Is this Rock Bottom?

Julia had an email tonight.

It seems that I am not an acceptable volunteer for the garden project because working with her will produce a conflict of interests.Β So, not only am unemployable (due to age, health and lack of qualifications) but I can’t even give my labour away.

As if this wasn’t bad enough I then Googled “pizza gardens“. This produced many references to round gardens for growing pizza ingredients with kids. I tried “pizza beds“, which produced a selection of duvet covers with pictures of pepperoni.

This wasn’t what I was looking for, so I tried a different way – Googling “paper cardboard mulch”. That produced the result I wanted. It seems I wanted “lasagna gardening”. That’s the trouble with advancing age, all foreign food merges into one.

Not only am I unable to give my free labour away, I can no longer distinguish pizza from lasagna.

Add my medical problems and I think my situation can truly be described as rock bottom.

Having said that…

50 thoughts on “Is this Rock Bottom?

  1. arlingwoman

    Who is the Dickens character? “Something will come up!” I hope it dies. Golly, you’ll just have to volunteer somewhere else. That’s weird they wouldn’t want free labor.

  2. ChasingSernity

    I think you should start an alternative history blog, ( insert topic here) We Could Have Had! And speaking from experience, I bet there is a really interesting back story explaining that No Spouses Allowed policy – might be a bit of sleuthing to be done there.

  3. Lisa Rest

    I hope the only way is up. To quote my new favorite songwriter Peter Mayer, “Sometimes to reach the highest place you have to fall.”

  4. Laurie Graves

    The conflict of interest sounds very odd to me, too. What conflict can there be if you are working for free? We live in a weird world, don’t we?

  5. jodierichelle

    I’ve volunteered for everything over the years: snack stands, uniform repair, home and school, soccer coach . . . and I ALWAYS regret it. People treat volunteers abominably. Enjoy your good luck and be done with them. : )

      1. jodierichelle

        I’m just grumpy about it. I feel like volunteers are the peak of humanity and should NEVER be messed with – we are VOLUNTEERING! We are GIVING our time and our effort – GIVING!!!! Take it or leave it but don’t complain that it isn’t how YOU would do it. . . (Like – if you care so much – YOU should be the volunteer.)

  6. Clare Pooley

    I really don’t understand this conflict of interest business. If there were large amounts of money involved that would be one thing, but a Mencap garden??? Huh! You don’t need to donate your time to them. I am sure there will be other opportunities for you later Simon; concentrate on getting your health back and then see what you can do. It would have been very convenient to have worked together and would have saved time and petrol I know, however…

    1. quercuscommunity

      It has at least pushed me into looking for work – I’m thinking of volunteering for charity shops with a view to moving into paid employment. I used to have a shop so I have experience. πŸ™‚

      1. Clare Pooley

        Good for you! It is so difficult to motivate oneself after a bad experience such as you had with the farm and also after illness too.

  7. The Snail of Happiness

    Oh I thought that you were going to reveal some new amazing gardening technique… however, lasagne beds are fabulous, I highly recommend this approach for growing courgettes and squashes. Mind you, mine are less lasagne and more one pot cooking…. we used to refer to our first as the ‘rubbish bed’ because we just chucked on whatever garden, kitchen and paper/cardboard we had as it came along, always covering with a layer of either grass clippings or card as appropriate. Sadly, it was removed when the limery was built, but its contents were dug into other beds to great effect.
    I am sorry that you are not allowed to volunteer – I wonder what sort of conflict of interest they envisage?

    1. quercuscommunity

      The “rubbish bed” concept seems to be very practical. I’ve never been able to amass all the material people write about for forming neat layers.

      Not sure what we would get up to if were left to our own devices. The website links seem to worry about staff taking financial advantage of the clients.

      Ah well… πŸ™‚

      1. The Snail of Happiness

        well, some will be green, some will be brown, and some will be electioneering hot air, if it’s anything like ours at the moment! Anyway, courgettes seem to like growing in any sort of organic mix, so I don’t think you can lose if that’s the crop you choose to plant.

      2. Helen

        I just hope my courgettes germinate this year – so for me it was actually a big 0 last year 😒.

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