Monday, October 16, 2006

Only a quick visit to the allotment, to confirm the sad state of the Carlingford “ready for Xmas”, don’t you believe it, taters. Had to dig them up as virtually all the foliage had gone from blight.

Entire crop is pictured below next to my [small] mobile phone for indication of huge size, not. Also tastefully garlanded with what will probably be the last of this year’s cucumber and courgette crop. Yes, I know the courgettes look odd – they’re Italian. Trompetti, from Seeds of Italy.

Also made great progress on this year’s bindweed harvest. If it were edible, or half as nice as they Sukebind, I’d larfing. Laugh? We lay on the ground. As it isn’t, I’m not.

Finally, great news on the domestic front. Our daughter Sally has signed the tenancy agreement on a flat. Sally is 30 and has a learning disability so the prospect of living independently in her own flat is major good news. She’ll still need some support but she moves in next weekend. Celebrations all round, and massive trips to IKEA to furnish it! Dad’s wallet is already groaning.

Interesting week. Went to see Dervla Murphy, Irish travel writer extraordinaire, speaking at Sheffield’s [now 10 yr old] literary festival, Off the Shelf. Dervla cycled from Ireland to India, via Afghanistan, through the bitter winter of 1963, wrote a book about it, Full Tilt, and has carried on writing and cycling ever since.

I have an original copy, now 40 yrs, old of that book because Dervla’s exploits, mostly on a bicycle, have been an unattainable yardstick for my own cycling travels. She has just returned from a 2nd solo trip to Siberia (age 75), having carelessly left her bicycle (Pushkin) there. And has now signed my book!! Like’s a drink too; she had a pint of Boddingtons at her elbow throughout the book signing.

My own cycling efforts have been more prosaic. For Lake Baikal, read Rother Valley Country Park & the Chesterfield Canal.

For the BAM railway through Siberia, read Trans Pennine Trail through North East Derbyshire. 13 miles; legs still attached.

Monday, October 09, 2006

G continues to keep up the “exercise & get fit” programme – 10½ miles cycling down the Eastern Edges above Matlock & the Derwent valley this morning (dead badger in the road at one point; may have been a hit and run but looked rather as though it had been dumped. Possible victim of badger baiting?). 1000 steps in 20mins on the step machine last night. No reduction in waistline yet!

More digging (spellchecker suggested ‘dogging’; I should be so lucky!) at the allotment this afternoon. Two more sub-plots (is this really a novel?) done, altho lots of bindweed in the2nd one. The Inconstant Gardener in residence when I got there and actually working. Must stop calling him that. ICG hereafter. Have now done about 40% of my autumn digging. Now need a load of manure to spread on it for the winter and re-dig in spring.

Monday, October 02, 2006

G is out on his bike again. Normal service almost fully resumed. 11.5 miles this morning around the old circuit by Derwent & Howden reservoirs up to Kings Tree. Lots of very miserable cyclists who clearly haven't been brought up proper and told by their Mums to say Good Morning to the nice gentleman. If any of you are reading this (unlikely?) Lighten up you Miserable Buggers and say Good Morning when someone says it to you!

Then to the allotment this afternoon for a good bout of "Digging in the Rain; what a wonderful feeling, I'm digging again". And it didn't rain too much and I did get two sub-plots dug. Needless to say the inconstant gardener hasn't done much. Too busy making goulash.