This is my brother Simon on my mum's allotment in Springfield Park. My mother told me of the time she went to the baby clinic to pick up her free orange juice and cod liver oil. As she lifted my brother off the back of her bike, the nurse saw the bunch of muddy carrots in her basket and said, "Oh you can't eat those muddy carrots! Here, let me give you some real carrots," and held up a tin!
My first allotment in Bristol 1970
My allotment since 2005 in Walthamstow
This is my son Saul on my first allotment on Rownham Hill, across the River Avon by Clifton Suspension Bridge. When I went to the Council Offices to ask for an allotment, I was told I needed a man to sign an undertaking to do the digging. As a fit young 21 year-old I challenged the middle-aged clerk to a digging competition. He gave it some thought and then said "Well, alright, you'll be making history my dear", and let me take it on. Click here to see more.
And here are my daughters, Jenny (above) with scarecrow Alfonse (created by Arkem) and Eva (below) with Verity, me and muddy carrot on our allotment at Chestnuts Farm
So gardening has always been part of my life, but I'm still learning. And we have a Whatsapp group for all the people who help us regularly or every now and then.
And slugs too! These slugs avoided the "organic" poisoned pellets, sneaked past my regular torch-light patrols and left their glistening trails across barriers of baked egg shells, deterrent gel and a carpet of wool pellets. Did they climb over the copper strips round my plastic pots or do I need to construct an anti-tunneling barrier? Or just pay £1 for an organic lettuce from Walthamstow Farmers' Market!