Life on Pig Row - Here on Pig Row there are fits of giggles...

1:01 am

Here on Pig Row there are fits of giggles from Little D as he stomps up and down the path in front of our house, as his Mum and I look at our small car boot.

What can we leave behind? I argue that the spare wheel could go but this is met with giggles from Little D and tuts from his Mum. I shake my head, it is a stupid idea all for the sake of more bulbs or flowers. We could leave a suitcase and that would give us even more room for food and flora. I tell my wife that I can get by on one pair of jeans and a couple of t-shirts but she snorts telling me that she can't get by having to smell me in the same clothes for four days. We both look at Little D, he takes up quite a lot of room for a child, as if he senses that we are drawing up plans to leave him at his grandparents he climbs into the car and slams the door behind him. He's coming if we like it or not, he has the car keys after all. There is a flurry of activity as we wonder and then blame each other as to how he got these keys. Little D laughs from the backseat, pressing the button that lock and unlocks the car doors. We have to time it between his laughter and frantic key pressing to wrench the doors open and wrestle the keys from him. Out he comes with peals of laughter in my wife's arms and we agree that we can't at any cost leave him with his grandparents. We would come back happy from the flower show, arms full of plants and food to find these poor old dears tied up in the kitchen, their car gone and lists and maps on the table scrawled in crayon outlining Little D's plans to follow us, hide in a flower arrangement and jump out at us as we pass. It happens, he jumps like a rabid koala clinging to you before he hits.

He'll have to come with us.

If he doesn't he'll find away to follow us. He's a toddler. He's clingy. He loves flower shows. Like father, like son.

A flower show is the gardener's holiday and friend for all the family. There is one thing we will pack, our camera. The camera is another of friend to the gardener, and the advent of digital cameras means we can record our own gardens and other peoples attempts at gardening. As I write this I am concerned that you think I am stalking other people's gardens; there is no danger of me climbing your fence to photograph your daisies, my back won't take the climbing and there are plenty of gardening shows for me to dip my camera in to.

All this activity is for the forthcoming Southport Flower Show. As we read over the exhibitors at the show, we 'ooh' and 'ahh', draw our pen in circles and exclamations marks and write 'A MUST' on a number of exhibitors stands. It is a military campaign in felt tip, Little D looks on with envious eyes toying with chunky crayons in his grubby hands and dreaming of our felt tip pens. We are particularly looking forward to the environmental stands at the show, at Pig Row we are committed to biomass and getting off the national grid, we want to be a no bill house, if we could get off the council tax we would. So we will stop by Ecoliving, hand in hand with this will be our other love, rural crafts and the promised displays of craftwork from Rural Craft Association. Of course, a flower show is nothing without seed merchants and plant growers. I am personally looking forward to Wheelwright's Cottage Plants who deal in cottage garden favourites and the unusual. Then I do need to stock up on new labels for next year, and for the new orchard, so I will have to stop off at Label N Things. Then at this time of year I will have to tackle the overgrown hedges and I need new kit, so off I will go to Henchman and Little D and his Mum will take the opportunity to slope off for a couple of cupcakes. After all that walking, talking and buying we will have to stop off to salve our parched lips with the glorious Mr Fitzpatrick's cordials. The botanically brewed cordials should hit the spot. Then I'll just pop off to find some herbs, a bench or two, maybe a gazebo and I need a new lawnmower....

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