Saturday 4 June 2005


At some point in my early teens, I went from liking music to being totally obsessed by it. Every spare penny I had was spent on albums; the price of an album was, in fact, my mental unit of currency: everything, as far as I was concerned, cost a given number of albums. I was very late switching from tape to CD, simply because I could get more tapes for the same cost as fewer CDs. When I was of that impressionable starting-to-take-drugs age, it never even occurred to me to touch them: drugs are expensive; taking them would involve buying a lot less music. I bought loads of remaindered stuff dirt cheap that I'd never heard of, just on the off-chance that it'd be good (it sometimes was). I had a congenital inability to walk past a record shop.

I hardly buy any records now. But I started gardening this year, and I just can't stop buying plants. I work near a B&Q, and it's a battle not to go in there at lunchtime. Well, I assume it'd be a battle, if I ever tried not to go in. And all the supermarkets have started selling plants, so I can't even buy food without being tempted. I went into Tesco for a sandwich yesterday and bought three trays of bedding plants and forty bulbs.

To be fair to myself, it's all been necessary: the garden started as a weed-covered rubbish dump, so I gutted it and started again from scratch. It is now fast approaching paradise. So far, all these plants have been planted. But there are only a couple more bare patches left now. Early next week, there'll be no more room, and I'll have to stop. I'm not looking forward to it.

Maybe I could get an allotment.

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