Well, it’s finally stopped raining – I’ve done no gardening done since Sunday. Didn’t manage any gardening yesterday, probably won’t do any today either – yesterday I got my new hard drive and spent the whole day just installing everything; I’m still dont finished, still got to copy over all my music and pictures, plus install one or two remaining programs (notably that godawful ecommerce program I have to use for somebody, which is so ancient that it won’t work without MSOffice and IE6; but I don’t intend to be the one to cough up £100 for an upgrade).
And today, which is still dry, we spent the whole morning collecting a Freecycled chest of drawers; we’ve driven all the way to Kirkpatrick Fleming and back – probably over 50 miles – because I got the place mixed up with Kirkpatrick Durham, which is only 10 or so miles away

Yes, I’ve started some serious gardening. A few weeks ago I came to two decisions. First, I have to get more exercise; second, the way the economy is going generally, getting a little more self-sufficient in food would be a wise move.
Exercise used to be no problem for me – not being able to drive, I walked and/or ran everywhere (very often weighted down with a huge shoulderbag packed with everything I thought I might possibly need – not including a kitchen sink, because I already had one at home). That was until 2001, when I developed arthritis in my knees, followed by all my thyroid problems, angina and high blood pressure. I can still walk round the shops and down to the village and back, but it’s hard work. Not just hard on my knees, but generally – I simply don’t have a lot of physical energy to spare any more. So I now spend far too much time sitting around and putting on weight (in spite of sticking to a diet).
Carol-next-door used to grow splendid vegetables on a large patch of the communal land around the houses here. Then a couple of years ago she developed spinal problems and couldn’t carry on with it. Nobody else seemed interested in taking the plot over, so it was left to grow weeds.
So – pondering my need for exercise, I thought that regular bouts of digging and weeding might be the exercise that I need. Plus, I would have the benefit of fresh vegetables, grown very cheaply; with the price of food rocketing, that’s a major consideration for us these days.
It’s hard work – the brambles, wild raspberries and nettles are up to six feet high in places; I haven’t even started serious digging yet and I need better tools. But I’m already feeling better – cant wait for Spring to start.