TWTW # 14 – A Scorcher

It’s Bank Holiday Monday as I write this, and I’m a little bit later than usual sitting down to think about what’s happened in the last week. Essentially a short working week for most with the long weekend around Easter and quiet for me as I am waiting for my client to respond regarding a report. He has responded and is taking a wider view across his organisation before giving formal comments.

It’s been getting progressively warmer all week with the weekend turning into quite a scorcher and I’ve been doing quite a bit allotment and garden wise, while I’ve had the time. I’ve sown some lettuce seed as individual plugs – some for my Mum’s garden and the remainder as back-ups for the allotment. I’ve potted on some tomatoes and have got some more seed to sow a few more plants.

I’ve also started off my runner beans. Garden lore says that you should sow your runner bean seeds on the first Bank Holiday in May and plant them out on the second one, so these are a little early but that might not be a bad thing as they were covered in a little mould which I washed off and they seem to be okay – not soft or any obvious other damage other than the mould – so if they don’t grow I’ll have time to get some more.

My car was MOT’d and serviced at the beginning of the week. It passed and so there’s nothing further to do until next year or unless there’s a problem.

Wilson was also back at the vets for his next round of tests – we’re awaiting the results.


I’ve been reading “The Way Home – Tales from a Life Without Technology” by Mark Boyle, essentially the stories of the author when he completely gave up technology, including electricity and other mains utilities, living on an island near Ireland. I’m not that far in, but I’m enjoying it so far.

Slightly ironically I’m reading it on my Kindle.


I’ve also  got  the  (re)review  of “Under  The  Rock” coming  up next weekend with the chance to receive a copy of the paperback.



Been watching the new season of Bosch on Amazon over the weekend, it’s another great season of the show, and it’s great that such high quality tv can be be made to this standard – thoroughly recommended! If you’ve read Michael Connelly’s “Two Kinds of Truth”, it’s mostly based on that.


Advertisements
Posted in books, Cooking, Dog, Film, Fork To Fork, Garden / Allotment, Kindle, Self-sufficient, The Week That Was, tv, Video, Wildlife/Nature, Wilson's Story, work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

TWTW 13 – In The Zone

This week has been in two halves, the first part of the week was very much focussed on work. I was in the “zone” working on my clients report, which I duly delivered the draft report only to find out he was away on holiday, so won’t be getting back to me until early this week with comments. No problem, and it meant the latter half of the week was very much spent catching up on tasks in the garden. Sowing some sweet peas, californian poppies and nasturtiums, and generally tidying things up.

We also had a trip back to the vets with Wilson, there’s an underlying problem that we’re trying to get to the bottom of but that needs another round of tests (so far we’ve been able to claim the majority back on his insurance, but it’s not a pleasant thing for him to be spending so much time there).

I’ve finally got some seeds out in the ground on the allotment too. Some parsnips, lettuce, radish and beetroot all went in on Saturday. They’re under cover for now, which makes watering a little awkward, but means they’re much more likely to germinate.


This piece about W S Merwin’s garden in Hawaii caught my eye this week.


Neil Gaiman has possibly come off his blogging hiatus too.



The week ahead includes an MOT and service for the car, another trip to the vets and revising a report (assuming I get feedback in time), it’s also Easter Weekend coming up.

Posted in The Week That Was | Tagged , , , ,

TWTW # 12 Welcome To British Summer Time

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The clocks changed last weekend, and my body & mind have been trying to catch up all week, and it’s been a pretty busy week!

On Monday evening I was giving a talk to Harwell Gardening Club. The talk was entitled An Allotment Year, but as Monday was also April Fools Day, I couldn’t resist talking a little about some of the “gardening” April Fools that there have been. These included Waitrose’s Pinanas; Tesco’s whistling carrots (so you can tell when they’re cooked); who could forget the great Panorama spaghetti farming story; and finally Herr Moler’s phosphorescent sunflowers so that you can read in the garden at nighttime.

I think the talk went well, and there was an invitation to come back another time, so a good evening was had by all.


I’ve also been mostly working on the delivery of the proposal accepted by one of my clients last week. It’s involved a lot of research, and I’ve started writing the main report. That will continue this week, and I hope to deliver the draft to the client next week.

I’ve had a couple of other meetings so it’s been a pretty busy working week all in all.


Although we are officially on Summer Time, it seems the weather has dropped several degrees in temperature. Gone are the shorts of last week and I’m back in jeans again. This will probably be short-lived (sorry for the pun), as it was getting warmer again yesterday.


The weather has meant that other than harvesting purple sprouting broccoli and leeks, I’ve not done very much on the allotment. Instead I’ve been busy transplanting broccoli and cauliflower seedlings into bigger pots, and sowing some sweet peas and a few other flowering annuals for hanging baskets and pots.


It’s possible that we might soon be able to see White Tailed Eagles not very far away from here. A licence has been granted for their reintroduction, and although that’s only a step in the process it’s moving in the right direction for a reintroduction in due course, possibly as soon as this summer. You can read more about it here.


The clocks changing has really mucked up my sleeping patterns, and with a busy week I’ve been a little bit too tired to read when I finally end up in bed. I’ve been dipping into Under The Rock by Benjamin Myers again, which although I read this last year, is coming out in paperback in a couple of weeks time and the publishers have asked me if I’d re-review it. They’ve also given me a copy of the paperback to give away here when that review is published, so if you’re interested watch this space (if you really don’t want to miss your chance then you can subscribe to posts in the box on the right hand menu – you can unsubscribe at any time, and I don’t give your details to anyone else or spam you with anything other than posts from this blog, one post equals one email).


