Another long absence - this won't do at all. I feel I owe some explanation, and it's been due to a combination of anguish (not too strong a word) and absence.
I'll take them in reverse order, but before I get onto absence, note my patriotic breakfast above from way back in July, during the Tour de France. Blueberries and alpine strawberries from the garden - seems very far away now that we're well into autumn in Scotland.
So, onto absence. We've had a busy summer of being welded to our respective work desks, lots of travel to visit elderly parents, and much work at the allotment. In early June we had a brief trip to France for a walking holiday in the Tarn valley. We started and ended the trip in the beautiful city of Albi, and of course I had to take in some gardens while we were there. Very formal and orderly, from the grand to the potager variety.
And back to the allotment. We have committed ourselves to it in a big way this summer, and have enjoyed getting it into more productive order. At the moment we're dealing with the courgette glut. Some have escaped to become marrows - you can see the scale in the shot below if you realise that I have size 8 (European 42) feet.
I love the artistic bunching of vegetables. My husband thinks I'm mad.
And our shed has had a makeover - panels of wood replaced to make it watertight for the winter, and recently a bright but tasteful paint job, of which more in a later post.
And the anguish? As you probably know - inescapable if you live in the UK - tomorrow we face a vote that will decide if Scotland will become independent and the UK split up. I have found it impossible to have any creative, positive thoughts that would let me blog, but at this point I have to speak up for what I feel, and say that I am deeply upset and depressed at the prospect of losing my British citizenship. Not only that, I am distressed for the sake of the future generations.
If the vote goes the wrong way and is in favour of independence I don't know if I will have the heart to return to blogging. I suppose the consolation with gardening and growing is being able to concentrate on something more eternal than politics and the ebb and flow of empires.
In January the annual allotment fee invoice came in, and we had another stocktake about whether we had the time to keep the plot on. We hadn't got to the end of that when, what seemed like a week later, a red final demand notice came in. The waiting list for plots near us is very long - between 5 and 7 years - so although we hope not still to be in Edinburgh by that point, we couldn't face giving up and plot and going back on the waiting list. So here we are, committed for another year and watching the garlic grow.
I planted garlic on 4 January. By 16 February it was showing green shoots. When I was at the plot two weeks ago it was higher still, but I didn't get any photos. I'm just about to go along for a morning's work and will check on its progress then. Thankfully, despite the late planting we have had some days of frost to help bulb development.
Meantime, potatoes have been chitting away. Charlotte and Desiree, not too many of either because we want to leave space for more interesting things. Not that a home grown tattie isn't a delight, but there are other things which cost more and taste of nothing in the supermarket.
And finally - our new weed for this season. Foxglove seedlings, liberally strewn across the plot by the wild floxgloves on our inherited weed heap/compost pile. I'll dig a couple up for the garden, but the rest will have to come out. It seems a shame, but they are definitely a 'plant in the wrong place'.