It was coming. Slowly, over the years, it was becoming more of a burden than something to look forward to. I was finding myself making excuses to avoid it rather than planning my day so that more time could be spent on it. And now, of course, the time that I would be spending down there I'm choosing to use to go running instead.
So today I decided to grasp the nettle, as it were, and finally make the decision to give up my allotment.
It's sad but also sensible, I think. I worked it for five years but slowly the amount of work it needed became more than my willingness to do it. And as the committee is quite strict about the upkeep of your plot - and quite rightly, if truth be told - I just couldn't let it go for a month or so until I felt like I could be arsed to go down there again because, by that time, the weeds would be knee-high.
A mini-inspection by the site's stewards took place last week (this is a new introduction - the main committee inspection is in the summer) and this afternoon I got a call from one of them asking if I was having problems looking after the plot and wondering if I would be happier to reduce the size to half. She was very lovely about it and not at all finger-waggy. But during the conversation I knew the time had come - in fact, I'd only been saying to TLH earlier this morning that I thought this would be the last year I would do the allotment - so decided to just get it over with. Apparently there isn't a waiting list at the moment so I've got a little time to clear the shed and dig up any plants I want to take; I'm going to keep the 3 blueberry bushes and the gooseberry bushes I planted. And now I'll have to clear out our big shed at home to make room for the tools, etc., that I'll have to bring back from the allotment.
Sadly, I've got about 25 or so Broad Bean seedlings and about the same of peas that I'd started off for this year's season and it would be a shame to see them go to waste, so I'll see about trying to plant them in my garden at home. Bearing in mind my garden is really very small and I have no space whatsoever, this is going to be a bit of a challenge.
In an ideal world, I would dearly like to have my own decent-sized vegetable patch in my garden but that will have to be in The House That Is To Come, and it will be a vegetable patch that won't be subject to inspection and judgment by anyone other than me.
So, farewell then, Plot 19B - I enjoyed you for a good four years but now it's time to pass you on to your next caretaker.