Real Men Sow

How a Man Cold Made Me Appreciate My Allotment

I’ve got a mancold.

A coughing, spluttering, sniffing, hocking beast of a virus that grips men by the balls and reduces us to shivering wrecks on the sofa.

With my allotment rent due by the end of November, time is against me if I’m going to get my fruit bushes and strawberry plants transferred to the garden. I’m away mountain biking this weekend, and Ailsa has been making noises about baby shopping the weekend after, so this Saturday and Sunday just gone I had no choice but to fight through the terribly debilitating illness and get out on to the allotment.

Fighting Through
Once at the plot, I did some digging up of pink fir apples (incredibly productive) and big Cara maincrop (good tip from Ron who runs the allotment shop, when I said I wanted baking potatoes), relocated some strawberry plants and moved a blackcurrant bush. However, I did a lot more sniffing, near-on choking, groaning, cursing and generally feeling very sorry for myself.

What became clear, is that on my allotment, on my own, this pathetic cold complaining was okay. There was no one else to irritate by grumbling about my runny nose and how I feel like death warmed up. I could be in whatever mood I desired.

Being Yourself on Your Plot
Suddenly, it occurred to me that the absolute beauty about an allotment or indeed a garden, is that it is your space to do whatever you wish, and be completely and utterly yourself.

I chat to myself, scratch my head and ponder, completely oblivious to what’s going on around me. I don’t think I’ve experienced anywhere else that allows such a switch off.

From speaking to my mum, I know she feels the same. She loses herself totally in her garden, pottering around and thinking of nothing but plants and her immediate surroundings.

There loads of super reasons to grow your own veg on an allotment or in a garden. Many of them, such as saving money and eating the freshest, tastiest veg possible, are obvious, but some are less so.

Having a special place to be yourself fits into the less so category, and this is reflected by the different growing styles, colours and sheds at the allotment. So many different people in one place, all happy growing and tinkering in their own little world.

Or coughing, spluttering and being a useless man with a mancold, depending on which plot you’re looking at.


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  1. JelliebabeNovember 23, 2012 at 11:48 amReply

    ahem…. have I missed something???

    BABY Shopping???


    Hope you recover from your man cold :o )

  2. Jono

    JonoNovember 25, 2012 at 1:22 pmReplyAuthor

    Hey JB – yes, first little seedling due Feb 5th! I’ll be growing for three. :)

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About Real Men Sow

meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope. However, over a decade later, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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