Saturday, September 30, 2006

So Farewell Then To All Of That....................

Friends, I have a sad story to tell, but first, a confession to make.

Many visitors to “Dig For Victory” over the season have been very complimentary about my produce, and have also been kind enough to say that my plot always looks neat and tidy. ….Well it bloody should do. I’ve had enough time on my hands as I’ve been out of work all year.!

Because of this I’ve been able to spend quite a lot of time down there, more I know, than some other Allotmenteers can fit in, juggling it around family and work as they have to. In fact both the allotment, and this blog, have been a welcome diversion from the endless round of job applications, interviews and rejection letters.

In the space of a year, I have made a whole host of new friends, pontificated about veg in cyberspace, had some successes and some failures, grown a large pumpkin, and even been on the radio….A job would have been nice, but I’ve enjoyed my time regardless.

Unfortunately, this blog will now cease for a good while, as I am selling my house to release some much needed funds, and to move to a cheaper area of the country. I’ve chosen Northampton, as it’s a nice town, is not really so far away from Kent, has some wonderful countryside around it, and most importantly some much cheaper houses…. Sadly this means giving up plot 14, Ridgeway Crescent though.

At some stage in the future, I’ll certainly have an allotment again, or may even a decent sized garden, but this will probably take a year or two I think. In the meanwhile I shall be concentrating a bit more on my other hobby, which is photography. (If anyone is interested you can keep up with my progress here, by clicking the "photos" tab.)

Today is the end of our allotment year and I have tidied up my plot and handed back the keys.

I cannot finish however without thanking all the friends I have made at RC for their help, advice and humour : Jim, Ray, Ernie, Dennis, Jo, Ken, and all three Peters to name but, err....nine.

Nor my fellow bloggers around the world, especially: Lottie, Frankie, Rebsie, Jane, Mildew, Matron, Petunia’s Gardener, and all the others….. I will be keeping up to date with your pages of course, and sticking my oar in occasionally no doubt.

To end on a happier note however, I know that Plot 14 will be in good hands, as Peter Seach (to give “The Plot Boss” his due and recognise him by his real name for once) is taking it over. His current plot is right at the other end of the site, and it makes sense for him to have one nearer the trading sheds……Also the crafty bugger knows it’s much better soil at this end, eh Peter!

Lastly, my friends Geoff and Sue, in some part due to these pages, and my constant banging on about it in the pub, have decided to take over half a plot at RC this next season….More converts to the wonderful world of allotmenteering!

I have given them my seed box to help them get started.

My work here is done……


Blogger Peggy said...

Man! That was unexpected! Farewell then. It would be nice to see you back gardening again. Perhaps a new allotment. I bet you won't be able to stay away once you're settled.

4:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took an allotment in June and started a blog. Yours was one of the few (of many) that I linked to. I've enjoyed reading every entry. Having downshifted from London "life" to Lincolnshire some years ago, I want to wish you every success. There's more to life than work - hope you find the right balance.

7:21 pm  
Blogger Greenmantle said...

Thanks anonymous

Glad you have enjoyed my drivel! Thanks for the good wishes. It's quite an exciting prospect really, a new start and all that - leaving the lottie is probably the biggest drawback - Would love to see your blog, where or who are you?


7:31 pm  
Blogger Greenmantle said...

Hi Peggy,

You bet, the new allotment is top of the list. (Well OK second maybe after the huge widescreen TV!)

I'm going to have to rent for a while first, then try and find somewhere to buy. Makes taking an allotment next year seem tricky, but I'll be back as soon as I can.

7:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Greenmantle. My "Lincolnshire downshift" blog identity is Plot 32, which Allotment 21 has a link to. I'm always quite shy of revealing my identity as I've done little but scratch the surface of my plot this year and the blog's a bit boring - I'm hoping for better things next year! By the way, property in Lincolnshire is still quite cheap and we've got reasonable soil!

8:08 pm  
Anonymous said...

I will miss you terribly! I've never commented before, but check in on you once a week or so, and have very much looked forward to reading your posts. You are a delight, and a damned good writer - and gardener. Take care and come back into our universe soon (Damn, truck needs brakes, too much stuff happening in my life, and now this... I guess I picked a bad week to quit smoking!) Love ya, Greenmantle - You take care! Pat

11:06 pm  
Blogger Greenmantle said...

