Fresh air is my drug of choice. I make sure I’m outside for some part of the every day, preferably all of it, taking huge lungfuls of lovely air, enjoying the colours, sounds and smells. Oh my goodness, it makes me happy, relaxed and there’s always the possibility that I could get properly mucky.
So when I was asked to help with the new garden at Left Bank, Leeds, where I’m a non-executive, I was there straight away with my spade, gloves and stout shoes.
Left Bank, the former St Margaret of Antioch Anglican church, was originally designed to have a tower, but the funds ran out, which was bad news for tower-lovers, but good news, more than 100 years later, for garden lovers. The church was left with an area of land where the tower should have been.
The building went from church to not-church to a lovely arts venue, all the time with an outdoor border of overgrown trees, bushes and an abundance of bindweed and sticky willie, with additional late 20th century detritus, most of it fast food related.
Thank goodness for grants and generosity, within a few weeks and help from big diggers the near wilderness was transformed into a beautiful new garden. All it lacked were plants, lots of them. That’s where I and fellow volunteers came in.
Within a couple of hours, lots of digging, quite a few cups of tea and a surprising number of cigarettes, not me of course, I’ve already said fresh air is my drug of choice, the plants were in place, and, although I say so myself, it all looked rather good. We are always looking for volunteers to join the team, let me know if you want to join us!