Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pants on the ground


Lavender's blue dilly dilly by Pants


"There's a few things I've learned in life: always throw salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for good luck, and fall in love whenever you can."

So sayeth Master Shakespeare in A Winter's Tale. Here at Seat of Pants we are writing our own winter's tale. Barney has jetted off once again in his pet-a-porter to join all the other voligarchs circling the disintegrating Euro. They each have an eye on a folio of Greek islands. As Barney says, 'there are 6,000 Greek islands and only 227 of them are inhabited. They'd be crazy not to consolidate.' I don't know where he gets it from. The question Why is currently hovering over the atrocity that is U2.

That just leaves me to ensure that our primary residence is fit for habitation. I'm really not comfortable with all of this. Before Seat of Pants I lived in a flat. What happened outside was always someone else's problem. I have learned to mow and deal with the regular breakdowns of mowing devices. I have come to terms with the concepts of rooves, walls and fences and an external building that is not part of my living space but somehow my responsibility. It is quite useful for housing things I consider should be kept dry but are too dirty to be in the house, like the lawnmower. But whenever I go into this cavernous thing that is known locally as 'a shed' but in the real world would be called 'an aircraft hangar', I feel like an extra in Monsters vs Aliens.

I do throw spilt salt over my left shoulder. I like a lot of salt. I'm prone to cramp. Naturally some gets spilled. I'm only too glad for the occasion to draw down some good luck. I have a rosemary bush. Rosemary is a brilliant herb. A couple of times I've persuaded an inflammation in my mouth that tried to insist it was an abscess to downgrade itself to a mere irritation by chewing on fresh rosemary. If I actually had a garden gate, said bush would be near enough to it to satisfy the terms of an authentic winter's tale.

Lavender. As I mentioned earlier in the week, the Seat of Pants lavender bush divested itself of nine 'pups'. Are they called 'pups' in the lavender world or is that just bromeliads? Do I read like someone who gives a fuck? Pups it is. These nine pups I planted along my front fence. If one is going to plight one's troth, a front fence is as good a place as any to bury Caesar rather than praise him. Free potpourri to anyone who emails me and lives within in 4o metre radius.

I got an email from my dear old friend Ms A in London today. She and I were struggling up the greasy pole together a decade ago and abandoned it at about the same time. Ms A lives in a flat and has a large garden plot in South London for which she pays a nominal rent to the local council. Ms A knows she is very lucky. If one is to believe this report in The Daily Express, there is a long waiting list for council 'allotments' as they are called. Between ten and forty years, apparently.

It does seem that many of us delight in growing things to eat and are quite perplexed when the bio-bastards rabbit on about how difficult it is to do. Here at Seat of Pants, we are blessed with almost a market garden-sized plot. Of course the three of us don't muster a pea's worth of expertise between us but we still manage to conjure enough greens to keep us alive. We only know about water and compost. No wonder the bio-bastards want permission to sell only sterile seed. If everyone knew they could mix their food scraps with a bit of dirt and end up with potatoes and onions, their business would be burnt toast.

Right. Salt, rosemary, lavender and love. Who can spot the odd one out? Answers on an email please. No prizes unless you live within a 40 metre radius.