climb, up all the girls were looking at me and I was trying to make idle chit chat saying:, Gosh, I couldn’t do this every day.‘ ‘How do you do this everyday?‘ ‘How does Vera do this with a pram?‘

So it would appear I’m not only afraid of impending structural work but losing my youth, large dark men and prams - I know I’ve always had a dislike for prams, I guess the others are no surprise either.

I took Erbie to Highgate Woods yesterday, the Autumn colours were beautiful, the sun hung low in the sky and there was a slight chill in the air. We met a friend from school in the playground and I spoke to his parents, who had helped me come up with the line: ‘None of this is acceptable;’ when we’d been asked to sign two consent forms, one for future building work to go ahead (without seeing any plans) and the second for the historical removal of the chimney breasts in the garden flat, (that had been carried out before we owned a part of the building).

They told me not to worry - no one could do anything structural to the building without agreement from the leaseholders / freeholders.  I asked: ‘What do I do if they know that but go ahead and do it anyway, can we stop them?’ They said if you hear a wall being knocked down or see lots of rubble coming out you’ll know they’re up to something and can get a solicitor involved. They also told me there is a free drop-in session for planning advice with Haringey council in Wood Green.

Please let it be nice people that move in.

I plan to hoover the communal hallway and sweep up the communal front path today, as I am working from home, a little territorial scenting perhaps...

Saturday, 24 October 2015


Get it off your chest. I think I’m having and anxiety attack. I need to start the headspace meditation up again. A lot has happened since we moved into this flat, none of it good, apart from Erbie of course who is a delight and we are all relatively healthy and have a roof over our heads and food in the cupboards all of which I am thankful for.

The garden flat below us has just sold, we share the freehold, no one was expecting the sale to go through as they thrust a load of consent paperwork at all the freeholders at the 11th hour – for building work not comparable to the lease; which everyone refused to sign. Now I am extremely nervous that they are going to go ahead with the building work without our consent. I don’t think our marriage will take it, not again. The neighbour’s build nearly destroyed us and it only stopped 5 months ago, we are just starting to get a semblance of normal family life back.

We saw them today, a young couple with a baby, they were in there for an hour with a man with a computer. Building contractor – architect? People don’t like being told they can’t do things but we all share an interest in protecting the joint building not shaping it to our desires. What if they are just like the neighbours and move in a bunch of builders whilst they stay somewhere nice and quiet and think that they are the ones who are being inconvenienced?

I used to be such a positive person, I’d be saying: ‘Oh how lovely a little friend for Erbie’ and ‘How nice it will be to have owners living in the building rather than a buy-to-let as it was before’. But these past years have really knocked it out of me and now I just think of the worst thing that could happen. 

What on earth does one do if someone comes in and decided to do whatever they like in breach of the lease? Who do you call? Are you even able to stop them? Where does one stand legally? Can I live through another battlefield, dread coming home every day, will my colitis come back, will I start looking 103, forget stuff, make silly mistakes, not be able to care for my family properly.

Hell maybe I’ll just go and get some Valium!

Other nonsense

Quote of the day

‘They tuck you up your mum and dad...’
Anon - after Larkin

“Philately will get you everywhere”

“It’s not the despair, I can handle the despair. 
It’s the hope I can’t deal with”

“Each new friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
Anais Nin

‘Come on Dover move your bloomin’ arse’.
Eliza Doolittle