Monday, 30 May 2011

Sunny Side Up

I've had a really good week this week - some of my favourite clients old and new and have spent today in Whistable, eating the best chips I've ever had and purchasing bargains (see photo of BBQ bucket £12 and milk delivery carrier £29 - empty gin bottle all my own work). So, it doesn't seem quite right to have a "little whine and a moan" but I'm gonna, well kind of anyway.
Things I don't like about my job (or, why you should wear gloves at all times):
1. Cat poo.
2. Cat sick (I know, gross but not unheard of lurking in shrubberies).
3. Cat wee.
4. Any other non-vegetable squidgy stuff (inc crushed snails, spliced worms, frogs and toads).
5. Glass, rusty nails and other miscellaneous building/DIY materials.
6. Plastic, especially blue nylon string (I know it seemed like a good idea at the time but really?).
7. Fat balls - those that are left to coat the ground creating a gloopy mess and a stink that sticks.
8. Being intimidated by a tortoise (don't ask - it just followed me around everywhere!).
9. Bindweed - need I say more?
10. (Don't shoot me for this one) Dry, hot, rain-free springs - it's bloody dusty out there, which means sneezing, coughing and extra deep facial cleansing when I'm about fit to drop at the end of the day.
OK, so, as anyone who knows me will tell you I am probably the most annoyingly optimistic creature you'll ever meet. With this in mind it's impossible for me to leave you on a low. So.
Things I love about my job:
1. The people I encounter on a daily basis when I'm hefting my shopping trolley full of gear around the streets of Newham. Always a friendly word and an offer of help when I've scavenged an over-large chair frame for the allotment.
2. Being followed around the garden by a hungry Robin for 2hrs.
3. Seeing/hearing that Robin swallow a beak full of grubs and sing his heart out - does it get any better?
4. Timely cups of tea - keep them coming please folks.
5. Spring showers & summer rain storms.
6. Being asked to help judge the local front garden competition - how grown up and professional is that? Yay!
7. Everything else that isn't on the first list.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Busy As The Proverbial Bee!

Oh my word, where did the last couple of months go? The last time I looked round it was March. They do say that as you get older the time goes faster, but honestly!
Well, I shouldn't be surprised really as it is spring, the time of year where everything goes absolutely bloomin' mad and I am (happily) rushed off my feet. I now have 16 clients, which this time last year was only a dream. Most of them are regulars, a couple of hours a week or so, others are what I call my regular irregulars (better known as RI's) - not one-offs, but not every couple of weeks either - just when the weeds/lawns get too much for them to bear. For the last few weeks I've been visiting prospective clients and I have another 2 this week, which as I take Fridays as a study day and work on the Belfast on Thursdays, leaves me 3 full to bursting days a week for my lovely clients . It's all go but I love it!
Wendel - finished clearing the garden and am now putting down a path at the back of the garden so that the grandchildren can watch the trains go by.
Toto - still being found lots of jobs to do as well as digging in stone edging and general weed/unwanted things control.
Jack-Jack - still on clearance and have started planting and thinking about design/layout.
Cat in the Primroses - cut down to once a month at the moment due to the good weather enabling the client to get out and about a bit more herself.
Maxwell House (RI) - another visit to tame hedges, stake roses and dig up dandelions despite reccommendation to buy path and patio weed killer.
Mr 22 - come spring and the lawns need constant attention - laid more grass seed and treated for weeds. I really don't like green alcanet anymore.
Some Newbies: Thumbs, House of Gnomes, Stitches, 90's and Allergic to Gardening (no, they really are severely allergic to something in the garden that bites them every time they go out and get stuck in).
What's the saying, no rest for the wicked? Well I musta been pretty vile at some time as we also have the allotment at the weekends - although, thankfully, I have B to help me (or do most of the work as I'm usually faffing around with something or other). This is also going rather well as you can see from the photo. My only complaint is that there hasn't been nearly enough rain so that cackling, whirling dirvish type character you see is me in full rain dance mode - come on you clouds! oh, forgot to tell you, we celbrated our 1st anniversary at allotmenteers by holding a tea party and managed to raise £40 for Amnesty International (via their Amnestea campaign) at the same time. I made scones, toxic looking turquoise fairy cakes, banana cake and blueberry & lemon cake. Added to this there were generous donations of chocolate brownies, ginger fairy cakes, and a wonderful fruit cake topped with figs. Yum doesn't quite do it justice.