Another use for pancakes

Lasagna but with pancakes instead of pasta. I try and work pancakes into the entire evening meal on pancake day!

I regret nothing…

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Allotment Adventures: The Mud and Rain

It rained more or less continuously on Saturday, it wasn’t really heavy rain just drizzle. The raised beds arrived on Friday and on Saturday morning, Ma and I walked them round. We had high hopes for the work we were going to do on Saturday and after we delivered the beds we walked to Wilko so we could buy some screws and nails that I needed to sort out the sides of the brassica bed.

We also bought a set of drawers for the shed to help us with keeping the shed in order. Ma was going to do that and I set off to dig up the gooseberry bush at the bottom of the plot. I ended up needing help but ultimately we prevailed.Then in the rain, we put the raised beds together, which was just as much fun as you’d imagine. When somebody tells you about the joy of growing your own food, remember that 95% of the work you’ll do will be digging or building. I’m getting to the time when I’ll be properly no dig but in the meantime a lot of of what I do on the plot seems to involve a hammer!However, they are done and covered and awaiting compost. That done we sorted out the shed and I picked up pots and seed trays for the seed sowing that’s coming soon! We didn’t get to the other bed, or the raspberries because we were wet and cold and muddy.

Even though we didn’t get everything we wanted to do, done, we did pretty well in the conditions. This weekend last year we re-upped the woodchip in the snow, so this is clearly the time of year, we grind it out. The plot looks grim right now but soon it’ll be green and abundant.Next week we have hired a car, so a trip to the dump and buying all the compost are on the agenda. I also really want to get the sides of the kale bed sorted and make my little round flower sections on the top. Also on the list, the raspberries and clearing that space out. This is the time of year before it gets really busy, March, April and May are going to be about sowing and planting out and trying to keep up, so it’ll be good to have more of this list crossed off before then…

  • plant the rhubarb crown
  • order new raised beds
  • build new raised beds
  • dig up the gooseberry bush at the end of the plot
  • sort out the sides of the current brassica bed
  • clear that bed of broccoli and kale
  • create sections at top and sides of allotment for flowers
  • fill the new raised beds with compost and top up the others
  • trip to the dump
  • dig up raspberries
  • sort out the raspberry frames
  • fix shed roof
  • paint the shed
  • cut the grass at the edges of the path
  • prep the buckets and boxes for carrots, radishes and mint
  • put up and secure the cloche
  • bonfire
  • sort out sowing supplies and start sowing leeks etc

Oh and I have to tell you about the blueberries. I really want blueberry bushes, really want them but given all the other things that we want/need, I just put it on the back burner, but Grow Your Own’s offer in this month’s magazine was 2 blueberry bushes for the P&P of £5.65. After some consultation with Ma, I bought them and I’m waiting for them to arrive. They will be little and we’ll plant them up in buckets, and at some point in the next couple of years, I’ll get to pick blueberries that I grew. My soft fruit empire continues….

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Dark Horse

Friday saw me venturing over to Stratford for drinks. Now I know that lots of people love East London but I’m firmly team West London and rarely get over that side of London. If I had to visualise London, the east of the city, might as well say ‘Here Be Dragons’. I didn’t get over to the Olympic Village during the 2012 Olympics which should give you an idea.Before I get to why I was there, I should explain, back when Ma was working, we used to go to the OXO Tower fairly often and became friendly with the bar manager,  Ian even gave Ma a jar of brandied cherries to celebrate her retirement.

Then Ian left to start his own place, Dark Horse and although social media keeps us in touch, we haven’t made it over to see the new restaurant, which was bad form, a couple of weeks ago I posted a photo of a martini and Ian said we really should go and visit. So we did.I really liked the restaurant, the manhattan was great. We ordered a couple of the small plates. Grilled lamb with Merguez, farro & treviso salad, padron peppers, bread, it was good and I was so busy eating that I didn’t take a photo of it!I decided to have pudding and I’m still thinking about the lime posset!I’m glad it’s doing well, it’s nice when people you like take a risk that works, my only problem with it is that it’s in East London!

 

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Monday Miscellany

Happy Monday! I am determined that I will have a better work week this week, than I did last. It was tough and full of emails and people that think I can magic up extra hours in the day. I really can’t and people need to start prioritising.  Under my glorious rule, they will have to start learning this…Other than that and the usual Piccadilly Line failure issues, last week was fine. I bought raised beds (and blueberry plants) but I’ll tell you all about that on Wednesday. I did culture on Wednesday and went all the way to East London on Friday night (which I’ll tell you about tomorrow!). The weekend was full until Sunday, when I did very little because honestly, I needed the rest.I don’t have major plans for this week it should be easier to get to work because it’s half term and Lent starts this week so there will be pancakes on Tuesday and ashes on Wednesday followed by cinema on Thursday and compost buying on Friday. Really living life on the edge.

Right, time to head into Monday!

