My Tiny Urban Garden

I never thought I had green fingers. My Mum, on the other hand, is hulk like in her proficiency for gardening. The borders of our garden in Norfolk are teeming with flowers, bushes and bamboo; a variation of new additions and plants spliced from the soil of past houses. I love a garden. Perhaps it's that 'Little England' mentality of wanting to secure a small area of land for yourself. The proverbial raising of a flagpole, no matter how small the area.

Well, you can't get an area much smaller than my 'garden' in London. I didn't see it before we moved in, but if you know anything about London living, you'll know that any outdoor space, no matter how small, is something to have a bloody party over. That said, if you know London landlords you'll know that they never give you something for nothing. Our garden? A patch of mud that ran along the side of the house. No, I'm not exaggerating. It was just a mud patch. With some weeds. And slugs.

The slugs are still there, but after some 'outside of the box' thinking, my ever helpful parents and a few trips to the garden centre, I've managed to make a little urban sanctuary. I'm trying really hard to be humble. I am probably more proud of this garden than I have been about anything ever. I still do a little dance when a new tomato for a raspberry turns a dark, juicy pink. I swan outside with a watering can whilst still in my dressing gown and hope the neighbours can see what a bloody great job I've done. 

It's not the rose garden at Chatsworth, sure, but it's my midnight runs outside in the rain with a handful of slug pellets. It's my sore back after digging up weeds for six hours. It's my Dad driving through Streatham three times to do 'gravel runs' from the garden centre. It's my bored visitors who come to the house and get a 30 minute tour of a 8ft patch of land. It's mange tout I've pushed onto my teacher training pals, whether they like it or not. Here it is, in all it's teeny tiny glory.


Lunching at the (Famous in Norfolk) Wiveton Hall

Wiveton Hall is riding a wave of fame at the moment, and it's well deserved. A few months ago you may have seen a little ol' programme called 'Normal for Norfolk' grace the BBC, and obviously I tuned in like a crazed Norfolk fan; consuming anything that mentions my beloved homeland. I was really worried that the programme would make Norfolkians out to be simple and stupid, which is an unfortunate and unfounded stereotype (except for that North Norfolk lot - we don't mention them), but in fact it was a blissful three hours of television that surmised what life is like in a rural hall run by an eccentric chap called Desmond.

You come across these people in countryside pubs; the ones wearing decades old tweed, drinking malt whiskey at midday with an ancient labrador at their feet. 'Gentleman farmers', as they are called in the show, which essentially means a ancestrally rich bloke doing whatever they can to keep an estate alive. Think Downton Abbey, but in 2016 where giving off part of your land to a festival rather than to commercial farming is the new way to 'diversify' and therefore stay afloat. It's a hard gig. Desmond - the aforementioned 'gentleman farmer' - is such an interesting character that you truly couldn't make him up if you tried. A bumbling, enthusiastic and perpetually upbeat chap who appears in real life exactly as he does on the screen. Like a cross between Boris Johnson pre-Brexit and Arthur Weasley from Harry Potter.

We were prompted to head along to the cafe after getting major food envy pangs from an episode that focused on the kitchen at Wiveton Hall. Needless to say, we weren't the only ones. It seems that the restaurant kicked up in popularity overnight and my parents scoured the website for a free slot. Eventually, we were in!


I Hate Being Alone

Do you remember me saying a while ago 'Ooohhh look at me I've got so much free time, blah blah blah, wait a minute whilst I get my banana bread out of the oven...' Yeah, me too. Ever since this post, where I was peachy and readily boastful about all the spare time I had found since finishing teacher training, I have gone through a series of feelings registering from jubilation to boredom to downright loneliness. Some people are fine with their own company, but I can only do an afternoon before I want to call someone and scream 'LOVE ME!!!!' down the phone.

I'm going to try and break it down but keep it lighthearted so that I don't end up crawling along the floor  in order to make friends with the woodlouse. I cannot guarantee that won't happen regardless.

 You start with ALL the life admin

'I'm so pleased I have so much time off - I can catch up with all of those things I've put off for ages.' She says optimistically. Guaranteed, you'll put this off until Day 3 of being home alone and one season of Pretty Little Liars, then after you've had a meeting at the bank, demoulded the bathroom, stitched all the holes up in your clothes, polished your shoes, baked a bazillion cakes, weeded the garden, had the bike serviced, made a doctors appointment and sorted the letter rack out, you will quite literally be crawling the walls for something to do. Yes, you've done life admin, but do you have a life? No. No you don't. 
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