Saturday, 26 May 2012

Vegetable and other beds

Son&Heir is home.
This is, of course, good news on the one hand, as his departure last September to HockeySchool in the deep south means that we only see him during the holidays.  For Son&Heir, the escape from the eternal maternal nagging has been a relief of gargantuan proportions: for his beleaguered housemaster in the south, the story may be very different. 
The bad news pertaining to his return north for two weeks (mid-term plus remainder of ‘study leave’ as dreaded exams finished yesterday...) falls into two categories. Firstly, we’ve had to remove all traces of the cornucopia of clutter that HunterGatherer and I have been storing in his bedroom. Suffice to say, DaughterNo1’s bedroom is now inaccessible without crampons and ropes (hope she’s not reading this...).  The problem looks set to reach crisis point when she arrives home from St Something’s at the end of June, complete with all her stuff! 
But there is a current, more immediate, dilemma to deal with i.e. Son&Heir does not have a bed.  His childhood one eventually gave up the ghost on the last day of the Christmas holidays, and as he’s so rarely here, we’ve been postponing the outlay in favour of vital purchases – such as sheep wormer and polytunnel plastic  (which should arrive this week, if do their stuff).
As our beloved boy had been reduced to sleeping on a mattress on the floor over the Easter hols, I’d rather assumed, on entering the hallowed area of his room for “essential maintenance,” this morning that for once there would be no need to worry about anything lurking under the bed.  Wrong!  When I slid the mattress away from the wall this morning, I discovered a medley of neatly “ironed” sweet papers and a flat (steamroller flat) plastic Irn Bru bottle.  Surely that must have been pretty uncomfortable to lie on until it flattened down fully!?  If the tale of the princess and the pea has a masculine equivalent, my son is evidently no prince...
Frustratingly, I am required as a full-time offspring taxi driver this weekend, as DaughterNo2’s kit and caboodle needed brought back from Pollock Halls in Edinburgh Saturday and Son&Heir has Scotland hockey practice in Glasgow all day Sunday. Meanwhile HunterGatherer is fencing both days – though judging by the number of pairs of tackety boots still strewn across the kitchen floor this morning, he must have been fencing barefoot!).
Despite these other commitments, somehow the half of the partially clad polytunnel that was not attacked last weekend will need to be subdued and conquered this weekend. In the “after-weeding”  half, the strawbs and asparagus are looking distinctly smug in their immaculately weeded raised beds, as are the herbs (rosemary, mint, oregano and parsley). Sadly, however, the courgette and tomato plants are not en bonne forme – they’ve been suffering more than a tad in the unaccustomed heat and are currently probably as enthusiastic about their life as the interviewees in the Leveson enquiry.
As for the “before-weeding” half of the polytunnel, it looks as if we’re growing a fine crop of organic Timothy hay there – which is usually my FarmerBruv’s department.  Said man of the land has been busy sowing lucerne (or “alfalfa” – Arabic for ‘food of the gods’) all week.  This will eventually be cut and dried and made into rather yummy horsefeed to sustain hundreds of Scottish (and English!) equines over the winter months.  Though admittedly, with the sun blazing outside and the sheep and lambs basking in its welcome warmth, winter seems a very, very long way away (thank heavens!).

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