That’s it for this week. Things are a little quieter this week, my main focus needs to be on my clients report. The sooner that’s delivered, the sooner I can have a bit of fun!

Posted in Garden / Allotment, The Week That Was, work | Tagged , , , , ,

TWTW # 11

Hello there from a relatively sunny Spring day (I know it’s Spring because I’ve been wearing shorts quite a bit this week).

It’s been a fairly busy week workwise this week. That’s not to say that I haven’t also had my share of fun too. The proposal that I was asked to submit has been accepted and I’ve been given the go ahead to proceed with the work! Great news!

I’ve also been working on my presentation and notes for the allotment talk that I’m giving on Monday evening this week (no this isn’t an April Fools joke).


I went to see Captain Marvel at the cinema on Wednesday. It was a good film, and I enjoyed it. I’m hoping to be able to see the final Avengers film in a few months time when it comes out and this film introduces a new character (although I don’t think you necessarily have to see Captain Marvel to enjoy the Avengers film, so long as you know a little bit about the genre generally).


It was Wilson’s 9th birthday this week, so he got some new dog toys and a new harness and we went for an afternoon walk to the beach, as well as having some lunch out.


I finished the final bit of digging on the allotment at the weekend, just a patch that I’ve been leaving and is likely to be the new brassica bed, so after digging I gave it a good cover of lime (this helps to prevent club root, and also my soil is on the acidic side so this helps achieve a more neutral pH.


If you have and interest in Neil Gaiman then can I recommend that you go watch / listen to Tim Ferriss’s podcast with him. I’ve embedded the video recording of the interview below (it’s 90 minutes long), but the podcast page is also worth a visit for some of the show notes.


In the week ahead I’ll be giving my talk and carrying on with the delivery of work for my client. I’ve also got a couple of meetings and it’s generally looking like being another busy week.

 

Posted in Dog, Film, Garden / Allotment, pupdate, The Week That Was, Wilson's Story | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

TWTW # 10 Potato Palooza

After digging the potato trenches last weekend, I finally got my potatoes in the ground this weekend. This is considerably earlier than last year, as this time last year we had snow on the ground, and there was nothing happening on the allotment, but around the end of June / beginning of July we should have some new potatoes to eat.

I also managed to transplant my shallots and get them out, along with sowing a row of carrot seed between them and the over-wintering onions. The smell of the onions and shallots is supposed to disguise the smell of the carrots from the carrot root fly.

I’m also feeling that I have a better idea of the rest of the allotment layout for this year ahead. If the weather holds, I’m going to start sowing some more seed.

I think the season has really started in earnest.

 

I had a meeting mid-week which resulted in a request for a proposal and I completed it on Friday, now I just have to wait and see what happens next.


I spent a morning this week sorting out all of the loose recipes in the kitchen, which I’ve been meaning to do this for such a long time. These are all the printed sheets of paper from recipes off of the internet or those clipped out of newspapers and magazines. They’re now in a nice folder and the shelf in the kitchen is a bit tidier. I had planned to move some of my cookbooks onto the shelf but it is deceptively low. It looks like regular sized cookbooks will fit, but it’s about a centimetre too short and they won’t.


Posted in The Week That Was | Tagged , , ,

TWTW # 9

I’m behind. Normally by this point in the week I’ve written this post and it’s scheduled to appear around 10am (GMT). Today although I’m behind it will probably appear a bit before that.

I have an allotment talk coming up at the beginning of April, so I’ve been doing a little bit of prep-work for that this week, making sure that the slides I want to use are still relevant.

I’ve also been following up with a few clients on work that is ongoing or bids that have been submitted but haven’t had a response yet.


My exploration of the Maigret novels continues. I had a book token for my birthday and have purchased a few more to keep my curiosity going. This week I read The Night At The Crossroads which was very good. All these novels are very short, most seem to barely 150 pages, and only take a few hours to read. They are also very good, I’m surprised that it’s taken me this long to discover them.

I also read An Arabian Journey by Levison Wood which is an incredible tale of his journey around the Arabian peninsula. He undertook the journey when ISIS were still very much present and there was civil war raging in Syria. This really is a tale of what that part of the world is going through, and if you have any interest in that part of the globe I’d recommend reading it.


Warren Ellis posted about wearing a watch this week. I can’t say that I’ve ever owned or wanted to own a “smart” watch, and I flip between wearing an ordinary timepiece and not wearing one at all.


Beginning to think that Elon Musk is a pretty unstable and a not very nice person.


I wrote a short review and recorded a video about my Pineider Pen Filler, which was  a birthday present.


I also recorded my first allotment video of the year (and actually the first one for quite some time).


I also managed to get my potato trenches dug, I’m hoping to get the potatoes in the ground later on this week. With that and the rate of progress of some of seeds that I’ve sown recently (swede, cauliflower) it won’t be long before the season is really underway.

Posted in books, The Week That Was | Tagged , , , ,

Pineider Ink Filler – Demo & Review

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I was given a Pineider Ink Filler (portable ink well) as a birthday present a couple of weeks ago. I’ve had a chance to use it a bit and I have to say for the price (about £20), it’s a great bit of kit. Only downside I can see is the top stopper and how durable that will be in the longer term.

Mine was purchased from Cult Pens but other stationery suppliers are available.

Now that I’ve used it a bit I thought I’d do a short demonstration and review video. You can find the video below.

Posted in Gadgets, tech, Video, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment