Wet and Dry Sunday

Out early for my dog walk this morning, the sun had yet to properly rise, but the sky was already looking quite red and foreboding. Seagulls were flying inland, which is often a portent to inclement weather.

Before 9am the heavens opened dropping big, heavy raindrops. Good for the garden and allotment.

I returned to the next article I’ve been preparing for my Regatta blog, got it finished and submitted and then thought that I would make some of the courgette muffins that I’d just been writing about. Thirty minutes later muffins are emerging from the oven, so that will be what I’d be having for lunch.


By 2 pm the rain was gone and the sun was out, and it was a pleasant, relaxing afternoon.

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Allotment Video Update 22nd August 2015

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Latest Regatta Blog Post – Micro Gardens and Allotment Video Tour

Garden From Above

My latest post for Regatta is now online. You can read it here.

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Allotment Update & Swimming With Dogs

I’ve been a little slack posting here, so by way of a couple of videos, here’s an update on some of what I’ve been up to. I hope to have some news on the job front soon, and will cover that separately when I do.

We took the dogs to Emsworth for a swim yesterday. Only really the first time that Ruby has properly been swimming. The video is fairly low quality as I didn’t want to take my expensive camera out over the water with me, so I was using an older one, that I was less worried about dropping, but the quality isn’t as good.

Our garden seems to have become quite popular with a certain juvenile magpie, he’s taken a shine to one of the fatball feeders (rain or shine) and his acrobatics trying to get to the fastballs is quite entertaining. He’s fascinating to watch, particularly recently as he’s been trying to work out if he can dislodge the feeder from the tree branch to forgo his acrobatics (he hasn’t succeeded yet).


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Surprise Buzzard & Sparrowhawk



My morning dog walks are tending to be a little longer at the moment as there is no train to catch to work (at least for now). The chance to take a little longer and walk a little further is good for my mental health if nothing else. When I get back I tend to sit down and look through the job alerts that have come through, earmarking any that I am going to submit an application for, and if there is nothing else to do (the last two days, I’ve been preparing a proposal for a client), get on with the applications.

This morning, just as we were heading for home, I heard a bird of prey calling. When I turned and looked up I saw first one and then a second buzzard circling. As I continued to watch a Sparrowhawk appeared.


I wonder whether she was hoping for some smaller birds to be spooked by the buzzards and then be able to swoop in for a meal.

Quite pleased with the camera phone photos above, cropped in google photos.

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Being Positive

Always Looking Up

Always Looking Up

Yesterday marked an unusual day for me, for the first time since 1994, I found myself technically unemployed. I took voluntary redundancy from my last employer, after 17 years with them, and yesterday was the first working day that I have been out of full time employment.

Now I’m hunting for jobs, I applied for three yesterday as well as preparing a proposal for some self-employed work that I’ve been asked to do. The latter needs finishing today to submit to the client. I must admit, if I could make a living self-employed, then that feels a better option but it could be a feast and famine existence.

One things for sure I need to remain positive. Today is only day two, so it’s a bit early to see where this will go and how it will turn out. I believe the phrase is that “I have  a few irons in the fire”, but they could all come to nothing. If they do, then I’m sure that something else will come along, but in the meantime, I have a proposal to finish; dogs to walk, washing to hang out to dry; and all other jobs to do around the home (& allotment)! I’m sure that I’m not going to be idle.

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I Say Tomato

A Label That Doesn't Quite Reveal All

A Label That Doesn’t Quite Reveal All

I wasn’t going to grow any tomatoes this year. The previous couple of years, have resulted in such a dismal crop of fruit, that it really wasn’t worth the effort, so I thought I’d take a year off from tomatoes and just grow cucumbers instead.

That was until two separate people offered me a couple of plants. I changed my mind, not because I was particularly expecting any greater success, but because I thought I’d just give it a go, and I never like to turn down a gift of plants.

Now the first lot had the label in the picture to the left, not very revealing. The second, the person who gave them to me was honest and said, he had no idea what they were, but he knew he’d sown a cherry and a beefsteak variety, so they would be one or the other. So I took them, grew them on, and eventually planted them into their final spot, when the first flowering trusses appeared.

They’ve grown quite successfully, and I now have green fruits on both plants. It looks as though the cherry / beefsteak are in fact both beefsteak, or some kind of weird heirloom beefsteak, as they have grown some interesting fruit.

Weird Fruit

Weird Fruit

The others are slightly more interesting. They rapidly grew fruit, and at first I thought they were going to be the good old gardner’s staple, Moneymaker. However, something weird started to happen. The fruits grew to a standard tomato size and started to ripen, turning from green, to yellow. They did not however reach the red that you would expect from a tomato. Instead they seemed to hold as this golden yellow for days. Eventually I realised that perhaps this was their final show, so I picked one. Now slightly over-ripe, they were a great tasting tomato, but they were never going to be red, only ever a golden yellow.

2015-07-30 19.18.48

Never Going To Be Red

I’ve still no clue as to what variety they really are, just that they taste great. Always a bit exciting to grow a new plant, even when it’s only the humble tomato!

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