Freecycle – Stoke & Newcastle – Green Army Men

I have a Carrier Bag Full of “Green Army Men”, about 200 men and accessories.
They are painted though. Most quite well. Would suit a Soldiers crazy little person.

Green Army Men

Green Army Men on Freecycle

Mens Heath Day – Stoke

Mark Porter and Shane Rankin Talk about "Check em Lads"

Mark Porter and Shane Rankin Talk about “Check em Lads

It was a stimulating day of quick presentations and discussions designed to fire up thinking, build knowledge and forge new collaborations.

Stoke Blokes Talk Men’s Health

There were Inspiring stories of local men taking action and raising awareness of critical health issues around the world.  Delegates got to hear from the WEA team and friends on new approaches to learning and health: live research work in Stoke-on-Trent

Everyone got to contribute to plans and improve networks with the aim of making learning and good health available for everyone. The venue made use of ‘open space’ and breakout sessions where delegates could ask questions, share good work and discuss the big issues.

The conference was aimed at Health and learning practitioners, community volunteers, and anybody working with men and wider communities within Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, plus anyone else passionate about learning, health or wellbeing. Organisers were keen to stress that although the project is about men’s health, many of the issues discussed apply to everyone.

The delegates arrived as early as 9.00am to mingle and network until the main proceeding got underway at 10:00 am.
The agenda included:

 Making Health and learning accessible for all

with Danny Flynn (YMCA), Marvin Malloy (My Health Matters/Changes), Linda Harrington & Qas Maqsood (WEA)
Weaving learning & health improvements into our everyday landscapes: inspiring projects & people taking action to raise awareness and support others
Phil Thomas (6 Towns Runner) spoke of his experience of being ill as a child and how his parents worked hard to support him, he described his mission to run 12 half marathons in 12 days to raise money for a local charity, as his way of giving back to the community.
I was invited to speak regarding my Movember fundraising efforts. I described how a disparate group of men, got together to raise money and awareness about Prostate and Testicular Cancer, and also about my own recent cancer scare, and how to get properly checked out. Listen to my talk below.
Bret Shah from 6 Towns Radio / Happiness project came to discuss how he had turned his life around by acting upon advice from self-help books to assess how satisfied with his life he was.  He identified key problems and set about making changes to improve his wellbeing.
After lunch, we heard from Mark Porter & Shane Rankin spoke about the “Check em Lads” initiative, and their upcoming local initiative called “Check thee sen“. They had a live link-up with Mens health activist Nick O’ Hara Smith of the Androids website.  Nick campaigns to raise the availability of Male Hormones for boys who are deficient in it and for those who have suffered from testicular Cancer.

The day was concluded by talking about using the web to spread the word & build your own personal learning network. Mike Rawlins (Talk About Local), Clare White (WEA), Carl Plant (NHS Local) & other helpful friendly techie types

The day was concluded by informal coffee at the Mitchell Arts Centre.

The Twitter Hashtag for the day was : #hmm12

More information from Wea Stoke:

The Health Maintenance for Men project has been funded by the Skills Funding Agency and is one of NIACE’s Adult & Community Learning Fund projects. Our aims are to raise awareness of important issues that affect men, develop and pilot flexible learning materials and demonstrate their impact plus showcase a wider range of work that has a positive impact on men’s health. We also want to help build up closer working links between a range of people interested in improving men’s health in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and more widely.

For more information use the form on the right to contact us, telephone             01782 831911       or visit http://www.westmidlands.wea.org.uk/menshealth

3d Tideswell Church by Caretakerproduction

A really great 3d Model of Tideswell Church, the Cathedral of the Peak, done in Google Sketchup.  Google Sketchup is a Free 3d Tool that allows users to creaye Three dimensional buildings and objects.

I was particularly impressed with the way in which this user has managed to create the 3d turrets on Tideswell Church.

Time to wake up

Free your Mind!

