Allotment Update (17th September 2016)

Things are slowing down a little on the allotment now, courgettes that were producing one fruit a day, are now producing about one a week. Other summer crops are coming to the end of their season. It’s now however the end of work on the allotment – I’m already thinking about next year – the planting of over-wintering crops like onions and garlic is just starting as well as broad beans. I’m a little later than I was last year with my broad beans, and they haven’t gone in yet, but the onions and garlic went in last weekend. Here’s a quick video:

Posted in Garden / Allotment | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Quick Links 19th September 2016

Each week I’ll try and post quick links to things that I’ve seen, read, inspired me or just sparked my interest in the previous week, with a little background and my thoughts and other things that I’ve been up to in the previous week. Mostly gardening, cooking and environmental stuff but not always.


The Week In Wildlife – In Pictures (w/e 09/09/16)

The Week In Wildlife – In Pictures (w/e 16/09/16)


One in 10 UK wildlife species faces extinction, major report shows [The Guardian]


There are so many articles on the approval of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant that I’m not going to link to any, they’re easy enough to find if you want to read them. There is a running theme though – bad decision. Not necessarily because it’s nuclear power, or the fact that renewable energy could deliver the same for the cost, but that this is an opportunity missed to renegotiate an expensive white elephant, that may actually never come into being anyway, and either way will cost the taxpayer a fortune. I think my views are fairly well known, so I won’t rehash them, but it does seem that yet again the government has made an error in judgement that will have repercussions for generations to come.


We (the human race – and I am generalising here) seem to care more about having the latest gadget or how much money we can earn than what is going on around us. Currently our health service in this country is in crisis, with hospitals and social care unable to cope; our environment and the planet upon which we are living is being driven to destruction; wars around the world are killing innocent civilians and yet it seems that in general the average person doesn’t care.

Increasingly I feel that we have lost our values about what is actually important, and it most certainly isn’t the latest iPhone.


 Currently Reading

“Run to the Mountain” by Thomas Merton [GoodReads] – If you’re a regular here, you’ll know this one has been appearing for a while. I was also reading Neal Stephenson’s “Seveneves” but that has now made it to the read pile, so I’ve been able to give “Run to the Mountain” more attention. I’m enjoying it a lot, but I also have a close relative in the hospital at the moment, so my free time has been limited. Mostly I’m reading before bed, and my eyes don’t stay open all that long, so I’m only getting through a few pages each night. I did also come across this piece about reading more productively.


Posted in Quick Links | 3 Comments

Early Start

2016-09-15-07-04-02I’ve been sleeping badly the last couple of nights because it’s been hot and humid, so I’ve been getting up early and getting out with the dogs on our morning walk. I do love this time of the day, just as the sun is rising.

Posted in Dogs, Life | Leave a comment

Odd Moth

I saw an unusual moth yesterday and have been trying to identify it this morning. The closest I can get to it, is a Tiger Moth – possibly a Garden Tiger Moth, as others that look most like it are not native to the UK and would be well outside their range.

I doubt I’ve spotted a rarity, but will keep my eyes open and see if I can spot it again, and perhaps get a photograph.

Posted in Wildlife/Nature | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Quick Links 12th September 2016

Each week I’ll try and post quick links to things that I’ve seen, read, inspired me or just sparked my interest in the previous week, with a little background and my thoughts and other things that I’ve been up to in the previous week. Mostly gardening, cooking and environmental stuff but not always.


I walk in my local park every day, because I own dogs. I don’t take every dog walk there, but I normally walk through it or past it with the dogs. I’ve noticed changes over the last few years, with the rubbish bins being emptied less frequently, and on occasion overflowing, with the frequency of the grass cutting, and hedge trimming. I know it’s because times are tough for the local authority and they’ve had to make savings, and they’ve done this by reducing services. When the last Council tax bill went out it was the first increase in a number of years. The reason given for the increase was to maintain services, those services that have already been reduced significantly since 2010. I can’t help thinking that the logic of my local Council is flawed over how it spends and saves money on what it delivers, and that many of these decisions are driven by political motivations. This article paints an even more depressing picture of our park lands. To be honest none of it surprises me and in a local context I can see there be changes ahead. Whilst it’s not been explicitly stated what the intention is, there was a big consultation last year on “improvements”. Many seemed sensible, although not fully thought through, and there is a history of bad decision making in terms of long leases for parts of the grounds.

One thing for sure however, this is a local amenity that I feel strongly about and take a keen interest in.


There’s been a lot of movies remade (or rebooted, as I think is the industry parlance) – I’m not sure about this one though:


 

Posted in Quick Links | 2 Comments

Autumn Arriving

The mornings are starting to feel a little chillier now, there’s a regular morning breeze that’s been absent for a while, and the days are shortening. It’s now dark in the mornings when I get up, and the sun is down again by nine o’clock in the evening. I’m wearing long trousers again and my shorts are only coming out if the mercury rises high enough.

Last week I was watching swallows and house martins, diving and wheeling across the playing fields near my house, flying incredibly low, trying to catch insects. It won’t be much longer before they head South and I’m assuming that this is their last chance to stock up before they leave.

Swallows catching insects before they head south

Swallows catching insects before they head south

I actually like autumn and welcome it’s arrival, although it signals a change, it’s full of vibrant colours and there is still a little warmth left from the summer months around to convince me that the sun is quite done yet.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Quick Links 5th September 2016

Each week I’ll try and post quick links to things that I’ve seen, read, inspired me or just sparked my interest in the previous week, with a little background and my thoughts and other things that I’ve been up to in the previous week. Mostly gardening, cooking and environmental stuff but not always.


Currently Reading:

Run to the Mountain by Thomas Merton [GoodReads]

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson [GoodReads]

I’ve been working my way through both of these books for the last few weeks. I normally read much faster than I have been but I’ve had a few other things going on, so reading time has been a little more constrained than it might otherwise be. Secondly these are both fairly big books, but they are both worth the time. I’m a little further forward with Seveneves than the Thomas Merton, and I’ve also been coming across it in other places. It’s on Barack Obama’s summer reading list, and in addition it is a book that Bill Gates has recently done a review for on his blog (and a very interesting 360° video), you can find these at this link – I can’t embed the video here, as it seems locked to his site, but I have included a video from the authors book tour for Seveneves, that I came across on YouTube.

I’d recommend both of these books even though I haven’t finished either one of them yet.


The Week In Wildlife – In Pictures


 

Posted in Quick Links