Sunday, August 15, 2010

We’ll start with the good news, and work downwards.

A new follower!

And the MP3 player is in action. Archie, as hoped, had no difficulty solving my problem – I was pressing and holding the middle button, when I wanted a menu. What I needed to do was press and release it. Pressing and holding is for on-ing and off-ing, using the button on the side.

Getting podcasts from Italian radio is more challenging. Many buttons saying “MP3” produce only HTML documents. And after I finally succeeded in downloading a couple of real podcasts – right-clicking comes into the process – I tried to send some mail from my Google account and found that it just bounced into my “podcast” folder. That must RAI’s fault, mustn’t it? I re-booted.

Moving the podcasts on from computer to MP3 player is a doddle. The only remaining problem is that the earplug in my right ear tends to fall out. The two podcasts I’ve got should last a while, as listening to them several times will be part of the job.


A frittata incorporating my perpetual spinach and some odd kale leaves:

The “walking onions” are up, and looking good. I’m going to leave the bunching onions to bunch for the future.

I have real hope that my Colossal Victorian Climbing Peas will take a prize in the “Six Pea Pods” class at the Games. You can't really appreciate the size and fatness of the pods, in this picture. We ate some, very tasty, and I hope the remainders, here pictured, will fatten up in the succeeding fortnight.

My main potato crop, Pink Fir Apple, is abundant and delicious. I will also enter the “Three Potatoes” class. They’re knobbly and funny-looking which is why they never turn up in shops. But mine are brilliant, without a slug-hole in sight. In April-May, planting potatoes seems a fearful chore. In August, it’s like unearthing buried treasure. I skimped on the earthing-up this year, and it doesn’t seem to matter. Edwin Oxlade said the same thing in Kitchen Garden magazine recently.

August is for summing up, and thinking of next year. The major failure this year was that I found myself between lettuce crops, the first long gone, the successive ones still too small to feed a crowd. And no rocket! There’s no excuse for that. So we bought lettuce leaves from Tesco and I added “spicy salad leaves” and pea shoots and nasturtium leaves and flowers. And some tiny but tasty onions, not bunching.

But I wonder if it is time to give up on French beans, climbing and otherwise. The plants are fine. I’ve got a few beans, and there’ll be plenty in September. But growing that sort of bean is swimming upstream, in Strathardle. Stick to broad beans, which are easy, and we love them. Grow kale, and figure out how to stop the deer from polishing it off in November. And beets, and carrots.

I’ve run out of space without even mentioning knitting. I didn’t get to Stirling. It hurt, not going. It sounded so easy in Nov-Dec – right on the doorstep, mid-August, Helen or James or both would be here, off I go. But it didn’t work. If Franklin had been there, so would I have been, on the Wednesday, but that didn’t happen.


  1. Oh, what a shame about Stirling, after all your planning. We were there this time last year and, of course, one thinks "If only,.." However,your vegetables must be a source of pride this year.

  2. I'm sorry to hear Stirling was a bust, but I hope something else excellent comes along. I wanted to tell you not to suffer with poorly fitting earplugs; I felt inferior because mine kept falling out until I found a pair with plugs of varying sizes, that were more moldable to my uniquely shaped ears. They look like these: Enjoy your podcasts.

  3. I kept thinking about you and wondering about Stirling - pity it didn't work out. There was such a hoo-ha about it and then in the end it seemed to go ahead, via Dublin of all places!

  4. On the earplug/earbud front, it sounds strange, but try switching ears. I've got earbuds that when one is worn in my left ear, it falls out. I then switch ears and they stay put in both.

  5. I skimped on the earthing up and all seems to be well. I do love finding those potatoes underneath it all. Next year I will try some other varieties. I have only Yukon Gold, Pontiac red, and Russet. Re. the earbuds, I have the same problem, plus a sensitivity to the latex and stuffing things in my ears. Who knew. Found these and although they look odd, are very comfortable. They are designed hold earbuds in place during movement & keep them earbuds a safe listening distance from the ear canal.