Sometimes I wonder, is it just me, am I paranoid, or is everyone else asleep? On the face of it, It’s a simple one to answer. Everyone else isn’t asleep. There are many, many people around with greater intelligence than I will ever possess.

So, given that rather obvious fact, I need to ask myself, what is it that causes me to be so cynical? Why do I find it impossible to rub along with the rest of em, and accept my lot in life?

Questioning your role in society

Perhaps I’m questioning my own role in life, or perhaps I’m questing my own inability to slot in, and enjoy the slotting in? Whatever it is, I get the daily sensation that other people either find it easy to slot in and I’m a freak.   Or it could be that I’m not meant to slot in, and, by not slotting in I’m going to reap some kind of benefit from my refusal to follow the crowd.

What I mean by this is,  : “I don’t buy into the system“,

  • I don’t buy into what I’m being told by the media. 
  • I don’t buy into the corporate bulletins I get at work.
  • To me it’s all bullshit and I can see it, I see it clearly.
  • Do other people not see it? 

Or, perhaps is it as I expect, that other people do see it they simply choose not to do anything about it.

Caught in the Rat Race

Why exactly is that? maybe it’s as many wise old blokes told me in the past, that “you can’t fight the system”. Or perhaps it’s just because although many people see the flaws in the system,  they are caught up in it and therefore choose to keep their head down to pay the mortgage.  By doing so, they believe they might just manage to get themselves a rung higher on the ladder.

With regard to the media, I see people on Facebook furiously posting their opposition or approval to world events, and again I wonder why do people go for it? I honestly don’t believe the majority of what is printed or reported.

It’s not that I  believe that these events  aren’t happening, but I don’t believe we are getting the full picture. Propaganda has gotten to the point now where it is almost impossible to separate facts from stage managed orchestrated “false flag” events.

Whilst there will be those who say it is,  isn’t paranoia on my part, there is plenty of evidence out there to show that things aren’t quite what they seem.

I’m not going to list events, because you may already have your opinion. Simply do your own research If you are interested.  If you can relate to any of the points I’m making.

People’s Revolution or Homogenous worldview events?

As a starting point, try Googling the revolution in Serbia. There is some evidence to show that this so called revolution was orchestrated by a P.R company OTPOR who received funding from the American government.

Take a good look at their logo, then google the logo for revolution in Libya, Ukraine, Egypt, Yemen etc. This isn’t the people rising up, this is the people being stirred up to create western, oil friendly regime change.

So when “despotic dictators” like Mugabe, or Kim Jong il, or Assad kill their own people brutally, what they claim to be doing doing is removing the instigators and colluders of foreign plots who are in fact trying to cause instability in their countries. We hear if Differently.  But what is the REAL truth?

Don’t get me wrong, these leaders are clearly evil bastards with questionable morals but you don’t rule with a rod of iron for years to chuck it away because a few folk start waving placards about. These leaders know they cannot fight the power of America Militarily but they can act within their own borders, because sovereign countries are largely untouchable when acting within their own borders.

Iran for example, did you hear about the stealth drone that the Iranians have supposedly captured last week? http://rt.com/usa/news/iran-drone-hack-stealth-943/

Do you suppose that has happened by accident? Maybe you do…but my question is why did the American govt not self destruct the lost drone? The answer is fairly clear to me, it provides them with more “evidence” and a clean motive to attack Iran.

Iran are on the verge of developing nuclear technology, the West do not want Iran to have that technology and many commentators state publicly that it’s more a case of WHEN the West attacks Iran, as opposed to IF they attack.

So, when I see these so called revolutions,  I don’t buy it.
I’m not going to buy it, ever, because we are being controlled, we are being brainwashed.
You don’t like that supposition, but it’s the truth.

How many of you have enjoyed watching your SKY TV this Christmas?

Every time you turn that shit on, you line the pockets of Rupert Murdoch, one of the worlds most powerful businessmen, who, as we saw this summer (2012) had government’s quaking in their boots for fear of negative publicity. Yet this is the guy who runs News Corporation, “think Phone Hacking“, “Think Levisson”, and what’s been done about it?

