Just when you feel like putting both barrels in your mouth…
In recent weeks – the weeks of my inactivity on this tissue of misery – I have been in a dark place. It’s been raining. A lot. Dark gloomy days with untold levels of rain. Everything is a quagmire.
In the garden, the greenhouse build is on hold as the ground is like a swamp. In fact, parts of the garden resemble the Hippo’s hotel! I have built the herbage, but I haven’t filled it with soil as the soil heap (from the greenhouse footings) is like slurry after the annual Cow’s Guinness and Curry Evening. Trying to pass it through a riddle is like pushing the contents of a baby’s nappy through a fine Chinoise! The bed sown with parsnips, carrots and salsify is sodden and lifeless. The weeds, however, are up and wearing great big happy hats! I just trudge around the muddy waste muttering “ballsacks” and feeling generally hacked off.
In the shed, there are a bunch of seedlings getting leggy because they have no greenhouse to move to. There are seeds unsown because the space they are to live in is filled with those that cannot move to the greenhouse. It’s like a Syrian border camp; no space and getting fuller by the day. It’s the middle of May, for Barry Gibb’s sake. Is anything going to grow this year?
In the field, the spuds are up and the onions that the rooks deigned not to pull up are shooting. However, nothing else has happened because the ground is too wet and cold. Add to that the lethagy that seems to affect many of the others with regard to fund raising, and I might even excuse myself for kicking of at them all at the last allotment association meeting.
My latest batch of beer won’t clear, to the point that I am having to do something I’ve never done before. NO! Don’t be silly, I’m not throwing it away; I’m adding gelatine solution to the barrel. I’ll let you know if it works. I was going to add Isinglass, but I’ve recently found out that it only has a shelf life of 4 weeks, so by the time it passes through the supply chain it’s quality is degraded. Big breweries get it fresh delivered, but home brewers rely on it being supplied through wholesale distribution to retailers, and then on to them. There is dried Isinglass, but the process to prepare it properly requires a high power vortexing mixer. In short, home brewers pay through the nose for Isinglass because it is more effective than gelatine, but poor stock control and inadequate instructions mean it’s actually inferior to gelatine in our hands! I can write a whole post about it if anyone gives a shit!
We did have one sunny morning. At lunchtime I set the cabbage and kale seedlings outside, then went indoors and began to sort out a few more seeds for sowing. In a minute the sky went black and the deluge began. The rain was ferocious that it flattened them in seconds. They never recovered.
Now, some of you might think, “This is the Idiot; any second now a knock at the door will see him face to face with two ladies whose car has broken down. He’ll recognise them as Tracy Cahill and Lorraine Kelly. They’ll explain that they were on their way to film a lesbian video, and could they possibly film it in his house!” Well, there was a knock on the door. It was old bloke come to read the gas meter.
Is there any good news? Well, I woke up today, so I guess I’m not dead yet. I might not be dead tomorrow either. Every cloud has a silver lining. Still, it has to stop raining soon, and there’s always next year!
Oh, wait! There was some good news. Last weekend I stood in a muddy field in the pissing rain and watched a couple of bints balance on horses!
You see … just when you feel like putting both barrels in your mouth, along comes a happy ending!