Bob and Yousef

I have known Yousef for five years and during much of this time he talked to me about how much he wanted an allotment to work in and to grow vegetables and flowers and remind him of his past life in Libya. There was always something that got in the way of achieving this goal, this small dream.

It wasn’t until I mentioned Yousef’s wish for an allotment to George (Reliable Upholstery) that he told he had a friend, Bob, who would be quite happy to have help on his allotment. Bob is a generous man and the allotment for Yousef was a lifesaver.

Their relationship in the garden was not always an easy one, as they got to know each other, but the allotment has a unifying effect and in this first year Bob was as easy going as he could be, most of the time.

"I mean I really like the guy, but I am never quite sure, when I have left him alone in the allotment for a few hours, what's going to be left growing in the soil and what's recently been left abandoned on top of the compost heap. But it’s really good having him around.”

"If it comes up after you have planted, watered and cared for it, then that's a good job. You can work out what the bloody hell it is later."

'Yousef takes a bite of everything to see if it is edible, whereas I don't eat hardly anything of the stuff I grow."

“I can’t say how grateful I am to Bob for sharing the allotment with me. It’s been so important to me over the last few months. A place to think, a place to forget, a place to hide and a place to grow.”

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