Why do we do it? We eat too much, drink too much and then mortified by the effects on our waistlines of another Christmas and New Year vow never to touch another drop and only eat lettuce leaves for a month.
Both doomed to failure of course, so I’ve got another idea, my cure for overindulgence is completely free, can be taken in the privacy of our own gardens and avoids the need to display our unseemly physiques in public. It’s called fresh air and exercise!
I’m not advocating strenuously digging the whole garden up just for a work out, I intend to build up to any real effort as painlessly as possible and my plan is to begin by measuring up the part of the garden I’ve not got around to yet.
A gentle potter about with a tape measure first making sure not to annoy any bees which might be venturing out of the hive, back in the warm for a sit down with a cup of tea (no biscuits) to draw up some new areas for planting, then off outside again to mark them out on the ground.
I’m thinking of this stage as a gentle warm up after which I will need to wield a spade to take the turf off the proposed new beds, it should be good for the abdominal muscles and then there will be the weight lifting part of moving it all out of the way.
That phase I expect to take a while and to be monitored closely by the chickens but there will be several cups of tea involved (alas still no biscuits) and then will come the part I know I’ll enjoy the most, deciding on the plants to use which will involve more walking about inspecting existing perennials, lifting and splitting suitable ones, more digging, bending, lifting and more cups of tea.
I have no idea how many unwanted calories I might burn up but I do know that I’ll enjoy the process and that next summer, as well as a bit less around my middle, I’ll also have something beautiful to show for my efforts.
So this month, weather and work commitments permitting, I’ll be starting my gardening year as I mean to carry on, at my own pace and surrounded by the wildlife and plants I love best.
Fresh air and exercise, they’re good for the soul and very good for the body too.