Constructing in a Blue Peter style

Nothing was really done in the garden this morning apart from putting some vegetable peelings in the compost heap (that’s still gardening isn’t it?) but come the late afternoon the sun came out for a short while. In that time some plastic sheeting was tacked onto the other two palettes, making them now a home for spuds and some rows of carrot seeds. This simple construction like the other couple we made this week will give the plants protection from the forthcoming cold days & nights we’re supposed to be having so the weather report on Countryfile tonight reckoned.

A left over stick of celery was stuck under the terrarium to see if it would grow and a wormery was hastily put together using an old butchers bucket that used to be a home for worms a few years ago. A bin bag and a concrete slab was put over it for good measure. On the last two subjects, will anything happen you reckon?

Turn your radio on…

Here’s an “off the radio” recording of One Deck Pete’s “Radio fanatics of the world unite” mix as broadcast on Free Radio Skybird this morning via Channel 292 on shortwave. “Tune in and rip the knob off” as Bill Mitchell use to say on various pirate radio station jingles in the 1990’s.

Bouncing off the ionosphere

Here’s a lovely piece of radio-related graphics which we received the other week thanks to DJ Frederick. It’s a Free Radio Skybird log book designed and produced by the graphic artist NanSea Griggs. It’s an excellent hand-crafted booklet in a folded over card cover which is a collaged, hand stamped, one-off piece which we love here! Have a look at her other work for the cassette label whythetapesplay. Designwise it’s a refreshing breathe of fresh air which makes us shout “Bring back the Prittstick, PVA and the John Bull printing kit to graphic design!”

Just a reminder that Free Radio Skybird will be on the air tomorrow Sunday 29th March at 1100 UTC (1200 UK) on 6070 kHz via Channel 292. The programme will feature Justin Patrick Moore’s Radiophonic Laboratory (at 10 mins in) and One Deck Pete’s “Radio fanatics of the world unite” mix (at 25 mins in) and other interesting stuff. If you haven’t got a shortwave radio tune in here and enjoy something “a little way different” as they say.

What did YOU do in your lunchtime during the great corona virus?

In 60 minutes how much gardening can you really do especially when you got to wolf down some tuna pasta first and then wash the bowl?

We managed to tack some clear plastic sheeting onto the top of the two empty palettes that were sitting around waiting for compost which have now gone on top of the raised beds. We also put in two more spuds and brought out into the sunlight the seed trays that have some cabbages, tomatoes and peppers in them in an attempt to “harden them off”. Talk about the genre called “speed gardening”!

Where will three spuds get you?

It all started the other Saturday afternoon, we were in a shop in Forest Hill at the end of queue of people scrambling to buy some fresh fruit and veg. The woman in front of us was knocked back as she was trying to buy more than the regulation “Three potatoes per person” as stated on the hastily written felt-tipped sign on the wall. A thought came into our heads, what’s it going to be like in the next few months when it comes to buying fruit & veg? Will there be enough to go around and if so will they be affordable?

Apart from some onions and garlic which are overwintering, some packs of seeds left over from last year plus some from a recent ebay purchase we decided to see what else we could get, so another trip to Shannon’s was in order. We want to give a big shout to everyone there for their help, they’ve been great! When we were there they were well busy with everyone having the same idea as us to get seeds and plants in before the lockdown. They still had a good bit of stock left, so we bought a couple of big bags of compost, a large bag of seed spuds and a couple of packets of cut and come again lettuce. We know it’s early in the season and yes we’re taking a chance with the frost but the weeks will fly by and it’ll be summer before you know it, so we’ve started sowing now.

We’re working from home at the moment so we can now spend an extra hour daily (1-2pm) in the garden. As you can’t go out to get anything (and most places where you could are closed anyway) we’re utilising what we have stored away like the palettes we were given years ago now in use as raised beds and plastic cloches, window frames and the upside down terrarium thrown out for the binmen as frost protection. The latest thing is a roll of black material that was bought to put down before our decking was laid. It’s now in use as some sort of weed suppressant, frost protector come soil warmer for the early seed spuds that we put in. All we did was weigh it down with stones on top of the soil and cut an X in the material with an old bread knife and popped the spuds in. We put some soil on top of the hole that the spud will eventually grow through as extra protection. It’s a case of whatever we got, we’re going to use!

