Zombies, coffee and cow poo

Let’s start with the coffee, and the zombies… It’s been an interesting week with a mixture of it being the new year, going back to work, cold and dark days, spending my life in a single room mostly between sleeping and working. With the addition of Covid restrictions and Covid in general, I felt even if I didn’t really have anything to do on the plot this weekend I would go up early in the morning regardless. At least I will be venturing more than a mile away from the house for the first time this year…

It’s the second time in a year that the unimaginable “zombie doomsday scenario” plan that Tom put together looks not so unimaginable afterall, the make believe fun task of what do when the world ends may not be that far off. The plan might work, we make for the allotment and sit watching things grow while it all blows over – not quite the same as sitting in the Winchester but we do have the mobile phone mask was can climb up as a watch tower. The only flaw (which we didn’t take into account) is that when the end of the world is coming it seems everyone MUST walk their dog over the South Downs. Even if it is really busy, you queue in a line waiting to get through the small paths and then follow a steady line of other dog walkers all enjoying the peace and quiet of a country walk on your own (with 100 other such people trying to do the same). The number of cars (luxury 4×4 naturally) queue to be able to park up. It makes the area around the allotment site busier than the town…. This is why I decided to go early, I will remember to add that to our zombie plan, all bets are off if it’s not early in the morning.

I biked up, crunched through the icy grass, sat down and poured a cup of coffee while watching the fog swirl around down the hill. No dog walkers, very cold. I felt a bit silly sitting in the freezing cold drinking coffee and yet it was nice being outside and watching things grow. It wasn’t quiet as I had the radio on, listening to Philip Schofield on Radio4 talking about ‘coming out’ earlier on in the year, which made it feel all a bit stranger.

The broad beans had grown further and so I made a little “cage” of string around them to keep them all up and together. Some of them were looking a bit worse for the current freezing weather but I am sure they will perk up again when it gets a bit warmer. Being on the south coast, hard frosts or frosts that last days are have not been heard of for a number of years. This week it has been not only frosty first thing but throughout the day too, with no sun to warm things up.

I drank more coffee but I was really playing for time, not that I didn’t want to go home but I wanted to make the most of being outside. I tidied some bits up and after a while the fog dispersed a bit and the sun got through – the dog walkers suddenly appeared. I was on my way out and home when I spotted a delivery of woodchip and bags of poo. I took a closer look, it seemed/smelled like cow poo. I grabbed a wheelbarrow and helped myself to a bit of both.

The spot where the tomatoes normally grow I had previously covered in cardboard and had covered a bit with some of the horse manure that I collected, I did this the other month. It left half the bed still empty and so three bags of this cow poo was able to fill it up. I can imagine it had not long left the cow and so I mixed it up a bit with the rotted down horse manure already there. I also took the top layer of the wood chip path off and mixed that in, having been on the ground for over a year it had rotted down quite well so made for a good mix. I replaced this with the new wood chip resulting in a bit of a stripy path between old and new wood chip. All quite a success and ready for later on in the year.

I was no longer wearing a hat and gloves and I had undone my coat buttons, it was turning into quite a nice sunny (cold) January day. Before it got too crowded outside the site with dogs, their owners and their 4x4s, I biked home. I took with me a swede and the celeriac. It was nice being out.

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