Back home (369 days to go)

by Max Akroyd


I’ve just returned from a trip to the UK. The almost instant transition from field to civilisation – from tying-in sweet peas to sitting out a three-hour delay in an airport departure lounge – is always a challenge. Before setting off, I try and scrub off the ingrained muck from my rough hands and put a thin veneer of polish on my old shoes, but I have to accept that I’m now irrevocably changed by living and working as I do.

These days, being in a plane seems a reckless and precarious position to be in.  Spending £5 on a magazine an absurdity when there’s chicken wire to buy.  

Conversely, having listened attentively to fellow passengers’ life histories, there don’t seem too many human problems that couldn’t be alleviated by proximity to soil and pigs. I got off the plane late yesterday and within an hour was feeding the pigs and asking Big Pig if she’d missed me. She seemed to be saying “Oh shut up and give me that food” and I couldn’t help but envy her big, vacant acceptance of her world. 

My lettuces have doubled in size thanks to some decent rain, but this has also caused the weed bomb to go off… which means I will spend this day of recuperation weeding and hoeing. Which is ok.

(And I found some fruit!)