And I couldn't be prouder of you!!

There's literally billions of people out there of all shapes and sizes. The world is full of wonderful weirdos!!

So there is never a good reason for settling, never a good reason to not demand better and if you're still riding solo because you ain't found someone who brings the same vibe and positivity into the world that you do then that is to be bloody celebrated.

Today's email is still linked to lovely Liz, to whom I regularly text helpful things to like "you know Hitler had a girlfriend and you can't find anyone who wants you" and "the blobfish is the ugliest creature on earth and they all find mates for life and yet here you are all alone for ever and ever"

She's lucky to have such a caring and wonderful friend like me to offer such helpful emotional support.

But in our brief moments of serious discussion it got me thinking about finding love in various forms and I've come to a Friday-morning-email-worthy conclusion

The secret to finding love and friends that you love is not about LUCK its about seeing lovers and friends as POTATOES (stay with me here the metaphor is a doozy)

I've taken the advice on cultivating potatoes direct from BBC's Gardeners World Magazine and it correlates perfectly.

  1. Prepare the soil by digging and removing weeds: This is pretty obvious. You need to have your own garden (life in order) before you can properly get down to planting them sweet little taters. Do some yoga, write a list, see what and who you want to be!

  2. Before planting, you need to ‘chit’ your potatoes. This involves letting the potatoes grow shoots, which will give you a bigger potato crop. When you meet someone - put the effort in at the start. Let the shoots grow early. Give new friendships and new relationships the best possible chance. Leave the baggage and hesitation at the door. Don't kill off green little shoots because last years crop was a blight infested fungal potato called Keith (apologies to all Keiths)

  3. Home-grown potatoes do well in all types of soil, but the richer the better. Real connections will flourish in all types of soil. But if you see the shoots growing make that soil rich. Do wholesome stuff. Make the effort. Don't cancel plans. Dress up nice. Ring them.

  4. Water potatoes regularly, especially during warm, dry spells, and keep the soil weed free. When sh*t gets tough - don't shy away. Give your friendships and relationships the nourishment they require. If the weeds are creeping in take the time to go and clear them. Like tending a garden it requires an actual decision and time and effort to go clear them weeds and water those friendships

  5. As the potato plants grow, use a spade or hoe to cover the shoots with soil. This is the one bit of advice that doesn't correlate! DON'T BRING HOES INTO YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

  6. Choose a dry day to dig up your crop. Dig up your potatoes, discarding any damaged ones. Even if you put all that effort in and do lots of things right there will be rotten little potatoes. It's just as important to know when to cut them loose. You can't un-rotten a potato. If you gave them rich soil, watered them, tended to them, cleared the weeds and picked them up and they are still rotten then (in the words of disney princesses) LET IT GO!! You did your part and they don't get anymore of your energy. Chuck those Keiths in the compost bin

  7. Home-grown potatoes, particularly maincrop potatoes, will store well for many months in a cool but frost-free place. I actually love the accuracy of this. Good friends will always be there for you. As long as you store them correctly. The work that went in throughout the growing period will never be discarded. So it's always worth putting in the work.

  8. Wash and scrub potatoes before frying, boiling, baking, mashing, roasting or sautéeing – this has to be the most versatile vegetable! Right - even by my standards the metaphor is getting stretched at this stage. But basically if you cultivate friendships and loving relationships right you can come to them in sadness, happiness, times of joy, times of sorrow and they'll always satiate you.

Phew... that one was tough. But I hope you start to see the people around you like potatoes going forward. When you see those green shoots nourish them. When you see the dry days water them. If you do all these things you will be surrounded by lovely potatoes who will enrich your life in a starchy carbohydraty manner.

The most important thing of it all - IT REQUIRES WORK. To find people. To grow with them. To be a good lover or to be a good friend. It all requires work. You can't sit inside looking at the garden and wishing for a crop to be planted. Get up, get out, plant the seeds, do the work. Make a list, check it twice (little festive reference) then work your way through the list from planting to harvest. If you put the work in, regardless of blights and slugs and weeds, you will end up with potatoes.

Remember Nelson Mandela said

"without potatoes there are no delicious french fries"

Have a lovely weekend. Go plant some seeds.

Stephen

P.S.

Potato blight is a fungal disease, which turns foliage yellow with dark patches and causes the tubers to rot. Cut the potato plants down at the first sign of infection, as the fungus will not have reached the tubers by that stage. If sh*t gets rocky - sort it early and save the potatoes from becoming Keiths (again apologies to keiths)