As the end of the veg patch creeps ever closer, work on it steps up, I’ve managed to get a few hours on it every day for the last few days which has been bliss.
But bliss which has been tinged with a tiny dose of guilt, as I realise that mummy and daddy working on the veg patch, really isn’t that much fun for the kids. In fact, the guilt got so bad that I considered foregoing one of the days on the patch to take them down to the Lakes. However, then I thought about the last couple of weeks, during which they have been thoroughly spoilt with attention from the grandparents, they’ve stuffed themselves with chocolate and they’ve basically got their own way. The guilt vanished, probably around the same time that the boy was repeatedly throwing himself atop the septic tank. The very same septic tank I spent Saturday peering into, as J attacked a blockage of human waste in a blocked drain, trying to send it on its way into the tank, my disgust soon turned into excitement as the blockage went from schlopping to veritably flowing into the tank. Something I never thought I would write, let alone experience, this is what country life does to you. However, having spent that time staring into the tank, I have realised that him crashing through the lid into the schlop really wouldn’t be pleasant, for any of us.
When he finally peeled himself off the septic tank, he then decided to chuck his sister’s new Peppa Pig toy into the adjoining field, J trudged off to save Peppa, and during the recovery operation the boy ended up falling into a cowpat. The joys of instant karma.
The guilt was thoroughly diminished by this point and the children have been condemned to the hardship of playing with their numerous toys in the garden, whilst J and I continued digging. The rocks seem to be getting smaller, but more frequent, meaning the pickaxe is in near constant use, something my left shoulder isn’t that happy about (but I’m still hoping for those Linda Hamilton biceps). The chickens are enjoying using the rock pile as steps up to the veg patch, or at least, steps up to a viewing platform to watch me from – eyeing up their next area for attack, despite constant threats about roast dinners.
I can’t pretend that, as it draws to an end, it is looking like a veg patch, it really isn’t, it’s covered in tatty black plastic, more stones (I have a feeling it’s a never ending supply), weeds are starting to come through in places and it’s pretty downtrodden. We have tried setting the kids to work picking up some rocks (they kept saying they wanted to come onto the patch), and the gardening bliss was quickly ruined by spades and rakes being waved far too close to each other, much shrieking, and very few rocks actually being moved. It all ended in a screaming, weeping, snotty temper tantrum from the boy, which will no doubt be reprised every time I refuse access to the patch, as we have now foolishly set a precedent.
As well as all the little stones and an array of ghostly pale weeds sprouting under the black plastic, there are still some unwieldy slabs hanging about in there, which we have decided will be planted around. All in all, it still looks a bit of a mess. I am hoping that the rotavator will help, and lots of manure. And when that is all finally done; the black plastic will be repurposed for the path, the chicken wire fence will be refortified, the seedlings will be planted, the rock seat will be placed to capture the best view and maybe, finally, it will actually start looking like a veg patch.