We are getting some beautiful days here in the north of England at the moment. Beautiful but ever shorter. It’s gone suddenly colder too. So, late this morning as I stepped out I had on one more layer than even yesterday, out on the marsh.
This was to be a Liverpool day though. And just along Smithdown from where we live I turned into a road with its own song. A song as tuney in its own way as ‘Penny Lane’ by you know who. It’s ‘Greenbank Drive’ by the Liverpool band of mostly brothers The Christians.
The leaves were falling on me as I walked. As many leaves on the ground as on the trees now.
Along Greenbank Drive I reach my destination for now.
And a short phone call later I’m let in.
This is where we will find Plot 44. Where Sarah has been gardening for the past eleven years. Joined for this last one by her friend Gemma Jerome. I do visit, and even help out. But I haven’t been for a while.
As I arrive Sarah’s just having her breakfast. No, she doesn’t actually live here. It’s just that this morning she didn’t feel like eating straightaway when she got up. So came here instead.
Chamomile and spiced apple, which I drink out of the red ‘Orkney’ mug Sarah bought there years ago. I’m always given the red mug, obviously.
The two friends have been working steadily lately, clearing the late summer-early autumn die back.
It’s about taking the time to look. Taking the time back. From wherever it is that time goes.
And in the stillness winter will come and springtime will follow. The garden is already getting ready.
The garden is still, yet still moving.
And with a second cup of tea read my current book for a while. Regional variations in five-bar gates, regional time lapses in the enclosure of common land, how allotments came about. Why I’m sitting where I’m sitting.
Mid-afternoon, the light already fading, we clear up and leave Plot 44. Briefly visiting the top end of town.
And also buys this little 1930s Japanese saucer, to be part of Plot 44’s hospitality kit.
She doesn’t find it in Rennie’s today. But they’re not desperate. There will be more days.
A November day winding down. Time to go home.
See and read much more about Plot 44, here at its own blog. You can also see some films about its history here. And I’m gradually and carefully making a new film, where the two urban gardening friends talk about Plot 44 and the importance of borrowing it and caring for it in their lives.
And Sarah’s also done a post about this same day, with more photographs by me ‘Intimate details.’