The house martins

When the cars have stopped, the music systems all played out, the voices lowered, the aeroplanes dimmed, there is nothing left but the house martins whistle. As they swoop and scatter and dive up to the nests above the blue door of my house I recall what draws me on through the quite winter nights, where the lonely hours dim the soul of this once light place. You notice the house martins call so much more after spending five days listening to the sounds of the big musical city that is Glastonbury festival, where night and day there is no silence – without ear plugs. It was good to be there and its good to be back. The house martins have taken to sitting on the wooden fencing that surrounds my garden whilst I’ve been away. I disturbed them when I walked up there last night. Before I went away I was worried about mice and slugs but the garden is amazing. Everything has grown incredibly in five days and nothing more has been eaten by mice or slugs, or anything else – except me. I’ve eaten my first pea pod today and loads more salad. The beans have wound themselves firmly round the bean pole arch way and the broad beans have carried on going up. There are failures but not pest related. The pak choi has gone to seed and the rocket seems to be heading the same way. Lessons for next year – water more during dry spells and thin out much more quickly. Everything else seems very strong. So slug watch goes on but leaving the garden for five days has not been a problem. I’ll pop up there in a bit, but in many ways its been a relief to not think about the garden for a few days. Gardening can be an intense experience with lots of things to think about. I like that, but is good to think about other things too. My favourite Glastonbury moments? Being with friends watching Leonard Cohen, dancing to rock n roll music at the American Diner, listening to Blues legend Buddy Guy out play Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton literally single handed and sitting outside my tent on a table made of willow playing Helen’s little red guitar. I had a great time but its good to be back. I’ll be posting some pics of the garden soon and carrying on posting news and other gardening info. I also thought I might start putting some extracts of my books on-line. The Organic Garden isn’t going to be out again until next March and it seems a shame not to have at least some of it available to people. Also after being inspired by Helen at London Wildlife Trust I’m going to put up my book Curious Incidents in the Garden at Night-time – a little bit at a time.

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