Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dead Ball

Besides England securing a win in the 4th ODI against the West Indies at the weekend, the match was notable for being the last in which Steve Bucknor will be umpiring, having decided to retire at the age of 62 after a sometimes controversial 20 year career.

Today I've been invited to a local cricket club's pre season meeting and advised that outdoor net practice starts in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, I've already retired at least once due to injury and other demands on my time and the preponderance of perpetual league cricket is difficult to dip in and out of.

Ah for the days of friendly matches in the Mendips and much scrumpy and ale at the boundary edge and an afternoon on a cricket field on the outskirts of London in the 80s, when I bowled an over to Sunil Gavaskar and wasn't carted around the ground and later towered over him at the urinals. Now, if HE had time for friendly matches against tiny club sides celebrating their centenary, so should everyone.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Observer Blubs

Since getting into gardening, this time of year always brings a sense of urgency. There's so much to do; sowing, planting, taking cuttings, watering, controlling pests. So it's nice to sit back once in a while, to enjoy the daffs planted in the autumn, before burying the newly arrived summer flowering bulbs from an offer in The Observer.

Not exactly LIVE PLANTS, more like dormant bits of wood which don't need to be opened or planted with quite the sense of urgency that the capital letters convey.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

British Summer Time

Despite the forecast, the first day of British Summer Time* was great. We went for a cycle up the River Avon (well ok, the towpath) and turned off by the herons' nests up through the woodland.

And despite having watched all of 'Victorian Farm' on the telly, I still don't know what this bit of agricultural machinery is.

What a lovely wall ! Skilful, beautiful stuff.

* Ultramarine - British Summer Time

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Feel The Force

You're only supposed to harvest rhubarb when there isn't an 'R' in the month, unless you 'force it', by putting a bucket or old chimney pot on top of the plant, which encourages early, soft growth. We harvested our first few stems of the year this weekend.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mr Sweet Potatohead

Trying to grow sweet potatoes for the first time this year. What you're supposed to do, is cut up small pieces and get them to sprout and root individually, before planting them out for a lengthy growing season. I'll probably plant this out whole at the earliest opportunity with a bit of protection and see what happens. I've got another one which hasn't sprouted at all yet.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Sowed some very early borlotti beans a week or two ago, which I planted out under glass.

Same with the broad beans, which are better suited to colder weather, although the ones I planted last autumn are in a right state. Just as well I've got a fresh couple of dozen to supplement them with.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Watched a documentary on the 1984 miners' strike, reminding me of its effect on my politicisation at the time, but also setting me off to hunt down a haunting song which appeared in the soundtrack.

I seemed to know it well, yet I couldn't put my finger on it. Was it Echo & The Bunnymen, The Psychedelic Furs ? No, too electronic for that, but it wasn't New Order or Joy Division and it was too European to be Suicide.

So I typed a few of the lyrics into googly and eventually identified the song. It was quite a shock to discover that the track was only 6 years old, not 25 as I'd assumed, that I hardly recognised the artist's name and he wasn't British.

But what a track ! Crikey !! It's got bits of all the bands mentioned above and he's clearly into his Joy Division. I remember now that I must have recorded it onto MiniDisc from a John Peel show, the year before he died.

It's a great one for doing the Ian Curtis dance to ; )

Last FM (Some interesting remixes too) : Colder - Crazy Love

YouTube : (Until they block all music vids)