Monday, 21 February 2011

My February

Today, I went to the allotment after an extended break. The allotment is almost bare and sad-looking. It's that end of winter barren time. Most of last year rotting back or composting. Plastic and carpet-covered ground. Fruit bushes bare. Empty raised beds. The pile of cow muck is sinking down and stinking. It's wet, flooded in parts, boggy or squelchy most other places.

Eric and Dave have built the frame of my greenhouse and it is waiting for some solid foundations, and some glazing. It's a lovely square metal frame, and I am hugely grateful for their kindness in acquiring it for me, picking it up and putting it together. I have been absent and kept away by the cold, wet weather and not feeling 100%. But they have inspired me to get back to it, work hard again, and start the new allotment year.

On closer inspection, there are signs of life everywhere. My rhubarb is poking through and has new leaves. Onions, garlic, shallots that I planted in Autumn are all pushing through. Crocus bulbs, the first shoots of my tulips.

We dug over the space where my greenhouse will sit. Pulled out dead brocolli rotting in the ground and bird-pecked. And we drank tea. Of course.

I have a willing boyfriend, who is handy with spade and has been patient with me as I told him all my plans, told him how I want things done. The allotment has been my solitary project and I always find it difficult to let others in. I love occasional help, but am strangely possessive over my plot, and like things my way. He seems to be accepting of this, and let me boss and criticise a little when I didn't realise I was doing this. I caught myself though and felt a little bad.

I must learn to share.

I must learn to let go of the control a little, and let others help me in their own way.

We spent our first whole weekend together. It was lovely in a most ordinary way. We cooked and ate, we watched TV and chatted. We went to the pictures and laughed (a lot). He is much more relaxed than me. I tend to rush around and do do do, achieve, busy busy. He is laid back, likes to see what comes, take the weekend as he finds it. He is teaching me his ways.

It's funny how another person can be a mirror, making me realise how I am, my own peculiar habits and ways. He seems very accepting of the aspects of me I dislike and are difficult. So far...!

I've had a few setbacks in my health again. I'm having some tests, and went on a dairy-free diet for two weeks. My GP asked me to go dairy-free, then eat dairy again to see how it affected me. So, on Thursday I ate two chocolate muffins, buttery toast and some milk. I felt a little ill, but wasn't sure if it was psychosomatic, so I had some more milk, and spent all the next day very bloated, gurgling and in pain. It was a bit horrible. So I went dairy-free again and what do you know, I'm feeling so much better.

So, maybe all the problems over the past few months, the weight loss, and so on, is down to being lactose intolerant.

It has been a whole adventure working out what to eat without dairy, and the idea of this being a long-term thing is a little daunting, but I'm hoping that this might be the answer. I reckon I can manage this, and it feels a relief to have a possible answer.

It's been a strange. Most people haven't really realised it's been tough for me, they just notice the weight loss and are like, wow you look really well. Then yesterday, someone I've not seen for months said straight away, concerned, god, you've lost a ton of weight, have you been sick? It hit home, how worried I've been and that actually it is a little frightening, not being in control of losing weight, or what food I can eat, or whether it's going to make me ill, and how ill. It was good to have someone notice. I feel as if I've been going on about it a lot and that others are thinking, what's she bloody moaning about, loads of people would love to lose a bit of weight.

So, anyway, maybe cutting out dairy might be the answer. Hopefully this is the reason, and I can get back to enjoy my food again.

I am in love with many things at the moment. Black eyeliner. PJ Harvey Let England Shake. Making mix CDs. Poetry readings. Woolly tights and skirts. Avocados. And I've not felt any depression whatsoever since the end of November. How good is that.


sonia said...

That's fab you've been depression - free since november as winter is the hardest time I find. Lovely post. Hadn't realised weight loss had been going on for so long - I wish you plump cheeks.

Megan said...

Just great, Ms Clarkson.
And a willing boyfriend and woolly tights, huzzah for that.
Hope health issues are soon sorted. Get digging and writing,
m XX

Anonymous said...

Hee hee, you said boyfriend! I can't wait to meet him, hopefully it's not too much longer. Also plleeeeeaaaasse can I bagsy some rhubarb when it's ready? Please please? We are in desparate need fo some proper home made pud round here and I can't think of anything nicer than home grown rhubarb to soothe our souls.

annie clarkson said...

Thanks Sonia, and Megan x

And Sal, yes and yes... rhubarb will be a little while yet, just sprouting leaves, but will have loads of it...! x