White House Photographer – Pete Souza

I was going to wait until the next Quick Links post to share this video, but I think I’ll post it now before Fridays inauguration. I follow Pete Souza on Instagram and have enjoyed his pictures. I’m not sure what he’ll be doing after Friday but I hope he continues to take amazing photos.

Solar Allotment Shed

Not A Solar Bird House
Not A Solar Bird House


I had a kit for a solar powered shed light. The receipt was still in the box, and it was over 4 years old, so I wasn’t sure that it would work, but I thought it would be worth a try.

It was a fairly simple build, just required a couple of screws and no wiring; so I installed it on my allotment shed. The back of the shed faces south, and is also where my bird house is, so I installed the panel on top of the bird house, as it has a good angle to catch the sun, and I placed the light inside.

I wasn’t surprised when I connected it up, that it didn’t work. I figured that the two rechargeable AA batteries that come with the kit would probably be completely discharged, and I wasn’t convinced that they would take a charge, but I left it switched off, and in theory charging for the next week. Then I tried it…

I’m really chuffed. I was prepared to get some replacement batteries if I’d needed to, but it doesn’t look like I will.

I’m rarely down on the plot after dark, but it is good that I can have a little artificial light in the shed on the more gloomy days.

Blight on the Allotment

We’ve been having a lot of weather recently that is ideal conditions for the spread of blight. It effects tomatoes and potatoes, of which I grow both. Fortunately I am only growing my tomatoes inside this year, so they are less likely (although not guaranteed) to contract it. The potatoes on the other hand are outside and directly in the firing line. I wasn’t that surprised then to find that I had blight on the potatoes when I arrived at the plot yesterday.

I’d been keeping an eye on them, so I caught it early and it was confined to the haulms, and hadn’t reached the roots or the potato tubers themselves.

There’s a bit more detail in the video below, but essentially blight, which is airborne, spreads more easily when the weather is wet, mild and humid. More details about this disease in the UK can be found at: http://www.blightwatch.co.uk