My husband is getting fed up with beans, although for now think I've calmed him down a bit, at least he is still cooking them every day. I've insisted he be patient and stop talking down the independence my retirement has brought us. I've assured him that the broad beans and runner beans we have planted will be much better than those we eat now.

Once the transition phase is over and we don't have to buy them from the supermarket the mere knowledge that we grew them under our own control, without those non-Sticks foreigners deciding how long, fat or round they have to be, it will definitely add to the flavour and culinary delight. He says they aren't the same type of beans - he cooks mung beans, black-eye beans, chick peas, pinto beans and many others, including black oyster bean - "and, anyway", he says, "we grew our own broad beans and runner beans before you retired", but I ignore him. Growing beans is definitely a benefit of retirement independence. I can spend all day and a lot more money on my bean garden now.

It's OK though: When he complains that we won't manage to grow enough beans or the slugs will eat them and they will end up costing many times more than those we buy from the supermarket, I have the perfect answer. I simply say, "I have been perfectly clear that retirement means growing our own beans and I am completely determined to grow the best possible beans". I don't tell him that I've also planted some French beans, just in case, that is my top negotiating position and I'm keeping it close to my chest for now.

But in a way he's right. If we only stop buying beans from the supermarket we won't be truly independent. The supermarket will still be able to dictate the shape and size of my fruit and independence only in beans is not good enough. Taking back control for the Sticks means taking back control. We will need to negotiate a new deal with the supermarket or leave it completely. So I've been considering our approach. 

To be honest it's proving a bit difficult. The supermarket says it operates across a large and diverse geography and has many millions of customers and that it has to comply with rules and honour the deals it has made with its other customers and its suppliers. It is very unreasonably refusing to change any of its processes to suit me even though I have been paying it many thousands of pounds a year. That being the case I have no other choice, I'll have to find new deals elsewhere or step up my own food production.

"But bananas don't grow in this climate", moans my husband, still complaining, "how are you going to grow bananas?"

"If all you ever do is moan and talk down our gardening skills", I say, "you'll stop our bananas from growing, and I am determined to grow the best possible bananas."

Rooted to the Spot Articles

Demand UK remains part of Erasmus programme

Erasmus is an EU-funded programme which allows students from across the continent to work or study in another European country during their degrees.

While debating Boris Johnson's Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the House of Commons, the government voted against an amendment that would have required the government to maintain the UK's role in the scheme.

Erasmus has allowed millions of people to study and live abroad, an opportunity many participants would never have gotten otherwise.

Education shouldn't be a pawn in the Brexit negotiations - sign the petition to keep up the pressure on the government to protect the UK's role in Erasmus