Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Happy New Year - if a tad late...

Feeling as though I have been very neglectful - feeling? - as this is the first post of 2012. And such a huge year what with the following events:

March 1 - Greek Drachma bank notes are exchangeable for Euro until this time. 

April 9 - Sophie, my daughter, is 13 - how's that possible!

June 6 - Second and last solar transit of the planet Venus of this century; the next pair is predicted to occur in 2117 and 2125

July 19 - Staging the World – British Museum exhibition on London and its theatres in the 1590s and 1600s.

August 11 - The world's biggest celebration of books commences for two weeks of events and performances from literary names established and new at the International Edinburgh Book Festival.

2012 is also Someverdana, claimed to be a year of spiritual transformation (or apocalypse) - something to really look forward to. End of the world? My money's on 12th Deccember.

But far more important is WorldPride, a " phenomenon and in 2012 the party is coming to London for a 2 two-week long event, with the final parade set to take place on 7 July. WorldPride is a festival promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues on a global scale and is expected to attract over one million visitors from around the world." I'll be there...

Oh yeah, and it's a leap year too.

If you know of any other stuff happening this year, keep it to yourself 'cos quite frankly, I don't care...

Well, hasn't the weather been kind? Oh yes it has. When you're a gardener it really matters that you can just carry on regardless and I for one have done as much. I have loads of pictures to upload - 30 in all - so I think I'll do it in two hits.

Last Autumn I collected a serious amount of apples from gardens across Herts & Bucks and have so far managed to produce 20 bottles of apple wine.

Chateau de Murray 2011 - cheeky lil'number, quite citrussy, but
I think it hits the spot!
I am working on cider now, hopefully about 15 litres, but not sure as my maths is shit as I may have mentioned before. I have chopped the apples and now need to crush 'em and then press 'em - I think I will fashion a press out of a car jack and some wood, saw that on the tinterweb and it looks good enough to me!

Been working on Pat's paving for weeks now, but should finish the bulk next week. Here are some pictures, I'm quite proud of of the work actually...

It's been hard work, but work that had to be done because of the loose slabs. I have been concerned for a while about Brian falling over.
A couple of weeks back I was burning off some rubbish from the compost heaps at Julie's place in Buckland, Aston Clinton, just five minutes from home. It's my Wednesday garden, the 16th century farmhouse with pond, etc. Anyway, there I was, petrol in one hand and matches in other, could I get the bloody thing to light? No. So I bend over and strike the match next to the pile of bone dry debris - covered in petrol mind, the debris, not me - and this happens:

Doesn't look that bad does it? Burnt nose and foul
smell of burnt nostril hair. But it resulted in the below.

It was like a nuclear holocaust, like that scene in Terminator 2 when Linda Hamilton is screaming from the fence for the kids to leave the playground. I tell you, if I didn't wear glasses my eyelashes would have been burned off. Which would have matched my eyebrows. I have very little eyebrow hair due to the fact that I blew them off with my dad's lighter when I was 12 - I am 55 in two weeks. So that's 43 years and no change then. Ho hum... This is the offending fire...

I have become obsessed with snowdrops. They are fantastically early this year, I have been amazed at the numbers and here are some at Rebecca's in Quainton, Bucks:

I particularly like this picture, probably because I got quite wet laying on me tummy taking it. What one does for art eh?
And finally for today - I will finish part two of this post tomorrow - I will jump a couple of weeks to today. I usually listen to Radio 4, but this morning at the behest of one of, if not, my best friend in the whole wide world, I started to listen to Radio 2, George Harrison's "What Is My Life", followed by Dean Martin's "Amore" and Bruce Springsteen "Brilliant Disguise". If you had been passing you would have seen a 54 year old prat in woolly hat playing his fork atop a compost heap a bit like this...

Happy gardening campers!