Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Well I suppose I’d best start off with an apology, I’ve not been keeping up with this diary or the allotment. It’s ironic really, writing a book about allotment growing and it takes up so much time that I can’t hardly get down to the plot.

It’s not that I’ve not been down to the plot at all, but it’s not worth writing up "went to plot and dug up some parsnips and leeks for tea" Still, it’s wonderful to be able to do that.

Christmas Eve I’ll be picking sprouts, we’ve both traditional green and red ones this year which will pop a little colour onto the dinner table. I’m wondering if a mixed bowl will look good. Usually I do most of the Christmas cooking, with Val’s guidance, so a bit of menu planning going on in the background here.

I’m just hoping I can do the turkey justice! We’ve never had such a large turkey and even with nine of us around the table, it won’t be gone in one sitting. I say nine of us, that’s Val and I, our daughter’s with us and my father-in-law along with the five cats. So a big thank you to Grannie Annie for that turkey.

Boxing Day we have a sort of buffet day, the sister in law comes over with the 3 little ones and it’s a real house full. Sadly for us the brother in law and his five children won’t be here. They emigrated to New Zealand this year and it’s a bit far to come. Anyway, because sis in law is a vegetarian, I usually do mainly veggie food. Thank goodness she’s not a Vegan, that’s quite limiting for me. My humus may be OK for Vegans but the Greek cheesy pies certainly wouldn’t do.

After the cooking and eating comes the washing up. This year we’ll be drying up with monogrammed tea towels, a big thank you to Kay ‘Babe’ Whitton for those.

It’s wonderful to have so many fantastic friends across the world, I get emails from every continent and this year we’ve cards as well. I’m really taken aback by just how many people this web site has put us in touch with.

I think this year’s Christmas will be good for us, we’ll be warm, well fed and thank goodness we’re not in debt or out of work. This awful stupid mess the financial world has got us in to means a lot of people are facing a tough Christmas and New Year. Even retired people who moved out to sunny Spain and France are having a tough time as exchange rates mean the spending power of their pension falls by 30%. That’s a big pay cut.

Having faced Christmas in the past with no job and worried sick about what the New Year will bring, dreading the next bill falling through the letter box, I’d just like to say that we never know what tomorrow will bring. It may seem trite, but when you hit bottom the only way is up.

So, from Val and me to all our online friends, have a Wonderful Christmas and may the New Year bring you all you wish for.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
12 comments on “Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
  1. virginia thomas says:

    Thank you for all the update news and really you did a good job….records on what’s growing at the allotment, phyically making the crops behaving as it should be, writing books and selling world wide, now doing chef’s art to feed the family …wow! Also your Personal Assistant Val did a fantastic helping hand, she is your vital force and support for these sucessful venues. Very well done 2008 and please keep on and carry on this fantastic master tasks. Wish you all have a Happy Christmas and Cheerful New Year.

  2. Roz says:

    All the best to you, Val, and your family John. Thank you for all the hard work which is of huge benefit to all us trainee gardeners out here. Also thank you for sharing your thoughts and ups and downs throughout the year on here. Between my daughters house and mine we shall have 3 people on Xmas Day but counting the cats it would be 13! Like you we have a large turkey (good job!) and like you ~I too shall be picking sprouts on Xmas Eve,only green ones though, and thanking our lucky stars, that we too are in work and warm, our thoughts will be with the thousands who are not so lucky. Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2009.

  3. keith says:

    Merry Christmas and a Happy knew year to you both. Only found your web site this year being knew to the weband have found it compulsive viewing thanks for all the interesting items

  4. Paul says:

    Hi John, Seasons Greetings to you and your family, and many thanks for all of the information you provide. Having been an allotmenteer for a year now, it has been very helpful all that your site has provided and great in caomparing your acivities with our own here. Please keep up the good work. I know there are many newbies out there who will find what you do very helpful too.

  5. Michael says:

    Hi John!

    I have been a avid reader of this site for a while, and I have to say its one of the best ive come across. so seasons greeting to you, and I look forward to the next year, to hear more of your tips, and friendly advice!

  6. Archie says:

    Merry Christmas and and Happy New year. I found the site extremly helpful this past year in re-designing my plot. The raised beds I have built make my 30 minute visits far more productive, a lot less digging and weeding is so much easier.

  7. andy willmore says:

    Happy Christmas to you and your good lady wife.
    I’ve started my allotment in April this year and are looking forward to a full years worth of work and enjoyment in 2009.Its been made even better by your splendid website which I find compulsive viewing.
    God bless you and keep up the good work.

  8. Elaine says:

    Just like to say happy Christmas and a big thank you to you and Val for a wonderful site and all the hard work you put in with your books and your diary too. It has been extremely helpful to me, an allotment novice with not enough time!
    Looking forward to the new book.
    Best wishes and keep up the good work if you can!

  9. jacqueline and alan says:

    Dear John,
    Thank you for your very interesting website throughout 2008. Like you, we just go down to the plot now to harvest leeks and parsnips. The ground is so very wet and heavy it would be counter-productive to do much else.
    Our great winter success though, which you may like to try, is strawberry smoothies. We bagged and froze lots of our large juicy strawberries, raw, in July. Now we thaw them and give them a quick zizz in the liquidiser together with home-made yoghurt. It comes out tremendously thick and frothy and sweet! It gets round that problem of frozen strawberries being a bit slimey.
    Best Wishes for 2009.

  10. happy xmas to you and yours john, and happy new year. Look forward to next years installments.

  11. John says:

    Thanks to you all for your lovely comments – let’s all hope that 2009 isn’t as grim as the pundits want us to expect!

  12. dwtomo says:

    A bit late to wish you a merry xmas but have good new year and agood growing year! I hope to as I am now in my second year of having an allotment and the first year took some sorting and getting some crops, my second year was quite good and this xmas all the veg and spuds for our dinner where from the allotment first time that has happened! ooh and you where right about the brussels sprouts they tasted so much better than the shop bought ones, keep up the good work looking forward to your new book thanks.

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