I'd been getting to know my female neighbour who would sit on the fence near my shed door and chat. She had told me about issues she and other female gardeners had experienced, including screws being loosened on her shed door and SLUT written on another woman's shed, after a relationship with male gardener broke down.
On 13 February she had taken me on a visit to a community garden nearby and wanted me to also get a plot there but I told her I was too busy to take on another allotment.
She told me stories of her childhood and upbringing, of coming to Dundee as a young woman and relationships she'd had since then, not positive tales, but she was doing well despite the tampering with her shed at Clep Gdns on Arklay Street. She had a mental health diagnosis and took medication.
However as the pandemic became serious I told my female neighbour that I'd have to keep socially distant, withdraw from socialising. She wasn't happy about this and one day kept shouting to me in my greenhouse, wanting attention, so after this I asked my oldest son to build me a fence at back door of shed for more privacy.
|24Mar20 back door allotment shed screen|
My youngest son is asthmatic and is prone to collapsed lungs so it was imperative that I maintained social distancing and withdrew from close contact with fellow gardeners. The female neighbour would hammer constantly at times and complain to the committee member who eventually bullied me when I went looking for water 2 April, telling me to stay in my garden, or to go back to the mental hospital.
I reported that incident to the police but said nothing on social media at the time. The bullying incidents increased, as written about in previous blog post, and I was told by Committee Secretary to get off plot 77 by 19 April.
|after emptying greenhouse 18Apr20|
I eventually received £270 reimbursement from Allotments Committee by cheque through the post after handing keys into Millar Hendry, Ward Road, Dundee, solicitors for the William Neish Trust who own the land on which Clepington Gardens & Allotments Association has plots.
|on Ward Road, outside Miller Hendry 18May20|
This negative experience has not put me off getting another allotment in Dundee and I hope to do so as soon as the Coronavirus Lockdown ends, and my son and I get a move to Dundee, which I've been wanting since 2012.