I don’t buy into everything I’m spoon fed because we have seen from World Wars and the NATO bombing of Belgrade and Baghdad, that civilian lives are expendable.

As long as resources and geographical strategic strongholds are secured, and the rich are safe in their ivory towers, the rest of us had better keep our heads down and not rock the boat.

Our home countries are already beginning to enforce the will of the few on the many. CCTV is everywhere, electronic tracking, phone hacking. Petrol Prices, Speed Cameras, public sector cuts etc are all a part of a wider moves to make life more difficult for the common man and to take away his ability to react and fight back.  Yet it’s all packaged up as ways to help you.

I’m sure many of you are rolling your eyes right now, but let me point out two or three good examples form America, you’ll need to look these things up.

1) Fema Camps
2) Hurricane Katrina Landgrab
3) Police using Predator Drones

If governments can be removed so easily, how long is it before it’s your country that requires lockdown?
And believe me, YOU are expendable.

It’s time to wake up now people, it really is time to wake up!

It’s not that Black or White…

Mixed Race

Mixed Race

Republished from BlackPresence.co.uk

I often think that my mixed heritage gives me a fantastic advantage of speaking about race issues.  A perspective that sometimes I feel neither Black or White people can truly understand.

Looking in the mirror every day as a child and wondering where my brown features came from was a particularly hard thing to grapple with but apart from one time in infancy, I don’t ever remember being troubled by my ethnicity. Quite the opposite in fact, I always felt proud of who I am, despite not having much actual detail about my origins.

I was born to a White woman in the 1970’s, my Black father has never been a part of my life. I was adopted from Manchester and went to live in the Derbyshire countryside with a loving, childless, working class White couple. Despite the obvious pitfalls that would follow. My early life was great.

Being one of the only kids with a drop of colour in the area certainly provided it’s challenges. My adoptive parents, who are the only parents I have ever known faced the normal whispering campaign by the village gossips and bigots but on the whole people were supportive of their decision to take in a “coloured” child.

I always had plenty of friends to play with, but there were experiences that revealed the racism engrained in English society in the Seventies and Eighties.

Racist 80s
Some of the nicknames I had were Choccy, Coony, and Chalky. Seriously, this seems unreal now, but the number of mixed race guys I have met over the years who were also dubbed “Chalky” after the Jim Davison character “Chalky White”.

Although my parents tried their best to protect me from this name calling, there was a limit to what they could do. At the time I was so woefully ignorant of the true meaning of these slurs. Yet I honestly believe that the kids who called me
these names, were too. These were names picked up from the culture of their parents.
Comedians such as Jim Davidson and Bernard Manning were popular in those days and “Black Jokes” were part of the “comedy” landscape. I bore it all, until puberty.

I have, like many people suffered racism, and like many mixed race people, I have suffered discrimination at the hands of Black, White and Asian people. I probably have too many experiences of racism to go into here, but indulge me, whilst I present to you a few of the ones that stick in the mind, for your examination.

