Life on Pig Row: Waking up from winter

p22 Oldhams2013High on the Saddleworth hills, the Oldham family have created an inspiring kitchen garden which provides a wealth of rich flavours for the kitchen and larder. This column, written by Andrew and Carol, follows their journey throughout the year

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IT IS easy to think our world goes to sleep over winter, the soil sinks into torpor and the plants cosset themselves in the earth – but this is how humans are over winter, not nature.

People do everything to sink into their sofas, full cups in their hands, jumpers strewn before a blazing fire and wishing the winter away.

Let’s face facts: snow is fun when we see it through the window. Snow is fun when we sledge on it but it becomes quickly painful.

Snow dripping down backs of our necks, sopping socks sticking to our feet and red raw noses that burn bright when we climb into our cars and crank up the heat. The cars then slide sideways across the highway as we struggle back to our sofas. Then we hate snow.

We have a problem with summer too. Summer arrives lasts for two days and is instantly met with criticisms on how it is too warm and just not right. We spend our lives saying things are just not right and then slump down on the sofa with a mug of something hot or alcoholic in our hands slopping on to the floor.

We just can’t win. We’d like to think that there’s us and them. We ridicule them for getting off the sofa and out into the world and doing something. We call them fools, dreamers and idealists. The rest of us live in the real world, they don’t.

We do this to nature too because it doesn’t shine, rain or grow when we want it to. We have become a nation of toddlers having tantrums blaming a shadowy person somewhere else in the world for our problems.

It is as if we think before we entered life we signed some sort of contract that stated life, love and money would be fair.

This month is the reawakening of our world that never went away, the weeds will sprint off, the trees will fill with blossom and leaves, and there will be a feeling of hope in us all.

That’s a real chance to realise there is no them and us, just community, and we live in a diverse, wonderful, enriching community and our community should be cherished, loved and tended to or else we’ll always be living in winter and only fools would do that.


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