by Jim C AOR
Members of the OR met up on Sunday 22nd August to help Hengest clear his new allotment and ready the plot for propagation. If you’ve never rented an allotment before, then you have no idea how much blood sweat and tears it takes to knock an overgrown and neglected plot into shape. My blistered hands and aching body are witness to how much work we did.
The team gathered at the South East London at approximately 11am. Present were Jay, Lianne, their daughter Freyja and friend Aaron, Jim C, Hengest and his wife Fran, not forgetting Lee who made the long trip from Coventry.
Once we were all assembled we immediately set about our allotted tasks cutting, digging and piling up the weeds and grass while Fran headed home to pick up the grub and the boys Hakon, Taran and Odin. Once arrived Hakon and Odin were not idle and readily chipped in with some hard labour whilst Taran alternated between various jobs, most important job of all keeping little Freyja entertained and out of harm’s way.
The weather stayed fair and apart from the odd drop of rain we were able to work uninterrupted until late in the day. I had brought a petrol brush cutter which, when working properly, is an awesome tool to clear the weeds, but unfortunately it refused to start so we were faced with some back breaking work. However it wasn’t long before we started to make steady in roads and once you can see the difference you are making it gives you the heart to carry on.
We had much needed refreshment breaks at regular intervals as it was sweaty thirsty work. Non alcoholic beverages only mind you, water, tea and orange juice to keep our spirits up as we battled with the dratted couch grass.
Later we had something more substantial from the barbecue; chicken, sausage and burgers. I don’t think you can beat eating outdoors when you’ve been working hard. The food tastes better because you know you’ve worked for it. Thanks to Fran for the grub which I wolfed down gratefully.
Later in the afternoon I finally got the strimmer to work and delivered a coup de grace to the tall weeds and grass. Throughout the day there was some healthy competition and the usual good hearted banter. I think we can be proud of what we achieved and I certainly think these kinds of activities help to create close ties and bond us as a family.
We called it quits at about 7pm. We had managed to clear a substantial amount of the plot and covered a large part with tarpaulin to suppress any further weed growth for the time being.
Above all, Sunday was a prime example of Odinism in action. I know it seems that nothing is going on at times and that is because we do so much great work that some may feel that whatever project they are involved in is not worth reporting on. However I feel it is still worth writing up a few lines as it inspires others and shows that even small actions can make a difference when many people carry them out.
We all had a good laugh and it is was a fulfilling experience to share the work with comrades devoted to lifting our folk out of the current mire they are dwelling in.