A Half Ton of Jack

 photo WP_20161105_001_e_zpscv1tlbqb.jpgA literal half ton of pea gravel.

The knotted muscles spasm in the o’er worked arm of Jack, but still yet the hands gently clatters across the keys, the brain, silent in its repose thinks nothing of the words that flow forth. It is content, please do not disturb its slumber with requests for sense. Did you miss darling Jack, dearest reader? Where have I been? Well, nowhere, really, I just want attention. You’ll surely acquiesce when you look at this face. You can’t tell but I’m pressing it against the screen. Okay, all jest aside, I’m just taking a break from the laborious task of fulfilling all my wild notions and designs as regards the garden.

 photo WP_20161105_004_e_zpsnrm5ox3t.jpgStrawberry avenue. Rue de fraise?

I’d like to take a slight serious detour, I hope I’ll be forgiven. I’ve posted about this on twitter already, but I’d like to get the words out there for me, for us, for whomever needs them. I think I’ll be forgiven if I copy and paste a little. These little bursts of clarity aren’t always re-creatable later in the day. I will preface that my life is mine, what I share is up to me, I doubt that means much to you, but it does to me, the idea that I shouldn’t have to bear all and hurt myself in the process is somewhat foreign to me. I’m learning, Oh, Jack, but I’m learning. What? I’m allowed to take Jack’s name in vain, it’s not blasphemy if I’m me, or he’s me, or I’m us, or…whatever! Even if depression or mental illness, even a lack of confidence, makes you fear failure. Try anyway. Because not even trying at all is far worse than failing. The garden has been for me a therapy  of sorts, there have been times it’s scared me, so many to be honest, and the idea I’m making my meagre ideas a reality is terrifying to me still. The fact that it’s working scares me a bit more. We can learn from failures, but with fear all we do is die just a little inside. There’s always a chance of success, just don’t give up hope and you might find a bit of the happiness you deserve. I’ve found so much joy in this garden, it still amazes me. Dealing with any issues like this isn’t always about getting better. Sometimes it’s about coping and staying strong. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into that garden afraid it’d all come tumbling down in some dramatic fashion. That all the imagined detractors would appear in uproarious laughter. I refused to let that stay my hand though. Never give in and keep pushing for every little scrap of something better. You might never be cured, you might always struggle, but keep struggling! Don’t lie down and die. That doesn’t stop the pain, it just makes it worse. Screw up. Make mistakes. And know that everyone else, even the jerks pretending perfection, they probably believe it true, do exactly the same thing but without half of what you’re going through. A success, however small, in adversity is far great than you let yourself realise. This whole year has been so far removed from what I considered the norm for me. It didn’t fix all my problems, nor did it change them, but it showed me how much of my depression was thinking for me. The reason I joke about Jack so often as the name embodies the idea of trying, of not quitting before I start, of scrounging up what joy I could, it’s Jack and I in this battle now. It’s lasted my whole life thus far and it’s only now I’m learning that it was never my fault. There are stories to tell and the time will come for them. I just wanted this out there. Don’t fear, dearest reader, I’m still who I always am. The laughter will be plentiful, the recipes numerous, the sense fleeting, the rashes treated, it’s just sometimes the man behind all of this pops up. Forgive him, eh? He means well. Now to the story!

 photo WP_20161105_002_e_zpsbujjnvp0.jpgCrunchy corner!

I stepped out for some scones and I forgot all about this. I marvel at myself sometimes. So, okay. I spent two hours of this unseasonally warm weather bringing all the stones from the front of the house, in a wheelbarrow, to the back. Some were poured forth like the milk of human kindness, others were unceremoniously tossed like I was stoking a furnace. You’ll notice the less I have to relate the more verbose these posts become. A half ton looks small until you have to shovel all those stones out again and again. I did clean up the matting a bit more yesterday to prepare it. Just making sure the gaps for weed growth were at a minimum. Once the pea gravel was down and spread out the unevenness faded and I can tramp and strut to my heart’s content. I’ll probably put pots along the wall. O’er the weeds that once pillage my dear allium, forever unfulfilled in their potential. Next year, next year: Onions! I have organic garlic planted already. Just a bulb’s worth. You know the expression: The garden was lost for want of a bulbs worth of garlic. No? You sure? Tar? Nah, that can’t be right.

 photo WP_20161105_003_e_zpsxqacv63a.jpgThe Garlic Strip.

It worked out as just the right amount. I even laid down a new floor for the greenhouse. I took out all the staging, in honesty also to see if it could be better optimized in its configuration. It can’t. Which is pleasant in a way. The back one is one I cobbled together. One of the tall ones was assembled from two smaller sets. It’s amazing all this piecemeal shelving fit so well. Thanks to the more even floor they all now sit steadier and closer to the edges which gives me a little more elbow room. The stones might absorb heat during the day and release it at night. That’d be a real boon. I’m just really happy with how it’s all turned out so far. I actually won a shopping voucher that came to the value of the stones so I can pretend it was all free! There is work next year aplenty, for now there is an ever dwindling list of odd-jobs  that I’ll try to stretch. For the nonce I’ll take a break, my poor muscles cry out for rest. So I’ll leave it that for now. Thanks for reading, really, I mean that. Until later.

 photo WP_20161105_005_e_zpsejqjrlq1.jpgEr…Greenhouse floor. I tried!


4 thoughts on “A Half Ton of Jack

  1. I can sympathize on the muscle pain, when I terraced our back yard I was moving tons of material in and out by hand and some days I could barely get up off the floor. After a couple of months I realized I was carrying 50kg landscaping timbers without much effort.

    Garden looks good, great call on the gravel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m starting to get a bit of conditioning, I didn’t feel the work until it was over. I’ve spent this year lugging all manner of things from the front to the back, so I guess some of it had to pay off. Thank you. It has finished it off well. Next year all this work should be rewarded when everything is in bloom and there are only small jobs left.


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