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Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. 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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