Longer-term followers of The Mortal Bath may recall mention of horticultural activity.

Sunday in the garden, a nice ritual in a number of aspects. Eventually the physical event of tending the plants took on a greater importance than any need to communicate it to the wider world.

Part of that is the unbearable crunchiness of it, the perception of so-called virtue so-called signalling, all that. At core was a question for which I was unable to generate a satisfactory response. (The question of course being “Who gives a fuck?”)

I’d often devote mental space to extrapolation while in between the rows. Composing, contemplating the long-term potential of collating the posts into a modestly successful series of books, the delivery service, a large scale permaculture campaign, the inevitable backlash and ensuing midlife crisis in which I purchased a fleet of leather jackets and a battered motorcycle to make a road movie round the Horn of Africa with Ewan McGregor.

I would giggle softly to myself as I returned to the present to hoick a clump of cat shit into the hedge with the hoe.

“Yeah, but, acorns, man!”

“No, definitely a cat.”

Anyway, Green Parent magazine/ rise and fall fantasias aside, there’s such a lot to be said for digging, edging, preparing, planting, weeding, growing, picking and eating. There is a lot to be said about it as well, but, like those writers spending endless hours polishing their process posts, it’s likely as useful left unuttered.

Last year we grew radishes, potatoes, beetroot, carrots, onions, leeks, beans, broccoli, rocket and turnips. This is in a space about 6x7m.

We also had tomatoes and cucumbers in grow bags along the wall under the kitchen window, mint in a metal tub (mint loves to take over) and borage in poly pots. A hop plant did well for itself until it got overrun with aphids… the ladybirds we introduced quickly got too fat to keep up with the little green varmints. We had a disappointing elderberry crop for the same reason.

Mostly, though, we had tasty, tasty veg.

The great thing about gardening is that it’s an annual lesson in planning being only part of the schedule. The science of it is fairly predictable, but it’s all subject to uncontrollable variables.

This was last month… I mean, I’m only writing this because it’s chucking it down with rain outside, again.

This weekend, though, fair being foul or no, we’re potting up and planting what we can. The excitement of the new season is upon us. The bird is on the wing. Pan’s pipes do warble native woodnotes wild. There’s a bustle in the hedgerow.

Although, to be honest, that is more likely to be next door’s cat.

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Further to a previous Rock Notes post, it occurred to me that the correct frame of reference for the slightly aggrieved London hardcase calling for Thompson was, of course, Spiny Norman:

DINSDALE!

DINSDALE!

It then occurred further that the Netflix pilot would only succeed with the casting of Emma Thompson:

emma-thompson

So yeah, Emma Thompson plays Emma Thomsen, a successful Scandinavian crime novelist, who spends the series battling the attentions of a giant animated hedgehog, Spiny Normal (n.b. hilarious British comedy reference/anxiety of inference gag). Spiny Normal is trying to get her to front a crime procedural he has written about hedgehogs. He thinks she needs a comeback vehicle, which of course she does not, being the successful Scandinavian crime novelist rather than the British actress.

Thomsen has to resolve this mysterious collision of worlds, aided/hindered by her patronus, Thomson the cat. Thomson knows how to contact everyone in the multiverse but is perpetually popping off for a pee.

thomson-local

Thomson would probably have to be voiced by John Thomson (Jazz Club).

…I have actually got up to about Episode 4, if anyone’s interested in bunging me a few quid.

Full transcript (translation) of “Soliciting Purr” Tape

CAT: Hey… Hey. Hi. Hey, hiya handsome! Mmmm, you’re looking snuggly. You’re so cute, I just want to put my paw on you. Hee hee!

Oh! Is that… forward of me? I’m so bad. [frisking noises]

Mmmm, but you look so good! I just want to rub up against you… would that be okay? Hmmm, handsome?

Oh, I’m so, so bad! [Frisking noises]

But you… you make me such a skittish kitten. Hee hee! Say, that tickles. Mmmm, you make me so… hungry.

Yes, hungry. I feel like I could really… eat something. Hmmm? Whaddyasay, handsome. Something yummy in my tummy?

Oh, you’re so good with your hands! Mmmm, make me so huuungry, hungry to be fuuuull

You know how a tin opener works, don’t ya big guy? You just sink in the teeth and slowly… turn…”

Etc, etc, etc