After my recent debauched weekend, today I was back at the coal face. How I suffered in the cosseting rays of the benign autumn sun. With unremitting bravery I bore the hardships of garden gossip, planning the year ahead, collecting seed of aubergine hollyhocks, planting out hesperantha and gaura, shuffling out-of-place cistus and lobelia. Then, to add insult to injury, I was expected to partake in freshly baked tea loaf smothered in creamy butter. To be honest, if there was a medal for bravery in the face of great horticultural adversity, I deserve one.