First Overwintering Broccoli From the Allotment


It’s a variety called “marathon”, that I sowed back in the autumn, and is now ready to be harvested. I also cut some cavalo nero (black kale), so we should be eating well tonight!

As this broccoli matures it should work in well with the purple sprouting broccoli, which isn’t ready yet but will be in the not too distant future, and also some cauliflowers that appear to be doing well, but again, aren’t quite producing curds yet.

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Storm Doris Aftermath

Storm Doris hit the UK yesterday. The middle of the Country was probably the worst affected area, but we had some pretty wicked winds here (much worse than when I last wrote about a storm).

I walked the dogs around the woods yesterday morning, which was before the worst of the winds hit, but on our afternoon walk it was too windy to feel safe walking there, so I stayed out on the playing fields. The wind was so strong that on one occasion a strong gust made me stagger a bit, nearly blowing me off of my feet.

It made for a good exercise regime for the dogs though, as with the wind behind me their balls were going about four times further than I can normally throw them!

This morning I went down to the allotment, as is my want to do, following a storm. My plot was fine, but there was a tree that had come down from the other side of the perimeter fence, taking out a neighbouring plot holders shed, and laying across most of their plot.

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The site manager is pretty efficient so I expect the tree will be gone soon, although I’m not sure the shed is repairable.

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Music From The Book

I’ve just finished reading Ernest Cline’s “Armada”, it was okay but I enjoyed his first book “Ready Player One” more.

What I liked about Armada was the Links it makes to sci-fi and other films and tv of my childhood in the 70’s & 80’s. If you’re not familiar with Str Wars, Star Trek, Iron Eagle, Top Gun, Battlestar Galactica, you’ll probably not enjoy it at all.

It also leans heavily on a music playlist. Someone has created the playlist on Spotify, so if you’ve also read the book, you can listen to it here.

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Grandma’s Ashes 

Today we scattered my Grandma’s ashes, it would have been her 95th birthday. 

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Signs of Spring 

There are definite signs of Spring. The days are getting longer (it was still light at 5.15pm yesterday), the mimosa in our garden (above) is flowering and the crocuses (below) are out. 

I know that officially Spring is still another month away, but these are all good signs. 

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Quick Links 20th February 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.

Lots of health related stuff this last week which I’ve already talked about. More stuff with both my Dad’s and Grandma’s estates. I suspect that this is going to be an ongoing theme for many weeks and months.


It’s been a busy week. One of the proposals I’d been working on fell through because of some unethical practice on behalf of the potential client. I won’t say anymore on that at this point because I’m not sure that I have the full picture in terms of the background to the decisions (plus I’m a little mad about it).

On the plus side I had a really great meeting with a group of students from Solent University who I’m going to be working with on looking at a new venture on growing vegetables. It’s one of those things that may become something or it might not go anywhere, but I’m really excited about it. I’ll talk about it a little more in due course but I don’t yet know where this is going to go.

I also had a very positive call on another proposal that I need to do some work on, but there’s going to be a meeting first. It sounds exciting and could really go somewhere.

Currently Reading

I’ve not really been reading much in the last couple of weeks – I always read in bed at night, but frequently fall asleep over my book (not because the book’s boring, but because I’m super-tired) – so things aren’t changing much below

The Fireman by Joe Hill [GoodReads]

An Astronauts Guide To Life On Earth by Chris Hadfield [GoodReads] – really enjoying this (he’s this guy, in case you’ve forgotten).

A Search for Solitude: Pursuing the Monk’s True Life (Journals Vol. 3) by Thomas Merton [GoodReads]

Wizard and Glass by Stephen King [GoodReads]. The next book in the Dark Tower series,  a book I’m reading for an online group.

Blog Survey

Another quick plug for the blog survey…

If you haven’t already had time, please consider completing my 2017 blog survey. I’m keen to hear what you think of the blog, and you can potentially win a £10 Amazon voucher. Looking at the responses so far it seems to take people about 3 minutes to complete. I’ve been having a quick look at responses each day, and I think I can already see some trends, plus there are some nice comments generally, thank you if you have left me one of those, it is appreciated and really means a lot.

If you’ve already filled it out, thanks! If you haven’t had a chance yet, then please do (it will be open until the end of February).


What You Might Want To Do With Your Phone When Entering the US now – or how it’s closer to entering Russia or China than it was before! [LINK]. I can’t say I’ll have much call for going to the USA anytime soon, but you never know and after reading how this NASA scientist was stopped when returning to America [LINK], I might take it quite seriously if I do.

Neil Gaiman – a short piece in the New York Times on his talk about his latest book on Norse Mythology (fiction) [LINK] I’m hoping that I’ll get a copy of his new book for my birthday next month.

He’s also announced his next book, which will be a sequel to “Neverwhere” [LINK]

The Week In Wildlife – In Pictures – Love the buffalo picture

How Emergencies Like The Orville Dam Will Be More Frequent – Climate change means we can expect more similar problems [LINK] and a little bit on what this means for Donald Trump’s infrastructure strategy [LINK]

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Gennaro Contaldo On An Allotment

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