Beauty and the allotment

The sun made a rare appearance at the allotment this weekend. Sadly, the same could not be said of Unhusband.   But at least D fell asleep in the pushchair (another rare event these days) which gave me a chance to erode a few more vertebrae, get on with some digging.  And get chatted up by some half naked men.

Call me Samantha Brick, but I’d barely got my gardening gloves on, when suitors began opening  doors and bearing gifts.  Ok, so I opened my (shed) door myself , the gifts were a few knobbly carrots and the bearers several decades my senior.  But who cares, by allotment standards, I’m hot stuff.   This is not to say that I am anywhere near as easy on the eye as Ms Brick (thinks she is)  just that I am a) female b) still have my own teeth.

Obviously, if I were in Samantha’s league, I would be fending off bottles of Veuve Clicquot from dashing pilots, not gratefully accepting offerings of muddy veg  from weathered OAPS. And the only flowers I’ve been given recently are dog-piss dandelions, yanked from the ground by an enthusiastic toddler.

Unlike Ms Brick, I don’t work out, I frequently succumb to chocolate and I can’t remember the last time I wore lipstick. I have certainly never worn it to the allotment and may not have worn it since having kids. But that doesn’t seem to deter the old men up there.  It normally goes something like this:

Colin:   Hello gorgeous.  You’re looking well.  The  ‘old man’ not with you today then?

Me: No, he’s at home with J.

Colin: (fiddling with his hearing aid)  Oooh, while the cat’s away …. wink, wink ….. have you seen the size of my leeks?  …. nudge, nudge …. Big, aren’t they!

And so it continues, until Mike from the next plot wanders over and they start arguing over who ‘saw her first.’

It’s funny, endearing and just a tiny bit distracting when all I want to do is get the sprouts in before D wakes up.   But at the age of thirty – ahem, with two kids and the stretch marks to show for it, it’s about the closest I get to being ‘chatted up.’  And I’m glad. Glad not to be a threat to anyone’s husband (in Ms Brick’s derogatory view of men), glad that my appearance is not such an obsession that I can’t enjoy more permanent things in life.

And that’s why I feel sorry for Samantha Brick. I still don’t know if her article was just another women-baiting stunt by the Mail. But if she really believes what she writes, that women are hated and loved for their looks, then all I can suggest is that she gets herself an allotment. It might just bring her back down to earth. And chip a few manicured fingernails at the same time.

What do you reckon?

About Becky Dickinson

Mum of three. Writer, blogger, grower. Trying to keep my head above the compost heap.

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  1. Just saying Hi, only just discovered your blog but very much enjoying it 🙂 (we’ve recently just got an allotment plot and are complete novices) Jo x

  2. Hi Jo, thanks for your comment,. I’m in my third year of allotmenting and certainly no expert – but stuff seems to grow anyway and I’m always fairly surprised when it does!
    What are you growing? x

  3. Hi, I cant wait until ours has been under way 3 years, we’re mostly starting with veg, pots, carrots, broc etc and some flowers, hope to move on to fruit a bit later too. Our plot had been abandoned for several years and aparently is a bit of a poison chalice as it was so over grown for so long. We only got our plot just before Xmas so we’ve spent much of our time clearing it and preparing the ground.

  4. Good luck, it’s all worth it. I have given up with broccoli now as haven’t had much success with it – hope you do better. I find courgettes are one of the easiest and most prolific things to grow. Look forward to hearing how you get on. x

  5. Ah someone else mentioned courgettes, and we all love them here so I’ll definetly be adding them, thank you xx

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