Archive for the ‘Diary’ Category

Quick email I’ve just sent to a friend in Australia. Made me reflect for a moment on some of the better parts of life at the moment:

“Just receiving a few seeds and seed potatoes from the organicgardening catalogue – beetroot; cabbage x2; dwarf beans; onion sets and lettuce. 
The company are a bit ramshackle for ordering online but they get there in the end. You ring up to sort out an inaccurate e-mail  and it’s like interrupting an old dear in her potting shed with a scrap of paper and a stub of a pencil which she licks occasionally – very warm and comforting. They’ve just been taken over by a big seed company so we’ll see how that works out.
Going to a concert at the Victoria Hall tomorrow night, looks good:
Looking forward to getting through February and some warmer days; nevertheless, I got out in the garden the other sunny day and it was very pleasant to get some tidying up done, filling the “garden-waste” brown bin with leaves and dead foliage from last year’s plants. Even hung some laundry out on the line today but the wind was so strong I collected some of it later from the flower beds.
Six Nations Rugby starts this weekend.
Supper-time and bed beckons.

Results of tests show coronary artery disease and I’ve received an appointment to have an angiogram and probable angioplasty at Royal Stoke Hospital on 17th January 2018. Looking forward to meeting the pre-op nurse on 11th and the cardiology team on 17th, when I shall have lots of questions prepared. In the meantime, all Christmas festivities went well, decorations are now down and today Barbara and I visited our allotment aka Alice (first time we have been able since early November) where we found a great deal of weed suppressant cover had been laid down on the crop beds – by my plot neighbour Ian. That’s what real friends of Ian January 2018

My log of my allotment activities. She’s called Alice.

See also from September 17 2013 which I’ve just noticed!

Encouraged by my partner Barbara, I enquired about an allotment on Saturday 14 September 2013 at the Rotary Charity stall at Alsager Civic Centre; after a chat with Derek Hough, the President of Alsager Gardens Association, he gave me the Secretary’s phone number. I arranged to meet Mel Buckingham at Alsager Gardens Association shed in Cedar Avenue on Sunday 15 September. He showed me round part of the whole site and allocated me a quarter plot at 26-A2, see below. It was totally overgrown with waist high weeds but Mel reassured me that they were of a type that pulled up easily! There were signs of a plastic box, some raspberry canes and fruit bushes. It is a long walk from the entrance gate and is adjacent to the wire fence bordering the site and the playing field.

On Tuesday 17 Sep Mel, accompanied by his sheepdog Floss, delivered my key.

This is the view through the boundary fence on Cedar Avenue playing field, before I started or could visit:

Here endeth Chapter One


I stayed here for a few nights back in the 1990s when the sign looked like this:

Some year later I joined a good humoured online piss-take about the place and its specially featured COLOR TV. Someone thought they might even have phones too! I think I can see Bobba Fet coming down through the trees on the left; someone else could see it too.

Today I reminisced and had another look at motels in Asheville. Note the original COLOR TV sign has been retained. But of course. Such magnificent artifacts can be overshadowed in size and glare but never surpassed in the annals of good taste:

Looks like a set for a remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice, though you couldn’t beat Bob Rafelson’s 1981  version  with Jessica Lange and Jack Nicholson.

My allotment

on September 17, 2013 in Diary, Did 2 Comments »

Last Sunday, 15 September 2013, I met Melvyn the Secretary and joined the Alsager Gardens Association so that he could allocate me an allotment on the site round the corner from our house. This is it. I’ve inherited it from someone who said last year they were going to grow asparagus all over it and then never came back. Evidently.

Melvyn hasn’t got me a site key yet [1] so I took this picture today through the boundary fence, from the Council football ground side. It’s a quarter plot, 15 metres by 5 metres. Looks like there’s an assortment of detritus among the waist high weeds including numerous plastic bottles and the beginnings of a frame for a compost heap. We shall see. All anticipation here, as we still have a month or two before the weather may deter me from getting down there much or for too long when I do go. Making something of this jungle should be very satisfying.

Just before I left one of my teaching jobs, about this time of year in 1977, I once remarked to a colleague, a music teacher, that I was tired of  trying my best to work with some pretty wild teenage truants and enjoying small successes daily, only to find that most of any “progress” was wiped out by their overnight or over weekend experience of the impact of their social environment at home.  I must have been pretty tired, and because of this I said I’d rather work with trees as a forester maybe, so that when I worked and came back the next day, my work would still be intact and not interfered with, barring natural events. That music teacher responded on my leaving card some time later, “May you find your trees”, which I thought was wonderful. Now, thirty six years later, I don’t have a forest or even a wood or a spinney, just some quasi-virgin (those two words can’t go together really, but you know what I mean) territory and with luck I may return to work on it to find it as I left it.

1. A few minutes after posting this Melvyn delivered a key!

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