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Another triumph, if but a few. Take that! corprate supermarkets and your mushrooms of plenty!


Sorry looking allotment

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Grandma & Cabbage

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Purely fictional.

Seeds from the web

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Looking forward to growing white pumpkins.

GIMP edit before and after

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What I read this November / December

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Childhood, Boyhood, Youth by Leo Tolstoy. His first published works, semi-autobiographical recollections of childhood through to university. I thought it was insightful and made me think about my own boyhood. You will probably like it if you have read any Tolstoy or pre-revolution Russian literature.

All the Bandini books by John Fante. I think Fante is up there with Hemmingway and better than old Bukowski -he wouldn't mind me saying that he knows its true. Damn he can write! A real master of from the gut honest simple writing.
I started with Ask the Dust. The one with the brilliant introduction by Bukowski that starts with: "I was a young man, starving and drinking and trying to be a writer." I read it all. Unlike most crap in the best-seller lists of large internet booksellers this has well crafted prose that rolls of the page. The book starts with:

"One night I was sitting on the bed in my hotel room on Bunker Hill, down in the very middle of Los Angeles. It was an important night in my life, because I had to make a decision about the hotel. Either I paid up or I got out. that was what the note said, the note the landlady had put under my door. A great problem, deserving acute attention. I solved it by turning out the lights and going to bed."

I then read Wait Until Spring, Bandini, The Road to Los Angeles, and Dreams from Bunker Hill -which Fante dictated to his wife while blind and wheelchair bound and nearing death.

Fog - Olympus trip 35

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It was worth taking the Kodak roll back to the developers just for this.


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Everyone keeps going on about it and I'm fed up of it for certain reasons.

I went to the shop, and on the way, saw a little jack russell, owned by a polish family, running under the snow and people walking in the middle of the car-less road. The shop was full. They probably make it rich.

The cats just sort of jumped about in the snow.


Trip35 kodak 200 shots

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I realise now, after wondering what had gone wrong, that the developers didn???t scan them properly. Probably some automated program got confused with the negative being too dark and mistook it for a sprocket edge -what ever the technical term is- on one photo and from then on scanned the rest on the roll all wrong. Oh well. Some of them look okay.

xa2 roll 1

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Some are on flickr .


Bonfire Night

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Alexi Murdoch - Wait

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Fitting song to the end credits of Away we go.

What I read this October

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All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy.
McCarthy's minimalistic prose is brilliant and fitting to the western landscape and the down to earth cowboy characters. ??

The Outsider, Albert Camus.
I've read a lot about Camus as a great existential philosopher, and I think I was expecting too much from his writing. I liked the detachment of the protagonist and the absurdity of the world around him. It's likely better in French.

Tales of Ordinary Madness, Charles Bukowski.
Buk's short stories of drinking, prison, gambling, women, illness, going to a zen wedding, getting his car fixed, and the LA streets. One of the most filthiest books I've read.

People I admire

Jack Kerouac


Write in recollection and amazement for yourself.


Kurt Vonnegut


I've often thought there ought to be a manual to hand to little kids, telling them what kind of planet they're on, why they don't fall off it, how much time they've probably got here, how to avoid poison ivy, and so on.


George Orwell


As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me.


Ernest Hemingway


The first draft of anything is shit.

Carved pumpkins with the scouts

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The two big pumpkins are mine.


Bottled a lager

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The heaviest is 20kg.


Tonight???s beer

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I spent nearly 2 hours picking these and there's still a whole other tree full >_<

First year Cascade

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These are, be it on the small side, first year cascade hops from a plant I found on ebay. They are a little late, hence the size, so I picked a few of the bigger cones and they smell great. I'm hoping they grow a little before the first big frost. At least I know next year it will be a reliable producer.


Cut down hops

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On the weekend I cut my main hop plants down in the heavy rain. The garden looks sad and empty.


Marrows and over grown courgettes


I collected all the marrows and forgotten courgettes that were spared death by the slugs. They leave the skin and eat around the seeds of the inside flesh. Which leaves hollowed out rotten smelling shells filled with seeds and slugs. Gross huh?

Disadvantages to allotments; bureaucracy and lack of practical sense

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Despite attempts at having a gate installed (we would pay for), which falls on deaf ears, the council have started fencing around my plot, cutting us off from the house, and for some odd reason the shed too. It just reminds me there are disadvantages to renting land under allotment laws, try all you like the council will do what it likes, which is too make a mess and throw money away.