Tuesday 29th September
Battle has been raging down on the allotment – it was me versus the Willow Stump. Stumpy was well dug into a bunker and wasn’t showing any sign of surrender. But he was standing in the way of Gooseberry Progress, so he had to go! The campaign was like guerrilla warfare, with me sniping away every time I was on the allotment, chipping away at resistance bit by bit. The weapons were the mattock, the trowel, the spade, the saw and the sledge hammer – all resources were mustered. The fight was grim, grimy and gritty. Dirt got under finger nails, knuckles were skinned but in the end, resistance was futile. The final blow was delivered by the sledge hammer and Stumpy uttered a last feeble creak and was defeated. The sight of the grey-haired old dear (aka me!) wielding a sledge hammer prompted the gentlemen on the neighbouring plot to offer assistance and I was grateful to be helped to lug Stumpy off the battle field. Thank you, boys! So the way was clear to dig the cleared plot and plant the gooseberry bushes. Three have been struggling in my garden at home next to the privet hedge and have been ravaged by, I think, vine weevils. They have not a single leaf left between them, so a transplant was required. The forth bush was a gift from Judith and Michael when they came to supper recently, rather than chocolates, they arrived with a prime gooseberry bush! How thoughtful! And very much appreciated, thank you, M & J!