The grapes of math.

It’s all down to maths.  I know when Stephen Hawking tells you this, you believe him.  So, despite falling asleep two minutes into every programme featuring the man, do I.  I concentrate so fiercely, that I’m snoring before I know it.  Occasionally sleeping so soundly that not even a loud car insurance advert can wake me.

But it is.  It’s all down to maths.

At the start of the gardening year I thought it would all be down to good luck, or fine weather or an early spring but it’s not, it’s maths.

here are the sums:


The promise of grapes


X 2 is the start of the expectation.

However, when your time is divided, approximately one quarter near the grapes and three quarters fifty miles away = 0.75 x 50 and the amount of underwear that has to be washed the minute you wash up on your own doorstep = socks 5X2 (feet if you have two, inches if not) shreddies, pairs 5X2 (unless the stay away was more than five days in which case, add extra and one for the pot) major garmentry (trousers, tops) + everything that two men had put in the washing basket in the meantime = enough to clothe a small third world country


Draw a line under that and add the shopping.  Tidy the house X 2 (once to find the carpet, second time to vacuum it) feed the cats 3 X a day because once I am home, everyone knows I will do it.

Get out in the garden (hooray) come back in as soon as it starts raining (but not on the grapevine).  Go back out sweep up the leaves, come back in and deal with 3 or 4 phone calls from my mother, from the neighbours about my mother, from her friends about the neighbours about my mother.  Go back in the garden and find that night has fallen.  Come back in.

In daylight assess the grapes.


Ah.  Oh dear.  What about the other bunch?


I think what happened was slugs X lots + frost.  So I watered the remaining bunchlet with the over flowing bucket and ate a grape.


Like me it was small and bitter.  It may all be my father’s fault, for dying, because I was growing the grapes for his birthday present but I think it’s more likely to be just the gripes of math.

Time I have for me or for gardening =0 (but I am just about to don my wellies and get out there, if anyone calls, friends, relatives, agencies, I’m out.)

The problem really is that if you give your life to someone else to be their carer what you have left for you or your grapes is zero but if you didn’t do it the country, which, with a massive ageing population, depends on people like me to care for their elderly relatives, would just stop.

What we really need is a clever chancellor who can work out how the thirty somethings, so riddled with student debt they can’t even get started on mortgages and the living-very-much-longer, ninety somethings can both live off and on the 40, 50, 60 somethings without the whole thing achieving critical mass and going totally supernova.

Help us with the maths Stephen, help us.


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