a crouch caught bass, oven ready.

Thank you allotment, I feel manly again.

Below is the only fish I have caught from the shore in the last year that was big enough to eat. When I go fishing, Ailsa doesn’t even ask me if I caught anything anymore. She just asks if I had a good time. This hurts.

I used to think I would be able to provide fish for my lovely fiancé. Fortunately, we have shops, so I don’t strictly need to. But if we didn’t, and I was a hunter-gatherer, I’d be a useless one.

And let’s not even go into the time that I crawled around for two hours trying to airgun woodpigeons before they made a complete mug out of me.

It is with great relief and renewed chest thrusting that I can fall back on the allotment to restore my shattered male ego.

It’s been my best summer ever. I’ve even had to freeze stuff. I’ve never needed to do this before. This week, after another failed bassing trip which culminated in one skinny whiting that even left the cat wanting, I decided to re-exert some masculinity.

So, I decided we weren’t shopping. I was going to indulge myself in providing, and feeding us like kings. Every night I’ve been marching down the plot after work, filling my boots, and triumphantly slamming homegrown veg down on to our worktop.

Grrrrr. I’m a tiger.

We’ve had allotment stir fry, bangers and allotment onion and potato mash (skins left on, ‘cos I’m a real man ) with allotment curly kale, allotment leek, and butternut squash soup and a hefty 100% allotment salad.

What’s more, we’ve had fresh leaves and the last of our tomatoes in sandwiches, and frozen fruit on our cereal (admittedly this is cheating a tad, but hey, I’m troubled, cut me some slack).

I’m walking tall again. However, the cod season is fast approaching, and I haven’t caught one of those from the shore for two years. We could be back to square one.

Let’s hope those winter veg do as well as the summer ones. I might need them.

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