Monday, 31 August 2009

Dig Deep for Victory

DP and I have spent most of the bank holiday weekend trying to sort out this allotment plot that we took on. As I mentioned in another post, we took this plot on last year, but didn't quite know the amount of work that we were letting ourselves in for. The soil is stony, weeds flourish in no time, and I don't know what was there before but we are digging all sorts of stuff out of there including bits of an old toilet. Go figure.

We started off enthusiastic, as most do. But it tailed off, and as the weeds grew, our enthusiasm waned. We spent less time up there, and did less when we did go up. The whole task just started to seem too daunting. No matter what we did, the weeds came back in a matter of days. It's a wonder we got anything out of there really, but we did, when we pulled back the weeds, see that the onions and squash plants had actually done really well.

This weekend, we hired a mechanical digger to dig the plot over again, we've dug in some horse manure and the plan is to cover it over so that the weeds don't come through and we can, bit by bit, uncover and dig beds and paths and so on after the winter. We've strimmed back the overgrowing grass and weeds, DP and my
Dad have mainly done the digging, me, my Dad and SD have harvested the remaining potatoes and SD and I have picked stones out of the newly dug soil and raked the manure over it. Just a quick note on the manure - when we took SD for her horse riding lesson on Saturday, DP and I stood on a mighty mound of horseshit and shovelled no less than 20 bags of steaming poo. Yummy....

DP is now in the bath soaking his aches and pains after the weekend's work. SD has gone home to BM and the Hatchet Face, they insisted on having her home at 9am this morning, on a bank holiday no less. Not one extra minute is allowed any more. Oh, and by the way, we put the clothes BM wanted back in one of those Bags for Life, not a binbag! And I'm contemplating the allotment, and the fact that this year we are going to actually have to put more than a halfhearted effort in. We have been spinning too many plates this year to actually be able to concentrate on any one thing properly. I think it's time to get back to basics and figure out what it is that we want to focus on. DP and I both enjoy working outdoors, and we like the idea of growing our own, and being that little bit more self sufficient. But it takes work, and commitment, and it means that you have to be disciplined and devote time to it, or, like this year, it quickly gets overgrown and you can't see your veg for the weeds.

Things between DP and I are a little strained at the moment for various reasons and with all the dramas relating to SD/BM, I think the veg of our relationship might be buried under weeds at the moment. Pleasing each other and seeking out each other's company has certainly taken a back seat of late, that's for sure. And like visiting the allotment when you know it's going to be covered in nettles, reconnecting with one another when it's been tough isn't always the easiest thing to do, so sometimes it feels easier to stay away and stay busy doing other things. But that only makes the carpet of weeds grow thicker, and it's harder to see where the good stuff is, or was, or maybe you're even afraid to peel back the thicket of weeds in case the good stuff has all withered and died underneath. The bio-mama-drama certainly does choke the life out of everything around it sometimes, that's for sure.

I just hope that we can do a little work to find each other again, with our trip to China coming up soon, and that it won't take the same amount of effort to get back on track that it did to get that allotment back to a usable state. Like everything else, relationships need nurture, care, and effort, and it's not enough simply to abide in the same house side by side when both of you have your mind on other things. We've got to find a way back to each other somehow, and stop this ongoing crap with BM having the ability to drive us apart and make us forget why we are both here. An embargo on discussing her would be a start I think - she's had far more airtime over the last few weeks than either of us would like. Instead, I think we need to talk more about anything that ISN'T anything to do with her, actually. I have a feeling that our best inoculation against her is to concentrate on anything but - in other words, our future and the things that we want to achieve as a couple, as just us for once.


  1. Hey, all relationships go through sh1t patches, and that's those WITHOUT the added pressures that ours have!! I think the China trip will be just what you need to get back on track. And I think the ban on all things BM is great idea!

    Oh and kudos on the allotment! Hubby has an allotment but I don't get involved! :-/

    LBM xxxx

  2. I have a little swanky something for you at my blog. Stop by...

  3. It may be hard to get going with the gardening, or anything that gets put off, for that matter, but I find that when I'm into it time just seems to evapourate and I lose myself in what I am doing. I really liked this post and how you relate the cultivation of a garden to the cultivation of our relationships. - G

  4. I really like this post. It's true, sometimes we think that just because we live under the same roof we are connected but without work (and lots of it!) that connection falls to the wayside. We're currently working on this right now too...we have a little trip coming up next month - just us, no cell phones or tv or internet - and we're both so excited to reconnect.
    Good luck (and can't wait to hear about China!!!).

  5. This post really hit me - it's so true, we need to cultivate all human relationships, and all vegetable gardens. :-)

    I guess relationships are no different than friendships that way, if we don't put in the MUTUAL efford, it fades out. But add on the step-stuff and it's even more complicated. Some things people just can't share, and sometimes it seems being a step-mum is all about making compromises - US making the compromises, hard to see sometimes where the hubs do. And that's when the allotment fills up with stupid weeds.

    I feel for you - hope you find a way! (That we all do)


  6. The best thing my boyfriend and I did regarding the stress of a psycho BM is deciding consciously to push her out of OUR lives. There are times to discuss matters related to her, then the conversation about her is over. It takes work, but it is worth it. We joke and make toilet flushing noises when it's time to stop talking about her and all her crap :)