Dig, rest, write … write, dig, rest … write!

It never ceases to amaze me that writing poetry or fiction ties in so well with my other interests such as gardening, painting and mosaics. All are creative in different ways and one stimulates the other.

We have started a new garden project which requires a significant amount of manual work. I am usually the brains behind the projects (Mr. PiP disagrees) but I dug deep, gritted my teeth and also became the brawn.

Before – Far too wide to access.

My main raised vegetable bed is far too wide to maximise the actual growing space I can access with my disability after my TKR op two years ago. Inspired to utilise the bed to its full potential, I decided to remodel which involves knocking down a concrete block wall and redistributing a mountain of earth. Sadly, my days of climbing onto the vegetable area to weed, plant or pick are long gone and I rely on Mr PiP.

However, Mr. PiP insists the remodel is unnecessary, but he knows once my mind is set and I’m in the groove there is no stopping me any more than you could stop a runaway train or push water uphill with a rake. I am a firm believer: if you have the ‘will’ you will find a ‘way’.

new version

Neither of us are as fit as we used to be (one of the joys of getting old) so we decided to pace ourselves, especially as temperatures reach 34C+ by mid-day and our eyeballs drown in their sockets.

I also need to complete chapter sixteen of my book, a collaboration with author, Jim Dutton. The latest book in the series (we are now on book three) is a Christmas story. Yikes! September is approaching at warp speed so I really must buckle down and write. Several delays and false starts during the summer due to house guests and nearly a month’s holiday in France with the grandchildren means we are waaaay behind schedule.

BUT, my veg bed is also time-bounded as the beetroot plugs I bought on Sunday are waiting patiently to be planted … as are all my other usual autumn and winter veg.

With such a dilemma and torn between the two I found myself writing scenes in my head while digging then while writing at least I am forced to take a rest from digging as I work at my PC . Then back in the garden to shift more earth. More thinking … plotting and planning throughout the day. I finally wrote about 1500 words the first day and moved a mountain of earth! Methinks a win-win.

By the end of day one we are both knackered so to save laying new concrete blocks, and mixing up cement … blah de blah … I came up with the great idea of using planks of wood like we have on the other raised beds. Easy peasy … wrong. Rewind. We went to the local builders’ merchant to buy wood. No wood. Wood for some reason is like hens’ teeth. Of course, there is a shortage of timber … DOH! And they have no idea when their stocks will be replenished. … mutter …. mutter … mutter … back to plan A – using concrete blocks which of course will need to be cut to size unless I move more earth. I move more earth and now Mr. Pip has just informed me that was unnecessary. Sigh… maybe he is the brains and I will retire gracefully.

I have now made a nice cup of tea and returned to the Christmas party scene where I imagine I’m drinking champagne and eating caviar, Fois Gras and smoked salmon …. That’s the great thing about writing fiction. My MC also has a gardener/handyman and it is his problem, not mine.

We will see what tomorrow brings as I move on to chapter seventeen and mistletoe shenanigans.

How does gardening inspire you?


3 thoughts on “Dig, rest, write … write, dig, rest … write!

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  1. We still have a long way to go yet, EH. Mr. PiP now has to build the retaining wall which fortunately is only one concrete brick high … then I will be adding a membrane and gravel … He says it is a lot of work to grow a few vegetables but as I pointed out it is the journey not the end product.


  2. Well, ‘eliminate the negative, accentuate the positive’ . . . methinks taking both the lack of former herculean strengths and empty shop shelves unto account you have managed both a practical and sculptural result , , , will be nice when the new bed shows up all green . . . perchance a few walking tiles on the walking area would lead to less muddy boots when the days are wet ! Hope there is room now for all the punnets of seedlings waiting to stretch their feet . . . best . . .


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