A Blanket Made of Home Spun Wool TWTW # 127

Once again the allotment is wet and miserable, but the weather is due to improve later so I’ll be heading down there then. I did pop in to check everything was alright this morning after a day of strong winds yesterday. No damage to report. While I was there I picked these radish, the warm and wet conditions of the last couple of weeks means that they’ve grown well, and these have a very fiery taste, eye-wateringly so!

I’ve spent a little time on the plot during the week this week, it was perhaps a perfect way to spend an afternoon, I was earthing up the potatoes and sowing some extra broad bean seeds. The weather was sunny and the temperature not too hot.

I’ve also been clearing out the potting shed of the over-wintering plants and converting the space to enable us to grow some tomatoes and cucumbers.


I had to take Wilson back to the vet on Monday, and upset stomach has kept us busy but it wasn’t resolving on it’s own. Things seem much improved now though.

It was also Ruby’s 7th birthday. I pulled together a short montage of some of my photo’s of her over the last seven years.


Reading. I’ve been rereading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes for the umpteenth time this week, I enjoy these stories so much but it’s been a while since I’ve read the whole collection. I’m planning to go on to Memoirs and Return in due course but picked up a Brother Cadfael – The Confession of Brother Haluin to read in the meantime. I always learn something new reading these, often having to resort to looking something up in a dictionary or encyclopedia. For example did you know that a “Brychans” is a blanket made of home spun wool?

I’ve also been reading some of George Orwell’s Diaries, these are interesting particularly as you can see how his experiences recorded in them later translated to some of his books. For example his journey to go hop-picking where he spends some time sleeping “rough” is very similar to what ends up being in Down and Out in Paris & London. I hope as I read more of them there will be some similar parallels.


Links. There’s been a lot of coverage of the Queen’s speech and the government’s announcements about tree planting and peatlands. There’s a good summary here. Personally I think the proposals are a bit weak and don’t go far enough, particularly with regards to stopping the use of peat-based compost, with the government holding yet another consultation on this rather than actually taking action based on the decades of evidence that it already has.

There’s also a good ranking of companies by the Financial Times of those reducing their carbon emissions here.

Twenty firms produce 55% of the worlds plastic waste [LINK].

David Quammen on travelling into the past to cover the pandemic [LINK]. I’ve said it before but you need to read David Quammen’s book Spillover to help understand how we got to where we did with Covid-19.


I’ve been sorting through a lot of boxes from my parents loft this week. In one I found a lot of old books from my childhood. There were a lot of Dandy annuals and also my old i-Spy collectors books. It looks like I had a life membership from around 1977 but there no longer appears to be an i-Spy club going in the same format anymore. Great shame as it these and other similar books that really got me into nature and the outdoors and recording all the things that I saw. Something that I am still doing to this day.


Work. A very quiet week workwise, it’s a real struggle at the moment. I’ve got a booking for an evening allotment talk next week and have been making the final arrangements for that and preparing my slides. It’s a Zoom talk and the last one I have in my diary for several months. In fact the next one is supposed to be an in person talk – booked before the pandemic – but whether that will go ahead in that format remains to be seen.


The week ahead is looking fairly busy but with small things of little importance but that are necessary and will take up time. I seem to have weeks like that now and again when I try and get through a lot of tasks that I’ve been putting off or unable to do. It gets them done but makes for a pretty boring week overall. I’ll have to see if I can find a way to put a little bit more life into it!

Whatever you’re going to be getting up to, Stay Safe and Take Care.

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

One of my favourite genres when it comes to reading is the crime novel.  For me I suspect it started probably from watching black and white Sherlock Holmes movies on tv as a kid.  

Holmes

The Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, Holmes and Watson was where I began.  As I grew a little older I seem to remember moving on to the novels, and I still have the first one, a folio edition of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. 

A little older still and I had moved on to The Hardy Boys

Shore_road

I think if you were a boy you either read The Hardy Boys or Alfred Hitchcocks The Three Investigators

Three

if you were a girl then it was probably Nancy Drew .  I started with The Shore Road Mystery and The Great Airport Mystery, and my collection grew from there.

From there I moved onto Dick Francis, Agatha Christie and Robert B Parker as well as many others.  For an English Literature project I covered the Sherlock Holmes stories, and have read crime novels ever since.

There are times when I don’t read at all however.  Normally they come after I have read several books back-to-back and can’t seem to settle into another one, they don’t pass the 50 page rule.  (The one that says if I’m not hooked within the first 50 pages then I’m not going to and probably should give up).  They are of course not always crime, my other vices range from natural history and travel to military history and real science to name a few. 

After a recent non-reading spell though I was really struggling and I found myself turning to my kindle and opening the complete works of Sherlock Holmes again.  I’m not sure how long it’s been since I read Arthur Conan Doyle’s tales of the great British detective, and I happened to select The Red Headed League, a little at random.  I must admit to not really remembering the story, but it was just what I needed to kickstart me back into a “crime-phase”.  From there I went onto reading some newer crime, including a book that I have agreed to review for the authors upcoming virtual tour in September, but more of that nearer the time. 

I am pleased that Holmes and Watson can still spark that interest in my reading and drive me back to the genre that I love.  In my head I have also plotted out the next couple of books that I want to read, a David Hewson

Lizards_bite

a Peter James, perhaps some Parker and Christie too, as well some scenes for my own writing; all from reading that one Holmes and Watson story, so there will definitely be more of the greatest detective due of all time too.