31 March 2013

We would sing and dance around, because we know we can't be found

Sherlock was up early this morning, thundering around the mill. He came and leapt on us, gave John a birthday hug, and I took him downstairs to feed him and issue his clues for the Easter Egg hunt.

He impatiently waited for Mycroft and Anthea, I gave them their clues too ;) and they all headed out into the cold to hunt for chocolate eggs. I'd tried to be clever...given clues to dates, via important moments in history, which they then had to find on gravestones. Or similarly, clues to names. And then managed a few that were about plants and trees and things... Basically, I needed everyone to be entertained for a bit. Whilst I....entertained John, for a bit.

So I headed back upstairs....

Some time later they returned, laden with eggs, and we all met back in the kitchen for a birthday breakfast.

Here's John's 'Guest Paragraph' because he didn't want to break the rhythm of our posting...



"So I think I mentioned that when I was asked what I wanted for my birthday and I said socks, I got looks... (I now understand my father slightly better. I always thought he was ridiculously boring when he asked for socks, but they really are useful.) I came down this morning to find three grinning boys and a table set beautifully for breakfast...and littered with socks. All of them were the wrong way out, just to drive me mad. :) In addition to the socks, L had conspired to get me - and I would never have guessed this in a thousand years - an allotment! Or half of one, to share with, I believe, a friend of Mrs Hudson's, which is good, because a) it's huge and b) I don't really know how to garden. I mean, I worked in my mum's a bit when I was growing up; I'm probably a better gardener than, for example, a cook, but I'm sure I'll need advice. It's a completely unexpected gift, but really sort of perfect - and Sherlock and Mycroft have promised to help, so it'll keep all three of us out of trouble for the summer. And L can cook whatever we end up growing! "

And here is Sherlock's drawing he gave John. It depicts him, helping John on the allotment. Sherlock is keen to point out that he's wearing his leather jacket.


And I'm keen to point out that John is only the size of a carrot, apparently. Or he's growing some truly massive mutant carrots. (I go for the former)

Sherlock moaned that he didn't have a grey pencil for John's grey hair :) And he got bored doing the sky.

Anyway, the allotment was a bit of a gamble, really...and I'm glad John likes the idea. Sherlock is very keen to help. I'd picked out some seed packets, and so had Mrs Hudson, so we'd wrapped up some of those too. Hopefully it'll give us all something educational to work on, and have fun doing together.

Edit: And no, I have no idea why that's gone white and...it doesn't matter, does it.

50 comments:

John H. D. Watson said...

You're going to help too, right? Do you know how to grow things? I like the new gardening tag.

They are giant mutant carrots.

Greg Lestrade said...

Yeah, I'll help, of course.

I'm not too good on growing, but I'm very experienced at digging. Usually large holes. For myself.

Mrs Hudson's friend - Reg - said he'd help out, anyway, tell us what the soil was suited to.

John H. D. Watson said...

I'm quite good at large holes myself.

Oh good. I suppose I could ask my mum too.

Greg Lestrade said...

That'd be good! I mean, good for you two to have something to talk about.

KHolly said...

I love how happy you both look in the drawing.

Glad you're having a great day John. It makes getting older worth it.

John H. D. Watson said...

L - yeah, couldn't hurt.

kholly - if this is how my life is going to go, I think I'm pretty happy about getting older.

pandabob said...

What totally perfect presents :-) you really do have a great family John :-)

You all sound like you've had a great day and the allotment will ensure you have many many more great days this year :-)

Sherlock said...

It's going to be great we can grow a GIANT pumpkin and then make a cross between a pumpkin and a strawberry.

REReader said...

What great gifts! And I love the picture, Sherlock, especially the root vegetables.

Greg Lestrade said...

AnonyBob - hopefully, if the ground ever stops being frozen solid...

Personally I'm entirely motivated by the thought of John digging it over, topless ;)

John H. D. Watson said...

Sherlock - how are you going to make it a cross between a pumpkin and a strawberry exactly? Giant strawberries would be great.

L - I was hoping you'd be topless...

Sherlock said...

I don't know yet I need a laboratory on the allotment and then I can do it.

John H. D. Watson said...

Let's try growing pumpkins and strawberries separately this year, since we've never done it before. And maybe next year you can look into bioengineering.

pandabob said...

You two digging your allotment topless will not be good for the productivity of the other allotments you know ;-)

Greg Lestrade said...

AnonyBob - you never know. People who were skyving off and slacking on their allotment work might be spurred on to attend more often, once John's there, toiling away, brightening the place up.

Kestrel337 said...

This seems appropriate to the circumstances.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yiWcS4w1i0

(Happy Birthday. That's an awesome gift.)

John H. D. Watson said...

Can you get kicked off your allotment if you don't use it enough?

So what do you want to grow? Besides mutant pumpkins.

spandrella said...

I'm a little bit worried/curious as to what you guys did to get so much experience at digging big holes, but perhaps it's best that I not know. ;)

Happy birthday, John! Mine was just a couple days ago. And happy Easter to anyone who celebrates it. And happy belated Passover to anyone who celebrates that. And just a happy day to everyone else.

-Ella

Greg Lestrade said...

Danger - YES, you can. The waiting list is...well, if we could have joined it now (which we couldn't, because it's currently closed) then we MIGHT have got something by the time we retire. That's partly why Reg was worried, because he finds it hard to keep the whole plot up and running, they could have thrown him off. So this works for both of us. Plus Mrs H says you have to keep an eye on him, because he lives on his own, and she worries he doesn't take care of himself.

I want to grow tomatoes, potatoes, squash, some corn, some salad stuff, maybe sweet potatoes, artichokes, and some soft fruits? I think Reg has a multi-grafted apple tree. I'm happy with anything, though - it'll be fantastic growing our own food.

