Friday, August 28, 2020

Helianthus annuus 'Titan'

Today I liberated the head from it's stem and hung it in the potting shed out of harm's (in the shape of a squirrel) way. With remaining foot and a half of stem it weighs 5 pounds and is about 15 inches in diameter. Quite a beauty. Two more slightly smaller ones are netted for now. 

Friday, August 21, 2020


Yesterday I dealt with some of my cucumber overload - 5 x 1 litre jars of sweet and sour ...

... made with some love, spices and half a packet of GurkenDoktor.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020


"Day after day, day after day,

We stuck, nor breath nor motion;

As idle as a painted ship

Upon a painted ocean."

And as days of pandemic inspired incarceration have stretched to weary weeks and now six months, I feel ever more kinship with the ancient mariner and more and more strongly that we have indeed, collectively, shot the albatross. 

The Richard Burton/John Neville reading of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner happily showed up on ResonanceFM's 'Voices on Record' about a decade ago and is still available as a podcast! I grew up with the Gustave Dore illustrated text - a facsimile edition that my mother gave me for a teen birthday. But scouting around now I see that there is another take by the wonderful Hunt Emerson. In fact I have just ordered two T-shirts, one for me and one for him indoors.

Saturday, August 08, 2020

Tom-ay-to Tom-ah-to

It may be another bumper year for tomatoes. We are eating as fast as we can and also oven-roasting and freezing batches. The chief factor in their survival over the coming weeks will be my ability to keep up with their water needs as the gods have been no help whatsoever. These are possibly the driest 5 months I have experienced in London and currently a prolonged hot spell with no rain in sight. Ugh.