I'm not sure if it's one of my quirks or a more normal thing that I've become a bit tearful on hearing of the death of Seamus Heaney. But his poems formed a surprisingly large part of my adolescence, largely because his poetry formed a great deal of our GCSE English course. This was not something that delighted all of my classmates, but I loved his poetry. I was especially into Irish (Republican) history at this point in my life, so the historical themes he threaded into some of his nature poems appealed to me. I think it was even more than that, though. His poems took me back to when I was much younger and living in Bicester, and my parents assigned me a small patch of soil in the garden that I was free to do what I liked with. I don't even remember what I grew there, but I remember scrubbing the soil off my hands in the cloakroom sink with slightly too-hot water, and never managing to get it all out from under my nails. I went to see Seamus Heaney speak at the Hay Festival several years ago (possibly 2005 or 2006? This is a sign I'm getting old) and was nervous about seeing one of my 'heroes' in the flesh for fear that he wouldn't be what I was expecting, but he was genuine, warm, and engaging; exactly how I thought he'd be.
This links in quite well with what I was originally intending to blog about, which is my gardening obsession. Maybe the psychology behind my gardening is that I'm regressing to that point in my childhood where I spent entire days outside. A minor revolt against a desk job, maybe. Anyway, today I rewarded my hard work this week with a trip to HOMEBASE. I've been a bit stressed at work because everything seems to be turning out more complicated than it was going to originally, culminating in me having a minor breakdown yesterday because I didn't know very specific skylight-related terminology (resolved today when I came to my senses and actually asked my kind colleagues for help). Homebase is the perfect solution to a busy week. I don't know how long I spent there, but I do know that £3 got me two cauliflower plants and a carrot plant.

The seedlings in the top left photo are golden poppies beside my basil plant (also grown from seed), then we've got the carrots and cauliflowers (surrounded by the conifer quintuplets, rescued from Wilkos for 10p each). Then on the bottom left there's the night stock, that I'm hoping to repot into hanging baskets, possibly, when they're grown, to attract LOADS OF BATS. Then there's the remains of Dyllis the dill plant, who is sadly no more. I've planted my second attempt at radishes in that pot now. Future plans include STRAWBERRIES and those balcony troughs, if I can find cheap ones. Oh, and potatoes. I might grow some in those potato bags. I'm going to spend quite a bit of tomorrow gardening. I also need to know more stuff about gardening but there is SO MUCH TO LEARN. I feel like an apprentice.
I'm also going bat-spotting this evening because I WIN.