Sorrow’s slushy poet stumbles (anag)

Red-handed if fine rat

Brussels Sprouts Plant (5)

My first idea was to write a poem called ‘So to spurless doubters’ (anag) and then I remembered I’m crap at poetry. Next I was going to write you a ‘Fiercest Spoil’ (anag) but I realise you have probably eaten my Brussels Sprouts by now so that would be wasted. But as I like playing with words I checked an anagram programme out and found that with the words “Brussels Sprouts” (Toss Superb Slurs’) I could make thousands of words, add the extras of “who stole my” (‘Homely Swot or ‘We Smoothly) and we can really have some fun.

That’s right; I like to turn nasty mean things on their heads – upside down where they deserve to be! I make jokes and fun, I won’t get cross and angry, wound up and pissed off.  I just wonder who and why stole my Brussels Sprouts, whether you enjoyed them and most importantly did you treat them nicely?

I realise that in the scheme of things my Brussels Sprouts are a minor matter, they are not of global economic importance, they aren’t going to single-handedly provide the cure for cancer, stem climate change or give us the answer to world peace.  I know that! But nicking my Sprouts means you are a thief and that rattles my trust. It disappoints me (‘dippiest moans’).  You’re a bubble burster my friend.

Brussels Sprouts Plant (1)

You see we have to trust those around us don’t we. We live alongside each other, work together, travel, holiday and all of this is based on trust.  As allotment holders we rely on trust – it’s the backbone of how allotments (‘Mental Lots’) work. I go and tend my patch of earth and in return for my efforts I get some fruit and veg. And in doing so I trust those around me; I trust that they won’t break into my shed, steal my stuff, ruin or spoil things for me. I trust that other people understand maybe even appreciate what I and countless other allotmenteers are doing.  Gardening (‘And Ginger’).

I realise that slugs don’t understand the word trust no more than the pigeons or the badgers that frequent my plot. I plant my seedlings and sure enough slugs make a beeline towards them, pigeons (‘ones pig) peck at the fresh shoots and badgers (‘rag beds) bide their time for sweetcorn season. But that’s OK, they aren’t humans – I don’t expect a slug or snail (‘gorillas son) to understand the concept of trust no more than I expect a pigeon to understand bio-chemistry or a badger that of fashion sense.  I can protect my crops by laying beer traps for the slugs, netting to stop the pigeons reaching the seedlings and stout canes and nets to deter the badgers; what I can’t do is protect my patch from human intervention.  I have to trust.

Gardening is my pastime, I pass my spare time gardening. I get great pleasure from it and you know the best bit? It’s the sharing. Sharing the pleasure I’ve had in growing something from seed that gives me an excuse to call and say ‘why don’t you come over for dinner tonight, we can catch up, eat some good food, have a glass of wine and well, live a little’.

Brussels Sprouts Close Up (3)

So from your dastardly doings on the allotment I look for the positives –

  • I fed someone else my own home grown veg
  • Maybe you were hungry or broke and my veg helped you out of a fix
  • You did leave me the top of the plant aka Sprout Tops (If you haven’t had them before here are some recipe suggestions)
  • I take it as a compliment that you thought my Brussels Sprouts look good enough to eat
  • Perhaps you’d promised your family home grown Brussels Sprouts for Christmas dinner and your crop failed and mine helped you save face
  • You left me 1 plant
  • I got to write a blog post 🙂

But whoever you are I hope that you enjoyed them, maybe you ate them on Christmas Day (‘Tidy as Charms) with the turkey and trimmings (‘Semi drunk, grim natty’) as part of a festive feast; but I do hope you treated them well and cooked them tenderly – steamed for a matter of minutes (home grown veg takes a fraction of the time to cook) with the love and care they deserve. Or maybe you are a connoisseur and ate them raw in a crunchy winter salad?

But most of all I hope you won’t come back for more.

Brussels Sprouts Tops (2)

I don’t know what your thinking is but I do genuinely hope you enjoyed my Brussels Sprouts; I don’t want you to choke on them, or find them full of slugs and bugs. Really I don’t. But maybe next Spring instead of sneaking onto my plot we could agree to share. I could share some seeds and growing tips with you, so that for next Christmas you could grow your own too. That way you could share in the same pleasure that I have in growing and gardening. And yes it would go a long way to restoring my trust.

Brussels Sprouts Close Up (2)

You did leave one plant in tact for me. For that I’d like to say thank you. I had great pleasure in showing a 9 year old kid today what a Brussels Sprouts plant looks like and how they grow – “so that’s where sprouts come from, how cool is that?! “

Your friend (‘Fiery Round‘)

Edam prone éclair aka I’m an ace deplorer (anags)


Sorrow’s slushy poet stumbles – Who Stole My Brussels Sprouts?

