I no longer recognise myself. I have become a different, later, version of myself. This is one of those personality shifts that crosses into a new integral version number: Will 7.0 say, or a whole other big cat; OSWill Polecat.
That analogy went a little far, eh?
What in the blazes am I talking about? I’ve taken up gardening. There it is, in black and white. I am, one could say, a gardener, albeit a somewhat naive one, still wet-behind-the-ears.
Allow me to explain. I always knew I’d take up gardening one day, but until the beginning of March, that one day was a fairly distant, hypothetical one. I could imagine it, but it held no immediate appeal. Then my ever-inventive ladyfriend, instead of buying a trite ‘n’ tacky Valentine’s card, bought me a “grow your own chilli” kit, complete with seeds, compost and rather fetching terracotta plant pot.
As should be reasonably plain by now, I am a keen cook and baker, and so it struck me as a fun pressie. It actually took me a couple of weeks to get round to planting the seeds. Such was my naivety, that as I opened the packet, I wondered, excitedly, what chilli seeds looked like. Not thinking, until the contents of the small, metallic sachet tumbled into my hands, that I had seen chilli seeds every time I chopped one up whilst throwing together a curry or chilli-con-whatever-I-have-in. I surprise even myself sometimes.
So far, so mildly amusing. But then a few weeks later, on a morning much like any other, I dragged myself out of bed, and went down to the kitchen to make myself my usual XL mug of “HOW strong?!” coffee and try and locate my ability to form cogent sentences. But upon moving to apply a fine mist of water to the fine, brown tilth in my chilli pot, I discovered two or three small shoots, who had heroically pushed their way out of the soil, shed their seed casings, and stood tall and proud, ready to suck in sunlight for all they were worth.
It may have become clear at this point that I was finding this spring-time germination sensation somewhat miraculous. “That little seed! In some soil! With some water and warmth! It’s made A PLANT! A bloody PLANT!” I was just about able to stop myself calling The Guardian to make sure they let everyone know about this incredible phenomenon.
Suffice to say, I was hooked.
Fast forward to mid-April. Saturday morning rolls around. I get up relatively early, and go downstairs in the aforementioned fashion. But today, after breakfast, I set off with my Ma to the nursery just outside town. Once there, I excitedly browse the pots of -one-day-they’ll-be-edible plants, and 6ft high stands of seeds, looking for the particular varieties that I’ve earmarked for one of 4 veg-boxes, 3 two-foot pots, or one of the miscellaneous smaller pots I have pilfered from my folks’ collection, which make up my first attempt at veg & herb gardening. I do all of this with a sense of wonder usually reserved for childhood Christmases and shooting stars.
So yeah, 2011 me would have been surprised to see 2012 me cheering the arrival of a new Gardener’s World magazine. But 2012 me would smile knowingly, having spent a pleasant day in the garden, repotting, and seed planting, whilst listening to the birds sing and breathing in the fresh air.
Chances are, I’ll post about the gardening as well as the usual bread-based and sarnie-centred stuff on the blog. Hope that’s ok with y’all. You can always avoid the soil-soaked ones if you’re uninterested in such things.
Right, I’m off to double-triple check that there’s no way the slugs can get to my seedlings.