One more before bedtime

Big up the great Daddy U-Roy even though we heard that when he headlined a gig in Brighton the other week he only played for 8 minutes! That beats the Guinness book of records “shortest set in the world” when I saw Joy Division at Malvern Winter Gardens many moons ago (20 minutes before a 10 minute jam with Sector 25 after jeers and shouts!)

I mean U-Roy is 70, at that age I want to be in bed perusing a Reader’s Digest and having me Horlicks before dropping off at 9pm let alone headline a reggae gig after midnight! If that is true about the Brighton gig here’s nearly half of U-Roy’s set (3.23)!

Quite apt, considering (or is it?)

Sun Ra – Springtime Again

First track played on an excellent Mr Scruff mix recorded at The Band on the Wall, Manchester on 6th April 2013. Very good stuff indeed and downloadable for free, how good is that? The 5 hour mix features some great stuff including the lovely Laura Mvula “Can’t live with the world” and Mandrill’s “Mango Meat” and some nice reggae instrumental business from Sir Niney and loads of other great gear. Top listening for a spring frosty morning (and you know it will be, so say the weathermen!)

Out with the fleece, out with the fleece…

How mad was the weather today? I was out in the garden this afternoon in a t-shirt splitting shrubs and replanting them with the sun shining on my back. The next minute it was pelting it down so went indoors until a quarter of an hour later when I was back out there in a jumper and coat, then the sun came back out…

We promised the kids a barbeque tonight so we lit one up at five and then it tipped it down, the sun brolly being used for shielding the hot coals. Next minute the temperature dropped and then we all could see our breathe in the air and then voila… Hailstones! Talk about mental, mental, radio rental!

Sluggy Ranks

sluggy ranks_weedsuptomekneesA neat piece of slug deterrent (crushed up eggshells in a circle) around some brassicas seen last week in the great non-conformist front garden with the vegetable plot in it up the road from us. I am not sure if this is working, as today I saw they had some green plastic sleeve-type things around them.

We here at weeds love the garden this is taken from, as it’s well “out there” in the front garden stakes. At the moment there’s a massive sheet of opaque polythene draped over a DIY metal frame covering some tender plants.

It makes me smile every time I pass there and always makes me think of Bob Flowerdew and his unconventional use of household objects in the garden. It may be different but it does beat the normal summer bedding in neat lines, a small lawn with a garden gnome etc. More front garden vegetable gardening please!

Zen and the art of the hoe

The lone hoe-er - weeds up to me anklesA rare sighting of The Lonely Hoe in the middle of Albert Embankment at 7.55am last Friday “tipping around” with a sharp one. Was he “one with the hoe” or thinking of downing pints with his mates at 5pm? We can only guess.

the hole and the chair

Ten minutes later I spotted a bloke in dark sunglasses with his hood up, bad kiddy rave blasting out of his headphones, reading a magazine while sitting on a plastic garden  chair with a cushion behind him. He was “minding” a wire slowly coming off a roll going down into one of those BT holes in the ground. I wanted to say to him “excuse me my good man, sorry to disturb you but where do I get an application form for your type of position?” but thought better! Big up the (council) work ethic! The composition above is entitled, “The hole and the chair (but no worker)”.

Soldier, sailor, tinker, council gardener

cheap and cheerful coldframe

This week has been a lot better on the weather front. Last Sunday I “tipped around” in the back, stuck in the last of the seed potatoes (5″ deep just to avoid any future frosts!), weeding and generally tinkering around and also sowed indoors some different varieties of basil (cinnamon, lemon and also lime, great eh?). I also moved some cabbage and sweet pea seedlings off the kitchen windowsill into the mini cold frame which will start them off on the hardening off journey. I take the window frame off during the warmer days and put it over at night so they slowly will get accustomed to the outside climate.


Tonight I checked the bucket that the comfrey liquid has been fermenting in for the past few months at the bottom of the garden. I think it’s now time to bottle it up as there’s maggots in there now! That’s not right is it? Or are they like the maggot at the bottom of the Tequila bottle, I reckon I should stick them on the garden to see if they work wonders like the Tequila worm is supposed to (it’s never worked for me!).

Also was listening to the great podcast that is BBC Leeds’ “Gardening with Tim and Joe” and they mentioned they were recently featured in the top 5 gardening podcasts in The Guardian online.  That Joe Maiden certainly knows his onions (and his leeks, daffs, roses, rhubarb etc). Always worth a listen and top tips galore, all for a free download. Can’t be bad!

Spring, why haven’t you sprung yet?

Dub Chairman in the placeDub Chairman – Soldier (Citadel Records) 2004
Big up to Terry C for playing this on last week’s Echo Beach, a lovely tune from yesteryear reminding me of the best bits of the Thievery Corporation put through the blender with the sound of an ice cream van. Come on Spring where are you, mate? Click here to listen to the tune while pondering when it’s going to get warmer.