A Piece of Earth

For some reason, that phrase has always stayed with me, ever since watching The Secret Garden as a child. Well, I’ve been on the hunt for my very own piece of earth for just over 18 months now (who knew that allotments were so hard to come by?) and last week the chance to have one arrived.

The best part? It’s right on my doorstop. I could somersault there if I wanted to. I don’t want to, but it’s nice to have options. It doesn’t look like much right now but chuck in a few raised garden beds, some attractively helter skelter paths and it will look a treat!

It’s an initiative of Full Frontal Gardens (ooer), an organisation that is helping to greenify streets in order to reduce crime and foster community spirit. I’m super excited about it, although possibly-maybe-might-have-somewhat exaggerated the level of my gardening prowess. It seems I’m to spearhead the garden. Whoops. Oh well, nothing a few thousand emails to my green-thumbed father wont fix.

These awesome-looking arches are owned by the railways, and we want to approach them about possibly turning it into a SUPER cool shed, or even better, some kind of incredible music venue. Pipe dreams right now, but still….


On Green Dolphin Street

Luckily for me, and not to mention your goodselves, I realised I couldn’t legitimately call myself a blogger if I didn’t use Instagram. So I recently scurried off to er, my phone and downloaded that lovely app. Just for you my sweets – is a badly taken, yet effortlessly cool picture of a bloody good book

It’s not a secret to those who have heard me speak about books in the last while (well, the last ‘ever’ really) that Sebastian Faulks is my favourite author. It all started with a Cate Blanchett film about WWII France, and I was hooked.

On Green Dolphin Street is a novel about an English couple, Charlie and Mary Van der Linden, living in quite-recently-post-McCarthy Washington. Charlie is an entertaining alcoholic diplomat slowly sinking into the void, and Mary is his inimitable wife. Their life seems lovely, if slightly fraying around the edges, yet both their worlds seem to change irrevocably after the arrival of journalist Frank Renzo.

I don’t want to give too much away, although I’m not sure I can help it – but if there is one thing that Faulks can write about, it’s passion. I find myself consistently groaning with the sheer weight of emotion in his books, and it would be almost too much to bear if it wasn’t so utterly lovely, so delicious and so life-affirming.

Most of my experience of Faulks has been through his French Trilogy of Birdsong, The Girl at the Lion D’Or and Charlotte Gray (that’s the Cate one!) and I thought it was the French aspect that made me swoon each time. I’m a raging Francophile, and I always associated the lingering romanticism of France with Faulks’ writing. But this time, the setting couldn’t be further away from that, and it goes to show – me at least – that the boy has style.

I think this book, perhaps more so than the French books Faulks has written, will inspire deep chats with chums. It was challenging without being didactic or overly sentimental. I highly recommend a read.