31 January 2007

We're All Domed......again!

Looby is right. We're heading for another gigantic, farcical, incompetent and idiotic and yet somehow typically epic British fuck up aka the 2012 Olympics. How do we do it? Is it something in our psyche? Is it all horribly inevitable? If it does happen, the concreting over of the Manor Garden allotments will be the saddest part of the whole sorry tale. The initial estimate of £2.375 billion for the games has already risen to an estimated £8 billion with no budget ceiling in sight yet. £400 million in the revised budget is to pay for consultants to help keep the costs down!!!

26 January 2007

Manor Garden Allotments

While answering a query from Lois about growing achocha I was alerted to the plight of the 100 year old Manor Garden allotments in London which are in danger of being buldozed to make way for a footpath leading into the 2012 olympic games area. Can I urge my readers to visit their site and sign the petition and do whatever else you feel is possible for you to do to help stop such monumental insanity. Thanks.


Elsewhere in the blogosphere there is a discussion taking place about virtual as opposed to 'real' identity. I find this quite interesting from a number of angles. In some cases people worry around what they write and who they are becoming public knowledge and in some cases they are right to be worried as I imagine it is not that technically difficult to out a bloggers real idendity with unhappy consequences.

Probably for the majority of allotment bloggers there is no real problem here; we tend to write mostly about how our tomato seeds are doing and how crap was our garlic last year and about the clarty soil and the sun and the wind and the couch grass and the club 18-30 root. In most cases our blog does exactly what it sais on the tin and that's fine. Some of us (me included), follow our whimsical natures and from time to time go off on one. This amuses some, annoys others and probably most don't really care one way or the other. Sometimes there is a bit of political sniping here and there but nothing to get too excited about. By and large we stick to plants and seeds and spuds and weeds and we inhabit our own polite parochial backwater of the blogosphere quite happily thank you very much.

This does not make us in any sense 'better' than the Let It All Hang Out Blood Guts & Thunder Boardroom or Bedroom bloggers who publish every nuance of their inner lives for all to read. That's fine too. All bloggers just need to bear in mind that if it's an open blog then it's public domain full stop and really so is your identity, even if you delude yourself into believing that you are blogging annonymously behind a stuffed muppet in a tutu called desmond.

Actually, the best of these blogs are fabulous. Well, sometimes beautifully written, witty, insightful, gritty and startlingly honest accounts of personal lives or perceptive comments on culture or society that should (possibly do) leave the professional commentators and lifestyle columnists green. Your blog is what you want it to be. It's your tin, fill it however you like and if it doesn't do exactly what it sais on the tin then so what exactly? I think the whole blogosphere should be celebrated BIGTIME in all its gloriously insane messy entirety. The notion of blog 'awards' is a meaningless anathema. PEOPLE are writing again! YIPPEE! Expressing themselves as freely or as guardedly as they see fit, free of the agendas set by media moghuls, spin doctors, celebrity gossipers or whatever.

They can present themselves with as many cyber identities as they want. They can put out or shut out and I don't give a fiddlers fart who they really are and don't most of us have some sort of filter to sift the real from the contrived anyway? Oh well, clearly I'm running out of steam now, but can I just leave you with this little muse....If Anne Frank had had a laptop and a blog in her silent tiny attic hideaway instead of just a lonely diary with which to share her quiet desperation.....well, maybe the outcome would not have been different but I don't need to spell out what it might have meant to her.

24 January 2007

Three Sheets

Three sheets to the wind again. No, not me... the greenhouse. Still, I suppose I got off relatively lightly losing only three sheets from a side panel. The winds on Thursday and Friday were tremendous and caused a fair amount of damage on the allotments including blowing a whole greenhouse over a few plots further down. I am so glad now that I invested a lot of time building good foundations for both the shed and the greenhouse last winter.