  • One School report day, my mum sat me down to discuss my distinctly average grades. Almost every class report said, Philip is intelligent , he refuses to apply himself. My mum told me that one of the Teachers had said to her “Negroes are naturally indolent, they need to be pushed at every turn”.
  • Aged about 12 I was hanging around at the other end of the village and this little kid came up to us and was chatting to us, he let me sit on his bike. I was cycling round and round in circles and suddenly his dad came running out into the garden bare chested. Saw me on the bike and shouted “get off that bike, you Black Bastard“. Naturally, stunned I jumped off the bike, dashed it to the floor and flipped him the bird and shouted “up yours” before sprinting off before retribution was visited.
  • Like so many Black and mixed race kids my age, I had no reason to love the police in the 80’s. Aged 14, I was cycling my Bike through the Village of Bradwell, suddenly a cop car past me and pulled me over. I faced a barrage of questions such as “Where are you from”, “what’s your name” , “whats your name?…”where are you from?”, “who’s bike is that?”, “where did you buy it?”, “whats your name again?”.After explaining several times who I was, and that I was from the next village, the cop let me go on my way. when I asked him why pulled me up, he told me that a bike fitting the description had been stolen from the area, but I know that was a croc of lies, because he never even took the frame number, it was just intimidation, plain and simple.
  • In Junior School I was something of a wimp, but I was turning 11, when something clicked in me. I had decided that I wasn’t going to take racism anymore, because I knew that if I didn’t start standing up for myself, I’d be in trouble when I got to high school.One sunny afternoon I was strolling around the village when I was challenged by another boy, who was in fact, a year younger than me to get off the path. In fact his words were “move Choccy!” , I just laughed and said, “No, you move.” this went on for a few minutes before we resolved to settle this like men at one o’clock on the corner of the street. He went and spread the word, lots of the older kids came down on their bikes, I’m sure they thought he was gonna beat me up, he had a reputation for being a hardnut.

    That day the worm turned. I battered that kid, in fact he only landed one punch in the whole fight and that was when I was trying to pull my coat off, because I’d gotten too hot from punching him repeatedly. He didn’t know my Dad had taught me a load of boxing moves. That day things largely changed forever. High School was a breeze and I had respect.

Changing 90’s 

When I was around 16/17 I used to go drinking in the Ex-Servicemans Club. It was a Private Members Club and you could be a member at 16. There were these two blokes, who used to go in there who would just sit and abuse me. They were in their mid 20’s and I was just a skinny 17 yr old so the best I could do was give them some verbal back.

Years later I walked into the George Hotel, and was having a drink when I spotted one of these Idiots sitting in the pool room, he was clearly drunk, so I thought I’d have a word. Bear in mind that I was about 24 at this point and I’d filled out considerably. I strolled over to him and said “Hello there, ….”. “oh, hello mate” he said. Well that was it, red rag to a bull time! I started shouting at him, “Dont you want to call me Nigger, or Coon , or Wog? “its mate now is it? , I’ve a good mind to smash you all over this place! ” He started protesting his innocence and a few other people intervened. It was totally worth it to see the cowardly reaction he gave though without the backup of his mate.

You see so many of these racists had clearly identified me as being diferent to them, simply by the colour of my skin, to them I was Black. Yet conversely, many Black people I have known have sneered at me or frowned upon me for being “too White”.

In the late 90’s I was at University, I had a wide social circle that included people from Norway to Nigeria, Greece to Ghana. When meeting some of the Black guys for the first time they would all greet me with the stereotypical Black handshake which consisted of a hand grasp, then sliding the fingers, then a thumb lock and flick/click of the fingers or a gimme five motion.

The maddening thing was that no two guys ever seemed to do the same shake. They always looked at me with suspicion when I couldn’t do it. You see, that despite being heavily interested in Black politics and left wing movements, I’d had little contact with Black people on the whole. Years later in Africa, I had no such experience, no African I met in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia or Mozambique greeted me in the same way as the Black guys at Uni. Instead of regarding me with suspicion they treated me like a long lost brother.

Other examples of my “Whiteboyness” came at a Jamaican wedding, my first one. I didn’t know any of the dance steps. Everyone else in the room did.. I prayed for the ground to eat me up, I dropped out, my girlfriend at the time was cringing and I can’t remember feeling so alone in a crowd. Even eating the food was an issue. What man doesn’t like “Curry Goat” , but Pigs foot? No, I wasn’t up for eating a pigs foot and again, I stood out from the crowd.

Over the years I have received both plaudits and criticism from Black people over the creation of this site my motives for creating it. I have been told I’m “Not Black”. My answer is I’m not White either, and I look Black, and have been treated the same way you have. I have also pointed out that had I been living in America, or Apartheid South Africa, I would have been treated as a Black person. It bought little creedance.

