Organic shmorganic


Well, after a week or so of pensively fingering putative buboes, I think I’m in the clear. There’s been no more swimming in gloop, though I am considering a sally to the ladies’ pond later this week – and if it’s raining, so much the better. We Celts are weeds when it comes to sunshine, but show us a slate-grey sky and some thin, stony, unpromising hilsides with the threat of a lifetime’s backbreaking, unyielding, fruitless labour and we’re happy as larks. Oh, and chuck in some Vikings or Turks on slaving raids and a punitive religion and it’s all our birthdays come at once.

Last weekend I popped off to the land of milk and honey and ate ambrosia until I nearly popped. The locals call it ‘Faversham’ and ‘crisps’, but off I went on the train, weighed down with wine and baklawa, which I swapped for gooseberries and rhubarb for the return trip. My mate’s a serious gardener so I could pester her with questions about organic slug control (if it was down to me I’d bring back DDT, but I find my views are sadly out of kilter with the modrun werld).

The slugs of Tooting will soon have to contend with cut-up plastic pint glasses and wool I shall gather from the hedgerows. I’m in two minds about the wool gathering, truth be told. Number one, it stinks so I’d have to carry the noisome treat with me until I get back to London; number two, well, number two. Have you seen sheep in the wild? Despite being comparatively cylindrical they seem able to cack all over about 50 per cent of themselves. Number three, really? I mean, really? Am I honestly going to be Johnny Appleseeding all over the countryside yanking hanks of oily stink off barbed wire fences? Number four, it’s summer. They’ve been shorn, it’s going to be slim pickings even where I come from, which is baaa central.

Pal Sian tells me you can buy wool pellets, the thought of which for some reason makes me want to cough like a cat bringing up a fur ball. The other option, which is much less stinky but a LOT weirder, is to go to the hairdressers and get their floor sweepings. And since Tooting is about as racially mixed an area as you can get, we’ll have flowerbeds like the UN. I shall have to think carefully about how to phrase the request – and also which smile to put with it. Dead-eyed smirk might be one to avoid.


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