Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sixteen Miles on the Erie Canal?

Well, no actually, more like 10 miles on the Chesterfield Canal towpath this morning, by bicycle. The Chesterfield Canal should look like this

but bits of it actually look like this.

There's been a breach; the ducks look very confused.

I was listening to Springsteen singing about the Erie Canal on the Seeger sessions last night, and I have actually been to the Erie Canal,

here in 2001 when I was on my Churchill Fellowship following David Douglas - all good allotmenters should know about David Douglas (1799-1834).

But the Chesterfield Canal has grand aspirations:

Meanwhile, back in allotment-land, it's been glorious here today.

Finished clearing out the cabbages

and came home with that great Russian delicacy, a bucketful of cabbages. I've also started digging out some of the internal paths - my path:plot ratio is too high and I'm wasting good growing space. Although all I have in the whole plot at the moment is a few leeks and some excellent garlic.

Other plans for the plot this year include:

  • making a manure 'bin' immediately behind a thin part of the hedge so that I can have manure delivered and hurl it, in a cavalier fashion, through the hedge into a cunningly placed receptacle - not unlike what my Geordie Granny would have called an outside netty.
  • To one side of the pseudo netty I want a flowering mallow (Lavatera), for big showy colour and
  • to the other I want a Rambling Rose to ramble picaresquely through the hedge.
  • Downhill from the pseudo netty, I want to extend the top part of the plot and and actually grow things in what is currently a fallow area.
  • Also need a new water butt for the top, and to repair an old one with concrete (what else?), and fix a puncture on my wheelbarrow.

Exciting times, what?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Pheasant in mi Garden, what mi gonna do?

(with apologies to UB40).

Anyway, today's snow seems to have driven an unusual visitor out of the woods and into the garden.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ronksley Cabin Brunch

Bloggers with long memories (Sept 22nd, last year) will recall an off-plot expedition to Ronksley Moor shooting cabin in the Peak District, Derbyshire,

and a threat to revisit for brunch. Been there today with my old mate Paul.

A "no-breakfast" start got us to the shooting cabin by 9.30, for bacon, eggs, sausages, mushrooms & tomatoes, courtesy of Sainsbury's and two small camping stoves.

Fabulous. Completely stuffed, it took us another two hours to get back to the car and make plans to do it again.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Favourite Tools - No. 1 in an occasional series

The Spade

This was my Dad's spade, which I inherited when he died. He never had much money in his life and I discovered after he died that he had saved up for a month, in his seventies, to buy this spade. It is a really good spade (Bulldog, I think). It isn't stainless so I have to keep it in use to keep it shiny, which my dad would have liked. He was wont to say "Come on, put the tool to the job", so I do.
I like to think he would approve of the use it continues to get. Not sure what he'd make of this blogging business though.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Plastic Fantastic

New "greenhouse" is up & running. Well, it'll do for now.

Oh, Potting Bench...

Oh potting bench, oh potting bench
To leave you now is such a wrench
Next lines please. Have to scan to the tune of Tannenbaum, People's Flag, Oh Christmas Tree etc.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Woodpecker in St James's

There I was at 9 o'clock this morning killing time in St James's Park in central London, before going to a sustainable development conference, when I heard loud and clear, twice, a woodpecker.

Got the day off to a good start. Glorious bright sunny morning, good conference in prospect (and it was) and a woodpecker.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Are there two moons? Was I looking at the wrong one?

Watched the eclipse last night, on a brilliantly clear night. Everyone is banging on about the reddish colour it went. Not in my sky it didn't. And it was an hour late.

Am I missing something? It was good, and very clear, but not the teeniest bit red. Am I in a parallel universe?