Sunday 1 April 2012

Mr and Mrs "Right On's" Allotment.

All characters in the following blog post are entirely fictitious but I have met a few like them!  You might even say they are exaggerations of allotment characters I have met?  Shall I get on with it?

Mr and Mrs 'Right On.'

This is a middle class, Barbour jacket wearing couple.  They decide to get themselves a municipal allotment and grow 'Organic' vegetables and worship Mother Earth and:

"Do one's bit".

The great day arrives and they go to see their new potage and can't believe their eyes:


They cry.

"Vegetables don't come washed and diced in plastic bags (biodegradable of course) like the one's we get at Marks and Spencer's?"

Mr and Mrs Right on decide that their allotmenteering efforts will prevent global warming and the depletion of the Amazon rainforests all because THEY are growing 'Organic' vegetables.

Mr Right On does not believe in digging or weeding his allotment.  He doesn't want to upset the ecosphere and anaerobic digestion of some endangered worm species ("Lesser Spotted Tunbridge Wells Elasticicus") and decides he will find an extra few hours a week for their gardener Mr Commonplace.

"Yes sir, Yes sir."

Doffing cap, tugging forelock.

Mr and Mrs 'Right On' drive an enormous gas guzzling Volvo estate.  This is however only for transportation and for carrying the 'Organic' produce and gardening equipment to the allotment shed.

Mr 'Right On' is tired of Mrs 'Right On' complaining of the allotment earth on the car carpets.

"Must get a shed for the allotment."

"Yes dear.  What kind?"

"Oh only a small thingamajig.  I think they call them Gatekeepers cottages.  Must have a look in the classifieds for one."

"Time for tea."

"With a lemon slice".


  1. Never met these two, but I can beleive it.
    This couple usually have a rural property with a couple of acres which they decide will be turned over to organic produce and a few animals, trying to re-create in minature the farms from the days of "high farming", living off the land and self-sufficiency.

    They normally start with a huge rush of enthusiasm and often invest a bundle of cash into improvements of such things as fences, gates, driveways, greenhouses, tarting up semi-derelict buildings up, and up-grading the living accommodation to include fitted kitchens, double glazing, central heating, en-suite sauna, etc.

    They read all the books (John Seymour is prominent in their reference linrary) and talk about growing all their own veg and keeping various animals for meat, milking their own cow and making butter, hens for eggs, growing grain for baking bread and brewing beer, or pressing cider.

    The first few months see a hive of activity with planting fields and filling buildings with livestock.
    At first it all seems so good and a great thing to be doing, the early mornings to milk / feed are like a holiday, once that's done there doesn't seem too much to do until next milking / feeding.
    Reality normally hits home at hay-making / harvest time comes round, it's bloody hard work in between the morning milking and evening milking, and the weather's so unco-operative.

    And how those nice little 10lb piglets have developed at an alarming rate into agressive 150lb porkers.
    Then slaughter time comes for the porkers, the hens have stopped laying, the ewes need tupped, the cows still need milked twice a day and one of them needs the AI man, the rabbits are reproducing at an unbeleivable pace and need culled.
    Then come winter, rain and mud.

    to be continued........

    A husband and wife were having dinner at a very fine restaurant when this absolutely stunning young woman comes over to their table, gives her husband a big kiss, then says she'll see him later and walks away.

    The wife glares at her husband and says, "Who the hell was that?"
    "Oh," replies the husband, "she's my mistress."
    "Well, that's the last straw," says the wife. "I've had enough, I want a divorce!"
    "I can understand that," replies her husband, "but remember, if we get a divorce it will mean no more shopping trips to Paris, no more wintering in Barbados, no more summers in Tuscany, no more Merc and Lexus in the garage and no more yacht club. But the decision is yours."

    Just then, a mutual friend enters the restaurant with a gorgeous lady on his arm.

    "Who's that woman with Jim?" asks the wife.
    "That's his mistress," says her husband.
    "Ours is prettier," she replies.

  2. Hi Cumbrian, Incredibly I have wrote a very similar blog post for the next few days about a self sufficiency couple VERY similar to yours. Especially when you watch tv programmes like River Cottage and Escape to the Country.

    I think most people would like to be a Tom or Barbara Good and have a go at the good life? John Seymour is also one of my self sufficiency heroes. I am not really keen on the word self sufficiency. Much prefer: Self Supporting. Self sufficiency sounds far too isolated and cutting yourself off from everybody. I like having a smallholding in the countryside, but I still think if you have an allotment in a small town or village with people who can have a laugh and a joke, you have got everything.

    I have me people like Mr and Mrs Right On at a Organic gardeners club and they really do exist.

    Billy Pearce (Yorkshire comedian) joke.

    My granddad's allotment got attacked during the Blitz.

    All his peas got shelled!


  3. OK mate, sorry, didn't want to steal your ideas, I'll reserve "to be continued" till your self-supporting blog (or self-reliant?)

