Challenges and pioneering adventures

I ache all over at the moment, especially my legs and shoulders. I also have my legs up, with one leg up higher on a cushion because I have a painful reaction to an insect bite on it. All this is as a result of an adventure I’ve just started.

We have a fair-sized garden, but overhanging trees means there’s not much I can actually grow, especially in the way of vegetables. Despite this, I have been busy sowing seeds in trays and trying to persuade hubby to abandon his occasional bonfire site so I can dig it up for growing things in.

Then, having read enviously of the adventures of friends on facebook who have taken over allotment plots, I made enquiries locally. I vaguely remembered hearing something about a new site being used for allotments, and was pleased to learn that there were still plots available.

To cut a long story short, I kind of feel that my plot chose me, rather than the other way around – the site is a fair-sized field, divided into plots, with an extra part of the field sticking out like the handle of a saucepan, and I’m down the handle. The end of my plot runs alongside the road, and there are other plots in the area, left, right and behind, but these are as yet unoccupied, so I’m stuck out on my own a little. I’ve been warned by a couple of people that my end had problems with flooding in the winter, but I’m not worrying too much because the weather was so extreme, and because – well, I’ve bonded with my plot now. It seems to suit me, and I would really hate to move elsewhere.

Oh, and the best reason? I’m in the corner of the field. The name I use for my business, and for email addresses, involves the word coinlea – which is related to the name of our house (which we never use for that purpose) and means “corner of the field”!


It’s the first time in my life I’ve had a little area that I can call completely mine, and I’m loving it. There’s a lot of hard work involved at the moment, of course – the whole area is new to allotments, so we’re all pioneers, digging out our own little patches and deciding how to lay things out and what to grow. I’m full of ideas on what to do, but of course some of them involve money, so might take a little time.

Still, I’ve been up there most days this week, including yesterday afternoon marking out beds (and getting bitten by something, I think) and this afternoon digging the beds out. If I can do a minimum of one bed a week, it will be mostly ready to go by the time my seeds are ready for a new home.

So the plan now is to work hard and earn money whenever I can, and sneak up to the allotment when I can get away, to keep working on it.

Jantastic challenge is just coming to a close, and I’ve done fantastically with it – the combination of the challenge itself and having a running partner for a while has meant that I’ve established a habit of running three times a week and consistently scored highly in the challenge. I’ve also been riding my bike – the allotment is 2km away from home, up a hill, and this has proved a great combination, as I’ve cycled up whenever I can (taking someone else up there or delivering tools to use has meant having to use the car, but otherwise I’ve cycled or walked). So I’m now swimming four times a week, running three times a week, cycling a few times a week (including two days when I cycle to the pool and back), and generally I’m sure I must be fitter than I’ve ever been in my life before.

I’ve also been smashing my parkrun record this year – for the past few weeks I’ve regularly beat my previous time by around half a minute or so or taken it “easy” and come in within a few seconds of my PB, so I’m really seeing the difference all this exercise is making.

Now the plan for the next few weeks exercise-wise is the 5×50 challenge, to either run 5k or participate in some other exercise for a minimum 30 minutes a day for 50 days. I’m not going to worry about speed for a bit, as that’s been going so well – instead I’ll be working on building up distance. And I’ve also signed up for Race for Life, but as I do a 5k run so often these days I wanted a bigger challenge, so I signed for the Pretty Muddy version of RfL, which involves a muddy obstacle course.

I see a busy time in my future.


Leave a comment


  1. Wow! Didn’t know you’d got yourself an allotment – congratulations 🙂 I hope you love it as much as I do 🙂


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