Saturday, May 30, 2009


My Pak Choi are bolting.

Little bolters!

I've known them to bolt later in the season but never this early. Why?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

See my Plums!!

Think we might be getting some plums this year.

Shouting at the tree during the winter ("Plums or you're out, matey") may have worked.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Secret Garden, weeded

It was hard to get in,

and it was horrible once in.

But it's amazing what several cups of wheelbarrow tea

and a bit of strenuous weeding can do.

It's halfway presentable again. Let's hope the pigeons keep off.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

An unscheduled interruption

Best laid plans etc

Today's plan was to have a quick blast around the Peak District on the scooter,

in the sunshine before it got too busy. Then I'd go to the allotment late morning for the rest of the day.

Good plan and it worked up to a point. But it hadn't reckoned with an almost-broken wire in a key part of the ignition system which, you guessed it, duly broke at point of maximum distance from home. Hey Ho. Dead engine.

A very good AA man sorted it out but the trouble with this scoot is that you have to more or less dismantle it before you can even see the engine. So it took a while. A good while. And completely scuppered any chance of getting to the allotment. Good job it's a bank holiday tomorrow.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Challenge begins

The Global Corporate Challenge, that is. To walk, in teams of seven, an average of 10,000 steps a day (each) for 125 days. Read all about it on

We all have pedometers to record progress. So far today I've done 7373. Gotta do better than that!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A long week not on the plot......

..... because I've been in London all last week and today, filming the next stage of the David Douglas documentary.

We've been to the Royal Horticulural Society, Kew Herbarium & Archives, Royal Engineers Museum (for photos from 1861) of someone Douglas met as an Indian boy of 8 in the Red River Settlement (now Winnipeg) in 1827. It's the only known photo, in the world (!), of Spokane Garry.
Today we were at the Tradescant tomb at the Garden Museum, Lambeth. Long slots of yours truly on camera, blathering on about David Douglas.

The team have now flown off to Scotland to film Douglasiana around his native patch of Perth & Scone. I, meanwhile, have to go back to work tomorrow.

Doesn't sound as though I've missed much on the allotment front, although I'm now miles behind with my beans. Beans, Schmeans.

Monday, May 04, 2009

On this day...

.... May 4th

  • I recall, a few years ago, planting potatoes and it was snowing

  • in 2001, I flew out to New York on the first day of my Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. I was away for 8 weeks and it started a project which continues to this day. A film crew land in London on 12th May to film part of the story.

  • in 1915, my Dad was born. He died in 1997 but today would have been his 94th birthday. I'm wearing his watch today in memory

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Stuff I did today

In a quick burst of activity today I:

mowed the paths (because my neighbour never does. Harrumph)
hoed the onions and top section
dug out one of the side beds from the [long gone] greenhouse, which hasn't been dug for 5 years minimum; and,
red salad bowl lettuce
green salad bowl lettuce
red cos lettuce
pak choi.

But neglected to take the camera so no photos.

next big job = sowing the beans (runner & climbing french). I try to sow them on the May Day bank holiday and plant them out at Spring Bank holiday.

Scrubbed up well.....

.... for my son's wedding.

They married at the RSA in London

in a very small (only 9 of us) but beautifully arranged ceremony. It was a really nice day and both families enjoyed it. Doesn't feel right to share family pictures of the happy couple so you'll have to make do with me ouside the wine bar named after me.