Allotment Update 18th October 2014 & A Walk In The Rain

I thought it had been a couple of months since I last did an allotment video, I didn’t realise that actually I haven’t recorded one since the middle of July. Anyhow despite that, here’s one from yesterday.

I also ended up taking a longer than expected dogwalk in the rain later in the day, and here are a few photos from that. I have to say I actually enjoy walking in the rain, I find it therapeutic somehow. I seem to notice more of the world around me than I do normally.

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Time Travel

imageI’ve been using an app – Timehop – on my phone for a few months. Every so often, it throws up something that I forgotten about. Today it was the holiday we had 12 months ago. It was a very relaxing week and the last holiday we had with our dog Sparky. Sometimes this app knows how to really stab at the heart.Untitled

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Planning For Next Year

IMG_0727.JPG We had our first frost last night, the signs that autumn is truly upon us.

The allotment is winding down now. There’s still lots to do in preparation for next year, but in terms of crops most things are coming to the end. I’ve still got beans up, but only to let them dry and go to seed, and there are still courgettes, squashes and pumpkins. I’ve also got my garlic in, this needs several consecutive cold nights to properly set bulbs for next year, so hopefully this should have plenty of time.

I’ve sown some overwintering broad beans. I used to do this each year but stopped a couple of years ago, as I lost them to winters that were either very cold or wet. I’m gambling that we will have a mild, and hopefully relatively dry winter, and I’ll have an early broad bean crop. If they don’t survive I’m not too bothered as they’re in an area where I want some winter cover, so they’ll provide that if nothing else. I’ll sow more in spring regardless.

The allotment shop took delivery of its seed order this week, and so I made sure I was at the front of the queue to stock up. The above is just a sampling of what I’ll be growing next year, I still need to get runner beans and a few other things before spring.

IMG_0728.JPG Speaking of pumpkins, I made pumpkin soup last night. It was fantastic, if I do say so myself, and the good news is there was enough for this evening as well. This is what an allotment is all about – fork to fork.

I also had a practice ahead of Halloween.


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Pilfering On The Plot

IMG_1640.JPGMy allotment subscriptions are due this month, so I went and paid up this morning. Next year will be my seventh growing season.

It’s the only time of the year that I speak to the site manager at any length, normally we speak in passing and normally about our respective plots rather than anything else.

It turns out however that there has been some pilfering of crops, from across the allotment. We’ve had shed break-ins and thefts, but produce has never been the target of thieves before. It seems like it’s been going on some time. I don’t think I’ve had anything taken, or not so that I’ve noticed but it’s a bit of a low stunt to go around stealing what someone has spent time and effort tending to and growing, in most cases for months at a time.

It’s also going to be difficult to catch whoever the person is, unless someone actually catches them in the act. There are rumours that it is a current plot holder, which makes it seem worse; if they’re stealing what they know takes a lot of effort to grow; or, and this seems more likely, a former plot holder who didn’t return their key when they gave up. This latter option seems the most likely to me.

Fingers crossed that over the next few weeks, nothing will go missing. My pumpkins are nearly ready, but not quite, and I’m looking forward to some pumpkin soup.


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Sherlock – but not as you know him …


Regular readers will know I blog occasionally about dogs, so had to reboot this!

Originally posted on It's a crime! (Or a mystery...):

Meet KLM’s Sherlock and do watch all the way to the end …

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The First Casualty is Truth


Have been having the same thoughts, as each day the news brings stories of Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Israel. For the war to end all wars, how quickly we forget.

Originally posted on writerlywitterings:

This, you may have noticed, is the centenary of the beginning of the First World War. I think generally, so far, it has been handled quite well. After fifty years of denigrating those who wanted to celebrate the fallen in two world wars, even the BBC decided to get on message.

I have always had an especial interest in the wars. The day on which the dead and injured are supposed to be remembered happens to be my birthday. From a very early age I was aware of and studied warfare, particularly the Great War. Not from any ghoulishness, but because I felt very strongly, and still do, that it was such an important forge of English and British nationhood.

Britain and France stood alone in the Great War for so long. If it were not for the British Navy preventing the Germans from leaving port, it is quite likely that the…

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Ruby at 14 Weeks

Ruby is just 14 weeks old, and I thought it was about time for a little photo update. In case you’ve forgotten here she is at about 6 weeks:


And here at about 8 weeks:


And 14 weeks:


And with Wilson, at 7 weeks:


And 14 weeks:


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