There’s a cat in me onions, what am I gonna do?

bed of onionsJust because it’s coming up to autumn there’s no need to stop planting in the garden. The other evening I stuck in a couple of rows of the onion sets I got last weekend. They’ll overwinter well and hopefully give us some tasty onions come early summer next year.

They’re a piece of cake to sow, normal preparation of the ground as per and preferably there’s been no compost been put in the ground for a season or two (if there was, they’d make the ground hold moisture over the winter thus leaving the sets open to rotting which isn’t good). All you do is make a hole with a dibber (or the other end of a trowel) and carefully put the set in with the top just very slightly poking out (and the root end downward).

I also stuck some sticks and brambles on the top to stop our cats digging them up and also hopefully keep the birds and squirrels away. I plant mine closer together then the usual (about 4″ apart) so I can thin them out and use them as small onions when they’re ready.

Never mind what they say about “onions being cheap in the shops so don’t bother growing them” as home grown onions are a hundred times better than the ones in the supermarket. Grow your own as they’re cheap as chips to buy as sets!

After the riot comes calm

quornThe link below leads you to a very nice chilled mix with tracks from Jon Hopkins, Max Richter and Dustin O’Halloran plus many others. A mix to play while enjoying a cup of (builders) tea watching the sun going down over the garden after a heavy afternoon pulling out weeds. This is the sort of mix José Padilla would make for himself to play in the shed of his allotment in Ibiza.

There’s a riot going on (in the greenhouse)

Riot (Instrumental Original) – Damian Marley ft. Sean Paul

A slice of bass heaviness played on the David Rodigan 1Xtra show this week, a dub of a tune by Damian Marley featuring Sean Paul produced by Hard Work. A sort of reworking of a classic King Tubby’s tune done over in a 2013 style. Hard as a loaf of White Sunblest three weeks old. Rough!

How much is that herb plant in the win-dah?

Tray IslandI really don’t do well with shop-bought Basil and Coriander plants and find the ones I sow myself do a lot better. It’s getting cold outside now so it’s windowsill sowing all the way!

After my £15 binge in Shannon’s, I sowed said herb seeds (from a cheap “herbs for the kitchen” combo pack off ebay for £2.50) in the newly bought plant pots. The seed labels are sticks that had kebabs on them in a former life and the covers to give them a good start are just cheap sarnie bags spread over and then knotted in the corner with wire ties. No expense spared and all that!

If you notice in the pic that I bought some pot saucers so the windowsill won’t get rotten and need several coats of paint like it did last year. Also in the background is our extensive Jamaican tray collection of two!

Oh and by the way my favourite kitchen cleaning product this week is “bar keepers friend.”

Ital Roots

Alborosie – To Whom It May Concern – Greensleeves

Another great tune from Alborosie heard on this week’s David Rodigan show on BBC 1Xtra. Music to listen to while carrying 50 litres of Multi-purpose compost (with added John Innes), an assortment of terracotta pots and .5 kg of Radar onion sets back home from Shannon’s. I’ll now have to spend all afternoon relaxing in a Radox bath just like the adverts in the 80’s!

From the contents of my loft pt 201

a million quidTwo stills from the header tape of the K Foundation Burn a Million Quid film
Here’s a bonkers one! These two bits of celluloid were obtained after a screening of the infamous film (where the K Foundation, Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty burned a million pounds) organised by Club Disobey on 8th December 1995. Originally to be screened at a car park in Brick Lane, the venue was switched on the day to a very small basement in the Seven Stars pub nearby. It was murder getting downstairs as the place was well packed (400+ at least!) Club Disobey also mentioned on the flyer that the band would be selling stills of the film for a pound each after the screening.

The actual screening was abandoned half-way through but I do remember mithering their roadie Gimpo for a still after a few people tried to grab the film off the moving spool! In the end Gimpo cut a few stills up to give out using a combination of his teeth and an old key he had in his pocket. Madness! I managed to get one but in all honesty it could be from any film! A bonkers night!
“The film was due to be cut up and sold off for one pound per frame after the
Brick Lane showing, but this never happened. At the end of the show, when
everyone tried to grab frames, Gimpo protested “no, it’s not this film
that’s being cut up, it’s the other [two-spool] copy”, going on to point
out that he didn’t even want to do it, it was all Club Disobey’s idea.
The only frames members obtained were blank ones from the film header.”

It shouldn’t happen to a gardener pt. 1

At the weekend en-route from the kitchen to the garden I was reminded by something on the radio about a bonkers thing that happened to me a couple of years ago.

joe-hayes_on the grass

About 9 am on a Saturday morning after dropping my son off at his music class in Peckham on my way to the supermarket, I walked past a well-dressed elderly chap (late 70’s) in a suit who looked a bit confused and a bit down on his luck. I stopped and asked the bloke was he okay. He told me he had just hitchhiked from Dartford after being chucked out of his flat and had been on the go since 6 am. He said he was on his way to a hostel and did I know where he could get the bus to Victoria. I did and walked him to the main road. This is where it gets mad…

He told me his name was Joe Hayes and was a famous footballer who played for Manchester City back in the day but had fallen on hard times after his wife died. I know nothing about football so it was lost on me but he said he played for city in the FA Cup in the 50’s and also played against the great Stanley Matthews. Most of his other contemporaries had since died and said his secret to him looking so young was he kept off the demon drink. He told me a lot of people back in Manchester thought he was dead and he was waiting on his monthly pension from Manchester City but they could only send it to a fixed address hence him looking for a hostel in Victoria. I felt sorry for the old boy and gave him his bus fare (£1.50) as I didn’t want to see him walking the few miles to Victoria. I stuck him on the bus and carried onto the supermarket.

When I got home I looked him up on the internet telling my wife about meeting a supposedly legendary football player saying wouldn’t it be funny if he really was Joe Hayes, he had died and I gave his ghost one pound fifty! Turns out he was an imposter and an early morning one at that! Here’s what I found out about him on the Manchester City fan site (there’s a few posts on him as he’s well known):

“Someone was passing himself off as Joe Hayes in London a few years ago. He conned quite a few people out of a few hundred pounds and was never caught. The police were informed but the story was kept out of the papers because of the distress it might cause his family.
The guy is a good con man – he knows far too much about Joe and sounded so believable that I ended up talking with some old players. One of them confirmed that he had visited Joe in hospital shortly before he died and had also been to his funeral.
There’s no doubt that Joe has died and that this man is a very convincing con artist”

Brilliant, so if you ever need a couple of quid, catch me on a Saturday morning, spin us a yarn about being a dead musician/sportsman and I’ll part with some cash!

Lillies from the Presili’s?

I’ve been back from the holiday in Wales a week now. Back from a world of honesty boxes, local shops that weren’t Tesco Metros and where the public loo’s there had a vase of fresh flowers (changed daily) in them! Can you see that happening in London?

flowers in loosI’m more of a city veg growing bloke as you know but can anyone give us an ID on these mini bloomers spotted while coming back from the local shop one afternoon (no, it weren’t Sainso’s!) growing in a Welsh hedgerow. Any ideas?nice bloomers my friend