Dear friend and thief – Red-handed if fine rat



  • Oh dear Claire, you are so nice, so nice… This is so sad but how beautifully written and expressed. What a shame someone stole your vegs… Thank you dear, Love, nia

  • I did not steal your Brussels sprouts. No one in my house likes them enough to have made it worth flying across the pond, sneaking into your allotment and snatching them. Probably couldn’t have gotten through customs with them anyway!

    • Now that has made me laugh! Trying to get through customs with a Brussel Sprout plant…. I’m trying to imagine the conversation! Good to hear from you 🙂

  • How sad that someone did this! I hope it wasn’t someone who has another plot on your allotment but I guess part of the upset is in not knowing….. Fingers crossed that no one steals anything else!

    • It is sad, and what makes it sadder is that I think it probably was someone else from the allotments…… as I said I hope they enjoyed them and treated them kindly!

  • I’m sorry to hear that someone violated the communal trust of those who maintain their allotments in fair weather and foul for the pleasure, and sometimes necessity, of home grown veggies and fruit. I wish they could read your post and think about what they did. Or at least that they have a second thoughts and their conscience prevents future depredations.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

    • Maybe I should put a few copies up and about on my allotment? For me writing about it was a way of getting it out of my system.
      Here;s to a bright New Year for us all, and thank you for your kind wishes, Claire

  • Vegetable thieves? They ‘Give the best leave.’
    PS. I hope you print out your post, laminate it, and stick it on a pole at the allotment.
    PS2. Lovely post Claire. Happy Christmas!

    • ‘Give the best leave – I’m loving the anagrams 🙂 I’m trying to think of a plan of what to do……..
      and thanks for the good wishes, you too x

  • I notice that you used the word ‘trust’ several times. Someone has obviously broken the unspoken code of allotment growers and it’s got you rattled. Whether it’s gold coins or brussels sprouts, stealing is wrong. Here’s hoping the thief has indigestion.

    • You know I think it has rattled me, but by writing this post I can take a step back and have a look at the situation and maybe come up with a plan of what I can do…..

  • How annoying to say the least! So sorry Claire… and I thought sprouts were unpopular! You need a well-hidden camera up at the allotment..

  • Hope you managed to enjoy your Christmas dinner, despite the theft. What a terrible thing to do – you’d have to assume the thief had never grown their own food, otherwise they would have known about all the work and patience that went into growing a crop of sprouts and they would have thought twice about taking them. Being completely selfish though… it did all result in a very entertaining post! Here’s wishing you a peaceful, and theft-free, new year!

    • Thank you Sarah for your kind words and good wishes. I do wonder if they are a fellow allotmenteer or not – either way it’s just sad! Here’s to a bright a green New Year x

  • oh Claire, the disappointment (not pimped saint) and furious rage (if sore augur) you must be feeling, I would like to have a few stiff words with the greedy buggar (begrudge gray) and possibly strike a blow (wart-like sob) for compassion and trust on the allotment …. surely there was a witness to this heinous crime (is unheroic me)? yours in solidarity with all brussels sprouts growers, Christine xx

    • Love your anagrams Christine or should I say “This Nicer” 🙂
      It’s amazing how quiet the allotments can be at this time of year, plus I’m tucked away in a corner so it would be reasonably easy for someone to sneak in…….
      Thanks for the solidarity Cx

  • It wasn’t me, I swear. 🙂 Nobody but you could have written such a beautiful letter to a thief — positive, humorous, and to the point. Wishing you a tremendous harvest in 2014. 🙂

  • I’m sorry you had to be the victim in this :/
    Whoever stole them obviously doesn’t have a conscience! But your letter was just…. amazing – witty and to the point 🙂


  • Oh, Claire, I hate that this happened to you! It feels awful to have someone steal…it really is a serious breakdown of the trust that allows us to live together in harmony on this earth. I’m so sorry! You’re right, though, the blog you got out of it was brilliant!

  • That is really sad – that a gardener and a gourmet could so betray the trust of the allotment…could you leave some flyers and see if anyone else has been betrayed … and work back to the miserable sinner ????

    • Hi Valerie, thank you for popping in, and I was thinking about flyers. I’ll email the allotment committee and see if anyone else has suffered, I think I’ll also try and chat to people to let them know its happening……

  • You are remarkably generous, I’d have set man traps and put it a “wanted dead or alive poster” and I don’t like sprouts. It is all too sad.

  • Claire, that’s just total pits. It’s like that woman caught on CCTV walking off with the little Christmas tree from the nursing home. Did you see that on the local BBC news? Pathetic.

  • There seems to be an unsavory sort in your garden. I hope that each bit brought bitterness or bugs so that they will move out of the allotment.

  • The shit!! Oh well, let’s just hope they were poor and your sprouts made a lovely Christmas lunch for them and their kids. You should leave a sign up at your allotment offering to share your vegies with the thief, if they make themselves known. That should make them feel bad.

