Monday Miscellany: Bumpy

Happy Monday!

Last week I had two days in the office, one day wfh, one day sick and one day off. It was a pretty dull week, I helped Ma with sorting out the storage at KCAH, did the volunteer morning at the allotment, didn’t do any of the planned sowing either indoors or at the allotment.I did pick some of my own tulips and found an old milk bottle so I’m calling it good!This week is all about soothing my sore stomach, working out why I’ve got hives and maybe going to Southampton for a meeting. So very quiet. I’m hopeful it’ll stay that way until Easter!

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Allotment Adventures: Blossom

We were away last weekend so we really did just pop in to add to the compost bin and see how everything was faring. Which was very well. The plum tree has blossomed, the fritillaries are all out and the tulips are nearly there.

One of the blueberry plants has flowers on it, the gooseberries are about to blossom and the raspberries all look great too. Last weekend I’d added potash to the garlic and that really seemed to have perked it up, the broad beans which were not looking so great have perked up and sweet peas survived the week in the cloche!

I can’t shake the feeling that I’m behind, but I’m fairly confident that I’m right on track but because the plot is in pretty good shape, I’m just ready sooner. I have to remind myself not to compare my plot to anyone else’s plot, especially if they have a greenhouse or polytunnel!

It’s been a bit colder this week, but there is lot of work to do as we really begin to get into it, next week’s work list looks like this


·         Plant the rest of the potatoes

·         Sow peas

·         Sow beetroot

·         Sow salad leaves 

·         Sow carrots

·         Sow parsley

·         Plant up two new blueberry plants

·         Paint shed

·         Weed the edges of the plot


·         Sow basil

·         Sow calendula  

·         Sow tomatoes

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Monday Miscellany: April

Happy Monday and happy 1 April. There are birthdays (Sarah and Laura) but no April Fool’s jokes because I’m just not into them…

Last week wasn’t supposed to be busy but I feel it was all over the place. Which means that I was. The spring weather is lovely and I do feel better for the light but I’ve got some time change lag. Our clocks went forward over the weekend so this morning it was dark. This won’t last long, soon it will be light morning and evening and I’ll have lots of time to spend watering the allotment, should it be required!

I had a whole weekend out of London, looking after the nephews on Saturday and then for Mother’s Day lunch on Sunday, the boys are mostly delightful, but they do have their moments! We brought an old tent with us and that was entertaining for the time it took to put up, with J keener on it than O. But O was very happy playing UNO later on and he won three games…

This week there’s nothing except work happening until Thursday when Sarah comes to stay and Friday when I have a day off to go and help sort out the storage at KCAH, which is one of the charities that Ma volunteers at. I have a whole day at the allotment planned for Saturday (volunteering in the morning/sowing some outdoor seeds in the afternoon) too.

Honestly, I’m not feeling like I have a good grasp on anything at the moment, and I don’t like it. I think it’s mostly down to lack of sleep and peri menopause and my options for curing either are limited. So this week, I need to make a few small changes to my attitude and my actions, to help sort my head out. Walking to the station every morning, making an effort to do one extra housework task above usual tidying the kitchen/washing dishes/making the bed tasks that I do daily (washing, ironing etc) when I get home and finally I need to start the before bedtime ‘golden hour’ earlier with an aim to being in bed at least 30 minutes before my usual 10pm bedtime. Hopefully a little bit more activity and focus will help me feel better and sleep better!

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Friday Links: No Clue…

Happy Friday!

Every Thursday I start this draft and I’m never certain whether any of the links about Brexit will still be relevant. I wonder if politicians have the sense of how history will view them and if they think they’ll get a more favourable opinion on their behaviour with the benefit of hindsight? Because they are absolutely mucking this one up….

Amoral and venal: Britain’s governing class has lost all sense of duty. This is so true…

Brexit: May vows to resign before next phase of negotiations if deal is passed. Yet again May had the chance to put the country first and instead, she put the Tory Party first…because well this…

Brexit is a national crisis. Not a careers fair for 22 Tories

Even Now, Brexit Remains Impossible to Understand. It’s always interesting to see your culture reported from another and I’m with them on the impossibility of explaining what the hell is going on. One of the things that stood out for me, that has nothing to do with the story is part of this sentence ‘she told me at the Tate Britain’. Here that would be ‘at Tate Britain’. I might say the Tate Modern but never the Tate Britain, which is either the Tate or Tate Britain. Language is weird…

‘It’s going to be our little paradise’: can co-ops solve the housing crisis? This is a good balanced article but the reason we have a housing crisis is the disconnect between the cost of property and wages. I have a great landlord and I’m paid above average but I still pay nearly half my net wages on rent, if you add basic household bills (all of which have risen this year) 56% of my net monthly income goes on keeping a roof over my head. When you add travel, food and all the other things that need to be paid for it’s a lot. And remember I’m one of the luckier ones, I’m paid slightly above the average London wage (not as much above as I thought but way above the average wage in the country!), my employers have a really good pension scheme that I don’t have to pay into, I don’t have children to pay for and because I live on my own, if I had to I could spend a week living on supernoodles! So if it’s difficult for me to navigate, what’s it like for people with less money and options and worse landlords? We are building a world where you’ll only have a decent life if you have affluent parents, which is scary and needs to change…

From benzene to BaP: the toxins strewn across Grenfell

How to stop landlords profiting from homelessness? Compulsory purchase. Too many MP’s are landlords so this will never happen but why not, nothing else is working.