 

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Friday Links

Happy Friday! Today is an exciting day because finally we are heading all the way over to Stratford to Dark Horse

This week the usual miscellany started with whining about commuting, on Tuesday, I went all class warrior on you with a post about Class and Suffrage, (that post also features a picture of my great aunts sporting very fetching hats!) there was the usual update on the state of the allotment, and a post on my afternoon of culture on Wednesday.

Here are this weeks links.

Only a third of rail passengers think they get good value. Is anyone surprised by this? Actually me, a third of them think it’s good value?

Yitro: The Matter is Too Heavy. You Cannot Do It Alone. I love Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and I saw that Sarah was going to publish a ‘drash’ on the site for it’s birthday and I thought it would be interesting as I know nothing about Jewish religious practice. This makes me think that my faith practice could do with this kind of commentary and thought. I would really like to see more of this on SBTB.

The same section she focuses on is the one that struck me as personally significant. In her dvar, Rabbi Barenblat writes:

As a “nation of priests,” we’re obligated to tend to the entire world. As a “holy nation,” we’re obligated to tend to our own selves. The Torah balances these two callings within the same verse. If we only tend to our own selves, we’re falling down on the job of caring for all creation; but if we don’t tend to our own selves, we can’t heal the world.

I’ve always been pretty clear (whether it’s my catholic upbringing or my mother’s protestant roots, that baptism made me part of ‘the royal priesthood’ so that affirmation makes so much sense to me, even in the context of Christianity rather than Judaism..

I (SUE the T. rex) am moving to my own place and all y’all are invited. Best way to announce moving an exhibit ever….

In news that is going to upset the BNP. First modern Britons had ‘dark to black’ skin, Cheddar Man DNA analysis reveals.

Donald Trump orders Pentagon to plan grand military parade. Does he also want a statute too?

Impromptu displays of military might are a sign of deep national weakness and insecurity. Quite…

The dogs of Chernobyl.

The rise of communal living. I know someone who’s doing this, they’ve just bought some land in Wales. I probably couldn’t do it.

Cocktail of the week: 1 Lombard Street’s Northern Star. That looks good, alas I have no cherry brandy or Mandarine Napoleon.

Volk Heroes. A review of a book about the differences between German and US parenting styles. Funny..

 

 

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A bit of culture

I left work early yesterday to go and see the Bridge Theatre’s production of Julius Caesar. It’s a good production, well acted and more urgent than the other productions I’ve seen. That is one of the things I love about Shakespeare, that each time I see it, I get something new from it.This time I was really struck by the urgency of Marc Anthony’s (David Morrissey)  “I’ve come to bury Caesar, not to praise him” speech and the way that the mob and the mood of the mob can turn for things like 75 drachma and a pleasure garden to walk in. And the sense of a group of nobles looking out for their own power and justifying their actions as ‘for the people’.It’s not a perfect production but it’s over 2 hours with no break and held my attention.

This is my second visit to the Bridge and I think the theatre is great but the foyer area is badly designed and gets stupidly crowded. I don’t often get to that side of London and it reminds me I should.

Posted in Culture, How I Live, London, Things I Like | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Allotment Adventures: Fairweather Allotmenting

I had high hopes that this weekend would be the weekend that we really got to grips with the allotment work.

But the rain the day before and the wind on Sunday were not fun. I’d been on a 3 hour walk in the rain the day before and Ma can work when her hands are too cold. So we didn’t get much done at all.We filled up the bird feeders, picked up an order from Wilko, and I planted the rhubarb crown. I removed the side of the brassica bed to show Ma how I’m planning to re-use them at the top of the plot. We also took the broccoli out of that bed and I pulled up a couple of raspberry twigs…

I am worried that there is too much to do and not much time to do it, but I’m panicking about nothing, we have a plan and we know what we want to do and we have time to get it done. It’ll all come together in the next couple of months and then I’ll be worrying about blight and watering.

To keep me on the straight and narrow, here is February’s work list, tasks crossed out are done.

  • plant the rhubarb crown
  • order new raised beds
  • build new raised beds
  • sort out the sides of the current brassica bed
  • clear that bed of broccoli and kale
  • create sections at top and sides of allotment for flowers
  • fill the new raised beds with compost and top up the others
  • trip to the dump
  • dig up raspberries and the gooseberry at the end of the plot
  • sort out the raspberry frames
  • paint the shed
  • cut the grass at the edges of the path
  • prep the buckets and boxes for carrots, radishes and mint
  • put up and secure the cloche
  • bonfire
  • sort out sowing supplies and start sowing leeks etc

As you can see I have a lot to do next week but I’m ordering the new raised beds tomorrow and they’ll be delivered on Friday. So we’ll get them set up next weekend which means the gooseberry bush will come out, I’ll sort out the sides of the other one afterwards. We’ve hired a car for  after that so we can buy compost and go to the dump so that’s seven jobs that will happen in the next two weeks, one more good day on the plot and we’ll be caught up. It’ll be fine.

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