  • oh that is just wrong on so many levels – and yet, within your post so beautifully filled with humour is a deep awareness because, yes, perhaps someone needed to eat in the worse way.
    Just before Christmas a friend’s mailbox was broken into and inside was her gift to me. and we agreed, that someone, somewhere needed it in a way that would bless them. And so it is that we choose the energy we send out into the world.

    • Joss I’m sorry to hear about your present, but you and your friend found a great way of dealing with it – positivity. As you say we choose our energy. Thank you for sharing my friend x

  • It wasn’t me (I try to love sprouts, but just can’t seem to find enough love in my heart) but I think you are a way better person than me, I too wish the thieving so and so terminal flatulence, with a good dose of indigestion and some catholic guilt too 😦

  • I can hardly imagine how anyone could justify taking the whole stalk! It’s not like taking a couple of beans off a bush plant! The whole thing? I’m so sorry to hear of it, truly. It takes so long to nurture the vegetables from seed, and the idea that anyone would just come along and take them is more than disappointing. I have come out my front door to yell at people helping themselves to my neighbor’s orange tree. I think I come across as an angry old biddy, but it’s wrong and I at least try to stop it. So for the new year, I’ll hope you can come up with another way to protect your goods. You have the most wonderfully forgiving attitude. Your humor goes a long way, too. But really! Not ok! ox

    • Ah I see you understand it from a gardening perspective too – that it takes about 9 months from sowing the seed to reap the benefits. Oh well I hope they enjoyed them.
      And I think I would shout at people stealing from a neighbours tree too – or at least embarrass them into not taking them 🙂 My elderly neighbour always asks young guys she sees riding their bikes on the pavements if their mums won’t let them ride in the road 🙂 They daren’t argue with her – genius!!! Wishing you a super new year my friend x

  • You plant such beautiful veggies. And maybe that person who stole them was really needy, well-off people don’t go stealing stuff from others gardens. But it still doesn’t justify his/her taking the veggies, thieving is still a gutter-stinking thing! Glad you have such a positive attitude! 🙂

  • I can see why one would admire such a glorious plant. I hope that one day this person brings you a glorious dish of brussel sprouts cooked to perfection your way. However, in the mean time I love your spitball intro” (anag) and love that you continue to look on the posiitve side. Take Care, BAM

  • This is a bittersweet story. The anagram poetry is simply the best and amusing in spite of the odious sprout thief! This bit of thievery did bring on this perfectly perfect story so all is well that ends well.

  • So sorry, Claire, that some thief sprung your sprouts. Your response, though, is to be commended. Where you searched for a poetic reply, kind soul that you are, mine would have been an expletive-laden rant and not much of a search for words would have been required. Using anagrams to “turn the situation on its head” is brilliant. I hope the thief enjoyed them but not so much that he’ll be tempted to return next year.

    • I will admit that a few expletives might have been heard in my vicinity when I heard the news, after which the brain cells whirred….. possibly while I sipped on a glass of chilled white wine 🙂 All the best for 2014 John

  • Dear Claire (a riled acre), so sorry to hear about your missing Brussels Sprouts. I admire how you grew something good out of the situation — a testimony to your gardening skills and nurturing heart. xo

    • You know Kim I have loved all these anagrams, so much fun!! your friend a riled acre (is so apt right now!!!) Wishing you a super New Year x

  • Claire, can’t believe that somebody will steal somebody else’s vegetables. What has the world come too.
    A good advice to keep the slugs away from your greenery and vegetables is to plant onion between every row – my grandmother always did that .. and it works excellent.
    A Happy New Year to you … and thanks for a brilliant blogging year.

    • Brilliant Vivi! Getting gardening advice from you and your grandmother – it’s one of the reasons I love blogging, so much info to share. Brilliant I will have to try it Cx

  • Oh Claire I am so sorry to read this!!! Major bummer 😦 And with your tip of really stomping the ground when we planted our seedling Brussels Sprouts, our plants grew, survived caterpillars, and tasted delicious for our Christmas dinner! I hope that is the end of your vegetables walking! Happy New Year to you! Dana

  • I’ve always wondered about garden planting thefts –especially from community gardens that aren’t fenced.

    Anyway, I like brussel sprouts. Saw a recipe to roast them with balsamic vinegar. Looks interesting and easy to try.

    • Our allotments are fenced but people can still climb over at certain points – the gates aren’t very high, besides I wonder if it was someone who has a plot themselves……

  • To steal one’s brussels sprouts straight out of the ground, someone must have been quite desperate! 😉 You did a wonderful job paying homage to the dirty thief! Happy New Year Claire and all the best in 2014!

  • The sad thing is that the person who took the sprouts probably won’t read your lovely blog post. Though it would be nice to think they did and had a change in the way they thought about the world. Still as you say lets hope they enjoyed them and one day they will be in a position to give something back to someone else. Happy New Year Claire and keep growing your wonderful vegetables and plants xx !

  • I sympathise with your dippiest moans whoever stole those sprouts was clearly a Bad Arts. I love this post and your blog which I came upon by Cacti Den.

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