Saturday, 25 January 2020

The Green Shoots Of Recovery.

Sorry I haven't left comments on my favourite blogs this week.  I was offered some temporary work on a demolition site, and I have been working like a busy bee all week.  Filling skips and getting fit again.

Any road or any way.  Remember the Pussywillow cutting I took the other week?  Well I stuck it in a vase of water and I noti yesterday it's grown a leaf.  It looks like we are going to have our very own Pussywillow tree.  It cost nothing has per usual.

Here's a photo of our 'free' tree.


Sunday, 19 January 2020

The Writers Group.

There are some creatures who feel that they have an urge and need to be the next Catherine Cookson.  I  started (co-founded if you’re pretentious and need a lie down)  a creative writing group when I lived in Cheshire.  

I placed messages and posters in libraries, shops and local newspapers.  One night I received six really interesting phone calls.  Five of them were really positive and exciting.  The sixth one was very, very worrying;  One young man wanted to join the group and he wanted to know how much he would get paid for :
“Writing summat?” 
He then informed me that he couldn’t come to any of the meetings for the forthcoming future.  He had been involuntary sectioned in the secure unit of the local psychiatric unit. 
“Oh I see”,
Said yours truly. 
“I look forward to meeting you when you are released from your place of confinement.” 
I never actually. I just said a prayer and stopped advertising my phone number in the local rag or the window of a book shop on the corner near  the race course. 

The first Writer’s meeting was very well attended.  We all introduced ourselves and talked about our writing ambitions.  One man wrote poetry and short stories.  He had no intention of attempting to get published, but he liked the company of other writers.  I said I write humour and I have always dreamed of becoming a published author.
A tall man in his fifties with a groomed beard and upper crust accent spoke up:
 “I am an expert in all forms of creative writing.  Currently I’m writing a book, well not actually writing, more research really”. 
“Oh really”
Said I. 
“What’s it called?” 
The man sighed and announced triumphantly in a rather bombastic way:
 “It’s called DRACULA!” 
I wonder where he thought of that one?

I have often thought it would make a great sitcom:  The Writers Group.  What do you think?

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Kale Concannon And Bacon.

We made an Irish dish for tea last night: Kale Concannon and bacon.  It's a traditional Irish dish made with mashed potatoes,  milk and Kale or Cabbage.  Col is probably derived from the Irish word Cal meaning Cabbage and the second syllable  ceann-fhionn meaning a white or a white head of cabbage.

I love trying UK and Irish regional and different European and other countries dishes, don't  you?  We made ours with our homegrown Kale freshly picked (yesterday) from our polytunnel.

Kale Colcannon with bacon and even more Kale.

Here's  Mary Black singing about Colcannon.  She could be singing about my Irish grandmother.

Friday, 17 January 2020

A Tub Full Of Kale.

Yep another gardening related post folks!

I did some tidying up in my hooped room - polytunnel yesterday.  I have got eighty eight plant pots of Hardy Fuchsias for sale or barter.  They are now living outside on the veg plot.

I picked the last of the Kale and presented the wife with a trug full of it.  She asked me what should she do with it?

"Eat it".

I said.

Do you want any?  It's free!

A trug full of Kale.  What will we do with it?  Soup, instead of Cabbage, freeze it,  make butties with it?  What's  your favourite butties?  When I was young we would have banana butties,  tomato butties chip butties, fish finger butties, brown sauce butties, even vinegar butties!  What strange butties did you use to make folks?
Most of the Kale will be blanched and frozen in one of the freezers.  It's perfect for soups and a Cabbage substitute.  Anybody know any other Kale recipes please?  What about Kale pizza even?
The hooped room after the Kale was harvested.  There are over a hundred shrubs to be potted on when I  get some compost,  They are doing very well in fairness.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Planting Laurel Hedging On The Cheap.

We had a problem with the sewer pipe to the septic tank and number one son and his pals cleared the hedging and shrubs and uncovered the pipe with a digger and we replaced two plastic pipes.

So I decided to go to my plant nursery - Veg plot and found twenty four Laurel plants that I managed to root from cuttings in late summer.  Apart from some cheap compost they cost me NOTHING.  Just my effort and my special relationship with dear old Mother  Nature.  She is very clever.

Any road.  Or any way.  Instead of paying two Euros a piece for some Laurel hedging I dug holes and planted my own ones.  They will be given a sprinkling of organic poultry pellets in Spring and they will be mulched with lawn mower clippings and shredded bark.  The lawn never gets artificial chemicals applied to it only a nettle garden tea.

I got the Laurel cuttings for free.  I saved them when I cut my hedge.  That's  something  I found out recently.  Laurel releases Cyanide when it's  pruned.  "

Yikes Scooby!"
The new Laurel hedge and sewer pipes.  I will get some cheap gravel soon and cover the pipe.  I love it when a plan comes together and doesn't cost very much.  Have you got any garden projects in the pipeline?  I couldn't resist that pun!

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Pictures Of My Polytunnel In January!

The veg artist left a comment asking me how does our polytunnel survive all the storms with us living in the countryside next to the sea..? Here are some photos of 'Portugal ' my polytunnel  which I took in the rain yesterday.
East side on.  This is where we have had a couple of rips in the plastic.  Luckily you can buy polytunnel repair tape from garden centres and even ALDI.  You can only use it when the plastic is dry.  The plastic  covering is only supposed to last two years.  But ours is still fine after 7 years.  

The wind break door on the South side of the tunnel.

View from the West side.   The wife is waiting for her gardener to come back.  Yes it's weedy and there are perennials in pots everywhere including my raised beds/baths.  The ground is saturated and I am itching to do some digging.  Those weeds will be dug in and become a great green manure.  Weedy plots mean chemical free.  That's my excuse any way.   No I really do want to knock it back into shape and hurt my back again!

A view from the North side.  Hey North Sider/ Cider? Notice my compost heap? Three pallets and lots of cursing , humping and tying the pallets together.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Too Rough For The Fishermen To Leave The Bay..

This was taken in our garden at twenty to six yesterday evening.  Small fishing boats trying to make a living during the remnants of Storm Brendan.

StormBrendan brought the cold with him from Canada.  I went to the veg plot in the countryside next to the sea to pick a leek and some Brussel sprouts.  My poor fingers felt like ice and I was soon back in the kitchen, washing my poor fingers and getting warm from the solid fuel range.  I hate to think how cold those Fishermen are?

The chicken casserole cooked in a cup of red wine went down very well.  I raised my glass after and said:

"Here's to the Fishermen!"

The Green Shoots Of Recovery.

Sorry I haven't left comments on my favourite blogs this week.  I was offered some temporary work on a demolition site, and I have been...