    Yes I can beleive they exist, just would seem (to me at any rate) a little bit out of place on the average allotmemt. Same as the pristine Volvo estate.
    (I won't go into raptures about their car, this could be the subject of another future piece "Typical allotment-holders transporet")

    Yes it would be nice to have an allotment somewhere in a small town / village with a real pub available, except the town ones sometimes suffer from a bit of vandalism?
    (The possible subject of yet another future piece "Vandalism and the allotment holder")

    After having their 11th child, a Liverpool couple decided that was enough, as the social wouldn't buy them a bigger bed and they weren't strong enough to nick one.
    The husband went to his doctor and told him that he and his wife didn't want to have any more children.
    The doctor told him there was a procedure called a vasectomy that would fix the problem but it was expensive.
    A less costly alternative was to go home, get a firework, light it, put it in a beer can, then hold the can up to his ear and count to 10.
    The Scouser said to the doctor, 'I may not be the smartest guy in the world, but I don't see how putting a firework in a beer can next to my ear is going to help me.'
    'Trust me, it will do the job', said the doctor.
    So the man went home, lit a banger and put it in a beer can. He held the can up to his ear and began to count: '1, 2, 3, 4, 5,' at which point he paused, placed the beer can between his legs so he could continue counting on his other hand.
    This procedure also works in Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Hull, parts of Bradford and anywhere in Wales

    Dinner's gonna be lamb hot-pot with breast of lamb, potatoes, swede, turnip, carrot, onion, (no black pudding) done for abot 5 hours in the slow cooker.
    The price of fish remains very high.
    Weather's a bit cooler today.

    Raggy cat's been in for breakfast and a sleep on the (cuchioned) kitchen chair, and gone out again.

  4. Not at all Mr Cumbrian. I just couldn't believe how we both were thinking on the same self sufficiency lines. There's nothing wrong with your much valued thoughts and comments.

    I once lived in that southern county: Cheshire and those were the characters I met complete with Volvo estate - honest!

    You sound like you have got your priorities right - great ale and great food. It's cooler here and I have a bullock who is daft as a box of frogs walking round with a poorly limp. Going to try and catch him and give a antibiotic injection later. I once tried to (managed) to lasso a heifer and she dragged me up and down dale and through lots of country pancakes.


    Keep telling the jokes PLEASE Mr Cumbrian!!

  5. Yeah, Cheshire, perhaps a bit more up-market than West Cumbria, pristine Volvo estates are pretty thin on the ground up here.

    Although there's a few not-so-pristine models still running about, a hang-over from the bootlegging days, they were a great vehicle for the booze runners, not as obvious as the tranny, but comfortable and with a substantial pay load and plenty of space. They've usually got about a million miles on the clock, West Cumbria's a long way from Dover ferry or Folkstone shuttle, just under 1,000 miles round trip.

    Yeah, lassoing a heifer sounds like a bundle of fun, I'd have liked to watch that. Let me know how you get on with the bullock, maybe his bad leg will make your life a bit simpler? I bet he'll love having a needle stuck in him.
    I remember assisting at the putting in of the ring in a young bulls nose, he was led into a stall, chained by the neck, and his head enticed over the division wall (foftunately made on concrete) with a rope halter. I was given the job of hanging on to the rope under the division wall on the same side as his head and told to hold it steady. Enter the vet with a fearsome-looking pair of pinchers with a hole in one leg and a punch in the other. Ever tried to hold about half a ton of very annoyed young bull when somebody just punched a hole through his nostrils? Lots of fun, especially when the vet tries to enter the ring through. This was mid 60s, wish somebody had thought to give a pain-killing injection before they started, perhaps that was too expensive, sensible, or un-macho.
    Don't we do some pretty nasty things to livestock?
    (Another topic? "Injustices inflicted on our farm animals")

    Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.

    Raggy cat's missing. Hope it hasn't found the blackie nesting in the shrub under the kitchen window.

  6. In my eleven years living on a smallholding I have cracked my ribs twice and got kicked in my knee and been pulled and kicked again. They are only the major injuries Cumbrian.

    Totally agree with you about the: "Injustices inflicted on our farm animals" - and us! They forget about it after a minute, unlike us who shout Anglo-Saxon words every time a cloth sheet or blanket touches the damaged rib or ten.

    Rats are another kettle of fish. I would fight a lion (yeah right) before I would tackle one of those creatures. I have seen foxes carrying them home for tea though. So foxes aren't all bad!

    Hope Raggy cat turns up soon!


  7. Don't think I ever had a major injury, just the usual cuts, bruises and knocks.

    And yeah, animals do seem remarkably resiliant, and fortunately have very short memories. Good job too, wouldn't be very pleasant having a bullock with a grudge.

    Rats don't bother me, I don't like to see them, but they're everywhere, impossible to eradicate, and apart from foxes, no predators except the rat-catcher and a few cats and dogs.

    When I was younger I hated going to weddings.
    It seemed that all of my aunts and the grand-motherly types used to come up to me, poke me in the ribs and cackle, telling me, 'YOU'RE NEXT.'
    They stopped that shit after I started doing the same thing to them at funerals.

    Raggy cat been, eat a few biscuits and gone out again, it spends a lot of time outside. We go away and I leave it a gravity feeder of biscuits in the greenhouse, it never goes away, usually waiting for us a fortnight later when we come home.

  8. Farm animals (cats and dogs included) seem to have the same personalities of humans. Some are daft (box of frogs), adorable and some are very nasty.

    We've had about a 100 different heifers and bullocks on the farm in the last 10 years or so. They are the one thing more than anything that makes me get up in the morning. I can go away for 3 days and I am wanting to know how they are and if they need to be moved to fresh grazing.

    Thanks Cumbrian.


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