Growing, Eating, Living
I have gardened for years and inexplicably always loved it, being outside, digging around, snipping this back and tying that back. It keeps me sane (r), it gives me time to contemplate or to empty my whirring head. It lets me breathe, feel the sun between my shoulder blades, and I get to hear the sound of rain falling on leaves, or the wind picking up and moving the grasses or trees.
I have realised that I am at my happiest sitting on the doorstep, first thing in the morning with a cup of tea in my hand, staring out into the garden, noticing what needs doing, what is looking good, what isn’t working. And from the sitting and supping the pottering naturally follows, dead-heading here, sniping and tidying there, pulling a weed or two; and suddenly it is no longer first thing it’s mid-morning and I have a heap of stuff to do and I’m still in my pyjamas.
I garden, therefore I am.
Signing up for a plot, and walking down the lane in the height of summer and to look over the site, on a southerly slope facing towards the sea, with sheds and greenhouses in various states and makes, sweetpeas climbing up wigwams, and sunflowers turning towards the sun, everything looking lush. It was a pleasure to behold, and I knew I’d found a home from home.
In the beginning there was me, some grass, and a Shirley Bassey bag
A blank canvas ……. And some vague ideas and dreams ….
The 1st year was all about discovery and clearing. In the midst of major building work at home, living in a rented flat, dealing with numpty builders, architects and the council, I had an escape.
With no shed the 1st purchase was a shopping trolley, and if I was going to wander around St Leonards dragging a shopper then it had to pink.
After that it was a matter of getting down and digging.
Why Promenade? ~
I live in St Leonards On Sea, a venerable seaside town on the south coast of England, our neighbour, Hastings, is more widely known, a certain battle in 1066 put it on the map. Anyway, St Leonards on Sea (or SLOS for short) is a purpose built seaside town dating back to the 1760s and founded in 1828 http://www.1066.net/burtons/intro.htm) SLOS is directly connected to Hastings, and West St Leonards by a concrete promenade, which in parts is a double-decker promenade, built to cope with the numbers of visitors flocking to the coast to take in the joys of the English seaside in the 1930’s, it is the only one of it’s kind in the UK.
Walking along the prom ‘taking the sea air’ has to be one of the best feelings, strolling with no real purpose in mind, feeling the sun on your back, or the wind in your hair, watching the sea – whether there are white tops out there in the Channel or it’s a calm blue sea kind of day or it’s the day after a storm and the sea is still grey and brown, churned up from the storms; simply watching the world go by, there is always something to see or just merely looking out onto the horizon wondering what the weather is going to bring – are there clouds on the coast of France, is the sun shining over in Eastbourne? It always captivates me. And even though SLOS and Hastings are busy towns, you always have that sense of space that a seascape brings.
I Promenade therefore I am.