Splash of colour

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The daffodils in the first pot are all open, adding a splash of colour to the balconys on my stretch of road.

Its now just over 4 years since I started blogging … on a different blog site. But then ‘Google’ took over, kept messing with the settings and I moved on – after losing 3 years worth of photographs to them! When I first started blogging over there I used to ‘tell it how it was’;  then friends and family started following, so I imposed some self-censorship; then I upset one of my followers by taking a pop at a sensitive issue … and spent the next week apologising to a total stranger, thousands of miles away, that I was never likely to meet.

I learned my lesson and when I moved to here decided to keep it all very sterile.

That’s all about to change … jump ship now if you are of a sensitive disposition. The old middle-aged,  messy-haired woman is back in control.

Posted in Rants

Cheers – The Elephant (my local)

Do you remember that sit-com?  Big fat Norm cascading over HIS barstool,  Cliff the barfly bore and Carla the surly waitress?

The Elephant 1

What is it that people find so fascinating about local pubs?  This is mine – and although I don’t go there every day I do trot across at this time of the year to watch the rugby.

It’s OK (as pubs go) but it’s a little bit ‘blokey’ – I guess that’s because of the big screens always showing sport.  It’s not the sort of place that attracts large groups of youngsters or girls out for a giggle.  They serve pub-Thai food and have a Thai restaurant upstairs, which has been virtually empty on the half dozen or so times that I have been there. On a Friday night the place seems to be heaving with blokes standing around drinking, staring at the screens, more blokes playing darts, and an assortment of families who are there with their kids (I’m not judging just stating the facts).

The Elephant 2                                                                                                                                                         The Elephant 3

In honour of it’s name a topiary elephant stands guard above the front door – in the summer it gets a little overgrown …

The Elephant 4

… At Christmas time it gets a little festive …

In the summer old chirpy cockney favourites like Roll Out The Barrel and Vera Lynn yearning for the White Cliffs of Dover blare out onto the street.  Lots of people sit in the ‘Beer Garden’ out in front of the pub, drinking, smoking, gradually getting pinker as their over-exposed white flesh soaks up the sun.  I guess I must be getting old … 

I didn’t intend to sound so miserable about it – it’s not a bad pub and at least there aren’t bar-fights every night; and of course now they have replaced the flag (the old one had become very tattered) I can tell how windy it is without having to step onto the balcony.

The Elephant 5

Posted in Barnet, London Pubs

Daffodils in Springtime

I always like to see daffodils up on the 1st March – it’s my birthday, St. Davids Day and I’m Welsh … (the daffodil is our national flower) so I’m delighted to see them up already (the earliest they have flowered on my balcony) but does this mean they’ll be past their best by my birthday?  There seem to be loads more this year too – the other pots are also brimming with them but just the buds no flowers yet.

Picture 3468

Posted in Barnet

Allotment update

Did you think the worst floods ‘since records began’ would keep me from my allotment?  I have been wobbling over there every week – tidying up my paths, weeding etc.  It’s been quite nice being on my own over there – but yesterday the glorious sunshine bought out a few of my neighbours too and I realised I had missed the buzz of chatter and hammering etc.  So here is how well my garlic, onions, spinach, kale, chard and broad beans are doing

Picture 3464

Did you spot that I had also moved my compost cover down to the bottom of the plot?  The great thing about the cover is that is easily transportable and I have decided that I will move it every year or so and have the compost in situ for future use. The soil there is look quite amazing!

I’ve finally got a water butt – I kept putting it off because I thought I might want a shed and then I would want it fitted to the shed – but with all the water everywhere at the moment I knew I had to bite the bullet and got one – quarter filling it with water collected in my wheelbarrow.

Picture 3465

The poly tunnel has been lowered because the storms meant all I was doing was repairing it each week.  Once the storms are over (and I’ll wait until end of March before I accept they are) I’ll raise it again.  The thing with it being low (aside from having to kneel when I’m inside) it’s so much warmer than it would be if it was taller.

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The inside of the tunnel – planted all my sunflowers and marigolds yesterday before tucking them up in agricultural fleece.

I might be jumping the gun and planting too early but so far this winter (aside from the flooding elsewhere) it has been very mild here.

I’m starting to plan for the invasion of slugs once things start growing … the mild winter and damp conditions  is ideal for them.

And now a brief mention about the floods – the worst ‘since records began’ … in our garden in the village we had a large willow at the bottom of the garden – in fact everyone in the village did. Why?  Because willows are thirsty creatures and we all had septic tanks/soakaways.

If you cut down all the trees you are going to get flooding – simple as that.  So which ever smart-arse thought up the great scheme to deforest the mountains (the source of many rivers) to graze sheep on put your hand up and accept that you got it wrong.

Posted in Allotment, Rants

Taking Shape

Picture 3467

I’ve ummed and aghed about the border – because the pattern I have adapted this from is too wishy washy.  On Thursday night I decided to bite the bullet and cut up what I needed for the border – I’ve made a start and am quite pleased (so far)  will post further developments in due course.

I spotted that these posts are bringing out the quilters in you – Sue’s is fabulous and I always enjoy Kathe’s photographs!  Way to go ladies.

At the moment the sun is shining here so I have to take advantage and go for a run.  Have a good weekend everyone.

Posted in Hobbies

Strike Action

Today, here in this nation’s fair capital, strike action on the Underground is causing some distress to my fellow Londoners.

It’s unfashionable to say this but I’m not opposed to their action.  The truth of the matter is that the ordinary worker can only negotiate the terms and conditions of his employment through the Union and when the management refuse to sit down to discuss those terms and conditions then you are bound to have problems.

The strike has been called because of the proposal to close all the ticket offices on the stations; the claim that this will not result in any job losses (save the 1,000 people who have expressed an interest in voluntary redundancy) needs to be properly addressed.  As a paying passenger who uses the Underground most days of the week I can’t see how they can manage with even less staff on the station and maintain safety levels.

It is outrageous that our esteemed Mayor prides himself on not sitting down with the unions; Boris Johnson you were great fun as the bumbling buffoon on the quiz programme ‘Have I Got News for You’ but as the person responsible for running this city you are a walking disaster.  Shouting others down with a ‘I refuse to talk to you until you go back to work’ (having refused to talk to them for several years prior to the strike action called) shows just how out of touch with reality you are.

Rant over.






Posted in Rants

February Already

Yes it’s February already … what happened to January?  There was so much I intended to do but it’s gone … over …  and the seed packets remain unopened.

I did manage a few more ‘blocks’, moved my compost heap to a new location, ran 65 miles and saved some money to go towards a holiday.  (More about that in a few weeks time)

Another star completed:

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February Block of the Month:

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Is it starting to take shape?  (It will do eventually!):

Picture 3463

Posted in Hobbies
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