Monday on the other hand was glorious sunshine and we spent a couple of hours on the plot putting the new glass in and pottering about and then we went off to the Mammoth Onion where we bought:

Pink Fir Apple (salad potatoes)
Pentland Javelin (earlies)
Sante (main crop)
Elephant Garlic
Spaghetti Marrow
Hysam onion sets
Jolant leeks
Robinsons giant cabbage
Igor brussel sprouts
Show Perfection peas
Robinsons lettuce
Parella green/red lettuce mix
Mammoth Long beets
Exhibition Long parsnips
Marian swede
White Dream radish
Big Max pumpkin
Genovese courgette
Squash onions

The seeds we requested from the Heritage Seed Library have also arrived and I think we got everything we requested:

Arany Alma tomato
Szechuan aubergine
Devoy beetroot
King of the Ridge cucumber
Egmont Gold carrot
Soror Sarek pepper

Now all we need to do is find space to put everything. Ideally, we now need another plot as this one is pretty much in order and we will be full to overflowing when everything is planted out.

I thought I might keep a vague sort of record of how much the plot costs us this year and so far the tally is:

57.60 for seeds
10.50 for glass

It would also be good to value the crops we take off it but I know I won't get aroundtuit.

15 January 2007

5 Things Then

Ok then.......
1. My real name (in the old Cornish language) means
head or top of a valley. (they were tin miners there
back in the 17th century).

2. I used to work for Marconi Marine and am a black
belt in morse code (honestly) dah de dah de dah.

3. My dad died when I was four as did his brother. I
have been a complete barmpot ever since.

4. When I was little, a wild bird 'adopted' me and
used to sit on my shoulder and follow me everywhere I
went. You can just see him in the picture sitting on
my left. I don't really remember it.

5. Likes: Dogs, Marmalade, Brinjal Pickle, People Who Call A Spade A Spade And Use One, Dr Who, Anything by Joanne Harris, Misfits & Eccentrics, Full Moons, Snow Patrol, The fact that the first word in my dictionary is 'a' and the last word is 'beer' (in a foregn language of course, can't remember which one), Jimi Hendrix, Tin Tin.....etc

Dislikes: Cats, Celebrities, Horseradish sauce Yechhk, The Tweenies, Passive Agressives, Chavs & Bling, Country Music, TV Soaps, Soap, Religion, Margarine, Horsetail, Anything Made Out Of Plastic, Capitalism, America, Spam....etc etc

A Question: Does this tagging meme thingy have to go to allotment bloggers or anyone?

12 January 2007

Tag Wrestling

Now Paula's, (from Petunias Garden), gone and done it. She's tagged me and it hurts. Now I am supposed to reveal 5 things about myself that nobody knows. So why is that hard when there are millions of things about me that nobody knows? Actually, not quite true coz Jane over at Horticultural knows who I really am because she asked me! It's that easy. She wanted to use a quote from my blog in her book which should be on my bookshelf by now but isn't coz I want a signed copy and Amazon don't do that sort of thing. Allotment Lady is kindly enticing me back away from my holiday over at the Chasms of the Earth where we are having and engaging discussion on the merits or otherwise of Dan Brown's novel 'The Da Vinci Code', a ghastly, terrible book (so why is it so successful)?. But this, of course is just me being a black belt procrastinator and avoiding the ghastly truth that I have just not written a mote worth reading for a long time. This usually changes when the long shadows of winter begin to depart and the black dog takes himself off for a walk somewhere - who cares where? And the sun starts to creep into the bottom of the garden once more and slowly work it's way up towards the house as spring draws near. Anyway I have been spreading muck for England this winter and it's got to stop I tell you.

See how good I am at avoiding the five things.....I can go on for hours like this honestly.

Well anyway, we've got a bit of a busy weekend ahead as we're playing for a Swedish dance thingy over in Derbyshire and have to leave tonight so I will think about the five things and reveal all when I'm back next week. Now what do you want? Sauce.....Raunch......Cultural Embarrassment (you've never died till you've died onstage).....Hottest Fantasies (Phew!).......An IQ rating (don't go there)......Professional Disasters.......(no, my boss might read this blog, I don't know).......Relationship ***k ups...(Plenty to choose from).........Most Embarrassing Moment(s) in a Co-Education Playground Setting......What Did I Eat For Dinner Last Night?......Have You REALLY Lost Your Camera Again?

What. what, what.....you choose and don't be nosey you Allotment Devils You!

03 January 2007


Happy New Year Everyone. Clodhopper is currently on vacation mostly over at Cultural Snow and The Chasms of the Earth where the weather is fine, the going good to moderate and the language fruity. Anyway, I'm still waiting for my seeds from the seed library and otherwise I'm just spreading muck.....you know me. Tchhh! Roll on Spring......but is this REALLY a winter?