I’m sitting here with the seed catalogue.

Nothing too ambitious: potatoes, onions, parsnips, broad beans and such like, but it’s always exciting to feel the days getting longer, the soil warming up and the prospect of getting some seeds in the ground inching closer.

The trouble with being an actor with horticultural pretensions, however, is that life is unpredictable; no sooner does the allotment beckon, demanding soil preparation, planting or weeding, than you suddenly find yourself on tour or working in far flung places.  Many a time I’ve been sitting in a drab dressing room on a sunny day, preparing for a quiet midweek matinée, painfully aware that soil needs turning, plants need pricking and the strawberry patch wants some urgent TLC to have half a chance of a decent crop.

Thus, the thespian’s (vegetable) plot veers from being a wild, overgrown thicket when work is plentiful, to a pristine patch of beautiful verdant vegetables when jobs are not so forthcoming.

Well, okay, it’s never quite the latter, but we can all dream while we’re poring over the seed catalogue…

Seed catalogue - 'An Actor Prepares' Blog Thomas Frere