Leading on from my last post…

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I feel I should try and explain the cover photo of the last post, that appeared to be a brace and a half of bottles dangling upside down with greenery sprouting from them. Actually that was exactly what that photo was of, but it is well worth searching the internet for videos of people using old plastic bottles in the garden. What I have done is planted some upside down tomatoes, that against all expectation, seem to be thriving.

I do not believe these will be the first ones to be harvested this year, but they have survived a summer of horrific storms and winds, mainly due to their inverted lifestyle.

In fact, their dangling mitigated the wind quite nicely, and they turned out to be sweet and petite. When added to the yellow tumbling toms, they made an amazing pasta sauce.

Worth mentioning that the salad bowl at the top was salad from the garden with a mix of the tomatoes from the upside down bottles, and tumbling toms, with some home made mozzarella and free range quail eggs from a local farm. This is undoubtably the healthiest thing I have eaten this year.

A Season Has Occurred

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So it is far that I have to offer up such massive apologies to both of the readers of this blog, although I am pretty sure both of them are google bots, but it has been an inexcusable amount of time since my last catchup.

I guess what has made me post is that it has been a year since I first saw the allotment that the council granted, and to admit that I miss some of the people that I have lost contact with since then. A year has had a birth or two, and a plurality of deaths. I guess if you want one, you have to put up with the other.

Anyway, there was spring, and I went to Bulgaria, narrowly avoiding being stuck in the country as the airports were close to closing.

Sly pic with armed security around

So March brought lockdown and a lot of looking at the same four walls. Although I guess it was more a case of looking at the same two monitors for a few months. On the bright side the allotment was declared an open zone and free to visit, as long as we stayed away from people and vegetables that coughed.

How it looked in the bleak light of the new year
After a bit of love

Planted an array of potatoes, from Marris Pipers to Congo Blue, that are totally weird.

I feel that I should not go into the entire previous six months in one post, for a number of reasons, mainly because I am mildly inebriated due to the soporific effects of the home-brew that I have been cultivating for a while, so I may leave this post here; nobody is reading it anyway. If I am wrong, pop something in the comments just to gee me into writing the next instalment.

Who Gives a Duck?

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As per my previous post, chrimble day was bereft of the previous volunteers that were once eager to pluck parsnips from the soil. But what a gorgeous day; sunny, blue skies, utter silence. If you could block out the noise of the adjacent motorway anyway. Even those cars seems reverentially quiet, as if they didn’t really want to be disturbing anyone on the dayoffiest day of the year.

Parsnip supervisor

The only contributor to the parsnip proceedings was Lottie, the allotment cat, who offered sage wisdom with regards to proper hand/fork coordination. This led to successful excavation of a handful of ‘snips, and a sense of satisfaction that a Christmas tradition was born. Next year there will definitely be way more fresh food being dug up especially for the chrimble meal.

Before…
…and after

I don’t think you can get much fresher than being pulled out of the ground and then roasted in goose fat, before being ravenously devoured. If only more than one carrot had been willing to make the effort and grow.

The finished meal

For next year I definitely hope to have the majority of this plate dug up in the morning, making the freshest dinner possible. Even the sprouts, which might possibly be edible if fresh. I am even open to a vegetarian meal if anyone has any suggestions on what you can roast to make it as tasty as duck.

So merry December and looking forward to a great new decade, coming soon to a new year party near you.

Chrimble Cheer

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So as the year draws to a close, it is time to look back and summarise what has transpired in the previous 12 months. Well the allotment was a huge bonus, and the fact that I will be enjoying fresh parsnips on Christmas Day, is worth it in itself. I have test driven the parsnips, and they are a triumph.

Fresh from the garden

So it has been a year of losing some good friends, and gaining some new ones, but I always believe that when someone ghosts you, you gain two good friends in their place. And of course, their loss, and they weren’t really a friend if they drop out of your life etc etc. It’s a good lesson at this time of year to ensure you keep the good friends close. I will see how good my friends are when I have to trawl up to the allotment with volunteers on Christmas morning to dig up the parsnips. I foresee this being a job that will be fraught with a lack of companionship, but conversely, gotta be mildly nuts to be on an allotment on Christmas morning.

The Chrimble day job

So with it being the premiere of Star Wars episode 9 first thing after midnight, it is time for my nap to prepare, and just pausing to wish everyone a merry Chrimble and may the force be with you.

