Weekend pottering

January 27, 2008 at 9:37 am Leave a comment

The weather down here has been quite astoundingly pleasant lately. It’s been sunny and crisp, but not too cold, and the evenings are getting lighter. Nights have been cold (partly cos I sneakily turned the heating down when gas prices went up…. ssshhhhh, don’t tell bf…..) but a cosy duvet and hot water bottle (among other things) soon sorts that out.

Was out in the garden yesterday, clearing up other people’s weeds. Grrr. I know nature abhors a vacuum, but, honestly, I swear that just before we came to view the house someone went round and got rid of all the weeds, but didn’t do so properly, so within about a day of moving in, they’d sprung up all over the place again. Due, probably, to successive shortish-term tenants who see no point in investing in the garden when they’re going to move out in a year or so, the garden just hasn’t been managed well. Hence, I have to spend a lot of time and energy keeping it tidy (cos it’s in the contract to ‘maintain the character of the garden’), but have very little scope to actually do anything productive with it.

I tackled it a while back and after what seemed like hours yanking up comfrey and trying to make sure I’d got it all, I got so frustrated I got a bit trigger happy with the Roundup. Rather lazily, I’d just left all the dead matter where it was, so yesterday I scooped it all up, and the rockery does look a lot better now. I had a bit of difficulty trying to work out what was ‘ornamental grass’ and what was ‘weeds’ at times. But, really, so many of the plants that are there are so sickly and unhealthy looking anyway, that I’m quite tempted to ring up the landlord and say, ‘Look, food and fuel prices are going up… global warming… peak oil… biofuels… please can I dig up all the spindly dying things and plant something useful? (And, while we’re at it, can we get rid of the flimsy metal blinds and put up some curtain rails, and get a woodburner, and can you insulate the loft please?….)’

I’ve had a line of a poem troubling me for a while. It’s to start, ‘Dig up your lawns and herbaceous borders’ and it’s going to be about peak oil and relocalisation and how we all need to dig and knit and mend things and connect with our local communities and store food and start, literally, in our own back gardens, a bit like during the war, but I can’t think of how it’s going to go on. I could rhyme ‘borders’ with ‘hoarders’, I suppose, and maybe the tone could start off quite scathing and cynical, and gradually become more positive, and it could end something like:

‘So dig up your lawns and herbaceous borders
something-y something-y marching orders.’

Yes, very much a work in progress, I feel.

I made a cake yesterday and as I’ve had rather patchy results in the past decided to experiment with oven temps and times, and it didn’t rise. You win some, you lose some… I have a very dense, 1 inch thick Victoria sponge, which I am far too embarrassed to serve to my bf’s family today and can’t cover in icing sugar cos we’ve somehow managed to lose the sieve. Oops.

Anyway, I said I’d start being useful at 10, and it’s just after, so I’d better go and add ‘have shower’, ‘wake up lazy, hungover bf’ and ‘make crumble topping’ to my list of things to do.

Also, chill wine…. =)

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Entry filed under: baking, garden, gardening, poetry.

Inspirational blog Start the week….

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The Heritage Crafts Network

Rob Hopkins, Transition Handbook

“Environmentalists have often been guilty of presenting people with a mental image of the world’s least desirable holiday destination – some seedy bed and breakfast near Torquay, with nylon sheets, cold tea and soggy toast – and expecting them to get excited about the prospect of NOT going there. The logic and the psychology are all wrong.”

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

"Food is that rare moral arena in which the ethical choice is generally the one more likely to make you groan with pleasure."

Carlo Petrini

"A gastronome who is not also an environmentalist is an idiot. An environmentalist who is not also a gastronome is, well, sad."

Sharon Astyk

"I am, of course, firmly opposed to consumerism and corporatism in all its forms, and I believe that we are deeply confused about material needs and wants. Now let me explain how books and yarn are totally different than the material things that other people want ;-)…."

Raj Patel, at Slow Food Nation

"Biofuels, which is the preposterous policy that we should grow food not to eat it but to set it on fire."

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