If you don’t want to know the result of todays big fixture out here, look away now:

Slog 2 Garden 2

Rain stopped play at 15:30 pm CET. Replay tomorrow, weather permitting.

We’ve finally reached my favourite time of year: spearmint-green unfolding leaves, and blossom bursting out in the hedgerows and on the fruit trees. The sloe hedges this year look suitably fecund, like somebody sifted   flour over them yesterday. Even if sloes do have somewhat limited uses, the pure bright-white flowers reflect the light and lift everything.

So much for the good news: the bad news is that rising temperatures plus rain add up to much growing of the grass. One has to cut an area every day, as field grass will take over if I offer the slightest sign of indolence.

But the further good news is that most of the builders’ crap has been dispatched to the recycling centre, and so one can now get down to the more creative stuff. This week I’ve been making some inroads into the new raised herb and salad patch constructed at the rear of the main house last summer. The humus has broken up the clay quite nicely, and so there are courgettes (under glass), lettuces, flat-leaf parsley, regular and lemon thyme, oregano and chervil in there.

The last of these is not a herb I’ve used before. It looks like parsley and tastes like a cross between basil and aniseed. I’m told it works best when mixed with other herbs; and it is also alleged you can make tea from it which aids the digestion. If anyone has further news on this, do thread.

Much of the day was spent cutting out dead wood in bushes and then bunging it in the fire pit. A fire like that going all day can have ash piled over it in the later afternoon, creating oven-level heat underneath. I have two baked potatoes and a sliced aubergine in foil in there at the moment.

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 I often look at sites telling me How To Prepare For the Coming Global Disaster. There’s a bit of a mismatch, I  find, between the sweeping assertions of cannibalism on the one hand, and the pay-off about why silver/gold/platinum/pork bellies are the only hedge worth having. It’s rather like saying, “Huge asteroid heading straight for Earth – don’t miss out on the Bonds spike!”

I too think the mess is going to be ugly, but am acutely aware of how silly it is to listen to those who would tell and then sell. Most giggle-worthy of all, however, is the get-out clause that opines ‘The past is no guide to the future’. No shit, Sherlock.

Anyway, I was thinking today – the way you do when a tractor-mower is bouncing up and down over rough ground fit to ram spine through brain – that in our upside down, badly-parked and generally deranged world, this token ‘advice’ is actually arse about face. Today, we should be trying to grasp that the future is no guide to the past.

Most military top brass never grasp this important rule, as a result of which countless lives have been lost in futile attempts to charge tanks on horseback with fixed bayonets. Politicians – whose job nowadays is to convince you that the second head sprouting from your ear is nothing new – are forever radiating confidence that there will be a recovery, followed by a normality that’s been dead for a decade or more.

Only the Buddhists grasp the rule: “All things must pass, everything is in transition, nothing lasts forever”. The fact we have no idea what’s coming does not decree that is cannot – indeed, must not – happen.

The euro will fail, the EU will splinter, a new rival to the Dollar is emerging, and both socialism and neoliberalism are busted flushes. Russell Brand is every bit as wrong as the Troika. We cannot fight the future with the ideologies of the past. Better, surely, to embrace it with new ideas that offer a new decency for the greatest possible number.

And by the way, the baked potatoes/courgette mixture was terrific.