I’m sitting here with Mummy, and she’s finished bribing me with cucumber, and she’s combed my hair (ouch!), and now I’m going to ask her some Very Difficult questions.
D: Who’s your favourite guinea pig.
M: Well, you are, of course, Dylan. Although it might be whoever’s sitting on my lap at the time. If Kevin reads this, he’ll see his name there, because I’ve put some magic into the computer.
D: I told you Mummy was tricksy, everyone, and that just proves it, doesn’t it! What do you do when you go outside through the front door?
M: Well, most of the time I get in the car and go somewhere. You’ve been in the car, so you know what that’s like.
D: Yes, but what do you do mostly?
M: Mostly I suppose I go to play golf, and most times when I play golf I come home past the shop and get you some veggies. The big shop usually has food with the day’s date on special offer, and as you know, it’s always good for another week, not that it usually gets that far. Someone (naming no names) eats it.
D: That would be Kevin, then.
M: Yes, Kevin is one of the eaters of veggies. I know some people whose names begin with D that eat them too. And wheek loudly when I come back in the house rustling bags.
D: We’re just welcoming you home.
M: Me and the bags of veggies, I think.
D: Well, yes. I mean, they’re important.
M: You’re quite right.
D: Why do some veggies come in bags and some come from the garden?
M: It all depends on things like the time of year and whether you’ve already eaten everything nice for breakfast that was in the garden. Shall I tell you about the ‘hungry gap’?
D: You’re not talking about my empty tummy, are you?
M: No, I’m talking about the time between about February and now when there’s not much in the way of food in the garden. Up to February there are things like cabbages and kale, and if the ground isnt too frosty I’ll have some carrots and celeriac hiding under the fleece to keep, well, not frozen. Then when those have gone there’s nothing grown big enough to eat in the garden until about now. You’ve been getting salsify leaves for a month, and last week you had some herbs and some strawberry leaves, but if I take too many of those, the plants won’t grow well and we’ll go hungry later. Then I’ll have to go to the shop for things we should have grown ourselves.
D: I like talking about food. What else will we get from the garden soon?
M: Well, I planted out the lettuce and beans last week. You might get a bean leaf each, once a week, since I reckon each plant can spare one a week without harming it for later. The lettuce will grow quickly once they get going, and the radishes I sowed about three weeks ago will be ready to eat soon.
D: I don’t think I like radishes.
M: Kevin likes them. They’re okay when they’re young. They get a bit strong later, don’t they. I don’t like them much when they’re strong either. But they help the carrots and things grow.
D: CARROTS!! When can we have carrots?
M: The ones I sowed in the autumn didn’t grow very well, but there are a few that might be worth eating in a week or so. There are lots more I’ve sowed each month since March, so hopefully you’ll be eating them by the end of June.
D: That sounds lovely. One more question?
D: Why does it always rain on days we want to go out and eat grass?
M: I don’t know, Dyl, but if you can stop it but still make sure we have enough rain for the plants to grow, just fix it, okay?
D: OK, Mummy, I’ll do that. Thank you very much for being the first person we’ve interviewed.