Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Where did the year go?

Nearly Christmas and 2010 has gone in a flash - how did that happen then??

Things dropped off at the plot a bit after my onion harvest in August, due to a combination of work, going to France to see my parents, ferrying assorted kids to assorted social/sporting/dancing events oh and moving house. Now settled into a nice bungalow - I never ever thought I'd have a bungalow - they are for old people!!! With Beccy & her girls, 3 dogds, 2 cats, 5 chickens and my two boys on regular basis - it can all get a bit hectic. Anyhow things are settling down, which means I've no excuses for not knucklig down and making a real good go of the plot next year.
I've not been completely idle - I'm part way through redoing the garden here - which was mainly paving slabs, have lifted what seems like gazzilions and free cycled them, reshaped the front lawn so it's not just square and started planting up the borders - but the snow and ice has stopped play for the minute - and also made it imposible for me to get my parsnips out of the ground for Xmas dinner - we've had to buy some which is a bit of a bugger.
Happy Christmas everyone

Friday, 13 August 2010

Know My Onions?

I have the most fantastic onion harvest!!! The soil at Somerby must be really suited to them, not just onions but other alliums too (that's garlic, shallots and leeks to the uneducated). With a bit of luck I should be self sufficient in them until next year. Now I know that to most of you that's completely uninteresting but to me it's at least a step forward in my lifetime plan of being like Tom (and less like Babara) in the Good Life.
Also had French beans by the bucketful, brocolli, potatoes and how could I forget the carrots - never ever managed to get carrots to grow before. Well I could, but they always ended up in those rude shaped three legged varieties which made the boys snigger instead of eat them. But this year I'll actually have surplus so am freezing them.
The next step was to get Beccy chickens for her 40th birthday present - I know I'm such a romantic - so her garden now has Kentucky, Flash and Nugget wandering around it clucking, scratching and not as yet laying any eggs!! Tank found them very interesting and has already caught one - he got a good talking to and is being enrolled on an obedience course. One of the problems he has though is that it appears OK to chase rabbits, magpies and pigeons but not cats or hens. Very confusing for a dog no doubt. I fear segregation will be the only way.
I've decided that I really like Barton, so will be staying. Am part way through buying a house here. I was part way through buying a cottage nearer the boys - it was a dream, loads of land and orchard, vegetable plot and a garden but I was gazumped - the bungalow was a bit of a backstop - not the dreamhouse, but immensely practical and very handy. I'm sure once I've put my stamp on it I'll love it.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Barton, Beer & Brassicas

Well I promised it wouldn't be two years between posts this time, not that I think anybody is
(a) reading this or (b) cares !!
Life in Barton is good - I like it here. And this weekend is the Barton beer festival so I might just get to like it even more. Not done a lot since my last post except had a week of lates followed by a week of nights, so now I'm not really too sure what day it is today.
Found out this week that my car was a write off in a previous life, which is what happens when you buy in haste, anyway I've traded it in for a very sensible and practical Peugeot diesel estate which is supposed to do about 700 miles to a gallon, well maybe not quite that many but it's a few. Didn't really want one, was going to buy a Jeep for the same amount of money but which does about 700 yards to a gallon - common sense prevailed so the Peugeot it was.
I've not really had too much chance to get over to the plot at Somerby the last couple of weeks which is a shame as the weather has been OK, I'm expecting it to be a riot of weeds when I get there, but hopefully those pesky pigeons have been kept off my brassicas by a combination of shiny spinning CD's, netting and Victoria's daft dogs!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Big changes or what

I can't believe that it is two years since I made that last post about coshing myself repeatedly on the head with a sailing boom. You may not be surprised to know - sailing isn't something that I took to, but at least I tried !!
Things have changed somewhat since that last post - so much so that it's almost impossible to know where to begin.
Frankie the dog never left, he changed his name to Buster, on account of his unfeasibly large testicles (Viz readers will understand), I carried on diving reaching BSAC Dive leader and PADI rescue diver level - trips to Malta and the Red Sea as well as plenty of diving in and around Cyprus helped.
At the end of my Cyprus tour I got a job at Immingham docks - a huge culture shock, but I've been there six months or so now and have settled in I think. Obviously this meant a move back to the UK and this is where things all went a bit pear shaped. Unfortunately me and Jo went our seperate ways, she now lives about 10 minutes away with the boys. I see the boys whenever I'm not working and things between me and Jo remain pretty amicable. It was all very sad but hey upwards and onwards.
I now live in a lovely little town on the banks of the Humber, Barton - it has an astonishing number of restaurants and takeaways, the Humber Bridge, is big enough to have a Tesco but small enough for everybody to say hello when I'm out walking my dog. After the break up, Charlie and Buster stayed with Jo and the boys, so being soft as heart I brought home a rescued Cypriot dog. He's not known as Tank for nothing (he already had this name before I got him), he's a huge - a proper hound !! That's him in the top left hand corner. He enjoys it here - chasing deer in the nearby fields being his most favourite occupation !
I've got one or two friends here, Lynda (or Looby) and Nigel and Beccy and her girls have helped hugely in getting me established here.
As far as growing stuff is concerned, through Hugh Fearnely Whittenstall's landshare campaign, I've managed to get use of some land in a place called Somerby. The setting is just fabulous, a piece of land by a lake, next to the "big house" in rural Lincolnshire. I can't really thank Victoria (the land owner enough), I share it and an allotment in Scunthorpe with Beccy. Somerby has most of the veg, Scunthorpe the fruit and flowers. I'll post some pictures of both when I get some.
I'm not sure how much I'll blog, given my past history not very often would seem likely but you never know. Hopefully it won't be two years though!