Thank you for allowing me my rant. I really, really needed to do that. As Juliet said in the comments, everyone deals with cancer differently, everyone suffers a different kind and grade of cancer, everyone has a different prognosis, and everyone should be allowed the grace of dealing with it as they want, not as someone else thinks best. And yet there are so many people, well meaning or not, who just ladle out that guilt. It is your fault you have cancer, and you are coping with it the wrong way, thus you will die, and then it really will be your fault and I will be standing on your grave to tell you so.

Oh well.

The garden is doing magnificently. I have had much produce come in – the All Seasons carrots just did me proud, as did the Massey Peas and the field peas from the mulch. The beetroot are being eaten, the brussel sprouts are sprouting, I have too many potatoes to know what to do with, and the tomatoes are finally fruiting (I have yet to pick one, though, but I have 8-10 bushes all planted out and doing well). The zucchini, the leeks, the fennel, the pumpkins, the bush beans … all doing well.

My sister Judy has been staying with me for the past 2 weeks and she has been a trouper in the garden. She has weeded, she has cleaned up generally, and she has spent hours one day picking and shelling the peas.

Which brings me to The Disaster which I can still barely think about without bursting into tears. My big deep freeze was packed with soups and casseroles (meals for when the builders get here) and peas and carrots and sundry other veg (and all my elderflowers for more elderflower wine!!!) when one day last week I absent-mindedly switched it off (how else could it have been switched off? I don’t know). Everything lost. The meat I can deal with, it can be replaced, but the peas and carrots and elderflowers … they represent the backbreaking winter I put in to get the garden into shape, then all the work – the growing, the watering, the picking, the shelling, the slicing – and then the satisfaction of salting them away in the freezer. Everything lost. All that work. It has devastated me. Nothing seems to be going right for me now, and this …. it is as if everything I tried for has been in vain. When I found it (about 5 am one morning) I had to wake my sister and sit on the end of her bed and sob and sob and sob. It has been a massive blow.

The peas and the elderflowers are the worst. I can’t believe I have lost them. No more elderflower wine for me this year, and who knows where I will be this time next year?