Quick Links 22nd May 2017

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.


Life In General. – I’ve had a doctors appointment this week, and I’ve also taken my Mum to see a hospital consultant about getting a knee replacement. There’s quite a lot more involved in having a knee replaced than the hip replacement that she had a few years ago.

Otherwise it’s been a fairly quiet but depressing week, with the various political parties revealing their manifesto. Right now I think if I could leave the country I probably would, particularly if we do end up with yet another Tory government.


Work – I mentioned last week about a meeting I had on Monday with the students at Solent University. I’ve been working with two groups who have been looking at different aspects of my business (or potential business). The group I went to see on Monday was looking at the potential business of how I might be able to turn growing your own veg into a greater business opportunity. They’ve done some great work, and there are some opportunities there, although it will never make me a millionaire (not that I actually want to be one btw). If I do decide that I want to make something of this, then it’s down to me to take it forward. I’ll be thinking about that going forward.

I’ve also been working on a proposal at the request of a client. They asked for a draft for a meeting, which I duly completed and then the meeting was postponed, so that’s on-hold for now at least.


Allotment. – A lot more rain this week, which has done wonders for many of the crops. I harvested the first of the broad beans on Saturday and expect to be getting a steady supply for the next few weeks at least.

I’ve also planted out some Cavlo Nero (black kale) plants into their final growing place. Many of the other plants are showing signs of maturing quite quickly, but unfortunately so are the weeds.

I spent some time going through the branches of the apple tree, taking off some of the pollinated flowers that are turning to fruit, so that there aren’t too many apples weighing down the branches. It’s a shame to have to take off potentially viable fruit but the bees have been so successful this year, that there would have been a good chance of broken branches if I’d left all of that fruit on there. Hopefully by sacrificing a few now, we’ll get a bet harvest in the autumn!


Currently Reading

I’m just finishing up Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King [GoodReads] – which I am reading for an online group, and starting the next book in the series Song of Susannah [GoodReads].

I’ve also been reading The Running Hare: The Secret Life of Farmland by John Lewis-Stempel [GoodReads], and may well have finished it by the time this goes live. I’ve been reading quite a lot of natural history books and the standard is very high, this one is no exception.


The Week In Wildlife – In Pictures


There’s a new trailer for the War of the Planet of the Apes. I’ve enjoyed the rebooted franchise so far, so I’m looking forward to the next installment.


Chris Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut who covered David Bowie’s Space Oddity from the International Space Station has a new YouTube series “Rare Earth” coming.


This rerun article on the Last Word on Nothing Blog [LINK] had me really thinking about different ways to store all sorts of things. In the modern age digital storage just doesn’t seem that reliable to me. I’ve had a number of hard drives fail on me, and have lost things each time. Cloud storage seems more reliable, but it’s not fully your own, and you’re relying on a third party to store your data and keep it up to date. Hard copy still seems to be the strongest in a number of ways. Over the last few months I’ve been looking through a lot of old photographs, mostly of family.

My Grandfather At The Local Village Fair (1970’s)

I’ve scanned a number of these, so that I can make additional prints and share them with other members of the family. The fact that I still have the “originals” makes me feel a little more secure in terms of keeping them for the longer term, and I wonder how the newly printed copies will fare compared to the older prints.


I’ve also been reading this Atlas Obscura [LINK] article on forgotten bike lanes. It’s a shame that this country didn’t go the way of other European states, having separate lanes for motorised vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians, instead of the current state of play which simply doesn’t work for any mode of transport. Perhaps these forgotten lanes could be resurrected.


Ed Yong, the author of I Contain Multitudes [GoodReads] has a new video series too [LINK]

Posted in Quick Links | Leave a comment

Quick Links 15th May 2017

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.


Life In General. – I was pleased to see my first Swift of the year this week, I’ve been out quite a bit, stretching my walks. I’m trying to get my daily distance up a bit more than it has been. The Swift flew overhead when I was having a break at the return point of my Wednesday afternoon walk. I saw another later in the week, so it looks like that they really have arrived.

Ruby seems to have made a full recovery, so we haven’t had to make a return visit to the vets.


Work – A few meetings this last week, which have been good. A little while after this goes live I have a meeting with the Solent University students to hear them present the work that they have been doing for me. I’m hoping for great things, more on that soon.


Allotment. – We had our first rain this week in over a month, I wrote a couple of posts about it. I’ve also resown some sweetcorn and a few more cucumbers, as the slugs/snails had gotten to many of them. I had a good search for the culprits, and found quite a few which have now been evicted from the potting shed.

The rain hardly seems to have made a difference to the plot, the soil is still bone dry about an inch down. It’s more likely to make weeds germinate that anything else. More rain is in the forecast though so it might get deeper down and do more good.


