Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Jenny, yes, I’ve got “Gardening with the Enemy” and find it very useful. There are some things – even some vegetables – which the wretched creatures simply don’t like. Potatoes, rhubarb, and – more surprisingly – broad beans and courgettes are perfectly safe. I’ll go ahead with Joan J raspberries, feeling pretty confident, and grateful for your reassurance, Mel.

I’ve got one (shabbily cobbled-together) raised bed, Fishwife, and agree that it’s a hopeful way forward. My sister brought me the actual book last summer and under its guidance I have limed and manured the bed (but not at the same time, as Mel Bartholemew seems to suggest: all my other books insist that you mustn’t, to the point of bursting into italics on the subject) and covered it with an old plastic tablecloth. I hope to cobble together a second raised bed before the action starts this year.


So, it’s Romney by a considerable margin in Michigan. I don’t understand what happened to the Democrats there; your comment, Stashhaus, makes it all the more mysterious and interesting. I knew the Michigan delegates wouldn’t be counted at the Democratic convention, but I didn’t know that only Hillary was on the ballot paper.

I’d really like to see the Republicans nominate Huckabee or Guiliani, because I think they’re the most beatable, but anyone will do.

And finally, knitting

I think you can just discern the gusset beginning to emerge, next to the pink marker.

I put the next skein on the swift. No tangles. I should have done this from the beginning. If I give it a couple of twirls from time to time as I walk past, the ball will be wound by the time I need it, and no knitting time will be wasted on winding.

Today’s excitement is that Helen (of Chronic Knitting Syndrome fame) and I are going to explore the closing-down sale at HK Handknit, and have lunch in a pub, a rare dereliction of duty on my part, keenly anticipated.

And “fame” is the word. Jigzone has included a link to her blog for a month or so now, and she gets thousands of hits as a result. It’s better than being mentioned by Franklin.


  1. oh the political vocab one gets from reading this blog. not bad.
    theo's sweater is proceeding beautifully.
    enjoy yarn bargain hunting in edinburgh. sounds absolutely fab.

  2. What happened in Michigan: Both State parties (Democrats and Republicans) decided to hold a very early primary and scheduled it before Iowa and New Hampshire (previously Dems had caucused and Reps had a primary, both later in the season). Obviously, this forced Iowa and NH to move their primaries (heaven forfend they shouldn't be first). In retaliation, all Democratic candidates, except Clinton, pulled their names from the ballot and vowed not to campaign here (Kucinich didn't file the correct paperwork, and was *also* on the ballot, but largely overlooked). The national Dem party is so far refusing to seat any Michigan delegates at the national convention (which may or may not change, I wouldn't count on it). The national Republican party took half of the delegates away (much more reasonable response, in my opinion). There is also an issue with how the list of voters is to be made available and to whom.

    I didn't vote. A pox on all their houses.

  3. Anonymous12:12 AM

    You have a vertical swift.


  4. This is the book I use...
    By Pauline Pears. It gives the crop spacings etc. Very useful. I have one square foot bed for the kids, but the rest are basically just four sides of wood rescued from a skip, nailed onto corner supports and then double dug and never walked on again. I put a layer of manure/compost/leaves/seaweed/whatever I have on each in November and cover them up. No digging. I use a lot of mushroom compost, which is alkaline, so don't need to lime. Paths are old carpet covered in straw. No weeding.

    If there's an easy way to do a thing, I'll know it. I'm lazy!

  5. When I was battling rabbits in Glasgow I had a single raised bed which I covered with fleece (firmly attached!) after sowing seed and mulching in between the rows. Early salads without rabbit or insect damage resulted. The 'walls' of the bed were quite a bit higher than the middle, allowing for growth under the fleece.