Tuesday, 25 August 2009

A more lucid start to an ongoing process

Having mulled it over a bit, I know what this blog is about - well, what I'm intending it to be about. It's about making my house by the canal a home; about putting into action my dreams for a life worth living and giving my children the kind of home that childhood memories are made of. It's about having enough veg to give them away and having too many friends to give them to. It's about starting the day intending to weed the veg beds, but getting distracted because my mates come past on a boat and we cracked into the home made wine. Its about sitting in my front garden at the end of the day, watching the sun set over the lock gates and smelling the rose perfume drifting over the garden.

I suspect it will also be about the struggle to keep the foxes from eating the chickens, the misery of gardening in the rain and the challenge of keeping two young children interested in playing in the garden whilst I finish weeding - but hey, that's what real life's about, isn't it?

Now I have some idea what I'd doing here, I suppose I'd better start from the beginning at bit.

I'm female, two young children, one personality disordered ex-husband, lots of good friends (thankfully) and in possession of a rather obsessive streak that leads me to live here in the first place. Here being a somewhat ramshackle house (that's the beginnings of a front garden in the pic above) in a deeply lovely location right by the canal. It's not a place that in all reason I should ever have been able to afford, but I stalked it for a couple of years and my persistence paid off and here I am :-) People often tell me I'm lucky to live here and when they do I have to resist the temptation to tell them that luck had nothing to do with it; pure bloody mindedness and hard work was what did it. But you have to smile and agree - the full story would take too long and sound too improbable.

I've gardened since I was in my early twenties, when it was apparently the sole pursuit of middle aged men and deeply unfashionable. It's rather odd to find it such a fashionable pursuit but like a lot of gardeners, I was doing it before it was cool to grow your own and I will no doubt be doing it long after it ceases to be so.

The difference for me now is that I have the space to grow a lot if I put my mind to it. Having lived on a boat for much of the past seven years, this is still a bit of a novelty. I've always managed to have some gardening space, somewhere, but to have a large garden thats all mine and I won't leave whilst out cruising in the summer, is still really something. I've actually been at the cottage for a couple of years now, but most of last year was taken up with breaking up with the PDX, so it's only been this year I've been able to start concentrating on far more important things like my tomatos.

In the course of the last year, I've changed my life around extremely radically. I found myself doing things that I could never have imagined in the past (being a single parent of two young kids for one) and coping with the kind of shit that I equally couldn't have imagined coping with. Having got my head and heart around so much fundamental stuff, I can't help feeling that getting my act together on the gardening/lifestyle front is a relatively easy goal.

I have to confess at this point that I've made daffiness a bit of a lifestyle choice in the past. If there was something to do, I'd manage to not quite finish it properly. That said, there have been some major exceptions to this, otherwise I wouldn't have as many degrees as I do, but education apart, I have had a slacking tendency to get bored and drift off.

I've really had to kick that into touch over the last year because I can no longer afford the indulgence and it's affected my life in all domains. My house is now relatively tidy, because I decided that I'd had enough of lifelong untidiness. I'm trying new systems to keep myself organised And my garden is now my next goal. My motto for life is onwards and upwards and I hope to chart my trajectory in that direction for not only the garden, but also the house and most importantly, the life lived therein.

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