Sunday, January 17, 2016

Winter Arrives

Snow in the night amounting to a couple of inches, gone by noon.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Or Be Electrocuted

Back in September I took part in a group art exhibition in Bruges. And for that I produced a silkscreen print - 3 colours plus spot hand colouring - in an edition of 35. Fits neatly in a standard 30 x 40 cm. frame.
Click on image to read and get in touch if you are interested... a snip at £50.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Oca 2015

Just dug up my oca crop. I find them to be really beautiful objects with their intense, luminous colour.
If only I had protected the foliage in time, before mid November when we got 2 days of light frost, they might have bulked up a lot more through this unusually mild December*. Just by putting a few back in each year I've been getting a good supply. They don't seem to be affected by any pests or disease (so far) and are happy to go on growing in the same corner year after year.

(click on picture to see it in close-up splendour)

* The average daytime temperature on the winter solstice was the same as it was on the summer soltice!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Communal Bath

A daily event in their social calendar.

Monday, December 14, 2015

December Fourteenth

I've been in the garden today cleaning up and doing a little transplanting. So Mild! I found a few strawberries that will never turn red now, what with no sun. November was officially the dullest on record. It doesn't look like we'll be getting a white Christmas this year, maybe a lighter shade of grey if we're lucky...

Sunday, December 06, 2015


I never got around to posting this picture of the only variety of aubergines that I grew this year. H, after 9 months working on a farm in Lewes that specializes in Japanese vegetables, has convinced me to grow 'Kurume Long Purple' next year.

And, on the subject of eggs, 3 more again today! The hens haven't yet slowed production for the winter. Possibly because the weather has stayed so mild.

Sunday, November 08, 2015


This year for the first time I had some blossoms on my pomegranate bush! It was a gift cutting from Dr. K back in 2012. They fell away before forming any fruit, but, hey maybe next year...

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Voice On Record

One of the many great radio shows to have been broadcast on ResonanceFM over the years is Voice On Record with Sean Williams. It still gives me great joy to replay these podcasts on occasion while I'm working. Most especially the wildlife recordings and episodes 35, 36 & 38 featuring Peter Scott are ones I'll never tire of hearing.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ripe Strawberries!

Detail from William Morris design 'Strawberry Thief'

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Recipe For Gruel

I never did post a link here to my little animated film based upon a piece of prose by Frank Key. It's done the rounds of festivals and is now on line for all to view. (Hopefully not on your iPhone.)
You can watch it HERE.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Saturday, May 16, 2015


Loads of chard in the garden right now and some of it quite remarkable in size ( Fordhook Giant).
I've put the book there for an indication, but they measure 28 inches in height and the stems are nearly 3 inches across!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Whiskey Galore!

Last weekend we made a little detour to Rye to see friend Paul Bommer's exhibition of prints now on (for another week) at the Lion Street Store. And I bought this beautiful new edition of Compton Mackenzie's 'Whiskey Galore' with cover by Paul.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Choices, choices...

... a bit like the ballot paper.
(Photo taken down in Selbourne area - Gilbert White's neck of the woods)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Pole Beans

Yesterday I got my bean poles up. That always feels like a major achievement to me. Suddenly the garden starts to have some structure, some backbone (back-bohnen?).
Anyway, they will lend support to this year's crop.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015


This time of year as I'm sowing seed and potting on, I get all my 'Rootrainers' out of storage and cleaned up. And not only are they great for propagating but they seem to make a fine winter hidey-hole for all sorts of beasts. One must be very careful not to put one's sweet young seedlings into a tray that is harbouring a fat slug (see bottom left).

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Very Late Harvest

Winter has been so mild thus far that I decided to leave the oca underground until now. This is the crop of edible sized tubers that I dug yesterday and then there are many more pea sized ones which hardly seem worth washing. I have saved out several more that are covered in sprouts which I intend to pot up and keep frost free until spring.
I do think they look jolly appetizing.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Blanche's Whopper

"One-A-Day" Blanche surprised us (and possibly herself) the other day by laying a comedy egg. Times and a half the weight of her normal large eggs, with a double yolk. Stella and the other two freeloaders (who remain nameless) just stand by and watch ... and eat ... and sleep.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Seventh Birthday

Hey, it was seven years ago that I started this blog - well, last Friday would be the exact date. My first post celebrated the 'freak' carrots that I had unearthed that harvest and that has been a recurring theme here - witness this and this! Today I dug this handsome specimen out of the ground ...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Der Bratapfel

Kinder, kommt und ratet,
was im Ofen bratet!
Hört, wie's knallt und zischt.
Bald wird er aufgetischt,
der Zipfel, der Zapfel, der Kipfel,
der Kapfel, der gelbrote Apfel.
Kinder, lauft schneller,
holt einen Teller,
holt eine Gabel!
Sperrt auf den Schnabel
für den Zipfel, den Zapfel,
den Kipfel, den Kapfel,
den goldbraunen Apfel!

A bumper crop of Keswick Codlins this year - actually most fruit crops have been good. These cook down to a beautiful frothy purée and when baked are truly scrumptious.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Random Harvest

Here are some of the potato clones which I grew on this year, originally from TPS that I gathered. It wasn't a great year for anything in my garden and I won't blame the weather. The potatoes did all right considering my lack of attention and the absence of rainfall. Many have skins that are quite russety/scaley and tuber size is small.
Two that produced bumper crops and I may continue to clone are the ones below. The first - a red fingerling - I am referring to as Custard right now due to the colour of the flesh and the second with slightly paler yellow flesh I call Humbug. It had a very thick stemmed sprawling habit. But reading the debate here does give me pause. (The film is quite naive but the comments are thought provoking). I worry about carrying disease over to next year's tubers and I think that I'll continue to grow most of my crop from TPS.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

World Porridge Day

Gosh! I have just realized that today IS World Porridge Day. How do I celebrate? I have already eaten my morning porridge unawares. Tsk.

Meanwhile, here is a handy reference for working out just how old your goat is.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Recipe For Gruel

The 10 minute film I have been making for the past year is now finished. HERE is a trailer which should leave you crying out for 'More'!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Then & Now

One of Samuel Pepys 'Cries of London' via Spitalfields Life and a vendor at the Fredericton Saturday Market ('north shore' being that of New Brunswick).

Thursday, March 21, 2013

First Day of Spring?

Ugh! More cold wet weather. Last year at this time the temperature was in the 20s! Indoors, however, the tomato seeds I sowed last Friday are an inch high now and leeks have just germinated.

Update - even worse!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

... And the Clones

Here is the assortment of tubers that I have saved for growing on this year. All grown from open-pollinated seed saved from earlier TPS. They have been chitting for the past 6 weeks and will probably get buried Easter weekend. It might be time to assign names to them to make labeling a bit simpler. Click on pic for better view.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Whaler's Wife

Robert Poulter's New Model Theatre blows in to town for two shows only at the Art Worker's Guild. While your seat will be only ten feet from the stage, it is still a good idea to bring your opera glasses!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

TPS for 2013

Four weeks after sowing, I've just buried my TPS seedlings up to their necks into the next size up (8 inch) cubby-holes. A great variety of leaf shape, colour and growth habit - woolly purple leaves to green savoy-cabbage-like ones. The first two rows on the left are F2 No.6x?, only dark seeds selected! Then some seed from last year's Minnie's Pig, then (all from Tom @ New World Seed) this year's Minnie's Pig, then ten Fiesta Gold and 10 F3 Skagit Magic. Soon I hope to be taking them out for afternoons in the sun!