Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fort Brassica

Well, waddya think?

Will it keep the pigeons off the cabbages?

The netting on top isn't as good as it could be, in fact it's cobbled together. I hate cheap netting, which this is, mostly because I hate paying good money for something which is mostly thin air. I suppose I should rationalise it as the bits which aren't the thin air are the bits which give it it's value.

Must get some better (in all senses of the word) netting

New Toy

and very effective it is too.

Monday, April 13, 2009

An Assistant!!

Greatly blessed today to have assistance at Allotment 81. Wilma Wilbury, seen here in full weed,
was extraordinarily helpful and shifted loads of raspberry & blackberry weeding which I, in truth, have been avoiding. Big respect.

Meanwhile I did manly things with a new trenching spade and constructed a compost stockade.

Needless to say the kettle went on

and the Wilburys caught a bit of sun.

Think you're fit? Think again

After a big push on cleaning the much-loved but sadly under-used bicycle

what better way to spend Easter Monday morning than actually cycling, on a route I used to do regularly.

Crikey, what an eye-opener. Not so much thighs of steel as thighs of jelly. There's an Awful Warning there, methinks. Get off backside, Wilbury, and get onto bicycle.

My son, Otis "Wedding" Wilbury, recommends a turbo trainer. I used to have a primitive and noisy example but it's rusted up (not unlike my legs). I sense a replacement coming soon.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Get walking, Woody

I've signed up for the Global Corporate Challenge - an annual competition in which teams from various companies are challenged to "walk around the world" in 125 days. My team has seven of us, all aiming to do a minimum of 10,000 steps a day for the 125 days of the Challenge. That will be one and a quarter million steps each; eight and three-quarter million steps in total

The Challenge starts on May 21st & ends on Sept 22nd. I'm the oldest person on our team, at a mere 59.

More info when it starts but you might like to have a look at the website:

Or start a team in your own workplace?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

On this day....

..... in 1847, the world's first municipal park, designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, opened in Birkenhead, Merseyside. Birkenhead Park was visited by Frederick Olmsted who incorporated many of the design features into his design for Central Park, New York.

I'm currently reading Kate Colquhoun's biography of Paxton, who was a contemporary of David Douglas (see earlier entries) at the Horticultural Society's gardens in Chiswick in 1823. Paxton's life is an interesting illustration of the direction Douglas's life might have taken had he lived.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Secret Blackcurrants

I've been planting, mostly some more raspberries (Glen Moy, Glen Ample & Joan J). But also a secret Blackcurrant.

Why secret? Because Wilma Wilbury is of the view that blackcurrants are more trouble than they are worth, being the very devil to harvest. She has a point and when I used to share a plot we did have a surfeit. But I fancied some and bought a clandestine bush.

Leeks and rhubarb are still doing well, altho the leeks are getting down to their last knockings now.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Ronsley Moor springs a surprise


I set off late after a night out a friend's leaving do at the Last Laugh Comedy Club. He had warned me it might be a bit 'blue' and indeed it turned out to be quite extravagantly filthy, and great fun.

In fact it was only the knocking of the man delivering new raspberry canes which got me out of bed. Ye Gods, we live the high life here.

Any road up, it was dull and grey and cold (5 degrees) and miserable but the plan said 'get to the shooting cabin on Ronksley Moor', scene of New Year Brunch in December 2007 and not revisited since.

Needless to say I dressed for the weather (winter trousers) but as soon as I started walking the weather turned hot and sunny. I was heavily overdressed and shed garments along the way, stopping short at removing the trousers [shame]. The shooting cabin was as good as ever, with evidence in the hut book of regular use, including overnighters around Xmas and visits on Xmas eve, Xmas Day and New Year's Day. Haven't these people got families to go to? Indeed it was tidier than normal but I can't demonstrate this to you having forgotten the camera. But here's one from a couple of years ago.

It must be Spring

I've had a massive (that's Maaaaaaasive) clearout of the shed and it's now, for the moment, relatively tidy. Much of the clearout consisted of piles of pots which I put there as a temporary measure when we moved house two & a half years ago. The rule of thumb is now that black pots live at the allotment and others live at home.

I also managed the first BBQ of the year, on the old BBQ which I've brought from home and which will henceforth live at the allotment. Two Moroccan lamb burgers (spicy!!), tomato & onions maketh a happy, and fat, gardener. Then the kettle went on and boiled on the embers ; what economy!

As for plants, there are only the lovage and rhubarb to speak of and they're both going great guns.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


I've now got a Dongle for my work laptop, which enables me to access work IT systems and send and receive emails etc remotely over a 3G network.

Although it doesn't work that well at home as we live in a poor reception area for mobile signals it works very well indeed at the allotment!!! Guess where I was working, in both senses of the word, yesterday.