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]