Monday, 6 August 2012

How not to grow your own

I feel I have been uninvited to the party. I feel as though all the things that are barring me from being at my allotment are being done to personally harm me. I know that sounds stupid but let us not forget that I am mentally ill ~ it pains me to say it but that is the truth. On top of that I am psychically disabled by double vision and access down at my plot? ggrrrr - I swear, I give up.

I am not willing to put myself through another afternoon and night like I have just been through. I go to the plots to try and see beauty, to gain a feeling of usefulness and purpose, to feel embraced and protected my nature. There have been times in the past that being there, doing my hard work has lead to moments were I forgot to be afraid, forgot to hate myself, forgot that I was 'different'.

Yesterday I was there 5 mins and took the biggest panic attack; the paths are not safe, the main road to fields A, B and D are still not even tarmacked and there are whopping great big potholes that someone like me just can't see properly. (I don't know how a wheelchair user would get down there either), the grass paths STILL are not being looked after, so I am walking from one plot to the other (both my plots) scared by the sudden entanglement of my feet and ankles in the grass (so long now) and the worry of what lies beneath all that growth - did someone forget to put tools away, will I fall again and this time land on broken plastic or some nails that have been dropped or scattered by the wind, it wouldn't be the first time.

I am not able to go to my plots and thus there shall be no more reports of what is going on, no more boasting, no more spending time out in amongst the veggies and fruit I have tended for 5 years. No more photos of pure joy and amazement at what can be achieved. I have been very effectively, uninvited to the party. Me, one of the people to whom the allotments meant so much, they even helped me feel better and reduced the amount of medication I was on.

Unless things change and I have absolutely no hope that they will, my journey in Allotmentherapy will have come to an end. I sit here in tears as I was also in tears at the site yesterday. The place is a mess; it grew too quickly and the infrastructure was never in place.

It is with the utmost saddest that I am forced to stop. Maybe I can still gain therapy through continuing to write this blog (it has been one of the best things to have happened in my life) through the eyes of Andrew, I don't know. But after my bad fall in the town centre and my numerous trips and falls at the allotments in the past I simply feel that yesterday (surrounded by abandoned plots) was the proverbial straw that has broken my spirit.

I am too upset to continue writing but I am so glad that I have managed to get this off my chest, it has been crushing me.


  1. So sorry to read this Carrie - our allotment site is the same this year - and overgrown field with a rutted water filled track.

    do you think that you can copy this and print it out and send it to the allotment committee or council whoever is responsible for it's upkeep.

    Send it as it is, in the raw, as you express how you feel so elloquently - and I pray that someone will take note and do something about it. - Or the local paper even. You NEED the allotments, and the healing power of them and your plots - the act of tending and growing is very theraputic to us all - so those of us with plots can empathise with what you are going through.


  2. Carrie get Andrew (if you can't face it) to either send what you have written here to the council and your MP or send them a link to your blog post and insist that they read the post. They really do need to have their heads dragged out from the sand and made to understand that looking after an allotment isn't just about gardening - it's about physical and mental well-being.

    Don't lose you spirit girl - you are stronger than that.

  3. That sounds so disheartening even from a distance. Isn't there a waiting list for the allotments?

    Can you turn your attention to your own garden at the house? What progress there?

  4. That's sad to hear. Is there no way you can complain to the council using the disability laws? Either that or could you swap plots with someone nearer to the access road, I'm sure if people knew they would help you in some way.
    Don't let a few bad things get you down, if you can't get down the plot why don't you go and sit in the park, look at the flowers and listen to the birds (or kids playing & screaming at the moment).

  5. THANK YOU so much you lovely people. xxxxxx

    Andrew has sent an email to the Allotment Officer today explaining just how upset this has all made us. I was thinking I ought to send this piece but I'm afraid I just got upset all over again.

    Diana - the back garden is going to get its moment in the limelight very soon x

  6. Hi carrie, I just feel so bad for you. I can't imagine what you are going through right now, but the way you wrote that is so heart wrenching, I hope something good comes from it. Don't ever give up. xxx

  7. I hope the allotment authorities see sense and get something done soon so you can enjoy your plots again. Don't give up!

  8. Carrie,

    I am on the same allotments as you (I'm in field D).
    The council came last Wednesday(presumably as a result of your complaint) and cut the grass paths.
    The roadway has not been touched but hopefully this may help you get back up to the plots,
    Regards, R


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