Saturday, April 29, 2006

Things that annoy me #10736

I have an electric shower. And its fine except...
The temperature dial goes round 360 degrees and is numbered from 1 - 10. So why the hell is it that the only part of the dial that actually works is a 1mm stretch around five & three quarters where the slightest adjustment takes you from freezing cold to boiling hot?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


My step mum bought a couple of Orchids at Easter & forgot to take them home. As I have no idea how to look after them they have a limited life expectancy. But they're pretty cool.

Mmmmmmm - Nettles

Tonight we had nettles for tea...

..actually, they were ok. But a bit soggy. I suspect I overcooked them. Will try steaming them next time.

Monday, April 24, 2006

splish splosh

My pond plants finally arrived. And Sue has bought me some waterlillies and frogspawn. Hooray. (see even ginger Australians can be nice!)So I have been playing in my pond, sowing wildflower seeds and planting a herb garden. The greenhouses are full to overflowing, birds are nesting, I have a huge crop of nettles (which I am going to try cooking with tomorrow) and everything is tickety-boo.

Friday, April 21, 2006


As DHG so kindly pointed out - its fast approaching time for the annual haircut. Number 2 all over is required. But the hairdresser's charge a fiver for this extravagance, and the price of a pint of Hobsons has just risen to £1.90 so its a haircut I can ill afford. So I guess I will just have to wait untill I see my sister in law in august & get a freebie. Or perhapse I can just give it a miss this year - I hear 'old hippy' is coming back, and I still have the flares. (although they may be a little snug these days).

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Walking for dummies

On Monday Monkey, Walter, the Chin & myself set of to walk the Long Mynd for a couple of hours. After about three yards we left Walt to play with his tripod and worry sheep. Up on the hills it was bloody freezing. And soon we realized we should have bought a map.
We could see the attractive valley we thought we should be in. Unfortunately it was no where near the desolate wilderness where we found ourselves. Still, there was this 'path'. I use the term lightly. It had been walked by a sheep. Once. A long time ago. Fools that we are, down we went. And amazingly, we made it into the valley. Only it was not the leisurely walk we anticipated. The path kept vanishing into the river. On we battled. And lo. It was the wrong valley. And we had a five mile hike up the road to the car. So we were somewhat later than planned getting to the crown. But we still managed to achieve a fair degree of drunk. A grand day out.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Its Easter Sunday.
The sun is shining.
And I'm in the office.
And I'm the only person in the office.

Still, its a chance to go round sniffing the chairs.

Friday, April 14, 2006

sunshiney day

Today was sunny and warm. And when I stood under the pine tree I could hear the pine cones popping open. That's a good sound.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Apologies for the lack of Blog.
They are actually making me earn my living at work at the moment.
Damn unreasonable of them in my opinion.

Monday, April 03, 2006

A little piece of beetle heaven.

We were once a wooded country. But space for our agricultural revolution, fuel for our industrial revolution and the importance of oak warships in colonialism mean that not much of our forest remains. And despite moaning at Brazil for having the audacity to cut down its forest, we seem to be making little efforts to return our wildlife poor, pesticide laden, weed free monoculture farms back into woodland. And what little woodland there is, is managed. Meaning there is not much fallen timber left lying about. This is not good for many beetles.

Gardens have become increasingly important havens for wildlife. But again, fallen trees tend not to be a feature in most gardens. So I decided to have a woodpile. As well as providing a home for many insects, and food for more, it will make a handy home for some amphibians, reptiles & small mammals.

But its not just a case of piling up some wood. Oh no. Do your choice of insects prefer hardwoods or softwoods? Where can you find indigenous oak in varying sizes and states of decay? Should you ensure the kiss of spring sunshine warms the hibernating ladybirds, or go for the damp and dark so beloved of some of the more interesting fungi? Slow worms and newts like it moist, but bumble bees like it dry. So exposed cut surfaces to let the rain seep in, or logs placed horizontally to minimise the wet? And just how much subsurface wood should you provide?

So I obviously considered all these factors long and hard. Ok, I didn’t. I just said bugger it and piled up some wood. After all, there are 4000 species of beetle in the UK. I figure one of them will like it…