Of mice - and men

With some difficulty, we lifted off the tarpaulin that had been covering a large raised bed which had been dormant for, apparently, years. Suddenly a scurry of tiny wee field mice took us by surprise. We’d disturbed their cosy straw nest beneath the tarp, and they fled in all directions before we knew what was happening - and before I could photograph them. I guess allotments have to put up with mice, and probably foxes too. At least now I know who’s been nibbling the last of the courgettes …

 The last of the (inherited) courgettes seem to have been popular with our scurry of field mice!

The last of the (inherited) courgettes seem to have been popular with our scurry of field mice!

Once we’d got over that little drama, I knuckled down to clear yet more bindweed roots, weeds, turf, rubble, soil and bricks along the long side of the plot (around 50ft). I also had to remove, by spade, part of a large compost heap invading from a neighbouring plot. It took forever but it was necessary to prepare the ground for the installation of a boundary fence before the arrival of Storm Ali the next day. Eight hours later, I was pretty pleased with the results of my hard labour …

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NOT!! Actually, the really hard work was done by three strong men friends (see below). The pre-treated wood arrived a ghastly bright yellow so after the storm was over we set to with the paint brushes with a vengeance. I could not ever have contemplated doing this by myself. As the responsible plotholder I had to be in my helpers’ presence as no strangers are allowed onsite otherwise so, in between showers, I dispensed snakcs and hot coffee from a flask from my tiny shed. Passing female plotholders reminded me how lucky I was to get such able help. Now to Gumtree to source a replacement greenhouse for the once that got blown down in last year’s storms ….

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