Sinterklaas on the allotment

I’m not Dutch – this is something I’ve come to accept over the years. But I do have a degree (partly) in Dutch, and a good part of that involved celebrating Sinterklaas, and that happy day is today. Imagine my delight, then, when this morning I got this parcel:

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Although I’ve never been a small Dutch child, more of a small wannabe-Dutch adult, my heart started racing. Partly due to thyroid problems, partly due to excitement. HAD THE SINT REMEMBERED ME?

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No, no he hadn’t. A while ago I was doing a translation that involved basil cress. What is basil cress, you ask? No idea, I would have answered, until I looked it up. Turns out you can get LOADS of different kinds of cress. And because you can plant cress at this generally unplantworthy time of year, I had to go shopping:

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So we have (and my skills as a translator are being put to the test here): rocket cress, broccoli cress, leek cress, peashoot cress (I think) and underneath that, the aforementioned basil cress. Not sure what any of them will taste like – cress, I imagine, but hopefully interesting cress. I think I’ll grow them in the flat or maybe just outside it if it ever stops raining.

I had to work today as I was busy being a young trade union activist yesterday (I’m now on a committee and everything!), but I toddled down to the allotment for a bit anyway. It was kind of like manning a ship in a storm, so I couldn’t stay for very long as I would literally have been blown away, literally and actually and genuinely. Neighbouring allotments can look a BIT forbidding, but maybe that’s why they’re less plagued by thieves:

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Not a huge amount on the allotment right now, as you might except. Celery and leeks are doing well, I’ve got the last of the oka to take up (I’m not sure for how long you can keep taking them up before they’re affected by frost, but if you start in November I’m sure December must also be fine. Mind you, this is Northumberland). My strawberry tree has finally started to do something:

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So pretty! I wasn’t sure if it would ever do anything, but if it produces fruit, I can make alcohol from it. I’ve been really bad at homemade alcohol this year. I say this like I’ve achieved nothing this year, which isn’t true at all – I became self-employed AND passed my driving test for a start, so I’ve been a bit busy, but one of my aspirations is certainly to made a wider variety of alcoholic beverages once I get the time.

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