Thursday, October 27, 2011

36 years ago....

.....I joined the Civil Service. Today I retired from it. Wha-hey!!!!!

No excuses now about not having enough time for the allotment (or perhaps I just need to be more creative about thinking up new ones?).

My allotment notebook has been filling up steadily this year and I've been thinking about getting another. As if by magic....

One of my leaving presents. Thanks Faye; perfect timing.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

If I'd been using a brushcutter, with a blade.......

.....I'd now be doing a passable impression of Long John Silver.

Having just given my left leg a rather vigorous strimming at close quarters, just below the knee, (cue jumping about, cue eye-watering, cue shouts of CHUFFINELLE, cue chuffing big weals just below the knee) I am reminded precisely why I chose not to buy a brushcutter with a blade. It would have had my leg off! It's the same reason why I choose never to use a chainsaw.

Needless to say, I've been on a tidying-the-allotment theme today (no, it didn't extend to the shed roof, all too obviously from the previous post!). But I did get the hedge cut and all the paths (there are way too many paths) strimmed. It looks a lot tidier.

The leg-strimming was but the work of a moment, as these things always are, in a confined space and turning around with a running [petrol] strimmer & not paying enough attention. Hey Ho. Take more care next time.

And it was such a lovely day. Blue sky & sunshine. And the allotment is still being productive. Look at these leeks, and cabbages.

The Bishops of Llandaff are still at it too.

There really is a Bishop of Llandaff you know, I'm not just making this all up, facetious like. Here, see. In fact the Bishops of Llandaff are positively illustrious, going right back to Dubricius in 522. Curiously Roman name that, methinks. But if you look at the list of Bishops of Llandaff it's like a microcosm of British history. They start off Roman with Dubricius, go unmistakeably Celtic with Arwistil, Berthwyn and Bledri, then round about 1186 the Normans arrive with William de Saltmarsh. There's a patronising nod to the Welsh with Henry de Abergavenny in 1193. Henry de Abergavenny; I ask you? Is that tokenism or what?

But it's all de this or de that, including a couple of de Monmouths and a de Radnor, until around 1385 when the thoroughly Anglo Saxon (still conquest of a sort, of course) William Bottlesham managed to combine being Bishop of Llandaff with being Titular Bishop of Bethlehem. That would be an interesting commute.

Then it's all reassuringly straightforward until Joshua Pritchard Hughes (1903-1931) and the eponymous dahlia. It isn't clear why the dahlia was named after him. Was he a dahlia lover? Did he look like a dahlia? Did he die of a surfeit of dahlias?

Anyway, let's take stock. Today I've given you a Health & Safety tutorial, an update on the state of the allotment (and, in the previous post, the shed roof), a potted history of Welsh Bishops 522-to date, and set you a challenge to find out why the Bishop of Llandaff is named after the Bishop of Llandaff. Is that value-for-money or what?

Nos Da !!

"If you want to destroy a barn".......

.....a farmer once told me, " cut an eighteen-inch square hole in the roof. Then stand back."

Within ten years the roof will be gone, and when the roof is gone..... it don't take too long before the rest of the barn follows suit. This is in The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman.

I wouldn't want you to think that I'm demonstrating the truth of this with a controlled experiment on my shed roof, but it is beginning to look that way.

I really, really need to get that new roof on!