And it’s only been a month that we sowed those cut and come again lettuces we got free with the Kitchen Garden Magazine (post here) on the back windowsill and they’re well on the way to start eating! The tomatoes and pepper seedlings are growing too. The sooner you sow the sooner they’ll be ready to eat but remember to protect against those frosts!

Next weekend, today


Here’s a sneak preview of DJ Frederick’s Free Radio Skybird to be transmitted on Sunday 29th March at 1100 UTC (1200 UK) on 6070 kHz via Channel 292. The show will also be rebroadcast on Sunday 5th April at 1100 UTC (1200 UK) on 6070 kHz.

The programme features Justin Patrick Moore’s Radiophonic Laboratory (at 25 mins in) and One Deck Pete’s “Radio fanatics of the world unite” mix (at 10 mins in) that features tunes from Nadezha Orlova, Duce Haus and Yemanjo and the Monarch Duo. Don’t touch that (internet) dial!

We’ve all been told to garden from home

There’s been a lot of keenness in the garden today what with the sun coming out and we’ve spent a good few hours since 10 am tipping around, sowing, tidying and mowed the grass. Some suntan lotion was even applied!

You know for a fact it’ll probably snow all next week but that’s a risk we’ve got to take, it’ll only be the cost of a packet of seeds and a few seed potatoes. You never know what’ll happen and it’s worth giving it a go.

We even used the last of the comfrey feed we had left over from last year so started a new batch. Comfrey leaves are now springing up and we used them combined with some fresh nettles and some borage leaves for added goodness. It’ll be stinking up the place in a few weeks time but the jazzy Boots home brew bucket is way down the garden and the liquid is worth its weight in gold when it’s ready!

Gardening on a DIY tip, yet again

We had a brainwave this morning, “What if we tacked some left over plastic from a delivery over the top of those palettes we were given a few years ago that were sitting in the corner crying out to be filled with compost and made into raised beds?” we said to ourselves. We’ve now got some carrots, cabbage and parsnips in a micro-DIY-greenhouse thing. Who said you need much money to do that gardening lark?

And now the sun’s out, here’s a wonderful tune from Rahat called Djembe on Via del Sol records to cheer us all up and it’s a grower!

It’s that time again, or is it?

We’re working from home for the foreseeable future and on Thursday lunchtime we went for a walk (in a social distancing style of course) to clear the mind. There were queues outside the doctors, pre-corona paranoia, not a soul on the streets nor a sausage in the shop. We popped into Shannon’s where it was well busy! We purchased a big bag of compost and some seed potatoes (below) whilst other people were getting herbs, tomato plants and all sort of good gear that’ll come in handy in the months to come.

God knows what’s going to happen when it comes to getting fresh veg in the near future so we may as well make a start now! We’re already overwintering some onions and garlic and now warming up the raised beds where we may stick the odd seed potato in this week and take a chance. We using all the stuff we’ve found in the street or in skips like the terrarium, the window frame, the odd jar and some plastic small cloches to do the job. We’ve got a few rows of seeds in already and we’re going to do more. Why not? You never know what the weather’s going to be like.

And this thing (below) covered with a jar is a courgette seed, talk about starting early! Keep safe and when loneliness hits you during the day working from home, don’t go down the local shops as you’ll be disappointed, walk out to the back garden and tip around with a hoe for half an hour. It works wonders!

Tune into the world outside

We may be locked out from the outside world for a short while but don’t worry, that interesting thing called radio will help us through this mad time.

The next episode of DJ Frederick’s Free Radio Skybird will be aired on Sunday 29th March at 1100 UTC (1200 UK) on 6070 kHz via Channel 292. The show will be rebroadcast on Sunday 5th April at 1100 UTC (1200 UK) on 6070 kHz also. If you haven’t got a shortwave radio it can also be heard on the SDR link on Channel 292’s site here.

The programme will feature Justin Patrick Moore’s Radiophonic Laboratory and One Deck Pete presenting the Skybird Mailbag. There’ll also be an airing of Pete’s “Radio fanatics of the world unite” mix that has tunes from Nadezha Orlova, Duce Haus and Yemanjo and the Monarch Duo. Also in the next couple of months Free Radio Skybird will take to the air a little bit more. We will keep you posted!

And further radio help can be obtained from this week’s instalment of This is a music show available below. As usual there’s a mix of excellent music in a cross genre style, image data and a corker of a dub track. Our kind of radio show!