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Monthly Archives: February 2019

Reflections 2019 w07

Two things this week…

1. The allotment continues to surprise me with buried items and “just how much wood is stored here?” One has had two burns already and if the pile is dry enough, one has at least 3 more burns, whilst I finish processing the old pallet wood to de-nail it for sawing, then it can be added onto the fence, one hopes to stop the neighbours bramble coming through. In other words…As I burn the stack of wood that is no good, I will be making more wood offcuts to throw on the fire. But once the fence has been done and the last two beds have been done, one will know all the other wood is to go. None is suitable for a new shed floor and that will be the last of the wood constructions. Still lots to do, but the mauling is coming to an end. One hopes that my back will last out.

2. The prototype of the fox draft excluder is going to be sewn together this week, once this has been done one can work out the tail pattern/size. With this being the first construction of my pattern it will not be in the fur, this way one can see any problems with alignment of the parts. And boy does this thing have a collection of parts, the fur version will have eyebrows to add a little more realism, and that will make the total pattern parts to over 6o. Not many of the parts join on the fabric pre cutting, and although the material is going to be the same on the trial it has been cut as though it would mirror the 3 fur colours on the final. This is my first pattern making, based on how to design a puppet, and there is a temptation to double the pattern size to create a fox puppet. One still has to complete the one that has been put to one side whilst doing this fox before that will come about though.

Reflections 2019 w06

We have had a week of sun and mild temperatures, so while it lasted all spare time has been spent up the allotment, drying the wet boards up off the ground and then painting the preservative on them. Not the right time of the year to do it, but one is rearranging the entire plot virtually, and with letters being sent out last year about a lack of greenery on the plots 10-14 days after snow was on the ground, one needs to do several things at the same time to make it easier to prepare for the end of march greenery.

So, instead of pulling up all the old raised beds, sorting the good wood from the bad, taking it to the skip, clearing the site from of the rubbish…You know – in a logical order. It’s been more chaotic and the wood has been half sorted, in a pile, next to an old plastic transporter pallet bin thingy, the old water buts that need hosing clear and scrubbing out pulled from where they sat to by the shed, unwashed due to no water supply at the allotment for the moment.

The warm weather has meant the sides of the compost bins that support the roof have been cut, painted and put together. The raised bed for the rhubarb was made, painted and planted. All the old wood that did not immediately fall apart has been dried, cleaned and painted. the area where the new bed is going has been levelled – 3″, 8cm, added to one side of the plot to get it level. And today the frame was built and the wood chip paths inside it has been laid. Hopefully by Tuesday one will have the second bed done that side of the plot, leaving only the paving flags to put down for the new greenhouse floor. All that will leave is the placement of the compost in the spaces created by the paths.

Then one can start on the other side – safe in the knowledge that even if it snows in March the compost can be warming in the greenhouse along with the seedlings, to be plopped outside.

I think that so long as the rubbish has gone, half the plot has been planted and the base for the shed has been laid; one can have the “now just hang on one second, I’ve done…” moment if the need arises.

After all, the issue of seeds not germinating in an unheated greenhouse in the snow due to low temperatures, sounds like it should not be a thing. But it has been. One would have preferred to clear everything away first, dumped what needs to be dumped (sorted for the recycling at the tip), Then as the weather warmed made the beds, filled them and planted, all at the same time.

Next year one hopes to still have crops in from this year, thus avoiding the panic over planting.

And ensuring a plentiful amount of greenery

Reflections 2019 w05

I bumped into my friend the other day whilst walking in the downpour we had. And, with not seeing each other for a long while, had a chat, as the rain got even heavier.

He was working, making a delivery, and had to wait for the homeowner; I was already sodden, due to leaving the house with no adequate rainwear. Light showers were forecast and my clothing matched that forecast, the lack of dark clouds also gave me the false confidence of going for the walk when we did.

So here we were, standing under what could have easily been a draining bathtub, water flowing off the few areas that where fully waterproof, both of us were soaked.

But it was not this that got me to thinking…

It was how differently we viewed the weather. I dislike the rain, there are exceptions – like the spring showers that can come out of nowhere, then disappear just as fast when shelter is found, not enough to get you wet, but enough to get you to steam when the sun shines once more, rainfall on a tent etc. But he said he preferred the rain, this cold, winter, drenching  – over the snow.

I prefer the snow, especially walking in it. One can get around the walk much dryer than the same amount of liquid in rain form. A good layer of insulation and the snow can sit on the jacket to be shaken off occasionally, even Spot collects it on her coat. One has yet to get stuck in the snow in this car, and the last time I had to abandon a car was over a decade ago. But he drives a van, and apparently they hate the snow. He does not particularly like driving/walking in the snow either.

To put this into perspective we are both the same age, both live in the same area and drive on similar roads, we experience the same weather.

Its not like he has worse weather conditions.

But one  wonders…

Do I see the weather through an artists eyes, or practical eyes. How he spoke it was practicalities for him. I can see both.

Which perspective shaped my view of the snow to the point of having to walk in it when it first comes. Or are there hidden memories locked away in the dark recesses of my mind that hold the key to my positive viewpoint???