You see, the thing with being mixed race in Britain is that you STILL don’t actually fully fit in anywhere. My point of view is that people of all colours need to know the struggles of peoples of African Descent, before anyone can truly begin to understand that the colour of a persons skin does not wholly define them. It is merely a part of their identity. Culture and experience actually count for much more than a superficial marker like skin colour.

Republished from BlackPresence.co.uk

Tideswell News Roundup 29th September 2011

I’m trying to keep the blog updated every week or 2 now so that all the Tideswell info gets put out whilst I get the chance.  I do hope that it’s proving useful and interesting for you.  Not all the news is riveting but hey, that’s life in a rural village.  I’m at least trying to keep it relevant though, because a lot of people always say “Nothing ever happens in Tideswell” , well that’s not strictly true.  you just have to have your ear to the ground.

This update I have unearthed another local blogger.  Don Ayers has a lovely little blog which chronicles his life with his Dogs.  In fact has dogs even have their own section on the blog with charming cartoons that have been lovingly made.

The latest version of the “Dog blog” shows a trip up Scratta and the surrounding area.  Scratta is the Hillside running from Monsal Head over towards Wardlow.

View Large Map

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Are you Game for Game Pie?

Game Pie

Game Pie

Then I stumbled across a cool recipie for Game Pie on the Tideswell School of Food Website.  I am a great lover of Game Pie, if you love Pork Pie, you will love Game Pie by the Head of School Steve Vardy.

Just click the link above and download the recipe from Tideswell School of Food.

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Nothing wrong with Vanilla

Vanilla Kitchen

Vanilla Kitchen


One Website I seem to keep coming back to again and again is TripAdvisor. Today I found a  good few reviews of Vanilla Kitchen in Tideswell.  The reviews are all good, which has got to be good.  With a great eatery waiting for you in Tidza, what are you waiting for?

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What’s on at the Pictures?  

Tideswell cinema keeps delivering the classics. This time it’s True Grit.  this is the Recent Cohen brother remake of the original which starred John Wayne.  Whilst a little Darker than the original this version is very faithful to the original film, and is certainly worth a watch with an outstanding performance by Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross.

True Grit

Time
20 October · 19:30 – 21:30

Location
Upstairs at The George Hotel, Tideswell

Created by:

More info
Members and Guests – see programme for details

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Tideswell Choir help the Forces

Tideswell Male Voice Choir

Tideswell Male Voice Choir

Tideswell Male Voice and the Band of the Royal Air Force College will be airing their talents in a concert at Buxton Opera House on Sunday October 9, at 7.30pm.

Proceeds from the Reach for the Skies concert will be donated to Help for Heroes, RAFA and the RAF Benevolent Fund.

The choir’s principal conductor and musical director, Dennis Kay, said: “To obtain the services of this superb band is a real coup and the audience is assured of a wonderful evening’s entertainment.”

Read more: Buxton Advertiser

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Good news for Tideswell jobs as Holdsworth lands big contract

According to Insider Media.

Tideswell food distributor Holdsworth Food has won a contract to supply 84 pubs and bars in the McMullen brewery group.

The company believes the three-year contract will be worth £3.5m a year to supply the pub chain, which has outlets throughout the South East.

Chairman Michael Holdsworth said: “Over the past 42 years we have grown to become a respected food service distributor in the UK as a result of our commitment to offering customers a competitive package with the best quality, value for money products and excellent service.

“We endeavour to develop long-term working partnerships with both suppliers and customers and are proud to have earned our reputation within the industry.

Read more: Insider Media

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Play offers a spot of rock and roll

The Matlock Mercury report that A UNIQUE theatrical and musical event comes to The George Hotel, Tideswell, on September 30 and October 1 which aims to have you totally engrossed in a story with a difference.

Cartoon De Salvo, the critically-acclaimed, London-based theatre company, comes to the village with Pub Rock, the tale of a band that has been together since school playing all the classic songs.

