The Planet Or

Plot 17 – The Earthly Comforts Garden

Season Three – Plot 17 Growing Season April – September 2023

The Allotment Plotters Directory
The Planet Or.
“He who works with his hands is a laborer.  He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.  He who works with his hands, his head and his heart is an artist.”

St. Francis of Assisi

The Meadow

In the World of Or, the word boredom doesn’t exist. Nor does the phrase. ‘Is there anything else to do?’

There is always something else to do in Or. You don’t have the time to sit around twiddling your thumbs or anything else you care to twiddle with. If that is your thing, there is a better time to twiddle, twaddle, or even twoddle, but not in the world of Or. I can’t remember when l sat down and twiddled with something for a quickie iddle. Not recently, for sure. The World of Or is the new nickname for Plot 17. Plot 17 or Planet Or, as l am fast beginning to think it should be referred to.

There is one thing for sure: you are constantly sore in the World of Or. You ache and moan and groan and feel the sprain and pain repeatedly. As they say, no strain, no gain. That holds here. 

Whilst l am still having fun here, Suze isn’t so much. It’s a case of yes and no with her at present. Yes, she is because she knows it is hard graft in this current time, and there will be a better future, as this time next year, the most challenging aspect of Plot 17 will be over, and 2024 will be easier. 

But no, because she is always tired, her neuropathy plays havoc with her hands, and she can’t get on with other things around the house because we are both at the allotment.

Only some people who start an allotment have the stuff to deal with that we had – like not every new allotmenteer brings down huge compost bins or worm farms, which placed an enormous strain on our fatigue levels.

I keep telling her, and she knows that once the seedlings are in, life will become easier. Well ish, life isn’t ever truly easy on an allotment. But Suze is looking forward to the chores not being so labour intensive.

Last week l had dodgy eyes, but a trip to a caring chemist fixed that, and l now have an eyelid gel that l use twice daily to keep my eyes safe – both during standard times and during flare-ups. I also was suffering with my first week of this flu doing the rounds, and here l am, week two, still walking around like a snot machine.

To make matters worse and complement the famous hat trick of disaster. Last Thursday, l somehow strained my lower back or the top of my hip. Not sure which is worse, but bending on my left side from the hip is enough to make me wince in agony. I don’t know how l managed to hurt myself.

It was one of three possible movements – gardening with the clients on Tuesday afternoon, volunteering at the reserve on Wednesday morning or allotmenteering on Wednesday afternoon. Who knows when, how, or even when, but by Thursday morning, when erecting more of the polytunnel at the allotment was excruciating.

I took it easier last Thursday – which was awkward as it was polytunnel building day – l tried to not bend down much, which caused a lot of pain, but it marginally eased up on Friday, and l took the day out and away from Planet Or to try and resolve the pain issue, but l was back in Or Saturday and Sunday, and the Monday just gone too and the pain was back with me. It’s slowly getting better but not brilliant, and each day, l awaken pretty damn sore.

It’s pointless taking time out, there is too much to do, and like a disability, you soon learn what to avoid doing, and if YOU have to perform that task, mastering the ways to prevent the pain aspect. On Monday, l had to sieve off a compost unit. Shaking the sieves is only marginally painful but manageable, whereas bending down into the half-empty box is not, so that’s pretty wince-worthy.

Hopefully, l can shake the back/hip issue this week as we are heading into a hectic period with Planet Or. Everything is wild, and as l initially wrote, there is no boredom in Or. There is no time to be bored. If you are bored, you are doing something wrong.

Every day Suze and l are down there, or if not both of us, one of us, you are just busy from when you open the gate on arrival to when you shut the gate on departure and go home for the night. Be that for a few hours or much longer stints.

A short time, for instance, last Monday, was from 09.30 am to 1.15 pm, whilst more extended periods are between eight to eleven hours a day. It’s easy enough to clock time-wise at the allotment per week, roughly sixty hours. Yesterday was another half eight start and a finish at two.

When the weather is good to you, as in not raining, your days become much longer, more physically demanding, and challenging. There is just always something to do.

When down there, we have a daily to-do list of high and medium-priority jobs to achieve. We scrapped the low-priority side to it because being behind means all the chores we have to work on now need to be and must be done.

Of course, there are always small jobs that can be done. They are ten a penny and pointless to list because sometimes there are too many. Weeding out the nefarious weeds we have issues with on the plot – mare’s tail and bindweed – is a continuous task. Neither needs any encouragement to set seed.

Last Monday, l was busy with several small jobs when l was down there by myself – cutting blue pipe hoops for Beds 3 and 11, as well as sorting out some hosepipe storage space, hoeing the pea and beans space to break the soil further there, screwing up a storage box that had come undone in the utility area, filling up the bird feeders and generally tidying up. Small jobs, but all still need to be done.

The big chore of the morning was to sift more of the finished compost in box 4. The latter needed to be finalised so l could start the two new composts in boxes 5 and 6, and 4 is their alternate unit, so it needs to be emptied. I finally had the compost finished on Tuesday morning.

Plot 17 is a large plot and a bit like running a small land-holding – although some might say like a farm. It matters, not l guess on the terminology. The larger the plot of land available, the more responsibilities you have and the more chores, tasks, and jobs you are accountable for.

It would be best if you never were or considered yourself to be bored. As said, if you are, something’s wrong somewhere. There is always something to do, and if asked what, one usually answers with, “Well, there is planting or composting or worm farming or watering or digging or hoeing or repairs or just more Or alternatives!”

I hope you have enjoyed this post, thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time. Till then, have yourselves a terrific day!

The Autistic Composter

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Published by The Autistic Composter

Earthly Comforts is a wildlife journaling scrapbook focusing on the countryside, wildlife biodiversity and environmental conservation, flora and fauna volunteering projects, gardening, composting and vermiculture, inspiration, poetry and photography.

7 thoughts on “The Planet Or

  1. There is a comedian who talks about boredom. I believe it is Louis C.K., but I might be mistaken. Anyway, he talks about how in a world filled with so many things to do, see, and experience, we should not get bored. He makes a valid point, and so do you! You and Suze have been working hard!!

    Liked by 1 person

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