Here in the South-West of England, the world takes on a slightly hippy hue. Alternative therapies, lifestyles and attitudes are in abundance yet still sit alongside more old school rural and urban traditions.
Now, I could get all hippy on you too and talk about the wonders of mother nature, folk music and ukeleles, but I've watched too many adverts to jump on that bandwagon (next time the ads are on, count how many ukeleles you here and before you know it you'll be baking cup cakes in a 1950's dress).
Instead, a healthy dose of reality:
The dreaded alarm clock, always an hour too early for my liking. Then the moral breakfast dilema. Porridge again? But what if the coffee shop has a croissant in? Walk in or bus? It's raining, I'm late but a walk is good for me and I'd look a tool on the bus with trainers and a suit. And any self respecting metrosexual cares for their appearance.
Into the office, past the glares from those who start at 8am as the clock ticks towards 10. Office pressures have only just begun. Barely a chance to sit down and it's go go go. Lunch barely a break, decisions to be made, staff to manage, documents to read and write, arguments to have, office politics to handle.
6pm. On a Monday and Wednesday it's training nights at the rowing club. Tuesdays in, Thursday my night out. Friday is New Girl, every metrosexual's favourite programme. It's good to have hobbies, they say. Except those nights where the office demands a slightly later night (maybe I should get in for 8am).
Weekend is recovery. Or in the case of last weekend, a friend's stag weekend. And the weekend before a rowing race. And the weekend before...
Therapy comes in different forms.
A city life can lead you down many paths unwittingly sometimes. But in the end it all catches up with you. Today I was off with a nasty cold and exhausted from it. The problem with being off sick is that you don't ever leave the office behind. The emails and problems pile up whether you're there or not. It drains you.
No amount of Inspector Morse re-runs could save me from office woes, so by the time my energy and health returned around 5ish my thoughts turned to the recently neglected garden. To my proper delight, it was sunny, mild and fresh and the sun looked like it was hanging around. Ignoring the continuing carnage out there I decided just to plant something. Anything.
In just 45 minutes I found my remedy to modern life. The same remedy that binds the foodies of Clifton, the hippies of St Werbergh's and vegans of Stokes Croft, the farmers of Exmoor and practitioners in the tents of the Buddhafield festival.
Winter is nearing its end. If you're still feeling the blues, suffering with an evil cold/manflu, or just have a raging hangover, get your hand in the compost and put a few seeds in. It'll lift you, I promise.
The Hapless Kitchen Gardener
- Hapless gardener
- I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.