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A hard row to hoe!

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

Blog by Dan

Community Champion

Four volunteers tilled the now dryer soil at Phipps Bridge this Wednesday. We ventured out under the “lockdown” rule that says allotmenting counts as your “one outing for exercise” a day, provided you get no closer to others than shouting distance. I spent two lovely hours hoeing the weeds away from the rapidly growing broad beans, basking in the warming spring sun. The other volunteers - if my long-distance eyesight did not betray me - planted potatoes and removed an unwanted “crop” of thistles. There is no need for me to explain the real hardship, fear and suffering that the coronacrisis has brought, and I would not wish to make light of that. However, any crisis brings at least some good things along with the bad. For me, being able to walk the three miles to Phipps Bridge almost pollution-free, and to hear the birds singing, unimpeded by the constant roar of planes from Heathrow, are a real pleasure. The many acts of everyday kindness that you cannot help witnessing, and the enhanced interest neighbours are taking in one another, are also major “silver linings” to this viral cloud. These make me wonder whether this period may help us to envisage a society that takes far greater heed of the needs of both people and nature. That may sound utopian, but it was in the midst of the Second World War that the NHS and the welfare state were designed. Right - I'll climb carefully (my back is a bit sore from hoeing!) off my soapbox now. Stay well, and if you're not well, I hope you recover soon.

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