Thank you kindly Pat.
If I'm honest, I have enjoyed the writing as much, if not more, than the growing. Glad to hear people have enjoyed it...Might just have to start a "New life Blog" to keep my hand in!

Good luck with kicking the "snouts" as we would say around here ;)


11:56 pm  
Anonymous Karen said...

Wow, that was a surprise and not only a surprise but a connected one. This is Karen here, who too did a radio programme. I now live in Geneva but guess where I grew up, Northampton. Where are you going to ? My parents and sister still live there. Oh. boy what a strange old word that it is.

Keep ypur feet in the soil and hopefully things wil work out for you. Sincerely all the best.

7:32 pm  
Blogger Greenmantle said...

Hi Karen,

Wow!...Small World or What?

I've had a look at NN1 enough to feel that I could be happy there, but not yet in real " crawl all over it" detail.

I'm going to rent in the Abington area to start with, just to get my bearings. Then after a short while, I hope to be able to buy somewhere.

Hopefully a bit more on the outskirts.

There are so many nice villages I'd love to live (and garden) in, but I guess it will all come down to £££'s in the end.

Here's me, planning to move 2 hours up the road, and there's you, who went all the way to Geneva!...Kinda puts things in perspective doesn't it.

Very best,


8:10 pm  
Blogger she who digs said...

Oh what a surprise, I’ll miss visiting your plot ‘just up the road’, but wish you all the best in your new adventure. I'd like to thank you for helping me with get started with my blog this year and sorting out the mysteries of posting links. I hope you will visit us now and again and let us know how you are getting on.
Fantastic pumpkins by the way- great to end the season with such giants. The plot holders of Northampton beware Greenmantle will be challenging the County record before long!
Take care, Sarahx

8:27 pm  
Anonymous Allotment Lady said...

I am heartbroken - and so upset - since you first told me about getting your alltoment, I have followed every posting.

I wish you every success and hope that soon your jobsearch will be successful

Northampton is in a lovely area, and I am sure it will not be long before you are getting dirty nails again

I am just taking up the mantle of photography - as I am very green on the subject I look forward to you being around to point my lense in the right direction.

Stay in touch - you have so many cyber friends.

Best wishes

8:31 pm  
Anonymous Mildew said...

First and foremost good luck in your move and everything. I hope you find a lovely house with a great garden for nowt more than tuppance. It's been great reading your blog and I shall miss your updates. Let us know as soon as you get a new plot, even if it's just a windowbox with a few lettuces in there.

10:01 pm  
Anonymous lottie said...

How about using this blog to showcase your photography hobby - such a shame to just leave it.

You could also keep us all up to date on how you are settling in - in your new town


10:38 pm  
Blogger mrsnesbittherself said...

So sad to read the blog GM, hope you will still keep in touch! via all of us with blogs.
Love your photos.


10:56 pm  
Blogger patsy said...

good luck in your new home. you are the best pumpkin grower i have ever seen.

11:52 pm  
Blogger Greenmantle said...

Hi Sarah

Rest assured I will still be reading everyone elses blogs - a sort of gardening by proxy type of thing!

T'was a pleasure to help you out. I'm not a great one for technical know how, but what little I do have I do like to show off... ;)



4:41 am  
Blogger Greenmantle said...

Lottie M'dear....

...You have been, and continue to be, an inspiration.Where do you find the time ??

Allotment, garden, cooking, chooking, blogging, husband, family, handicrafts - and now photography!

I'm suspicious that "Lottie" might be a front name for some sort of domestic collective.

My very best - Speak soon


4:50 am  
Blogger Greenmantle said...

Hi Mildew,

Thanks for the good wishes!

I expect to be renting to start with, so it might have to be a couple of grow bags in the back yard....Hmm.. Tomatoes, lettuce, maybe a bucket of spuds... ;)

4:55 am  
Blogger Greenmantle said...

Hi MrsNesbit....

Thanks for your interest in my blog this year - Have just updated my bookmarks with your new site address.

Keep taking the pictures, and good luck on the Radio. I must echo some advice Karen gave me before I did my spot - Don't worry or be nervous about it beforehand, because as soon as you get in there and start talking, you suddenly, miraculously feel perfectly fine.

5:03 am  
Anonymous Karen said...

