Back outside at last

It’s been a long time coming, but this afternoon, at long last I was back out on our allotment again.  Except to drop off compost I have not spent any time on the allotment since the Autumn, and it shows, I mean it really shows.

Most of the plots which are under cultivation have been freshly dug, or are at least looking tidy, mine on the other hand looks like a disaster, broken glass on my cold frame and in my greenhouse, overgrown beds, long grass everywhere, and plenty of unpromising looking mud.

But its all grist to the mill, today I put two of the beds back to rights (more or less) ready to be raked and cultivated a bit more, before they can be planted. Lots of work to do all over the plot, but I’m glad to say that in the couple of places where I placed sheets of damp proofing plast last year, in an attempt to sheet mulch them, the ground beneath the plastic is now nice and clear, and ready for cultivation.

Everywhere needs a good tidy and sort out, which it will only really get in part, I dont really want it to be too tidy if I’m honest. I like there to be room for creatures to hide and flourish, and I love the variety of bees, beetles, butterflies and bugs that pootle around there in the summer months.

And most of all I like to sit down after some work, and enjoy a hot drink. I had to relearn the art of making fire when wood is damp and newspaper in short supply, but it didnt take long.

If you dont have a garden or access to an allotment, then try and find some other outdoor space that you can spend time in, and if possible, grow things in, it is pure therapy, it helps to reharmonise you with nature, and nothing is quite as relaxing as knowing you have accomplished a job.

That’s right folks, its the first Kelly Kettle picture of the year from me, fear not, there are bound to be more. If you’re wondering, the plastic tub is what I like to think of as my tinder box, containing cotton wool, and home made char cloth. Marvellous.

 

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Back outside at last

5 thoughts on “Back outside at last

  1. You lucky b*stard! I applied for an allotment in Newcastle and there’s a 4 year waiting list! How long did it take to get yours? Or do you pay for it?

    1. simoncross says:

      yeah there’s loads of allotments available here, you can just walk right up and get one – you do have to pay for them its about £80 per year I think, which is about as expensive as local authority allotments get, but there are plenty available. Of course the more popular sites are harder to get on to, but I like the semi wild nature of our site. Despite being stuck in the midst of a housing estate, you can feel like you’re miles away from anywhere.

  2. :-) OK I’m an American an would like you translate into American English for me. What is a Kelly Kettle, cotton wool, and home made char cloth.

    I seem to understand the rest of your ‘strange’ language but I am baffeled on a few itmes your remark about.

    Thanks happy gardening

    1. simoncross says:

      Hi, and welcome! Briefly, the Kelly kettle is the piece of kit you can see in the picture, which is a kind of kettle which is heated by a mini fire pit, and channels heat up a chimney like aperture – look up ghillie kettles to see what I mean.
      Cotton wool is a fluffy form of compressed cotton fibres, although often you can get synthetic versions too – kind of like the stuffing in a pillow, but proper cotton wool is just cotton fibres.
      Home made char cloth is char cloth I made myself – its a type of tinder used to catch a spark, I made it by cutting up a duster, and then semi anaerobically cooking it, by placing it in an almost totally sealed tin can in a fire. It stank. But it works great. I use the cotton wool and or the char cloth to catch a spark from a striker, which I then use to create a good ball of fire to get the party started :) Hope that helps.

  3. Thanks,
    I was attached to the 39 and 27 medium (British) royal artillery regiments in what was at the time West Germany near Paderborn West Germany. But even after being attached for 3 years at times British(English) speakers use terms I don’t fully understand.

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