Monday, 26 August 2013

Red Squirrel's in Warsaw And Buildings That Look Like They Are From Gotham City.

Hi there.  I have been away for a week in Warsaw, Poland.  Above are some Red Squirrel's we took in one of the many enormous parks in Warsaw city.

I was very impressed with the superb public transport infrastructure.  We bought 3 day passes for 30 Zloty (about 8 Euro or 6 quid in Sterling) and availed of the underground, bus and trams.  You could just jump off one mode of transport and jump straight on another.  It made me wish that there was public transport where we live in the countryside.

Here's a picture of the incredible 'Palace of Culture'.  Mr Stalin gave it for a present just after the war.  It looks incredible lit up at night.  It reminded me of Gotham City.  We went to the top of the building and had an amazing birds eye view of Warsaw.

Whilst walking around the 'Old Town'.  I spotted this 'Trabant' car.  She's probably from East Germany before the wall came down.

Talking of the 'Wall'.  I went to see Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) at the national football stadium.  The show was incredible.  It was indeed a pleasure and privilege to say that I have finally seen one of my rock heroes.  I would recommend you get a ticket when Roger arrives in Blighty in September.  You won't be disappointed.  The pyrotechnics, computer screens and music was superb.  You can see the Warsaw show on good old You Tube.

Mean while back at the ranch (smallholding).  The weeds have grown like wildfire.  Especially the Red Shank in the field I set with kale.  Perhaps I should have sprayed  the soil with weedkiller first?  Is it poisonous or can you feed it cattle?  I believe it's a good indicator that your land is deficient in lime.


  1. Welcome back to blighty, looks like you had a good time soaking up the culture, never ceases to amaze me how well organised and reasonably priced the public transport seems to be in Europe.
    Like the rainbow car as well.

    Good to see the red squirrels thriving, we have them here, but the greys seem to be taking over in most areas. There's one appears in the garden occasionally, haven't seen it for a few weeks though.

    Dunno about the red shank, any doubts it's back to cutting it and leading it in to the cattle, a horrible job but better than poisoned beasts.

    Don't think you missed much. our weather reverted to type, been raining but surprisingly got out the last couple of days, sunny and warm.
    Grass continues to grow unabated, it's growing faster than I can cut it.

    Raggy cat spending all its time outdoors, coming in twice a day for just long enough to sample the goodies and milk in its bowls then back out, it's made a bed on the front lawn. Mrs thinks it may be pregnant, hope not, I don't need a lot of mini Raggy cats running about and she won't let me euthanase them.

  2. Thanks Cumbrian. I am informed that the excellent public transport system in Warsaw stems back to communist Poland. I have been a great believer in public transport for a long time and surprised that the so called organic movement doesn't champion public transport and see that it's the only way to prevent the impending energy crisis. We went to Krakow by train for the day. This is equivalent to Manchester to London. It only cost us the equivalent of fifteen Euros each. The trains were packed and the it seemed very fast and reliable.

    I hope Raggy Cat isn't pregnant. It's very difficult to get rid of puppies and kittens. Think it's time there was a free scheme for all pets to be neutered.

    I think I should have sprayed the land with glyphosphate (is that the correct spelling?) before sowing the kale. I attempted to be organic and it didn't work. Will take your advice and attempt to strim the red shank.


  3. Yes, if the price is right, the trains will be full. Easyjet and Ryanair work on this principle. It doesn't cost any more to run a full train than an empty one, I remember a story I heard about the Swedish (or Swiss) rail system, government-run, was losing money, so they halved the fares, took them 6 months to get into profit. Sure there's a lesson there.

    Harvested my one potato in a bucket yesterday, 7 perfect bantam egg sized new potatoes, went well with cornish pasty and beans for dinner. Back to normal today with belly pork, new potatoes, baby sweetcorn and mangetout.

    Being organic's a bit harder than you think, suppose it was easy in years gone by when there was lots of men on the land to keep on top of the weeds.

    Dull this morning and feeling a bit cooler, it's been warm for the last week.

    Raggy cat continues its outside lifestyle, only comes in for milk and biccies, seems fit enough though.

  4. The powers that be need to decide if we are going to be sustainable and save the oil or just carry on and we will have none. So many households have more than 2 cars. Here in the countryside public transport is virtually non-existant. People depend on cars because there is no alternative transport for rural dwellers. I know people who travel fifty miles to work by car every day. In winter they are at the mercy of unlit roads covered in ice and snow. There is a lot to be said for living near a city with jobs and public transport infrastructure.

    Glad to hear the potato crop was a success. You could plant some more tubers for a Christmas crop.

    I have used organic principles in the veg plot for the last 15 years or so. I have never used any weedkiller or man made chemicals on the the plot. On a field scale it doesn't seem possible to be truly organic. A lot of organic farmers use oil driven tractors with weeding attachments to cultivate the land. So I suppose they must be polluting the environment with their exhaust fumes. You just can't win.

    I suppose if there were lots of people to hand weed or hoe. Organic farming would work. Smallholding farming is too isolated and the farmer is always having to struggle and uses mechanical equipment. I ploughed the field and got it rotovated and waited a few weeks to see if there was a weed problem. There didn't seem to be so we broadcast the kale seed. The Red Shank must take over a month to germinate. Also go a cabbage white problem now. The seed rep who sold us the seed is visiting today to give us some free advice. No doubt it will involve spraying chemicals.

    Hoping to get rest of silage cut next week.


Lets Have Our Own Chelsea Flower Show,

Are you watching Chelsea Flower Show on the Beeb?  We watched Sundays preview but missed last nights instalment.   I prefer the tradition...