Uh Oh

September 18, 2014

No, not the outcome of today’s vote (I made my mind up in the shower this morning, if you’re interested, and didn’t even waver as I made my cross. I did think referendum fever might have hit Nearest Village as there was a huge crowd outside the village hall where the polling station is but it turned out to be the Senior Citizens Club waiting for their coach to arrive to take them to England – a day trip, I think, rather than the first exodus of refugees), but the phone call I got from the hospital when I got back. Looks like I’ll be having my hernia operation next week. I can look forward to a few weeks of enforced non cycling, and you can look forward to an increasingly testy series of rants as a result. I’d say send chocolate, but once you stop cycling like a cyclist you have to stop eating like one too.

In other news, autumn. I wouldn’t mind so much if it wasn’t still warm enough to sit outside in bare feet.

autumn leaves

Cock and Bull

September 15, 2014

I promise I’ll do a proper serious final independence referendum post as soon as I work up the energy but meanwhile I swear to God, the minute before this picture was taken these two were getting pretty frisky, except that SHE had decided she wanted to be on top. It’s for moments like these that I wish I wore a headcam.

cow and bull

Sure, they look all innocence now

In other news, the sun disappeared and the rain began again. I have discovered that my new greenhouse makes an excellent space to hide from the rain, listen to the radio, and pot up tiny seedlings. Even if I never grow anything in it properly, it’s worth it for that alone.


Scotland Agrees …

September 12, 2014

… regardless of the current debate raging over Scotland’s future, everyone I have spoken to recently is unanimous: this fine, dry, warm September weather can continue just as long as it likes. If it wasn’t for the chilly starts, we might actually be in July.

It’s been good news for the garden with a bonus second picking of broad beans – maybe not quite enough for a meal, but enough to make a solid contribution to a dish of Random Veg Risotto (where we’re going to put all the French beans is another question seeing as we have rashly filled up the freezer with blackberries).

September broad beans

My peas, which have been absolutely pathetic all summer long, have suddenly discovered their mojo. In September. (They’re still not climbing up any of the supports I provide for them, of course, but I’m used to that)

bonus peas

And the dinosaur egg mystery beans? Well, whatever they are, there are about to be a lot more of them…

mystery beans

This may or may not be a good thing.

Spain without the Sunshine?*

September 10, 2014

The weather was ridiculously nice today, to the point where I was forced into shorts which is patently absurd in Scotland in September. Cycling down to the local shortbread emporium (it pretends it’s a farm shop) for free range pork this morning we couldn’t really say anything coherent to each other than taking it in turns to sigh with contentment as we pedalled in the sunshine.

tree in the sunshine

I still haven’t made up my mind yet (I’m doing my homework though) but if I were David Cameron and I really wanted to save the union,** I’d be praying for rain. In weather like this it’s hard to pay attention to the dire warnings of even the most eminent of economists. It’s not called the dismal science for nothing…

Let’s see which way the weather gods vote, eh?

* Paul Krugman’s verdict on an independent Scotland within a monetary union.

** Actually, if David Cameron really wants to save the union he shouldn’t be up in Scotland telling it how much he loves it, he should be back in Westminster announcing the repeal of the bedroom tax, an end to reforming the NHS into a hole in the ground, and mounting a robust defence of the UK’s place in the EU and the free movement of people. Oh. So he doesn’t want it that much then? As you were, Scotland


August 12, 2014

We’re all about the casual gardening style here but I think I may have overshot the boundary between ‘deliciously informal’ and ‘inconvenient mess’ with my mangetouts, which have now formed an impenetrable thicket.

impenetrable mangetout thicket

There are mangetouts in there if you know where to look but finding them involves bodily picking up the entire tangle and rummaging around in it. As with all veg harvesting, it takes at least three iterations to even begin to feel you may have found them all, and even then you can guarantee you won’t have (see also: potatoes), which is why every time I go up to pick the next lot I find some which have clearly been beyond ready for weeks and have to be podded like conventional peas

mangetout thicket close up

Anyway, we were going to have mangetouts in our fried rice this evening but it was still hammering down and playing hunt-the-legume did not appeal, so perpetual spinach it was. Next year, I swear, I shall grow my mangetouts in regimented rows, like a proper gardener. I think I may make this resolution every year at about this time.

And talking of hunt-the-legume, the dinosaur eggs have produced dinosaurs.

mystery bean pods

Recipes for something resembling borlotti beans welcomed.


August 11, 2014


It’s all looking a bit autumnal

grasses blackberries

I’m not sure I’m ready yet. In fact, I know I’m not.

ford almost dry

But despite Bertha’s best efforts, the ford remains almost dry. They must be filling up the reservoir upstream, which was looking low last week. Some last remnants of summer are still hanging on.


Home, James

July 24, 2014

Just to say that the weather cleared up and the other half got his dip on the way home…

St Mary's Loch

… or ‘wild swim’ as I believe we must call it now.


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