22 August 2008


I’ve just returned from two days at Churinga, where the Relics and I lunched last week. Churinga’s guardians are part of the WWOOFing fraternity and had invited me to come back for a bit of hands-on. I was told I’d be planting walnuts. Naturally, my rose-coloured urban brain imagined me begloved, kneeling in dirt, sunshine beating down, digging a few holes with a trowel and asking, ‘What next?’ with the satisfied glow of a woman who has just planted walnuts.

Naturally, it wasn’t like that at all. What it was like, was plotting an entire orchard of walnut trees. No, cancel that. A plantation of walnut trees.

Two of us spent the best part of one and a half days measuring and staking out where 50 walnut trees should go on a very large, steeply sloped, bracken-covered plot of land. We couldn’t even get a proper line of sight since there were trees to be felled. We got 26 in the ground. There were no trowels in sight.
Clearly, I still have a way to go on this urban to country curve.

But for now, you can call me Walnut Queen.

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