Read more: Matlock Mercury

Police to consult with local people

Residents in Tideswell, Bakewell and Matlock and the surrounding areas are being invited to meet with their local policing teams and partnership agencies.

It is a chance for local people to have a say on the issues that are affecting their quality of life and help set priorities for the teams to target.

They are set to take place on:

  • Monday, October 3: (Tideswell and Area Villages Community Forum) Beeley Village Hall, 7pm.
  • Tuesday, October 4: (For Bakewell residents) The Medway Centre, off New Street, Bakewell, 3pm.
  • Wednesday, October 5: (For Matlock and Tansley residents) Dales Housing, Dimple Road, Matlock, 2pm.

Village SOS – Tideswell – Your thoughts please

Last night saw Village SOS – feature our very own village of Tideswell. I for those who don’t know am an ex-resident, but still get there regularly to visit family and friends.

A group of residents have been in involved in setting up The Tideswell School of Food and the Taste Tideswell Brand.

I had been warned by friends on Facebook that opinion about the project is quite split. We posted a thread about the program on The Facebook group Let’s Debate.

I’m keen to hear from an Tideswell residents just what you think of the School of Food and what your thoughts were on the way the village was portrayed. (if you missed the show, here it is.)

Village SOS – Tideswell

Before you leave your comment though, the other night I tried to think of all the shops that have closed since I was a kid in the village, here’s the list…

Over the years we have lost….The video shop/The bottom shop,  Eric Jones, Grocers, Chapmans Newsagents, The Ex Servicemans Club/ Cross Daggers Inn…The 1st Drop Inn, Jeans wool shop, Alan Burns Electricals, The Halifax, The (original)Post office, Audrey Hopkins Shoe shop, Anne Smiths Grocery, Kenworthy’s The undertakers, Ron Hall’s Butchers, Warringtons News, Maderia House restaurant, Mick Bethels Petrol station/Garage,  and Chapel House Turnery, Peak Posies, The Launderette, and perhaps one or two more I can’t think of.

A Trip to Little Moreton Hall

Little Moreton Hall

Little Moreton Hall

We took a trip over the Cheshire border yesterday to Little Moreton Hall.  I had passed this place many many times without really realising that it was open to the public.  As we arrived We were greeted by nice friendly helpful staff.

As you first glance at the house it seems completely crooked and unstable.  It is however a stunning example of Tudor building and you feel sure that it will be interesting to simply enter it.

The house a small moat running all the way around it, which is home to ducks and large fish. As you cross the bridge into the courtyard you can see just how many small extensions the house has had, and marvel at the skill of the Tudor craftsmen who created it.

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Today the house is owned and managed by the National Trust. NT membership is great value for money if you live in the midlands, because there are lots of local attractions to visit.  As well as looking round the house we stayed for lunch and The restaurant is to be recommended.  The staff are polite and helpful, they were efficient in taking the order and the food arrived quickly.  Most importantly though, it was delicious and healthy.

Little Moreton Hall: National Trust Website

 

Mays Allotment Progress

Potato trenches

Potato trenches

Well, May has been a bit of a weird one April was so unbelievably hot and it was mostly wasted.  The ground was so hard I couldn’t dig it. I had to borrow a pick -axe.  By the way the Pick-axe is by far the most useful tool I own now, perfect for clay soils.

Anyway.  Tonight I managed to put about 5 rows of spuds in.  I dug the trenches and using some shop bought Manure I got the taters.

The great thing about raised beds is that the soil is so easy to dig.  Furthermore once it’s conditioned, its good to go for next year.

The Strawberries seemed a bit sickly until last week when they started to flower.  now they seem to be increasing in size too.  I gave them a bit of manure too.  Usually I’d add it in to the bed early but couldn’t because I hadn’t found a good supply.  Hopefully it will give them a boost, and help them produce plenty of fruit.  The White container you can see is my Nettle Manure…I simply stuffed a load of nettles into the container and filled it full of water, and left it for a month.  It bloody stinks, but is apparently full of nitrogen, so should be good for my Peas.

