Friday, February 29, 2008

Try not to fall off the edge!

It's lashing with rain and no allotment work is do-able on what is a day off so I'll tell you a bit more about the biking trip. Basically it is riding round Europe. But I sometimes have a very literal mind, and this is literally riding round Europe.

Starting at the top end of Denmark, where North Sea and Baltic meet, it's following the coast (keep the sea on the right and it'll be fine) all the way round to the Galata Bridge in Istanbul, where the Black Sea and the Mediterranean symbolically meet at the Golden Horn. It goes, pace McGregor & Boorman, by the working title of Short Way Round.

Of course it's anything but short. Denmark to the top end of Italy is almost 6000 miles, then there is all the way down Italy and all the way back, then down the other side of the Adriatic. It's an awfully long way round the in and out bits of Greece, and Albania promises to be 'interesting'.

And then you ask - "so OK Woody, you've got to Istanbul; now what? How do you get home?" Ah well, you see, I keep going, round the Black Sea coast, across the Danube delta to Odessa. I've always wanted to go to Odessa and the Potemkin Steps. By now, of course, I'm in the Ukraine and it really is time to turn home. So it's a sharp left from Odessa into Moldova, through Chisinau, back into the Ukraine and Lvov, over the border to Poland, call on our friends in Lezajsk (damn fine brewery in Lezajsk) and back to the North Sea coast, having gone all the way round.

"Hell's teeth, Woody", I hear you say; "you must have chuffing good holiday entitlement." Well, not exactly, and in truth it's going to take several stages and several years to finish this. I reckon I'll be around 63 when I finish it (almost 58 now).But if you don't start you never finish and I'm a great believer that "A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step". I remember, aged about 12 and living in a council house in Co Durham, realising that I could get to anywhere, literally anywhere, by walking down the garden path and keeping going. That's never left me.

More details, preparation etc in due course. You'll want to know how Wilma Wibury fits in this too I guess. But, for the moment, allotment service will resume shortly!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Get your motor running

Later this year I'm off on a biking trip in Europe, on this fine fellow.

More details in due course but it will start at the very northern tip of Denmark, Grenen, where the waters of the Baltic meet those of the North Sea. Strictly it's where the Kattegat meets the Skagerrak.

And what has this to do with an allotment, do I hear you ask? Nothing whatsoever, but I've got to start somewhere!! When I get round to it I'll set up another blog to focus just on that but for now we'll leaven allottment posts with biking posts. You'll get used to it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Rime Intrinsica....

...Fontmell Magna, Sturminster Newton & Melbury Bubb
Whist upon whist upon whist upon whist drive, in Institute, Legion and Social Club
Horny hands that hold the aces which this morning held the plough -
While Tranter Reuben, T. S. Eliot, H. G. Wells and Edith Sitwell
Lie in Mellstock Churchyard now.

I've always had a soft spot for Rime Intrinsica, and Betjeman generally. The above is the first verse of Dorset. What euphony!

Meanwhile, here is the trigger for it all, viz lots of Rime Intrinsica at -7 in the garden this morning

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I love raspberries, but my previous attempt to grow them on this allotment came to naught. I suspect I'd left them in the pot too long before planting, and then not watered them enough, so they never properly established.

So I'm trying again. 12 canes of Glen Moy and 12 of Joan J (and the Blackhearts?), which seems to be the modern replacement for Autumn Bliss. Here they are. I've given them a good soak. Fingers crossed. The Glen Moy will just grow but I should get some raspers off Joan J, being an autumn fruiter.

That's it really. More digging, finished plot 4, plots 5 & 6 are fallow under plastic sheet and I've dug the spuds out of plot 7 to act as seed pots for this year - they've already started chitting (filthy beasts). Rhubarb is coming along nicely too

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Go for the Burn

There's nothing quite like a good bonfire to get rid of a heap of old rubbish. The allotment looks quite tidy now!

And I've put in some new rhubarb (Victoria), appropariately enough next to the Victoria plum, which knows it's gotta do better this year or it too will be on a bonfire. I'd show you a picture of the rhubarb but, being underground, you can't actually see it. Doh!

So here are a few pictures of a tidy shed instead (when you can't satisfy the custmers fob 'em off with something useless!)