Mx sister was born there in the Abington area in Holly Raod, my brother got run over there too, ( he lived ), my Dad had an allotment around there somewhere but I don't remember it,( probably a housing estate now ) and after I left home I Iived in Abington Avenue just up the raod from the Cricket Ground. I still have a frinnd living in Broadlway. I have many memories of that area. It is a good choice and a lovely area. If you want a pub crawl choose the Wellingborough roud to the Kettering Road. With the locals it is a well known joke as there are onlyl 2 pubs on the Kettiering Road from the White Elephant and on the Wellligborough Road from The Abington there are enough to make sure that you don't get to town sober. As youngsters we tried it many a Saturday night !!!

All the best with your move.

5:03 am  
Blogger Greenmantle said...

Thanks Patsy...

How about you grow a bigger one? there's a challenge!



5:11 am  
Blogger Greenmantle said...


Sound advice on the pub front...Can't pretend I won't enjoy inspecting the candidates for a new Local!
Clouds, and silver linings,and all that....!

5:14 am  
Anonymous chris said...

All the best to you . Northampton is a lovely place.Im sure you will find another lottie and be back to tell us all about it.

12:40 pm  
Anonymous Tracy said...

I go out of town and then this! I've only commented a few times, but I've subscribed through Google Reader all summer and have thoroughly enjoyed your blog. I'm with Lottie - keep the blog and comment occasionally on what you're doing. Given your green thumb, I can't imaging that you won't have a new allotment next spring. Good luck!

5:02 pm  
Blogger Greenmantle said...

Hello Tracy,

Seems I had readers all over that I didn't know about! Thanks for the kinds words - rather like Arnie I'm sure "I'll be back". Just can't say when.
Very nice blog by the way - We get puffballs here in the woodlands. Never been brave or desperate enough to eat one yet though....much more fun to stomp on them as kids!



8:44 pm  
Blogger Petunia's Gardener said...

Fate is directing you to a plot in need of some TLC, I can tell. Or maybe there is a pub in need of flowers and a pumpkin or two in your future. And surely to the right employment situation also.

I do hope you'll keep blogging and sharing photos too. An excursion beyond the garden for us for a while. Not ALL pumpkins have been harvested yet so mine still need some encouragement to reach their potential. I just hope something doesn't eat them before they are picked (something is eating the sunflower heads-not just the seeds). Your faithful readers will be checking in to see how it's going for you so do keep in touch.

3:42 am  
Blogger Allotment No 21 said...

OH MY GOD!!! I've been off-line a lot lately due to moving house as well... (only 8 miles away though and we're still stuck in a big chain) and now you are off as well. Please keep the blog up - you could become an undercover allotment snapper - out there armed with camera and taking photos of other allotments good and bad, a horticultural 'mystery shopper'!

So how did you get that good at growing veg in only 4 months???

F x

6:35 am  
Blogger Greenmantle said...

Hi Frankie - An undercover plot spotter eh?...Not quite sure about that one!

4 Months ??? - I had the plot 3 years, but only started the blog this February '06.

Good luck with the move - I'm esperate for someone to buy mine, so I can get started. Market is a bit slow here at the moment however, and it's rather frustrating.


7:10 am  
Blogger Allotment No 21 said...

..All is clear - I thought you took on the allotment in June, no wonder it looked so good.

Good luck with the job hunting - I will ask Clare and the hippies at work to send you lots of reiki vibes -look what they did for the marrow!

We did have a buyer for our house but I think we are back on the market this week which means whipping out the duster once again - oh joy...

You are right, Northampton is a nice town, I used to be in charge of 12 bookshops and one of them was there. It's also where they build Laser 2000 dinghies (I sail in one)

Any spare giant pumkin seeds left???

8:46 am  
Blogger Welsh Girl's Allotment said...

Hi, I've on;y ever 'lurked' before and have never commented but, I am going to miss you, I have been following you since I set my own blog up about two months ago and will really miss you - I am so impressed with your pumpkins, my 3 year old thinks they are amazing and doesn't grasp why we can't plant some seeds now and grow our own. I hope everything works out for you - please get yourself a lottie when you move and keep your blog going !!

10:36 am  
Blogger Greenmantle said...

Them Reiki Vibes Frankie - That's what I need. Don't have Clare beam 'em at me though - just a few "first time buyers" that will suddenly be consume with desire for a 2 bed flat with scenic views, and a garage.

No seeds left I'm afraid, but you can get them fro T&M here, with part proceeds going to the Natural History Museum, for some inexplicable reason -

5:28 pm  
Blogger Greenmantle said...

Welsh Girl....