The revolt at the Vatican shows the church is still failing women. There has been a lot of talk about child abuse in the Church and I don’t ever want to minimalize that or set up abused women in the Church against abused children. However, all of this is actually the same thing, bullying and abuse by clerics who think that they have the absolute power and support from the Church. Priests are supposed to be servants. What no one is really talking about is that the people who run the Church, men are corrupt and they have corrupted the Church. I don’t believe in a literal devil but if I did, I would find him in the Vatican. That is the elephant in the room, priests (not all but most) have perverted their call to service into being served. It’s a corruption of Jesus’ message and it’s all about power, having it, wielding it and being able to do exactly what they want. Unless and until that changes, and it’s not likely too, the Church will be more about politics that Christianity. Harsh but fair….

Liking Books Is Not a Personality

America Blew It on Arugula. This made me laugh and yes they should embrace English and call it rocket! (they should also do the same for aubergines, courgettes and coriander too!)


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Friday Links: It’s just embarrassing now….

Happy Friday!

I would like to talk more about stuff but it has been a week and I am tired……of everything but most of all about the Brexit fiasco! So this is a short and sweet set of links, most of them not about events or politics….

Right-wing Australian senator blames ‘immigration’ for New Zealand mosque attacks. Wow….I’ve read the full statement and if the people that elected him aren’t ashamed, they should be…

The problem is not so much Theresa May – it’s that Britain is now ungovernable

Nigel Farage is not a friend to the people of Sunderland. This.

Holy fudge: soft foods helped humans form ‘f’ and ‘v’ sounds – study

How The Very Hungry Caterpillar Became a Classic. First book I bought Oli (the second was The Tiger Who Came to Tea!)

Move over, McDonald’s: French taco poised for global expansion

‘Maths anxiety’ causing fear and despair in children as young as six This is pretty much me and I am surrounded by a family of maths whizzes (my nephews were better at counting than speaking as toddlers), it’s torture!

Now, if I am presented with any kind of arithmetic, I am involuntarily gripped with panic and fear. A veil comes down, and my brain stops working. It is exactly the same sensation I would have at school, trying to understand quadratic equations but just not being given the time and attention needed to do so.

‘No one likes us’ is a millstone for Millwall and those who do care. I went to a lot of football matches when I was little. Both of my parents were great believers in staying until the bitter end (and as they were QPR fans the end was often bitter!) but Grandad took us to Fulham and he was a stay to the end chap as well. So when I tell you that the only time I ever left a match before the referee’s whistle was QPR vs Millwall. Ben has been to Millwall since and I know that the club does a lot of work in the community but it’s sad that the Everton/Millwall match has renewed their bad reputation….

David Squires on … the 50th anniversary of Swindon’s greatest moment in sport

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Allotment Adventures: Lazy Weekend

This was another week of doing very little and it was still a bit too windy for comfort. We walked to the plot, emptied food scraps into the compost bin and coffee grounds onto the blueberries, chatted to my plot neighbour about the where another of our plot neigbours was because we hadn’t seen him. Bought some compost and bird food and made sure that the bird feeders were topped up.

We didn’t do much else because honestly the weather wasn’t good and there isn’t an awful lot to do. Weather permitting, next week we’ll sow or plant something.

Meanwhile, the celery came up.

And the potatoes are chitting away

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Monday Miscellany:

Happy Monday!

Last week felt much longer than it actually was, this is because I had a cold. I really hate having colds. I still have a sore throat but am mostly much better, six years ago, I caught a cold that wouldn’t die and it turned out it was bronchitis. That started a run of colds that turned into something else usually featuring a hacking cough and ultimately lead to an adult asthma diagnosis. Things have been much better but when I catch a cold, I always worry that it’s going to linger and not just be a cold!

Although cold filled, the rest of the week was pretty good. I worked from home so the plumber could change the taps in the kitchen and the bathroom, my poor landlord is coming to terms with the fact that the kitchen is in dire need of replacement. It wasn’t looking great when I moved in and it’s been 10 years, I’m worried that my rent is increasing this year (along with my energy bills, my council tax, my water bill, my broadband and my mobile phone bills).

So the good news is that I got a bonus and a small pay rise. I wasn’t expecting either so I’m made up.

I’m coping well with my Lent resolutions, I’ve not eaten crisps, sweets or chocolate although I did make a small exception this week for cough sweets to prevent coughing on the tube and in the office. This week the food bank donations were tinned veg and Smash. I always buy things on the list, having sorted out approximately 4,000 packets of pasta, I buy what they are asking for, no food bank is ever short of baked beans!

This week is work, I’m learning something new, which is both daunting and fun for my brain and we have an all department function on Thursday afternoon. Outside of work cinema on Wednesday night (Captain Marvel) and Sarah is staying on Thursday night!

I’m determined it will be a good week, let’s see if I manage it!!

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