Thursday, 2 July 2015


It was very hot yesterday.

I remember the summer of 1976. It was glorious; hot and no rain for weeks and weeks.

At the time, I had an allottment, at the Welsh Harp allottment area. There was a hosepipe ban, in an effort to conserve water.  There was no rain, so it was out with the big watering can in order to keep the plants alive.

Then the government appointed Denis Howell as Minister for Drought; that worked immediately, because the rain came down in buckets, ending the drought.

I'd planted ten times the number of lettuces that I wanted, expecting 90% of them to die in the drought - seeds are very cheap. So when the rains came, I found myself with a huge number of excellent Cos and Iceberg lettuces. I took them into work and gave them away, but that didn't make enough of a dent in them.

So I organised a lettuce tasting. There were about 30 of us, and we took a couple of dozen lettuces, and a couple of dozen bottles of wine, down to St James's Park, and we sat around of the grass enjoying the sun.

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