Currently Reading

I’ve been struggling to make much headway with any of the books that I’ve been reading and so things are pretty much the same as they were last week, I’m still reading my Wendell Berry, book, Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe’s Triumph[GoodReads],and Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King [GoodReads] – which I am reading for an online group.


The Week In Wildlife – In Pictures


Speaking of Swifts, Oxford is now Swift city [LINK] , whereas many other cities are without their populations [LINK]


Apparently avocado related hand injuries are a thing [LINK], who knew?

 

Posted in Quick Links | 1 Comment

Red Sky Updated

So I posted a little early yesterday perhaps. When I went into the kitchen for a cup of tea yesterday evening, I looked out to the garden to see it was raining, and had been for a little while.

I’m pleased. Pleased that the proverb is still good, but more importantly that this is the first rain that we’ve had for over a month. It rained all evening and continued over night, and was still going this morning.

I popped into the allotment this morning to uncover some of the seeds I sowed at the weekend, so that they’d get a good drop of rain. I truly believe that rainfall is the best thing for plants rather than direct watering from a hosepipe. I hope it continues for little while, we need a good drop.

Posted in Garden / Allotment | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Red Sky

Red Sky At Night, Shepherd’s Delight;

Red Sky In The Morning, Shepherd’s Warning

When i got up this morning, and let my dogs into the garden, the first job of everyday, the sky was a vivid crimson red. I was therefore expecting a rainshower or two at some point, something that would be good for my allotment. Reality didn’t live up to the proverb however as it was a nice sunny day. Shouldn’t grumble however.

Posted in Garden / Allotment

Quick Links 8th May 2017

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.


Life In General. – I started this week taking Ruby to the vets, she’d been a little lethargic and off colour and we suspected that maybe she had a urinary tract infection. The vet confirmed this, and prescribed antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. Her response to treatment was pretty miraculous, to the point of me asking if I could have what she was taking. She seems to be fully on the mend now.

Also been doing a few things at my Mum’s place in the garden, some weeding on her raised beds and some general tidying to get ready for planting out a few things when the weather warms up a bit more.


Work – I’ve had a relatively quiet week, mostly been tucked up in my home office working on things, with no meetings outside, and with it being a Bank Holiday week I gave Monday a miss. I find working for myself, I work the hours that I want to and they don’t necessarily follow a rigid Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. I find it more effective to work when it’s appropriate and sometimes this will be early mornings, evenings and weekends. I guess I probably work the same amount of hours overall, just not in a set pattern, but to be honest I’ve never actually counted them (except when a client wants me to for billing).


Allotment. – The leeks mostly seem to have taken, although it’s still a little early to be certain. I’ve also been sowing some more seed. More radish (we had our first two harvests from the first sowing, so I wanted to get more in), a second sowing of lettuce, because the first doesn’t seem to have germinated. Also got some spinach in. Germination this year seems to have been a little patchy, sweetcorn in particular hasn’t been great, so I’ve got some more seed to get in.

 


Currently Reading

I’ve still be working my way through Wendell Berry, but have started reading some of Bernard Cornwell’s “Sharpe” series, I’m currently reading Sharpe’s Triumph[GoodReads], which is the second in the series.

Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King [GoodReads] – which I am reading for an online group.


The Week In Wildlife – In Pictures


Roger Deakin – Cigarette on the Waveney – Roger Deakin died in 2006, but he wrote some of my all time favourite nature books; Waterlog, Wildwood & Notes from Walnut Tree Farm (the latter posthumously). I was pleased to see that the BBC have made his trip down the River Waveney in a cigarette canoe available again. Not sure how long this will be available for, or if you can access it outside of the UK but it is well worth spending half-an-hour on.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04hh8vb/player


Carrot Clarinet – Although it looks as though this has been around for a few years, I don’t remember seeing it before, so thought I’d share it here:


Morocco to Timbuktu – I think I might end up watching this:


High Line Problems –  Interesting piece about disused rail lines and other similar habitats on the Last Word on Nothing Blog [LINK]


The Dark Tower Trailer – In addition to reading the Dark Tower series at the moment, the movie is also in production and now there has been a trailer released. Looks good!

Posted in Quick Links | 2 Comments

Allotment Update 6th May 2017

Short video post from the allotment.

Posted in Fork To Fork, Garden / Allotment, Self-sufficient, Video | Tagged , , , ,

Update From The Potting Shed

This is the first update from the potting shed for 2017. My tomatoes are out in their final growing spots, a little earlier than I would have liked, but they were getting leggy and needed to go out, but they are just putting out their first flowering spikes so it’s about the right time from that point of view. Also a quick peek at some of the other seeds that I’ve got germinating.

Posted in Fork To Fork, Garden / Allotment, Self-sufficient | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,