What Lies Beneath

Thank you for your concern about the dark clouds over Hotel H, they involve people who are very dear to me and that’s all I can say but your kindness is much appreciated.

As well as fears for others, we’ve been beset by general worries; slow progress on the boat engine has put Tom in the doldrums whilst I keep looking at the Great Green Monster in the garden, aka, the oil tank, wondering how much more of our budget it’s going to devour. With chores building up after our run of visitors I decided that sitting around worrying wasn’t doing me any good so I’d start tackling the backlog, beginning with the garden.

Inspired by Wizzard’s composting blog,(http://wizzardsfirstrule.blogspot.com/ - why can't I get the script prompt to work?) I took the plunge and decided to get to grips with the wormery. Now a wormery is fine and dandy at the beginning; it arrives pristine and shiny with a little bag of bedding material and your very own compost worms. You simply put the lot together and let it settle for a week before gradually building up the amount of kitchen waste you add. After about eight weeks you can start tapping off the liquid and that, dear reader, is your first shock.

I remember shortly after moving here, one lovely sunny day when I’d thrown all the windows open, suddenly being hit by the most mephitic, eye-watering stink which sent me scurrying for cover. The farmer opposite was dredging his cowshed, although he may well have uncovered the pit of hell as well. Imagine that on a slightly smaller, wormier scale and you get the picture. Worm wee really smells. And they do a lot of it. Much more than I can use. In addition to wee, the worms produce compost; some wormeries have chambers to help you decant the layers – mine doesn’t. Recently it’s become a huge, bloated bin swarming with fruit flies and, having sought advice from Wizzard, it was time to face the inevitable.

Tom and I moved the wormery to the middle of the garden where we hoped the neighbours wouldn’t think we were waging germ warfare on them and lifted the lid. The house martins went berserk eating all the fruit flies whilst Tom and I started forking out the horrible, smelly, caramel dog-poo coloured contents. If there is ever a lesson in reaping what you sow this was it. All the instructions that come with the wormery? They’re there for a reason! They don’t tell you to avoid excess moisture content and add lots of shredded paper for fun but because it’s essential if you don’t want to find yourself up to the elbow in evil slime. The don’t tell you to chop up woody stalks to give you something to do but so you won’t have to extract ancient, stinky stems of old cabbage and cauliflower that has been marinating in worm wee months later.

With cries from Jeremy and Tracy next door about the sewage smells wafting in their direction and mutterings from Tom that he’d attended sweeter-scented post-mortems, we finally managed to harvest our seam of useable compost, turning the rest of it over with plenty of shredded paper and calcified seaweed and sticking it back in the freshly washed bin. I can’t say that what we dug out was exactly teeming with worms but I’m hoping that the ones who’ve made it this far will appreciate their spring clean and turn what’s left in the bin into something a little more user-friendly.

And finally...
I’ve resumed work on an idea for the next novel which I started last year before the rewrite of FTT. The working title is 'Make, Do and Mend' - what do you do to set right a terrible mistake?

Painting is 'Orange Rope' by Tom Tomos


Pipany said…
Gawd, I can't believe you are ready to go on a new novel Chris and yet I suppose this is the exciting part for a writer? This si the part you get to write as it comes to you without all that awful, stressful re-writing (though I could be wrong?).

Thanks for the lovely comments on my website. Oddly enough I have thought of doing a book for each of the children to have - never thought anyone else would want to read it! xx
LittleBrownDog said…
Just caught up with this and your last post - both beautifully and eloquently written, as ever. Can I add my kind thoughts, crossed fingers and hopeful vibes for those currently beneath the Dark Clouds at hotel H. And of COURSE you're a VIP, Chris - certainly in my book.

Hmmm, think I might give wormeries a miss this year - your description gives the expression 'can of worms' a whole new aptness.

Lots of love

J xxx
well thank you for sharing, so glad I had my cappocinno first tho Yuck! Great news with writing.Love title, off you go now sharpen pencils, clean piec of paer you have 12 months to finish ti starting from...NOW!
Flowerpot said…
I do hope the storm clouds move over soon Chris. Take care. I love the idea of a wormery though not sure about the practicality of it!! Well done for starting new novel - sounds like a great idea.
Frances said…
Good to hear that you are beginning a new book, Chris. What energy you have!

That was a great description of the grand opening of the wormery. I saw it and I smelled it ... and don't think I will ever get any closer to a wormery than that. Thanking you for the public service, and wishing your garden well.

Milla said…
am rubbish at compost, try as I might, and I do try. NOvel sounds exceedingly intriguing ... Good luck with it (and clouds, of course)
Inthemud said…
I've thought of having a wormery but never got round to it, like so many things i never get around to doing.

Good luck with new novel.

Lovely blog.

Sorry things are worrysome, hope things settle down soon.
mountainear said…
Hope Make, Do and Mend flies off the page. I'm sure you'd rather be writing than unblocking the wormery - yuck.

Best of luck with both. Hope your dark clouds lift.
Cait O'Connor said…
You have put me off getting a wormery Chris. Stick with a compost heap, they are easy.
Good luck with the new novel, how exciting starting a new project.
lampworkbeader said…
So when that wormery turns up on forums 'swap shop' I'll know what to avoid.
Good luck with the new novel
Hugs and here's hoping the dark clouds have a silver lining or two hidden in their depths.

Worm weeeee eeeeeooouuuuwwwww . . . I have seen Wizzards wormery . . .which actually doesn't smell too bad.

Good for you keeping on writing . . . before you know it we will all be buying your books.
Edward said…
Fabulous writing, as usual. Imagery not quite so fab., but luckily as I said else-blog, the Internet doesn't come with smell-o-vision. Yet.
elizabethm said…
I will stick with my compost heap too. Glad to hear about the new book.
We are also under a cloud here, even before the hen massacre. Deep assignments. Hope yours lift and mine too!
Ooh, not too sure about wormery Chris, alright with compost though.

Wonderful to know that you are already in the process of writing next book, wish I had your inspiration at the moment. Best of luck with the book Chris.

Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog Chris.

Debs said…
You're a braver woman that I am. ((shudder))We have four compost bins but they're left to R to sort out. I just add peel etc to them.

Love the title of the new book, happy writing.

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