Allotment No.41 – #2 ‘Rules’
A set of allotment rules begin to emerge.
I’ve realised that having an allotment comes with a set of, probably should have expected, rules.
As with any club, beyond the official contractual agreement of respectable behaviour and membership of collective aspirations, there is a layer of unspoken agreements. An expected amount of bowing to ambient tradition and I suspect somewhat fictional, “it’s just the way it’s done” attitude. Although quite possibly for very good tried and tested reasons.
The most visual and loudest unspoken rule of all concerns the alignment of plants, supports, netting and makeshift constructions.
One evening after work, as my neighbour arranges his bamboo canes I am told that, ‘the wind travels this way’. His arm out stretched, palm flat with fingers straight and firmly locked, a perfect right angle to the body, indicating with regimental certainty that Boreas, god of the north wind of winter, Eurus, god of the east or southeast wind, Notus, god of south wind and Zephyrus, god of the west wind all bend to this mighty allotment rule. Woe betide any who erect their canes the “other” way. They’re just asking for trouble.
Sure enough, looking to the neighbouring plots there are rows upon rows of seasonal pyramids, arches and tunnels emerging. A text book scene in any artists sketchbook on the study of perspective.
French runner beans and mange Tout are anticipated. Allotmenteers reveal their inner architect and quietly reminisce scouting days, trying to remember knots for securing rafts and making bridges, with lashings of ginger beer.
I shall expose more unspoken allotment life and rules as they are revealed to me.
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