A sceptic's take on being human – or should that be virtuous?
Black Friday at the Potwell Inn
Well, it was so unbelievably quiet at the Potwell inn today that after a lunchtime that was about as much fun as a funeral director’s waiting room I went up to the allotment in the kind of gloom that only November can offer. Being a fully paid up member of the age of the electric light bulb and the wireless set I find it just a bit difficult to understand why most of my customers spent the day glued to their computers in search of a bargain on the interweb, or whatever it’s called. For me there’s nothing to beat a couple of hours of declining afternoon light, digging a trench and setting the third side to a group of four raised beds. I was even reasonably warm with my old tracksuit bottoms under my overalls. These four beds are for next year’s potatoes, but the side I was completing today also borders the grape vine as I work towards replacing all the posts and wires.
Back home I cooked the “feijao frade com chourico” I posted about yesterday and you’ll have to look at that posting to see the photo. I know it’s shameless self-promotion but I get lonely leaning on the bar waiting for the door to open. Actually I was rather proud of my efforts today, and now I’ve got the second LED propagator in my tiny study, I can even fight off my ‘seasonal affective disorder’ while I write stuff that only a tiny number of people want to read. But I’m being positive because ‘the tough get going when the going gets tough’ as the bishop once explained to me when he gave me a couple of extra parishes to look after. A dear man and so gifted.
I've spent my life doing a lot of things, all of them interesting and many of them great fun.
When most people see my CV they probably think I'm making things up because it includes being a rather bad welder and engineering dogsbody, a potter, a groundsman and bus driver. I taught in a prison and in one of those ghastly old mental institutions as an art therapist and I spent ten years as a community artist. I was one of the founding members of Spike Island, which began life as Artspace Bristol. ! wrote a column for Bristol Evening Post (I got sacked three times, in which I take some pride) and I worked in local and network radio and then finally became an Anglican parish priest for 25 years, retiring at 68 when I realised that the institutional church and me were on different paths.
What interests me? It would be easier to list what doesn't, but I love cooking and baking with our home grown ingredients. I'm fascinated by botany and wildlife in general, and botanical illustration. We have a camper van that takes us to the wild places, we love walking, especially in the hills, and we take too many photographs.
But what really animates me is the question "what does it mean to be human?". I've spent my life exploring it in every possible way and the answer is ..... well, today it's sitting in the van in the rain and looking across Ramsey Sound towards Ramsey Island. But it might as easily be digging potatoes or making pickle, singing or finding an orchid or just sitting. But it sure as hell doesn't mean getting a promotion, beasting your co-workers or being obsequious to power, which ensured that my rise to greatness in the Church of England flatlined 30 years ago after about 2 days. But I'm still here and still searching for that elusive sweet spot, and I don't have to please anyone any more.
Over the last 50 or so years we've had a succession of gardens, some more like wildernesses when we were both working full-time, but now we're back in the game with our two allotments in Bath.
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3 thoughts on “Black Friday at the Potwell Inn”
I like reading it. It makes me feel hungry and lazy. Mind you…
Well thank you Ma’am – The Potwell Inn will be on tour to Shaftesbury very soon !
wohh exactly what I was searching for, thanks for posting.