Strawberries

Strawberries

Raised Beds

Building Terraced Beds

Building  Terraced Beds

Well, I have sort of taken my own advice.  I realised that if I wasn’t careful i’d end up with nothingas the plot needs a lot of work to bring it to Fruition.  So I resoved to clear a path at a time and build the beds as I go.  As you can see though the soil is very claggy and so I’ll leave it to dry out in this unexpected sunny period.  I had planned to level the whole plot but after digging out the second bed, i realised this was going to be a bit too much work to achieve this year.  So I opted for a Terraced effect, which has actually given me a bit more room than I’d expected. Well, I have sort of taken my own advice.  I realised that if I wasn’t careful i’d end up with nothingas the plot needs a lot of work to bring it to Fruition.  So I resoved to clear a path at a time and build the beds as I go.  As you can see though the soil is very claggy and so I’ll leave it to dry out in this unexpected sunny period.  I had planned to level the whole plot but after digging out the second bed, i realised this was going to be a bit too much work to achieve this year.  So I opted for a Terraced effect, which has actually given me a bit more room than I’d expected.

You can see where the Fork is, that is the next area to be dug out, the bed at the top right of the picture will have a sister shortly too.  So, Where you can see the green handle of my spade, will be Lettuce and Onions, plus some Chives.  The bed in the foreground will have Corn and Potatoes.  The top two beds (only one built so far) will be Pumpkin, Squash, Courgette and Cucumbers.  Peas are growing nicely at home, as are the strawberries which are out of shot.

In the second image you can see just how far I have had to  dig down..the depth of the boards is where the ground level was.

Raised Beds

Raised Beds

Biting off more than is chewable

I went to the allotment the other night, it was a bout 8.pm and I looked at it in horror.  I realised that this year my plans are quite grand, considering what I did last year.  Putting in all the beds is a feat in itself, but lowering the paths, building a pond and Installing Greenhouses and sheds might just be a step too far.  Considering the fact that I haven’t yet managed to get the soiled fertilised, I knew I’d bitten off more than I can chew.  Instead I’m going to do one thing at a time, otherwise I’ll end up  with about 15 unfinished projects.  So project one will be to get the existing beds ready for planting before I build any more.

Building raised beds

I am building raised beds on the Allotment this year. I only had two small beds last year, but they both worked very well in comparison with crops grown directly into the ground.

As last year my friend is dropping me the wood and I have to get the beds together. I have borrowed a handy cordless drill and have made a good start.

The soil is still a bit wet and quite clay too so it’s been hard going. The allotment is on a slope and I’m trying to get my plot levelled off. That’s a heck of a lot of soil for one man to move. Here are two pics taken on my mobile.

Each bed is about 9 feet long.  The boards are about 10 inches deep.  I have started marking out two more now, so the grass where the green bowl is will be wide enough to let a barrow through.  The path also needs to be lowered by about 8 inches.

Marking out the beds

Marking out the beds

Three beds built

Three beds built

Allotment update – Getting started in 2011

Well I went up to the allotment for the second time this year. I had a couple of hours so thought i’d mark out some beds and dig a bit over.Money is going to be a serious issue this year.
With the cost of living rising massively I have even less to spend this year than last year. but i’m going to spend more on the allotment and less on beer.

At the end of last year my daughter and I went out and collected 4 big bags full of fallen leaves.I put them into the compost bin I made along with some old potting compost and plenty of water. When i checked out how it was doing. I was pleasantly surprised, after just a few months I’d say its a bout 40% compost already.

As I stated to turn over one of the beds I dug last year but never actually used I was pleased to see it was full of worms, something I seemed to be lacking last year. I put a fair few of them into the compost heap to help get it going even faster.
I hate being in a competition with other gardeners but have noticed that quite a few of the other allotmenteers are already underway. My whole plot needs digging over. Got to get my arse into gear.
As a final note. I enlisted my friends help tonight and we picked up a load of slabs from a local bloke I met on Twitter tonight. They will help make lovely paths and the edge of a pond.
More ..as it happens.

