I have just endured the most angst-ridden morning I have had to put up with in a long time – and it wasn’t even my angst. Firstborn decided, half an hour before we were due to leave for sixth form college enrolment, that he didn’t want to go to sixth form. He wanted to go into the army RIGHT NOW and do something real. After a major effort to reassure, understand and persuade, I got him to go to the sixth form interview on the promise that he could leave at any time in the next two years, and we would go to the army careers office straight after.

So I had to drive the college, then down into Huddersfield town centre, then all the way home on the A62. I hate driving in Huddersfield and I loathe the A62. Horrible road. Full of big trucks. Noise and fumes. And after all that stomach-churning angst, trekking round Huddersfield trying to find said careers office, talking to the nice sergeant from the Parachute Regiment (firstborn’s chosen career path) and sitting through the army DVD, firstborn then decided that okay, he’d go to sixth form after all and join the army when he was 18. Halleluja! Except couldn’t we have done it without all the emotional storms?

At moments like this I remind myself to find joy in my carrots. Laugh if you like. But it worked for me the other day when I was having yet another research project breakdown. I went out to see to the guinea pigs, and noticed that some little carrots were growing in the window boxes which were supposed to contain a salad mix.

Here’s the salad mix. It didn’t turn out to be any salad we recognised, so we haven’t eaten it. However the plants look quite architecturally nice on top of the GP hutch, so they stayed.

These are the carrot tops.

and here are the carrots. A little stunted, as they’ve grown in a window box, but hey, people pay good money for round carrots so I’m fine.

This find prompted me to check on my deliberately planted carrots. I bought a packed of multi-coloured carrot seed at the Eden Project at Easter, and here’s the result:

I considered them a magnificent achievement, so rooted around to find a few potatoes – self sown from last year’s leftovers – and here they are:

Carrots after washing (above) and after chopping (below):

I am very pleased with myself. Maybe not as pleased as if I’d run a mile and a half in just over 9 minutes and made it into the Parachute Regiment, but still pretty pleased. The purple carrots lose the purple when they’re cooked, but the blonde stay beautifully blonde.