Sunday, July 18, 2010

Four Months Old Today

A Different Perspective

I was up on the roof clearing the gutters when I had this new view of our garden. One you don't normally get living in a bungalow.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Untitled

The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World WarThe Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War by Andrew Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have had an interest in military history since I was a schoolboy, in particular The Boer War and WWII. I have therefore read a book or two about both conflicts. This "new history" of WWII is by far one of the best that I have read in a long time. It is extremely well written. Many history books can be an excellent cure for insomnia, but this one is in a league of it's own for keeping the reader involved. It is also extremely well researched with copious references and page notes (the main text is just over 600 pages, and there are some 200 pages of references). If you have an interest in military history or the WWII conflict then I would recommend this book. If you are not specifically interested but curious then I would also suggest that this is good place to start rather than any other volume. There are plenty of others, many of which are very dry. Be warned however this book pulls no punches about the true horrors of conflict. There was massive life loss in WWII, not just those directly involved in the conflict, but civilian casualties, and also the barbarity of all sides. The holocaust is a sickening chapter which hits home, making the reader really understand how we should never forget this period in human history. View all my reviews >>

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The Muppets: Pöpcørn Shrimp

Who Is Looking Dumber?

The new President of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), Elizabeth Banks has apparently accused the BBC of dumbing down gardening.  The article in The Sunday Times has been very quickly rebutted by both the RHS themselves and also the BBC.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Relax, It Is Just A Matter Of Time

In the last week I read in one of the gardening magazines that I subscribe to, a comment that summer is the time when gardeners can relax.  Really?  I’d love to have their garden then please.

I think there is never really truly a time when a gardener relaxes.  There are always jobs to do, whether they are large or small.  There are also jobs that with the best intentions of the most virtuous never quite seem to get done.  By example I replaced the waterline from our house to the potting shed some months ago, however I ran out of pipe clips, towards the far end of the line and so it keeps popping out of the clips under the weight of the tap at that end of the pipe.  Now I have more clips but another weekend has passed and I have still not gotten the drill out to secure the new clips to the wall. 

This list could be very long if only I had the time to write it, but then I could spend that time actually trying to do some of those outstanding jobs.  It’s true there is more to enjoy in the garden at this time of the year.  Those plants that have survived the ravages of the winter snow, ravenous jaws of slugs and snails or even the unwanted attention of our new puppy (he deadheaded a whole rose bush for me on Saturday, unfortunately it had no dead blooms needing removing), are beginning to look at their best, and yes sitting in the garden and enjoying them is one of the main reasons for spending so much time out there getting it to that stage.  I would never say a gardener totally relaxes however.  Even when I’m sitting there, I’m still looking there and seeing things that need doing, some are small like pulling up a few pesky annual weeds that have snuck into the gaps between the roses, others bigger and revolve around more fantastic plans for grander structural change.  Then there are the “if I win the lottery” thoughts, about the sort of garden you’d have, if only, but then of course you would have plenty of time to work on it and enjoy it, you won the lottery remember!

Of course there is the allotment too.  Now at the moment it is starting to yield food to eat, and often give away – we’ve got lettuces in abundance and have been giving them away, and yet still some have managed to bolt.  Those planted as a succession crop, have of course, not managed to get to a harvestable size yet of course.  At the allotment at the moment however it is a constant battle with the weeds.  I am constantly envious of my plot neighbours, probably as much as they despair of me.  There plots are immaculate and weed-free.  Mine, at times seems to be overrun.  I have a rule that each time I visit I must remove a bucket of weeds, and sadly this is always too easy.  Again time is the factor here.  Both my plot neighbours devote more time than I am simply able to.  They are retired, I work. 

Still I admit my envy and move on.   One day my plot will look like that, it was a mass of weeds when I took it on, and it’s getting better each year, it is just a matter of time.

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Friday, July 09, 2010

It's a big wide world out there #pupdate

Petrol Electric Hybrid Scooter

Taken today at the workshop I was speaking at, on green fleet. A Piaggio MP3 petrol electric hybrid scooter. Pretty tasty bit of kit.

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