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I live in Bedford, England. Having retired from teaching; I am now a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Threshold Concepts in the context of A-level Physics. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. I have also recently become a keen playgoer to London Fringe Theatre. I enjoy mostly classics and I read the playscripts and add those to the blog. I am a member of Bedford Writers' Circle. See their website here: http://bedford-writers.co.uk/ Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Monday, 3 October 2016

"A Year in the Allotment" by Anne Brooks

I have just (two days ago!) acquired an allotment and, being a complete novice when it comes to growing things, thought that this book, subtitled "A Beginner's Guide to Losing the Plot" would teach me everything I needed to know. I was disappointed.

Despite her protestations she is no beginner. Her husband, saint Keith, has gardened for years and she clearly knows her flowers (and she sneaks in the confession that she is a farmer's daughter).

The book is written in the form of a blog (and the blog is a form much more suitable to the way it is written). There are lots of photographs which are reproduced in black and white; it is often difficult to make out what they show, especially since none of them are captioned and sometimes they don't appear to be related to the text. Being a blog, it is more about the way Brooke feels than providing any significant advice. And she is relentlessly optimistic. After an hour of starting to clear my allotment I walked around like an old man, my back suffering for a whole day. Brooke's narrative is peppered with lashings of "hurrah" and "double hurrah" and "goodness me" and even a "yikes" which I thought only belonged with Billy Bunter.

"Thank goodness Nature knows what she's doing, as really we're just winging it ..."

I think this book should have stayed as a blog and I was interested to note that there are indeed significant differences between the forms.

October 2016; quite a few pages but they're not numbered and many of them are given over to the photographs.

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