The husband and I are engaged in strawberry warfare.
I have a wonderful raised bed in my garden (built by aforementioned harnessed Northerner) and this year looks like it might just yield a bumper crop. It is filled with white flowers and tiny green strawberries, all hinting at the promise of things to come.
The husband also has a raised bed, but this one is on our allotment. Over the last few years, it has been doubling as a 'shelf', with various hand tools, rotting gloves and discarded flower pots littering it. Much of this detritus has been hidden by nettles and other weedy nasties, but not now. The husband has spent hours with a trowel and fork, digging up the weeds, and sieving the soil to a grade which McDougall's might consider for their self-raising flour.
He then scavenged around the unloved and unwanted allotments surrounding ours, and dug up some strawberry plants, lovingly planting them into his newly renovated bed.
Every night, he heads over there with the dogs on the pretext of a 'last walk before bedtime' (the dogs' bedtime, not his, although all three tend to snore in unison by about 9.15pm). Last night, I found out what the truth was behind his early evening visits. He has been over there watering them every night, to ensure that they survive their relocation.
But here's a thing...does he water mine? No he doesn't. Does he chat to my plants softly about how his day has gone? (One of the neighbours snitched on him). No he doesn't. Does he feed my plants with his expensive plant food, and take out any leggy weeds before they encroach on my plants? No he doesn't.
He is happy to watch mine as they gasp at the occasional watering they get (I like to call it 'rain') and he glosses over the fact the there are things growing in my raised bed that have yet to be identified by the botanical world. He's also unfazed by the starlings who are lined up on the fence like a scene out of The Birds, waiting to swoop as soon as the strawberries turn red. (The husband probably has a remote control bird scarer for his raised bed...oh, and netting...)
I am convinced that at some time over the summer, he will want our children to do a Blind Strawberry Challenge, to see whose taste better. What he forgets is that I am home most afternoons, so I may take a wander over there as they get riper just to see how they're doing. And do you know what I'm going to do?
I'm going to eat every last one and blame the birds...