Twenty years

Our Ealing allotment in 2002, St John’s Church on Mattock Lane in the background, and a rare glimpse of yours truly trying out my new fork.

The same plot, twenty years later, taken over by another couple after us. We planted the cherry tree at the front as just a stick. Standing now as a lush green tree, it reminds us how many years have passed us by.

We were going for an ornamental kitchen garden approach. This would have been in the very early days, before we commissioned an Afghan chain gang to clear the weeds at the back of the plot (we couldn’t afford a rotavator). They were paid in full with biryani and chai.

We lived in a tiny top-floor flat, a ten minute walk from here, without a garden of our own, so having an allotment was a godsend for us. Pleasure amidst the trials of life.

We had a glut of courgettes / marrows that first year, as our compact kitchen makes amply clear. That would have been the summer of marrow curry.

Below, the same allotments today, visited last weekend on a fleeting trip to our old neighbourhood. A good trip down memory lane.

We now live twenty miles away and are blessed to have a garden of our own, mostly given over to lawn for kids keen on kicking footballs about. It’s hard to believe that so much time has passed since we set out on this adventure of ours.

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