The Idiot Gardener

WARNING: This site contains information on gardening, brewing, curing meat,

building shit and hunting, all done in a piss-poor manner. It is not suitable for the

feeble-minded, the weak and lame, those of a nervous disposition, vegans and

vegetarians (and those other ones that only eat fish and the occasional bacon

sandwich - I think they're called 'hypocrites'), those who practice any

manner of folk singing or dancing, people named Colin or fans of Barry Gibb.

Dreams and Reality … the journey towards a Smallholding

We all have dreams. I have them. You have them. Even Barry Gibb has them. We’re dreamers, each of us, and there’s not a lot wrong with that. However, what happens if – and it’s a big if – those dreams ever become reality? Now, you might think that having your dreams come true would be a fantastically positive and totally uplifting experience. You might think it would be the best of the best, a bit like finding a goose that lays a golden egg and also drives you home when you’re pissed.

Here’s a thought. Many years ago I dreamed that I had a job delivering tins of Ambrosia Cream Custard. Just two tins, mind. I didn’t drive a van or deal in job lots. I was a bespoke deliverer of tins of custard – just the two – to the very lovely Lorraine Kelly. When I delivered them, she said in her lovely Dundee brogue (and these are her words, not mine), ‘Oooh, now I’ll have ta strip down to ma knickers, as I always get it all over me’sen  when I eat it’. Then, as quick as a flash, she employed me to clean her down after her custard fest. It was a job offer I could not refuse.

That was one dream, but actually I’ve been in other dreams when the delivery job comes up, and off I’m sent from an unrelated scenario to deliver custard to Lorraine, and clean her down afterwards. Sometimes I go to sleep just thinking about custard, in the hope the dream will arrive once more. Some mornings I awake and tarry for a while, remembering the custardy pleasure of my night-time imagination. On the odd occasion, I even rise and have a wank.

So, what if my dream came true? I’d be happy, possibly elated, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be all wine and roses. As I stirred into life and Lorraine was stood at the end of the bed in her underpants, dried custard across her body, shouting, ‘C’mon ya wee bastid, give ma charlies a good licking’ I might be happy, I might be aroused, but I’d probably be slightly filled with trepidation too.

Well, that’s how I’m feeling right now.

No, don’t be a silly bastard, I haven’t really got a job licking custard off Lorraine Kelly’s tits. That was an allegory. For fuck’s sake, do I need to explain everything?

When I first decided to dig up the lawn at our Surrey residence, I just wanted to grow a few vegetables. That was back in late 2009, and all I wanted to do was have some turnips and a few carrots. Then I wanted more space. I turned more of the garden into beds, then I ran out of space. Next stop was the allotment. A mere 250 square metres was enough until …. it wasn’t enough.

But it wasn’t just land. I was making beer in a back bedroom and curing bacon in the kitchen fridge. I was stuffing sausages after work and searching for people with apple trees that they no longer harvested. I was spending my spare time dreaming. Lorraine’s custardy tits suddenly played second fiddle to an idle day dream of land, fields, barns and other country shit that I didn’t know (and still don’t know) the name of.

In truth, a country pile with a brewery and charcuterie kitchen, barn, fields, woodland and space for a fire-pit was a dream. I live in pissing suburbia with a long suffering partner, a job and a relatively small semi-detached with a garden the size of an average picnic table. Last winter, when my shoulder was rebuilt, I couldn’t even garden or brew or cure meat. All I could do was dream.

And it wasn’t just Lorraine Kelly and custard!

So, what happens when dreams and reality meet? I don’t know, but the Idiot semi (that’s the house, not my dick, you dirty bastards) is on the market and next weekend we’re off to view some new properties. These range from 1 to 7 acres. There are barn conversions, farmhouses and estate gatehouses. They include barns, annexes and old pig sties. It’s happening, and I’m not sure that I’m ready for it. I’m not sure it’s sensible. I’m not certain it’s for the best. But it’s happening.

And that’s enough for me.

In the immortal words of Lorraine Kelly…

Give ma charlies a good licking!


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