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Pocket money, seed packets and odd socks

Posted by Dawn Isaac on 02 Mar 2012 at 05:09 PM


“How much pocket money do I have?” asked my daughter this week.

“Ummm… probably… let’s say… around about… £5?”

This is, as you can see, more of a question than a statement.  The truth is, I really have no idea.

Theoretically they get £1 a week, but I’ve sort of sidestepped the bit where I hand over any cold hard cash.  Before you write me off as stingy (which, I’ll admit, might have something to do with it), this is actually because they always lose it.  I’m not sure where is goes.  Probably the same place as all the odd socks, every shopping list I‘ve ever written and most spare keys.

I’m now thinking it would just be easier if they spent the £1 quite regularly so I don’t have to function as their walking savings booklet.

Sadly, £1 doesn’t get you much these days, except in charity shops (which are our regular hangout) so imagine my joy the other day when I saw these – cheap seeds and on a 3 for 2 offer.

They’re from Wilkos (or Wilkinsons – I’m never sure which is right).  If you don’t know it, that’s probably be because you’re a posh southerner, but for me it is the natural successor to Woolworths and the filler of many a party bag*.

The children were allowed to get three packets of seeds each (my generosity knows no bounds), and although some were the princely sum of £1.28, others were a mere 54p. 

Best of all, I happen to think cheap seeds are a sign of an unfussy, well performing plant.  I learnt this the hard way.

For the last two years I have had the brilliant idea of growing mini cucumbers on the kitchen windowsill.  Both times I was shocked when I got to the till to find the packet of seeds cost £3.99, and even more shocked to find there were only four – yes FOUR – seeds in the packet. Finally, to add insult to injury, both times, only two seeds germinated. (You could of course point out that none of this should have shocked me on the second year, but that would be very unkind of you, so we’ll move swiftly on…)

This year, I bought a packet of Wilkos' Marketmore cucumber seeds – not mini, a slightly less child friendly skin but quite frankly, they had me at “£1.28 for 50 seeds” (and yes, I know I only wrote last week that “buy cheap buy twice” is an adage to live by but I know you wouldn’t be so mean as to bring this up…)

Best of all, we planted 15 and, four days later, do you know how many had germinated?  15!

In fact, we might grow so many that the kids could sell the surplus, double their initial investment, become veg-based entrepreneurs and never need pocket money again. Brilliant.


*I'll also admit that our party bags are often filled with seeds, compost and plant pots rather than the more child-centric plastic tat.  As you can imagine, kids just love coming here.


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