John H. D. Watson said...

Really, that long? I had no idea that many people were that keen on it. Keep an eye on him...hm.

That...is a lot of things. Mum never did potatoes, I'll have to get a book unless Reg knows something about them.

Greg Lestrade said...

You know what Mrs H is like. She doesn't believe I take care of myself either, and I'm sure is convinced I'd be six feet under without you keeping an eye on me ;)

We should probably get a book anyway, tell us about...well, sun, and soil, and how much space things need to grow. Stuff like that. And maybe plan what'll be ready to eat when, so we have things all year around.

We should definitely have flowers, too :)

John H. D. Watson said...

I'm just wondering if we'll have her down there in her best dress bringing Reg tea and cakes...

Can we grow those purple ones?

pandabob said...

potatoes are easy John, dig a trench, put them in a decent space apart and cover with just enough soil, once they start growing earth them up so that no potatoes are visable but the leaves are and keep doing that until they flower and the leaves to die back and then dig them up and enjoy :-)

you have a seriously long list there Greg! it'll be fun seeing what you cook with it all in a few months time ;-)

Greg Lestrade said...

...I thought I was being very restrained! I could have gone on and on. I mean...we need onions, and peas, and beans, and cabbages, caulis, broccoli...

I think we need to talk to Reg about the soil and see what type it is, then research what we can grow well in it.

pandabob said...

Peas are good because Sherlock can eat them straight off the plant :-)

I have images of you two and an episode of 'the good life' in my head right now ;-)

Greg Lestrade said...

Hmm...wel, Danger does seem to think Mrs H is attempting to use his vegetables for romance! (And we all know that's my job...)

John H. D. Watson said...

I promise to keep my vegetables well away from Mrs Hudson's love life!

Greg Lestrade said...

Glad to hear it.

Now...one more night in the four poster. I don't want to go home tomorrow.

ro said...

What an awesome gift! Really cool. Hope you find a previously undiscovered green thumb, John! I really love the idea of growing my own food, but the reality is that sadly the green thumb skipped this particular generation of my family :( My former housemate had it in spades, though, and grew us capsicum and eggplant and chillis and potatoes and more. It's fantastic to make a meal from things from your own garden!

My birthday last year, a friend tried to buy me a chance to host a bee hive! There's this scheme to encourage bees back into inner city areas, and you can have a hive put in your backyard. I didn't have enough room to qualify, though :( I bet Sherlock would be up for something like that!

And that's a great drawing, Sherlock. Bet you have heaps of fun with John in the allotment!

Anonymous said...

That's an amazing gift. There are a lot of community gardens in Boston, and it seems like everyone who's managed to get one plants something different. You might want to wander around a few allotments for ideas, John. Sunflowers are popular here, for attracting finches.

Do they let you build raised beds and put up trellises and things?

rsf

pandabob said...

I hope you made the most of your last night of having a whole floor to yourselves ;-)

Do you have something fun planned before going home? Safe trip :-)

Greg Lestrade said...

We just decided not to go back. I've posted my resignation to the yard. We'll teach the boys as we travel. Four boys, two bikes, and the whole world waiting for us? What could be more educational?

pandabob said...

How very sensible :-) enjoy your adventures :-)

Greg Lestrade said...

We'll be finding our way home with Google Maps:

https://maps.google.com/maps?ll=40.749338,-73.97644&spn=0.120162,0.128231&t=8&z=13

Anon Without A Name said...

I notice that Bristol is marked for pirates :-)

Anonymous said...

Just a tip for growing pumpkins: If you want to try for a HUGE pumpkin cut off all flowers except one. Then the plant will spend all its energy making that one grow instead of 4 or 5.

John H. D. Watson said...

Anon - we'll try that, thanks.

L - Lake Baikal, here we come?

Greg Lestrade said...

Yeah - wouldn't it be great?

Glad we've got a beautiful day to ride back to town, anyway.

John H. D. Watson said...

It would. We'll definitely do it at some point. Not right now though. I have pumpkins to grow and apparently you and Anthea have a ninja school to start...

Greg Lestrade said...

I thought you'd lodged a formal protest regarding the Ninja School, by way of pillow attack?

John H. D. Watson said...

I have strong objections to the plan, it's true. Possibly not as strong as Anthea's though, so I feel fairly safe.

Greg Lestrade said...

Well...she didn't try to beat me to death with a pillow. I think she might go for it ;)

John H. D. Watson said...

Well...she didn't try to beat me to death with a pillow

Yet...

Greg Lestrade said...

To be fair, I think the Ninja School would be the least of her objections.

I also think that she might be easier to convince about it than Mrs H or Mycroft.

Maybe it's a terrible idea... You might be stuck with me after all.

John H. D. Watson said...

Good thing. I don't know what I'd do without you.

Anon Without A Name said...

Ninja school?

Greg Lestrade said...

Form an orderly queue for enrolment, Nameless.

Or, for the true ninjas amongst you, just turn up in class. It's not like we'd know if you were there or not...

Sherlock said...

Can I go to ninja school?

Anonymous said...

I spent most of my lunch hour on Google maps today. Did you find Bigfoot?

Unknown said...

woo hoo! A garden! My mom was a huge gardener, and a big mover and shaker in the Boston urban gardening community. RSF, did you ever go on the South End Garden Tour? if so you may have met her.
I have more space where I live now, than she did in town (but not where I grew up), but seems like all I can do is mow and de-jungle. And try to keep a few flowers from being overwhelmed. Luckily my sister has a big garden and sometimes brings me extra vegies. :)
S

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