David does the garden. I do the house. There is more than enough grass in our garden to keep one man busy for an afternoon with the lawn mower. He certainly doesn’t need me there as well. After all when we both go out there, we 2 suddenly become 4; the football will then appear,  then the goal net and then the dog.  And so to keep the children occupied whilst he spends time gardening, I tend to stay inside and do the house. OK that’s my excuse – a pitiful one I know but valid all the same.  In actual fact David does more childcare at the weekends than I do.  However, I like to stay indoors and feed my OCD of relentless cleaning.  It’s my Hoover, and I do what I want with it and when I want.  And yes, I can leave it there if I want to. I know it’s in the middle of the hall dear but I haven’t done with it yet.

Anyway – we have a glut on.  We don’t grow much, as we are still in the process of ‘redesigning the garden.’  We have a design to which we are roughly adhering.  It may well be into its 4th year and we have only just laid the grass, but David likes to take time over these things.  The rest will follow one day.  Besides, if we hurry up and finish, someone will try to get us married off in that marquee!

So, this month’s glut is courgette.  We went camping last weekend and came back to several oversized courgettes that were begging for some creativity in the kitchen. And do you know how difficult it is to find any interesting recipes for courgette?

Well, first of all most of the neighbours benefitted; those who were not growing this year (on account of what they received from us last year perhaps?).  After that we cooked a few with Sunday lunch much to the children’s disgust as this was the third day onthe trot they were faced with a large pile of cubed courgette.  They are half Scot after all – greens of any nature were never a strong point with me when I was young either – mind you, they do love Grandma’s purple sprouting, when most other children of their age would meet a serving with a fake vomiting noise and sheer disgust. Don’t worry though, they really are children – this being backed up by the fact that they take an absolute age to finish one serving of peas.

Back to David’s courgettes. I hate seeing good food go to waste (Ok, perhaps I am not being entirely honest here) but I was soon struck by a Eureka! moment. Or so I thought.  To rid myself of our glut I decided to share our produce with my fellow men and women.  I took them swimming.

Sunday evenings are spent at the local pool. My eldest is in ‘training’ with our local junior squad and given his desire (this month at least) to become the next Phelps, I am spending an increasing amount of time in the viewer’s gallery, getting to know the other would-be-Olympian’s parents.

Never being one to recoil from an embarrassing moment (I frequently lecture to undergrads and repeatedly get into trouble with the occasional inappropriate phrase, false claim or scientifically incorrect fact), I took three enormous neglected (never a marrow) courgettes down to the pool in the vain hope that my new swimming parent friends would relieve me of our week’s produce.

Well, first of all my regular friends were not actually there. That didn’t help matters. This being the start of the summer holiday, it seemed that they all had gone away to sunnier climes (clearly overlooking to tell me).  So I was left addressing a small selection of parents with whom I was not at all familiar and who must have viewed me with incredulity as I wandered between them trying to rid myself of three enormous courgette-never-a-marrow’s.

I doubt my vegetables did little for my status as a Gallery Mum. Yes, there are cliques on the gallery that revive those playground fears of my younger years.  I felt just as stupid there and then as I did way back when  (I was never one of the in crowd after all).  What amazed me most, however, during my now rapidly embarrassing courgette moment was that not one parent had even bought, cooked or eaten a courgette.  Bloody hell, I thought, I am offering you all free anti-oxidants!  Not that I am one to judge (Ok, that’s a lie), but perhaps it was me rather than the veg they observed that put them off.

After most of the training session, I finally managed to rid myself of courgette number three but was amazed at the overall response from my fellow parents. Furthermore, on my way home my eldest reminded me how embarrassing a parent I was becoming and that taking the courgettes to his training sesssion was not one of my better ideas.  I looked at his poor face and realise that he was so embarrassed. Only then did I realise how totally bizarre the courgette incident may have appeared.  However, he did agree that despite disliking courgette, he did not consider it unreasonable that I wanted to share out the fruits of his father’s gardening prowess.

But as I drove home, there was one parent’s question still repeating in my head,
‘You mean you actually grow your own?’