Monday, 23 February 2009


Now imagine it, the sun is going down after warming the countryside, you've been hard at work on the land, the Sports Report music is playing at 5pm on Radio 5, you've got a cup of tea in your hand standing in front of a fire.....and you hear Swindon have come back from 2 nil down at half time to win 4-2 (well of course, it doesn't have to be Swindon, but you get the idea)..Could there be anything more quintessentially British than that? What a nice finish to the day.

Another beautiful afternoon at the allotment on Saturday, with two worm hunters in tow again, enjoying the freedom of exploring the allotments, having worm races and generally mucking about with mud and water. So you can imagine the state they were in after an hour and a half or so when Karen came to take them home, dry them out and clean them up. Straight into a bath for them!

Unfortunately, my 3 prong fork (it did start with 4) soon became a 2 prong fork not long after starting, so it was a little laboured working with that and my spade. (I bought a new one on Sunday to replace it). But, I still managed to finish the final rotating bed and start on the 'strawberry' bed to finish all the digging. As you'll see from the photo's, I'm now about half way through the last round the final bend and just about across the finishing line. PHeeewwwwwww.

I also bashed one of the old corrugated iron sheets into a protective 'brazier' type thing to start to burn away the roots I have been drying out and fully expect to keep this going until the huge pile of discarded mud/roots/weeds/grass, etc has been cleared.

So, now I need to finish off the digging, use the carpet for the paths and get rid of all the old rubbish down to the recycle centre...then we move on to the shed and getting ready for planting...All in all a great day. Nice one, good old Blighty!!!

So here we are from atop the pile of roots, etc looking East back up with the Sun setting behind me.

and here's looking back to the West, with the Sun going down and it starting to get dark.

...and finally the last bed to be finished off. You can see the section left to dig, so not too far to go now.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Two little helpers

All geared up and ready for action........

' Have you found any more worms?'

Thanks to the US holiday on Monday and following our attempts at emulating the celebrities on Dancing on Ice at the ice rink in Guildford, the kids came with me to the plot as it wasn't freezing for once.

I'd managed a little bit of digging on Sunday morning, before we went to my Mum and Dad's as I wanted to see if I could get Dad's seed potatoes and let him have them. Unfortunately due to the snow recently, most of them were delayed, but I did get one lot for Dad from the new shop. However, at least I managed to finish off the bed Mike was doing and just dig the first 'spit' in the final rotational bed, before the shop opened.

Now on Monday, with my intrepid worm hunters/stone collectors I managed to get a fair bit done and think that on my next visit, I'll be able to finish this bed off and then just have the last permanent one to about 75-80% of the way there in total I think.

Karen came to collect the children after an hour and a half or so and then I carried on until dusk, so here's the photo as I finished as it began to get a little gloomy. Just need to finish the one off on this side to make it level with the other one.

All in all, good to get a bit more done and over the next few weeks, I hope to complete the digging, then I can sort out the rolls and rolls of carpet, take all the bags of rubbish to the refuse centre and prepare a spot for the shed....before I need to get ready for planting.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

At Dusk in the snow....

Due to the amount of snow we'd had, all the trains around us had been cancelled. Having part hitched and got a different train from East Croydon on the way to work, I knew I'd be in for more of the same on the way home. So I made my way via East Croydon, then a bus to Wallington and walked the rest of the way home. As I was passing, I thought I'd stop off at the allotment to get a photo of it in the snow. I don't suppose I'd get too many of them.

It was getting dark by the time I got there, but here they are........

You can just see the tops of the raspberry canes in the foreground.

My double digging 'spit' full of snow, in one of the remaining beds left to dig.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Brothers in Arms !

What a day, What a day. Michael offered to come and help me dig and thankfully the weather looked to be promising, so not long after 9am, a fit brother arrived for a day of digging!

We set to work on the rotational beds and figured we get plenty of digging done before lunch (with the odd cup of tea to keep us going) , then in the afternoon we'd do a bit more, but also burn the big pile of grass/brambles, etc I'd collected and also have a go with the Kelly Kettle.

It was a perfect day, cold but sunny and the ground had dried out, so it was better for pulling the roots up. Here we are both hard at work.

Ali and Gerty came to say hello and it did seem as if the good weather had got plenty of people out on their allotments.

Anyway, after lunch we drudged back with all our 'equipment' and the following photo's give you an idea of what we got up to !!!

Mike chopping the wood and getting the fire going before we put that big pile to his right on it.

A little bit of smoke(oops) and in the foreground, the Kelly Kettle almost ready to give us each a cup of tea!

Up close. The Kelly Kettle, so thank you to Karen's parents for the Christmas present.

Here we are taking it easy, admiring all our hard work and of course, making sure the fire burns down safely.

So after a great day's effort, the plot is now two thirds completed, which is superb. Here's the final photo's of the work. Well done to us.

Both taken from the West side of the plot, from each corner looking up to the East.

With luck the weather will give me a chance to complete all the digging during February, but if the last 2 days is anything to go by, after all the snow we've had, I'm not so sure. Anyway, fingers crossed...and THANKS MIKE !!