Grey today.

I knew I had to be at the allotment . I am so fortunate to have this sacred place to align my mood with mother nature. It is the ultimate palliative. I nurse my sorrows incipient sips of the divine outdoors. I accept that the effect of being nature on a grey day can take a while to have a positive effect – a bit like bread making – we have to wait for the dough to rise then knead it vigorously to invigorate it further .

So I dig!

We have three communal compost heaps which with energetic effort and some due diligence in the ‘sifting ‘ process , we have got to the golden depths of the heaps which for years just piled up and piled up into a ....heap . Most of what was on the top third layer is woody or rooty plant material which would rot down far more efficiently if it were cut up into small pieces or burnt.

We did both.

Now we are treated to the ‘cream' of the compost which will soon get buried if we don't spread it before the other plot holders (who hibernate for three months) return and throw their green and sometimes plastic waste on there.

I have considered putting up signs; ‘ please leave this heap for spreading' or ‘ use this bin for fresh compost only ‘ etc but even typing them here feels didactic and some distance away from harmonious.

The allotment is a place to be calm or become calm so no notices here.

More on the compost soon, there is so much to convey about it as it is the foundation of growth.

I came across another grub today of the stag beetle . The are good news for compost heap guardians because they chew up the woody material and add nutrients to the soil.

We get quite a few of them . They look like a fat caterpillar and have an orange head with presumably decent gnashers in their significant jaws. They take two years to become the armoured jet arthropod and then their life is preciously brief . What a gift!