Some Allotmenty stuff

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This evening I will pop a link in the side navigation that will take you to one of the most awesome websites I have ever found. This will feature a plan of my allotment plot and what I will be growing, or at least attempting to grow. In the mean time, I have cleared one bed, and now have some sort of growing transpiring.

Having transplanted the rather poor crop of tomatoes that have grown this year, and some half dead spuds, it now looks like someone is tending to the place, rather than a stinging nettle farm. I will add a couple of pics, but it still looks like a mess. But less of a mess than it did.

First day on-site
After clearing a bed and a half
Planted and watered and growing

Fruit, veg, and whatever rhubarb is

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Back to the usual British summer weather. As I type this, the rain is pouring down, and the wind is howling. But luckily, before this all happened, I have managed a harvest or two. I had a friend ages ago who got me a rhubarb bush/tree/hedge which has loved the weather. Along with the bags of potatoes that I planted, the harvest has been not too bad. Tomatoes have been disappointing, but so many things are this summer. The allotment is looking a lot better, but I will save that for another post; in the meantime just enjoy the harvest.

Potatoes and tomatoes

Just a quick quote

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“We’re all lights in the darkness for one another. When one light goes out, it makes it that much more dark for the rest of us. The human eye can see a single candle from four miles away. You never know when your light is the only light someone can see.”

Not sure why I felt the need to post this, it just spoke to me a little. Sometimes people don’t realise how important they are to others, and some people don’t realise how important other people are to them. When they’re gone, however it’s too late. Wave at people, smile, you never know when you’re bringing a little happiness to someone who needs it and won’t let it show. Unless it’s Donald Trump, he can fornicate himself with a rusty piece of scaffold wrapped in barbed wire.

Exciting News

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Well not only have I spent the week in some of the most amazing scenery, eaten some of the greatest food I have ever tasted, and taken possibly the best kitty photo ever, I received a phone call to let me know I finally have been offered an allotment.

Now I realise this is probably not as exciting to read as it is to type, but this has never really been about what excites other people, just what excites me.

I am especially looking forward to growing corn; I had no idea this was a feasible option, but as you can see from the photo above, it is quite common over here to grow your own corn.

So as soon as I return to England, I will be endeavouring to get everything sorted on my new plot of land. Not even sure if there is anything that can be planted now that won’t just die before it can be harvested. I foresee parsnips in my future. Obviously photos will be posted as soon as I get them, so hang tight for updates. Peas.

Views, Foods, and Booze

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Well this is kinda repeating a previous post that for some reason refused to publish to Apple News, so I will simply do it again and hope this is more successful. This time however I would like to start with the views. I have been pretty high the start of last week, but it has given me the opportunity to take some nice pics.

Perched on a rock over a drop of certain death
On the edge of a road, only a thin aluminium barrier from a fiery automotive plummet to more certain death

It is worth mentioning that these photos only seem to portray about 40% of how awesome these views were. Especially the pic above, which was terrifying. Two steps forward would literally be the longest step down I would ever take.

This next pic is a giant pan of chicken, pork, mushrooms and cheese. Could possibly be one of the tastiest meals I have ever eaten. The waiter brought two plates with it, as he assumed it was for two people. How little did he know. 1kg of meat and cheese was no match for my majestic frame. Admittedly only managed about 75% of it, but damn it was tasty.

Chef’s Sach

Lastly we have a shoutout to the beer. Bear in mind that I included a two litre water bottle just for scale, as I did not have a banana to hand. A six pack of the green bottled beer cost less than a pint of Peroni in most bars. That’s 12 litres of good beer for less than a UK pub pint.

Water, beer, beer, Rakkia

Anyway, thanks for reading, even though the readership numbers have vastly reduced, there will be good news and more to follow. Peace.

You say potato guy, I say potato girl

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Just a very quick update to the story of my magnificent spuds. Whilst enjoying a relaxing glass of lager on Friday evening, I was approached by the lovely young lady who posted me a potato so many months before. I got to meet her charming mother, and showed them how well the king of spuds was doing now he had been planted and given the opportunity to grow. I had intended to post a pic of how well he was doing, but now realise that I have neglected my family photos regarding tubers. I guess I will update this post when the weather is better and I can set foot outside without risk of drowning.

In the mean time, I thought it was worth mentioning that although the benevolent potato giver was known in my circles as the potato girl, apparently in her household, I was known as the potato guy. Just goes to show that you could always be a potato guy in someone else’s story.

And if potato girl and her family are reading this, it was lovely to meet you, and I look forward to keeping you updated on the spud of spuds.