Sunday morning nightmare

squirrel thiefWoke up at the crack of dawn this morning and went downstairs to make myself a cup of tea to bring back up to bed. Looking out of the kitchen window I was greeted with this little sunflower seed thief.

Rather than bang on the window I laughed, and had to admire the nimble robbing git! I’m sure this is the same one that had the bud off another sunflower two years ago (post here). A description has been taken and the details passed on to the nature police.

We’ve had more than our fair share of trouble with squirrels in the past and one instance is covered in this Sounds From the South podcast from last year.

It’s the gnome service of course

The Lloyd Pack – Itchy Gnomes – Amish Records

I heard this on the Tom Ravenscroft show the other week. It’s lo-fi in the best way, a bit afro-beat, the keyboards reminds me a little bit of the Blue Orchids, and it has some well-mad lyrics too. “Spring has sprung, itchy lungs” and we love the sample of someone talking about a scrabble set. Say children, what does it all mean? Who cares, as we love it here!


Talking of the Blue Orchids, one Saturday years ago, myself and a good mate hitched it from the Midlands to Manchester for a gig of theirs.

After the gig we spent most of a cold night stuck on a motorway junction just outside Stoke-on-Trent. Come dawn we were picked up by a chap who had a dashboard full of boiled sweets; packs of barley sugars, humbugs and butterscotch amongst many others which littered the leatherette. While he wolfed down boiled sweet after boiled sweet, he told us he was on his way to the Birmingham marathon and was in need of a chat after driving for hours on his own.

In that lovely warm car we both nodded off straight away and came to just as he angrily shouted we were approaching the junction for Birmingham. He was well fed up with us, but you know what, we were more fed up with him, as he never even offered us a sweet, the tight git!

What a carry on!

I popped into Shannon’s this morning whilst the sun was out and on the way round deciding what to treat myself with, I noticed this delightfully named passion flower.

silly cow

While we were there, we bought a bag of coarse grit for my daughter’s cactus collection. On the way out we noticed a few people doing a double take at the bag my daughter was carrying. And this is why…

Coarse gritIn the background while writing this, we’re listening to this week’s fitting tribute to the late Joe Maiden “the godfather of soil,” by Tim Crowther and friends on BBC Radio Leeds. It’s a mixture of happy and sad and a show worth listening to on play again here. R.I.P Joe Maiden.

Respect is due…

Sad news as another great gardener goes to that big greenhouse in the sky.

Joe maiden RIPThis week the great Joe Maiden from Gardening with Tim and Joe on BBC Radio Leeds passed away with prostate cancer. Very sad news indeed, as he was a man who knew his onions… (and carrots, and brassicas, and beetroots, and chrysanthemums, and dahlias, and roses, and agapanthus, and foxgloves, etc, etc.) He’ll be sorely missed. R.I.P Joe Maiden.

Never mind the proms

An oldie but goodie from the great Chronixx over a  minimal 1990’s-like rhythm track that’s just been played over the soundsystem at the annual party and barbecue on the estate behind us tonight. shannons on a saturday_2It’s been said it’s good to talk to plants, well I hope the vegetables at the bottom of the garden are listening to the other good tunes being played at the party. Especially the seed onions and the spuds that I put in after an early morning visit to Shannon’s today.

The onions (Troy) will overwinter and  should be ready to harvest early summer and if all goes well weather permitting, the spuds will be ready for christmas, (but I am pushing it with the timescale!) The Iris’s went in the front garden and will be forgotten about until the spring, you bet come April I’ll say, “when did I put those bulbs in?”

It’s a good year for the roses

greenhouse classics_VicThanks very much to Vic Godard for getting in touch and picking this week’s Greenhouse Classic. It’s a great number with a gardening theme called “And roses and roses” by Astrud Gilberto. Short, sweet and on a floribunda tip!

Also a big thanks to G. (Mrs Godard) for sending a few words and some pics from their garden.Vic godard_5“It’s been a funny year weather wise, the early heat and sun meant many annuals and perennials flowered early and have now gone to seed, whereas the dismal August means some, like the Mirabilis Jalapas (aka four o’clock flower) are only now coming into their own.Vic Godard_3The bumper tomato yield is still ongoing and it looks like there will be enough beans to freeze and last throughout the winter, and it’s the first year we’ve seen pink flowers on the beans.Vic Godard_2Vic Godard_1I planted some old gladioli bulbs that Vic’s dad Harry found all dried up and papery in a drawer and surprisingly as you can see they all took!” Mrs Godard

If you remember from last years post, Vic’s dad Harry grows everything from seed; vegetables, annuals and even palms, how great is that! Thanks to Vic, G and Harry too!

That man is forward

greenhouse classics_JFThanks to our mate John F again for passing on another greenhouse classic; “a song to bring us some sunshine” but as he says, “is one tinged with sadness; the late, great Rico Rodriguez playing with the Special AKA who sadly passed away yesterday.” And he’s right R.I.P. Rico Rodriguez, a true reggae legend.

John sent us this link of a great video funnily enough shot at a legendary Coventry late-night eatery called “Noel’s Cafe,” features a few Coventry music-related celebs and doing a nice bit of dancing, our good friend The Rhythm Doctor who I either forgot or never knew was featured in this. Well I never!

One for the Big Youth tooth massive

can the world beLooks like I’ll be having another tooth pulled next week.This morning at just gone 8 am I ventured up to Guy’s Hospital Dental Department with a dull pain in one of my back teeth.

Three hours later after one long wait, a couple of examinations and an X-ray, I’ve now got an appointment on Wednesday to have an extraction. To keep my mind off the intermittent pain for the rest of the day this mix from Andrew Weatherall has been on repeat. Nice vibe, and very soothing for my teeth.