Saturday, October 10, 2009

Seed and plant swap

Today was my first proper day volunteering at the Bio-Garten but as it was the annual autumn seed and plant swap, it wasn't really a proper day at all. So it was a longer day than usual as it only started at 1 and went on till 4 so I was there from 10.30 setting up and then until nearly 5 putting everything away again. But it was fun and nice to meet some of the other volunteers. There seem to be quite a lot who only volunteer on Tuesday afternoons and since I work on Tuesdays I won't often get a chance to see any of them.

I did feel a bit in the way from time to time waiting for someone to tell me what to do but once we started putting tents and things up (we've had the worst weather today that we've had so far this autumn and it rained a LOT) it was okay. Being tall does make one useful on occasion. There was also loads of lovely food to eat which various people had brought along. I hadn't brought anything as I thought the usual gathering for tea and a bite to eat wouldn't happen because of the event but they had a table set up inside for all the workers to come in and take a break from time to time. I spent most of the time the event was actually taking sitting in there, chatting to some of the older members and washing up whatever cups and plates and things were used. I'm going to make an apple tart to bring along next week though as I felt bad to have turned up with nothing.

The seed exchange was amazing to look at. It was raining so hard I didn't bother to bring my camera but there were one or two short sunny spells in between which would have been good for taking pictures. Oh well. There were hundreds and hundreds of different types of seeds which had been collected from the garden. You could bring your own seeds in and exchange them for ones from the garden or just get some seeds in exchange for a small donation (about 1 euro for each type which is a very good bargain in my view).

The garden is in the middle of a huge park in Dusseldorf so all the big stands with the plants and so on were just outside the entrance in the main part of the park. As I don't have a garden I didn't look too much (it was very, very difficult to stay away from the seeds as it was, never mind plants too). But I did buy two surprise bags of tulip bulbs, which will make nice presents I think.

By the end of the day I was getting a bit bored but at that stage it was time to start taking everything down again so I got stuck into that. I got home just after six (having made a quick stop in town to buy a new small backpack to use for every day - needed a new one so I can start carrying rain gear with me every day again. One day I'll have enough to buy a really good one that will last for years but for now it was another 5 euro jobbie) and changed into my pyjamas straight away and put all the muddy clothes I'd been wearing straight in to the washing machine. I had to ring my brother and lay down while I was doing so as my legs and feet were killing me after having been standing for such a long part of the day. Once I'd spoken to him I actually ended up falling asleep until nine o'clock. Bad idea normally but actually now that I've been up for a couple of hours and had a lovely toasted ham and cheese sandwich along with a few cups of tea (decaf - since I can't drink caffeine I do always have some decaf tea on standby although I norally just stick to herbal and fruit teas). I even made a pot of tea instead of just one cup and dragged out a milk jug too. Great end to a great day really.

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