Every good allotmenteer should by now have now have made their to do list.
Got One? Me too.
It's just a reliable way of documenting the outstanding jobs that have been creeping around in the periphery of the plot during the summer.
Whether it's general maintenance like paths, roofs and steps or more seasonal jobs like disinfecting the greenhouse or tidying the shed the irresistible march of time and the continual exposure to the constantly changing weather means that these jobs become due ready or not.
Winter is the time to get some of these jobs done.
Well lets face it, with everything else that is going on, who has time for all this during the summer?
And that's how it starts.
The to do list summons into being all of allotment life's little irritants, together with the big jobs that have been skulking like black dogs on a dark foot path.
There is always the vain hope that in recognising the extent of your exposure you will some how steel yourself to achieve more. Nope! The to do list serves only to highlight the level of our own poor time organisation and makes us realise that the spell of the dark fairy of indolence is a strong one.
R: Dark fairy help me out!
DF: Well.... You've got all winter.
R: Yes! Yes I have. Thank you dark fairy. I've got all winter.
No I don't.
Between now and March 13th (that's about spring time right?) it will raining, hailing, snowing and sleeting. Heck, it we might even have some frozen soil this year. Doubtful when you live as close to London as I do, but you never know.
Celebrating Christmas this year? Me too. That's another two weekends gone. You won't see those again. Let's not forget the Christmas shopping time too. Let's Just write off the last two weeks of December and the first week of January for starters.
I have several birthdays during that time including a Father, Mother, Grandmother and a couple of very close friends which will each wipe out a Saturday or a Sunday or two.
Despite the wintery conditions there are still plants that need to be sown and all of my soil is in desperate need of compost and manure so that's another two weekends when the general maintenance jobs won't get done.
Allow another weekend for unexpected illness and another one for last minute visitors and strike out another day to the great god of unplanned quick halfs that get right out of hand, and your staring down the barrel of a long weekend and a planned day off work to catch up on the allotment before you need to start planting again.
R: I hate the dark fairy.
DF: Oh Really Rad? How about a quick game of Pro Evolution Soccer? It’s the 2010 version. You can be Spurs I’ll be the Arsenal. Best of 5?