Monday, August 27, 2007

Back to Basics

Hoe, Hoe, Hoe your plot, gently down the hill
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, that is how you till

Strim, strim, strim your plot, like a man inspired
Shout, shout, shout a bit, as your arms get tired

Merrily, merrily, verily, verily, I'm reet pooped t'neet!

Drastic state of plot :

requires drastic action (see above; sing merry ditty).

Much neater now and actually able to harvest some stuff. Runner and French beans - picked for the first time this year on August Bank Holiday. Never, Ever, Ever have I been so late picking beans...... At All. Mind you I could probably have got some a couple of weeks ago if I hadn't been so generally fed up with the poor state of it all this year.

And some taters, which I confidently expect to follow Gnome's experience of allotment taters. But happier news with the shallots, which I thought I'd picked and lost, cos I couldn't find them anywhere. Turns out I hadn't picked 'em at all and the little chickabiddies were waiting patiently all the time; good-oh, pickled onions after all!! There aren't many
but, as they say In Edinburgh, mony a mickle maks a muckle. Especially when pickled. Pickled muckle. Lovely.

And the Lovage has recovered from it's drenching. This lot ended up in Mrs M's damn fine fish stew tonight. If you haven't tried lovage in a fish stew I recommend it.

Some flowerage on the plot too, including a fine bank of what my mother insisted on calling Nasturtians. Sadly, they ain't mine but are on the adjacent plot of the Gardener formerly known as Inconstant. Who is showing signs of reverting to type; I'm sure there is a plant breeding term for that but can't remember it. Instant fame for anyone who can suggest it.

Anyway, the plot (or at least the top third of it - mony a mickle etc) now looks positively svelte.
Sadly the same cannot be said of the Gardener now known as Tubbso.
In my mind I have this notion that I'm skinny. As a child I was a very picky eater, and I didn't reach 10 stone until I was 40. Since then slumpage seems to have occurred and no amount of red wine seems able to shift it. Might these facts be connected? Do I care? Well, a bit, but not that much!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Less is more

Beginning to think about planning the allotment for next year, and I think I'm going to let half of it have a fallow year. I can cover it in weed-suppressing fabric and concentrate on the other half. Get it dug properly, get lots of manure dug in and weeds dug out and grow less stuff but grow it better.
Less area to look after = better care of the area being looked after. Less ground worked but more intensively.

How does that sound for a plan? Fitting with the best Schumacher principle of small is beautiful?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Rave On?

Interesting start to the day. Woken at 6.30 (yes, that's 6.30 on a Sunday morning) by pounding dance music. Loud enough to be perfectly audible, loud enough to wake me up. No obvious source, except that it's clearly outside and fairly close. What idiot will play music that loud, that time, that day? March about the house grumpily (Mrs M is away so can be more grumpy on my own) but find no source and retire back to bed to seethe for an hour.

Get up, still grumpy at 7.30, music still on, audible inside house with windows closed. V grumpy now. Why should I have to have my windows closed on a Sunday morning cos some inconsiderate tosser wants to play his music that loud.

Eventually set off to find source of music and have it out with them. Much peregrinating later, conclude it clearly isn't local and decide to go for walk on moors to ease grumpiness. Naturally, find music. On moors, easily two miles away as crow flies.

Illegal rave in woods behind Ringinglow village. Music at ear-bleeding volume and bridle track over moors blocked with crusties and dilapidated vans. Have "red mist" moment.

Actually, have many red mist moments. Am invited to take stick out of arse and join rave. Threaten to wrap stick round pineapple and shove up ....

Spit particularly venomous epithet at one languid crustie. Couple of minutes later hear plaintive "did you call me a #*#*? Here, he called me a #*#*!!" suspect it would take him best part of 10 mins to formulate thought that he would want to thump me. Pah.

Find one crustie fast asleep in passenger seat of old panel van. Observe closely to be sure is fast asleep. Slap side of panel van hard as poss with palm of hand. Almighty bang. Wakes up so fast bangs head on windscreen. Laugh? Lay on the ground!

For the record, no objection to crusties per se. Also no objection to loud music, festivals etc. But have vigorous objection to being woken at 6.30 on Sunday morning by inconsiderate tossers.

Going for a kip now, have more or less calmed down.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Brincliffe revisited

First visit to the plot to actually do something, as opposed to standing around being depressed about it, for ages. Altho the doing amounted to cutting some hedge. Privet? God's curse on gardeners. What is the purpose of privet? Anyone who says it forms a cheap, quick-growing and effective boundary had better not leave an address or they'll find all mine on their doorstep. I loathe it. But at least you can "see where you've been".

Met my old mates Jenny & Janet (next plot but two to the right). They've had a "Dirty Plot" notice from the council and are mighty embarrassed about it. Mind you, if I don't get the hedge down soon I'll be getting one myself.

Also met Ivan, my immediate neighbour to the left (over the hedge) who has the great joy of a fabulous potting shed newly built on his plot but the great lament of an infestation of mare's tail on his other plot. Two plots? Blimey. I take my hat off to Ivan cos one is quite enough for me.

And even the Gardener formerly known as Inconstant (who shares my gate and path) is putting me to shame. His sweet peas are doing really well; spuds & onions likewise. I doff my cap.

Finally, of the zillions of courgette plants I put out (in the face of great scepticism from one reader of this blog), precisely two weedy little runts have survived the deluge. The others have "gorn dahn the plughole; not lorst, just gorn before" as the song has it. But, brave soldiers that they are (courgette soldiers? Now there's a thought. Not sure I'd want to dip them in my boiled egg) they're trying hard and may yet produce a courgette each.