An OCD seed selection without objection

ocd-seed-selection-without

It’s not the end of January and it’s already started. I bought some seed potatoes (maris piper of course) from Shannon’s a fortnight ago and the week previous some onions and garlic. The other day on ebay I won “25 varieties of veg and herb seeds” for the grand sum of £2.24 including p+p.

I love the way someone has gone to the effort of typing and cutting up little labels and sorting the seeds into lots of little “dealer” type bags. It’s a right mix up as it contains all sorts: celery, sprouts, broccoli, cabbage and two varieties of tomato but there isn’t many bags that the seeds go into double figures. Anyone fancy doing a swap on 9 cress seeds?

Hurray, hurray, it’s potato day

Roots and ShootsSeed Potato andVegetable seed dayThanks to Linda P from Roots and Shoots (Walnut Tree Walk, London SE11 6DN) for getting in touch and sending us more info on their Potato Day on Sunday 12th February from 11am-2pmAdmission is £5, concessions £2 with all funds going to Roots and Shoots.

There’s lots of good stuff going on with 60+ varieties of seed spuds for sale, onions and shallot sets, garlic, soft fruit, posies of flowers for Valentine’s Day at reasonable prices made by the students at Roots and Shoots and more.  

Sadly there won’t be a seed swap at this event as it’s the first time they have done something like this but they’re are going to see how well it goes this year and then if all goes well do the seed swap next year.

It’s looks like a great event for a good cause and at a brilliant venue not far from The Imperial War Museum. After you’ve been at the venue for a short while you’ll forget you’re even in London. Hopefully see you there!

You bring me joy in the morning

A few tunes for this cold, dark night. The first was heard on Monday morning at 7.15 while  on the way to work feeling very cold and miserable. Out of the blue comes the familiar bassline of Coco Tea’s Lonesome Side blasting out of the pushbike soundsytem of the guy who rides on the pavement on his way to and from work in Brockley who pumps out a varied selection of tunes (Disco, Funk and Reggae). Big up the Brockley pavement-riding pushbike soundsystem bloke!

The second, Ranking Joe‘s Natty General as heard on last week’s David Rodigan show when he did a history of the “General” Rhythm. There’s a lovely dub on this cut with some serious filtering/knob twiddling around the 4.20 mark and some heavy baseline business. Tune!

The last and no means least is from The Heptones – You Can’t Hide from Jah featuring a nice keyboard  hook as heard earlier today on the sound tape Soul to Soul, Lovebird club, Jamaica 1979 on the excellent Who Cork The Dance website.

Keep warm and as Terry C. on the Echo Beach radio show says “Stay Irie my friends.”

Charity shop classic of the week

the-new-composers
A super tune obtained this afternoon for the bargain price of £2.04 (with plastic bag) from Oxfam on Drury Lane, Covent Garden.

Bought on a whim, the only reason being, it was on a label called Better Days (the name of the New York club where Tee Scott would play and Steve Proctor’s musical project) and the mention of Frank De Wulf on the A side.

It’s a cracker of a tune from the New Composers out of Saint Petersburg called The Sirens of Titan. It’s a great chilled out piano-led piece which features some operatic vocal samples and even a bit of morse code, a tune that’s well up our street. Who said you can’t find a decent record in a charity shop anymore?

Cutting straight to dub, are we Frank?

David Rodigan has told a story on this week’s show about the (late, great) UK mastering engineer John Hassell. Years ago when in a studio in America, he heard that the session before him featured one Frank Sinatra. He asked the production team how it went, and they said it was okay but they were amazed that the record company went for the take where Frank forgot the lyrics. Turns out the tune was called Strangers In The Night (and we all know that “dooby dooby doo” bit at the end.) Brilliant story and I’d love to believe it’s true.

His mention of John Hassell reminded me of a brilliant TV programme from many moons ago where it shows him at the controls (and his wife Felicity giving it a “reeeeewind”) and even has some nice petrol lawn mower and edging shear action at the start of it. What more do you want out of a TV clip? Dub it Mr Hassell!

A note from Nicosia

A very big shout to our dub-wise gardening friend Haji Mike in Cyprus for this piece which we received the other day after enquiring about what gives gardening-wise over there at the moment, interesting stuff.shekkerika

Winter in Cyprus is usually known for citrus fruits, oranges, lemons, grapefruit (a little later). tangerines, pomelo and many more.

Googling the term ‘Shekkerika’ the other day I was stunned to find just four fairly irrelevant search results. Shekkerika (plural) of Shekkeriko is a very small orange that fits in your hand with a powerfully sweet aromatic taste that is unique to Cyprus. We have one in our garden that thanks to my long time friend Aydin and her pruning skills, has developed from a scrawny little thing to a medium sized tree baring lots of fruit.

My philosophy on this, one shekkeriko a day keeps the doctor away, but two or three will significantly increase your sugar levels! Its truly a lovely fruit just bursting with flavour. mespilaMέσπιλα – Mespila does not as far as I know have a translation into English from Greek. Its an aromatic fruit, cooling and juicy which ripens in spring. It may be puzzling why I am talking about it on New Years Day 2017. Mespila have a really unusual flower which you can only see if you get really close up. They flower in clusters and the wasps and bees are busily doing the cross pollination thing today, no rest for the hard working meek. The fruit is also easy to grow from seed. Usually its hard to reach the higher fruits when they ripen, so after the birds have had their feast, seeds drop to the ground, and grow nearby.

The tree is really well suited to the Mediterranean climate, long hot summers and rain in winter (if we are lucky). You could always spot a Cypriot house in the UK with a Mespilo tree in the front garden, although I must confess, I can never remember eating the fruit fresh from the streets of London where I grew up. More power to the workers…big up the bees and wasps…

haji-mike-bandcamp

Thanks to Mike for the piece. He’s got some new music out soon (with Kingdom Signal out of Corsica), available here on the Haji Mike/Kingdom Signal bandcamp (more info here too!) Have a listen as it’s good stuff, we’re loving “Dubbing the Martians” at the moment.