Getting started in 2011

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Well I went up to the allotment for the second time this year. I had a couple of hours so thought i’d mark out some beds and dig a bit over.

Money is going to be a serious issue this year. With the cost of living rising massively I have even less to spend this year than last year. but i’m going to spend more on the allotment and less on beer.

At the end of last year my daughter and I went out and collected 4 big bags full of fallen leaves.I put them into the compost bin I made along with some old potting compost and plenty of water. When i checked out how it was doing. I was pleasantly surprised, after just a few months I’d say its a bout 40% compost already.

As I stated to turn over one of the beds I dug last year but never actually used I was pleased to see it was full of worms, something I seemed to be lacking last year. I put a fair few of them into the compost heap to help get it going even faster.

I hate being in a competition with other gardeners but have noticed that quite a few of the other allotmenteers are already underway. My whole plot needs digging over. Got to get my arse into gear.

As a final note. I enlisted my friends help tonight and we picked up a load of slabs from a Local bloke I met on Twitter tonight. They will help make lovely paths and the edge of a pond.

More ..as it happens.

Mobile Uploads – Feb/March 2011

Met this bloke, BLAZE whilst waiting for a bus.  He was standing there waiting and I started asking him when the bus was coming.  Within a few minutes we had started a conversation which was interesting and eye opening.

He reminded me of someone I used to work with.  In both looks and mannerisms.  I really enjoyed being in the presence his youthful enthusiasm.

We covered a lot of topics during our short bus journey across Stoke-on-Trent.

I hope I run into this unique individual again.

I have seen this waste disposal truck around the town a lot recently.  For some reason, it caught my eye on this particular day. I kind of like the psychotic penguin, although I’m not entirely sure why it’s got a Chainsaw.

At least the design is original and eye catching.  If it makes kids think about recycling then that has to be good.

This picture depicts a load of my daughters mini dolls.  I did a contract job down in London for the makers of “Polly Pocket”.  They gave me a couple of items for my daughter and after that, well we’ve never looked back.

I often try to take photos that show the wide range of colours that we all too often overlook, and yet appear everywhere in everyday life.

This Photo is nothing that special but it shows a bottle of Top Totty.  The Photo was taken at my friend and colleague Dave’s house.  That night we were going out to Audley Beer Festival.  We both love our real Ales and one of the coolest things about Real Ale Beers are the interesting names they have.

This was the first time I have been to Audley Beer Festival, but hopefully it won’t be the last.  The ales were very tasty, and reasonably priced too.

 

Racist emails – Don’t buy into it

Racist emails piss me off

Racist emails piss me off

Whilst I have no issue with legal immigrants, being as I’m descended from them. Illegal immigrants don’t get benefits.

The Governments don’t care for old folk at all.

Our old folk have to sell their houses to pay for nursing costs. Homeless people are labelled scum and dropouts regardless of their circumstances such as mental health issues, breakdown of marriage or bankruptcy.

Odd then, how many people in this country think bombs used to drop on other people, in their own country is a worthwhile expense at around £30,000 per bomb. Britain spent £8bn in Iraq in one year alone. By 2009 the UK government had spent £12bn in Afghanistan. Thats £20 Billion that could have been used to subsidise the NHS & UK charities.

I personally worry about emails like this. We all have our political opinions, but I reckon it’s worth being clear about what we are protesting about. Britain’s history is about being tolerant and having a libertarian society, we have to identify who are the victims are and who are the scroungers. Scapegoating people tends to lead to xenophobia.

Immigration is a consequence of Empire and Colonialism and later global capitalism. If you take over a persons country, then you rob it of it’s natural resources, chances are they might one day show up wondering if they can get a slice of the wealth created from the initial robbery.

For the record, I support our troops, they do a damn good job, but whether they should be out there doing that job in the first place is a question of conscience for Prime Ministers.

Rant over.