Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Credit Crunch.mp3

Got my new toy out of the box and had a little play...

As there seems to be a problem with myspace at the moment, thought I'd put it here.

More tomfoolery may follow.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Gone But Not Forgotten

So much for public consultation ! Squarepeg have already instigated outrageous vandalism by ordering the felling of a magnificent ash tree on the verge of the cyclepath that caused no threat to anyone and was enjoyed daily by hundreds of people and used by nesting birds. Where was the legal notice of intended felling ?

When did Squarepeg purchase the cyclepath verge and why weren't we told ? I could accept the plans for developing the old factory site, but stealing our back yard and destroying the green corridor to make it their own front garden to maximise their profits is criminal. In what way is destroying a magnificent mature tree 'positive for Easton' ? There was simply no need for this disgusting arrogance.

Friday, September 26, 2008

River Swim

Up the Avon Valley, past Crew's Hole, Conham Park and the rowing club towards Hanham weir and the lock, operational since 1727.

I wonder why they didn't take it further but am glad they didn't.

I've photographed this so many times it feels like an old friend. I used to get sloes near here, but either they haven't done well recently or others are beating me to it.

A good swimming spot near a willow tree which we've used several times. It gets a few visitors, but today it was just the swans.

Lots of sweet smelling balsam flowers everywhere, with magic spring loaded seed pods that ping open when they're ready, scattering seed far and wide.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

12 + 12

Fine weather around the autumn equinox, giving raspberries and sweetcorn the chance to ripen and the courgettes, runner beans and sunflowers the will to keep producing flowers. Short of space to plant some early onion sets, I took down the cobra beans, putting the last of the green and black pods to dry, then dug over the ground, raked it, firmed it down a bit and planted the sets about 6" apart. That's 50 in, another 150 to go !

Pulled the last rhubarb of the season, a bit late, but everything has been this year.

Took home a couple of baby sweetcorn cobs, a courgette, some chard, radishes, runners and kale.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Edirol UA-20

Snapped up one of these at the last minute on eBay for £38 today, to stumble forward in the musical technological race and confuse my studio set up further / increase possibilities. (Delete as appropriate in one month)

Sunday, September 21, 2008


To: Bristol City Council, SITA, Steve Rogers, Kenny Poucher, Alan Kemmett, Aled Williams & other deskbound, ineffectual bureaucrats.

Dear Sir/Madam/Ms.,

I've just spent half an hour picking litter on the cyclepath from Greenbank to Fishponds.
You have not been charged for this service or the supply of bin bags and protective gloves.
Should you have a shortage of cleansing staff and are unable to perform this duty on a regular basis, please inform me of the hourly rate paid to street cleansers so that I can invoice you accordingly.


green lung

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sloe Trip

South out of the city along the Whitchurch Railway Path, the route once taken by coal up from the Somerset Levels, towards Maes Fort, an Iron Age settlement occupied by Celts around 500 BC.

Up the hill in bright midday sun, glancing back to see the city behind me, the Clifton Suspension Bridge in the far distance.At first I thought that I must have been too early - or too late - for sloes this year, but then I found some and picked just under a kilo, plus a few blackberries.

Explored the fort and the triangulation point, marking 199 metres above sea level. Meet you here when the floods come !

Made my way back down to the oak tree where I'd left my bike, to find the field now full of cows. Had to skirt around the side of the field, hop over a fence and scramble up a bank, rather than meet a bull or protective mother. I'm sure that cattle are much less used to humans these days, or maybe it's all the hormone injections that make them more aggressive than they used to be.

This way, that way, following the Samaritan Way for a bit. Passed through Stanton Drew, Norton Malreward and Chew Magna

Lazed at the edge of a field, found running water in a cattle trough.

Finally some sunshine to ripen the harvest, though apparently the worst in living memory. I'd suggest a bit more mixed agriculture and a little less cattle.

Peaceful, except for the occasional plane heading for the airport.

Found myself at Chew Valley Lake, opened by Liz & Phil in 1956.

Then back up hills, gears crunching, gathered acorns, freewheeled downhill under the viaduct at Pensford.

Crossed the main road and headed towards Publow.

Great paddling spot, right next to Publow church, the bridge repaired since my last visit.

Then it all went horribly wrong ! I should have heeded the omen of the dead rabbit on the bonnet of a parked car, the unfortunate half badger by the side of the road. I couldn't work out how to get back to Whitchurch, despite having an old map and navigating by the sun and from memory most of the day. I ended up in Keynsham but couldn't find the cyclepath to Bristol, despite praying to Bill Bailey & Marcus Trescothick. I got to Hanham as the light was fading. I'd been out for seven hours and it would be dark in half an hour. I got even more lost. I'd been vaguely lost all day, but unconcerned. Now I was getting anxious. I followed a sign to Avon Valley Woodland and disappeared down a dark trail smelling of balsam flowers. Ahead, there was something familiar about a treeline. I'd stumbled on the River Avon and the familiar path upstream from the boathouse at a bend in the river. It was still another few miles cycle home, through clouds of gnats, past Polish fishermen and teenage paddlers to the last hill, my shoulders tight and aching, mouth parched.

Home for a nice cuppa. Sloes in the freezer. 30 mile round trip.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Flower 'n' Veg Stall

Filled a rucksack with produce today, including carrots, kale, sweetcorn, runner beans, a pumpkin, raspberries, apples, sunflowers, sweet peas, cornflowers and mint.

The sweetcorn's not fully ripened and I wonder if it will, this late in the year.

Still worth eating, if only to save it from the next badger visit.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Full Roast

Alarmed to see a fire engine outside Wogan's coffee warehouse today when I popped along for my organic fairtrade fix. The chimney, responsible for the heavenly pongs which drift across the city, had caught fire earlier. All the staff stood outside, while Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub peered up the hot, caffeine-blackened tube. Thankfully, the damage was only minor and they were open for business not long afterwards, although a nearby sweep was set to work scrubbing away the full roast remains.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Harvest Fayre

Beetroot, courgettes, celery, spinach & chard all in abundance.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cycling City ?

Bristol, a cycling city.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Black Hole

Help ! Am I the only one it got ?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Minny Ha Ha

Checked out lots of old Stewart Lee & Richard Herring I missed from 1991-94 on YouTube, plus newer stuff. Priceless. Added new links.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Rat Race

This one lost.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


A friend lent me a preview of 'Leucocyte' by the Esbjorn Svensson Trio which has some great treated piano moments. Marcin Wasilewski, if you're out there me ol' mucker, get it touch, prosze bardzo, i'd love to mix you up !
Esbjorn Svensson Trio

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

New Threat To Cyclepath

'Squarepeg', the developers of the old chocolate factory in Greenbank, want to rip these trees and verge up to build houses fronting onto the cyclepath.

Register your objections NOW ! Deadline 8th Sept.:

...and with the council, later this month.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sweet Peas/Tomato Blight

Despite - or because of - a late start, there are still sweet peas around at home and up the plot. Oh for smellyvision !

I can't reach these runner beans without a ladder, so they're fattening nicely for seed, eventually.

Lots of sunflowers - giant & multi headed - for the bees to enjoy now, the birds later.

It's not all coming up roses though - a lot of the tomatoes seem to have blight and I haven't had much of a crop.