A lurker eh!...well there must be quite a few of you out there according to my sitemeter stats. Nice to "meet" you. now that you have de-lurked. (A bit like the Starship Enterprise de-cloaking I imagine.)

Had a look at you blog - Feck me!.. Not only did you take on an Amazonian rain forest, but on a 1 in 3 slope as well!

Best of luck. Will, follow your exploits from now on.


5:35 pm  
Anonymous Head Burro said...

I'm really sorry to hear about your plot GM, but I hope the move heelps you sort things out again. Let us know if you get another allotment and blog and all the best for the ffuture :)

8:26 pm  
Anonymous said...

Green -- I'm having an idea .. why don't you come on over here to the states? It truly Is "the land of opportunity" - my friend, you can accomplish whatever you want here...
At least think about it, 'k? You'll have friends that could help hook you up with whatever you need to get started...

Gads, I miss your prose already...


4:02 am  
Blogger clodhopper said...

Hi GM.....will miss you and the sound advice you give which I steal frequently from your pages without getting done for it. I really hope it is not too long before you are back in plot blogging action. Best of luck with all the moving's good to take risks....sometimes magic things happen.

Very best wishes and stay in touch with us all.
The Clod.

7:25 am  
Blogger Greenmantle said...

Thanks for the suggestion Pat. I have indeed visited your shores once, and had a great time. I fully intend going back and exploring a bit further afield than NYC one day...But live there?...No Sir.

Nor anywhere else abroad in the long term, (with the possible exception of Tuscany) There's just too much I'd miss here - Proper pubs, Match of the Day, our countryside, West Ham, pork pies, wet August Bank Holidays etc, etc...

I can only echo Gilbert & Sullivan - whom I would certainly NOT miss as it happens - but who wrote:

" In spite of all temptations.
To belong to other nations,
He remains an Englishman!"


7:31 am  
Blogger Greenmantle said...

Thanks Clod,

Any "advice", such as it is, is always freely given, as otherwise, I might be liable for costs, when it all goes t*ts up y'see!

Keep up the good work on your own, very interesting, but if I may say so, slightly "off the wall" blog mate.


7:38 am  
Anonymous Karen said...

Thought that this might interest you and your readers.

Switzerland’s largest pumpkin has weighed in at 468 kilos. The mega-squash was grown by Urs Schwegler in Argau, who beat his own record last year by over fifty kilos. A fork lift truck was used to lift the pumpkin onto the scales at the competition in Seegräben in the canton of Zurich.

Big or what !!!

2:36 pm  
Anonymous john curtin said...

What a surprise. Sorry to hear the news that you are giving up the Kent plot and moving. Best wishes for the move and hope everything works out for the best.

11:00 am  
Blogger Emma Jane said...

Farewll greenmantle, it has be a joy reading your blog. Good luck and don't vanish!

Very best wishes,
Emma Jane

10:24 pm  
Blogger lilymarlene said...

Sad that I won't be "visiting" your plot anymore....looking forward to the next on!

11:47 am  
Blogger RobD said...

Thanks for the comments and link. Hope you find somewhere in Northampton to carry on allotmenting - I'm originally from near there and my brother still lives there.

6:41 pm  
Anonymous Richard M said...

Hey Andy!
As I have known you for more years than we should ever admit to, I am well aware of your ability to take on and become expert at, almost anything (Except the guitar!)
So wherever you end up, I'm sure you will once again successfully carve out that perculiar but fascinating state of being that is 'Andy's World'.
I hope the Midlands is ready for you.
Good luck mate and congrates on this Blog. It is a fine read.


Richard M (Mrs)

12:16 am  
Blogger Nick The Grief said...

Hi GM,

Don't think of it as loosing the plot somuch as getting some new weeds 8-)

I look forward to seeing your exploits from the midland (you know norf of wotfud)

All the best with the new plot

12:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have added u to my list aswell.

12:39 pm  
Blogger Jooles said...

Have been offline for a while and I come back to this! I wish you well in your new venture - you never know you may end up with a large enough garden to grow some at home!
Take care and all the best - Oh - lovely photos on the other site x

1:56 pm  
Blogger Petunia's Gardener said...

OK, GM, it's time you come round and give us all an update! Wish you the best for Christmas and the new year too!

4:39 am  
Blogger bexsallotment said...

Hi GM,
Only just read your very sad.I do wish you all the best.xBEX

5:14 pm  

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