Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
Adventures in Orchids
Apparently I am now collecting them...
EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid for at least 15 years and it just keeps flowering...
AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!
RO - Rescued orchid
TO - Tiny orchid. Phalaenopsis. Bought at Tesco 21.8.20. It just begged to come home with me. How could I say no?
CO - Crimson orchid. Cambria. Another Tesco find. This one may be going to live in Ken's room once we've redecorated and put up the new shelving; it prefers a cooler, less sunny windowsill. If so, I'll need to find another cambrian to keep it company.
GO - Golden orchid. Phalaenopsis. Saw this one when I bought CO and left it behind - then immediately regretted it as soon as I got home. Never seen one like it before. Ken, bless him, went back over to Tesco in the rain and bought it for me...
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Yesterday was a day of weather.
Ken calls it 'four seasons in a day': rain (both light and monsoon strength), howling winds, bright calm sunny spells, and hail and sleet all in the space of 24 hours. It felt like winter again, and I had a very grumpy Tyjer curled up in a pouting ball on the bed. And last night was pretty 'orrible too.
But luckily this morning everything in the greenhouse seems OK, and it's all calmed down a little, with light rain and a fair bit of sun, so hopefully that's the worst of it over. Although the wind seems to be picking up again...
2012 was on sale at Sainsbury's for £8.99, so Ken picked it up and we managed to squeeze the 2.5 hours of it last night before the new season CSI/CSI: Miami/CSI: New York episodes. Deeply deeply flawed and the science is wobbly at best, but it's thoroughly enjoyable nonsense (in fact, I have it on again in the background today: fabulous special effects. Just wish we had a home cinema so we could enjoy the full effect. Maybe one day...)
Today we've made a start on Ken's office cupboard. It hasn't been cleared in about six years and is absolutely jam-packed with stationery, boxes of books, Yule decorations and trees, and a whole load of other stuff that just got shoved in because there was nowhere else for it to go and we didn't have the leisure to sort it out properly at the time. And when I say cupboard, I mean it's almost a walk-in cupboard - floor to ceiling, four foot wide and three foot deep. I think. I'm not good with spaces (numbers, you see...) Lots and lots of space for all sorts of things...
Might have time to start on the bathroom this week - I hope.
Back to the loom...
Monday, March 29, 2010
[grin] Remember back in January Kai had to get into school in all the Arctic weather and with a miserable cold to take his Maths and Science GCSEs? We got the results today - b (the highest grade for that particular module) for Maths, and a (a* is highest) for his Science. Very proud we are!
[bemused] OK, I am now officially too tired to stay awake any longer. I just caught sight of the 'Customise Your Hero!' advert for some game, on Facebook, and misread it as 'Sodomise Your Hero!' I'm going to bed...
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Gardening day today.
All my tomato plants and the cucumber are now in their final pots (and yes, they look a little lost but this method worked just fine last year and saves me the work of potting them on into three inch pots then disturbing the roots by potting them on again when they're bigger), and I have the first sowing of dwarf French beans and mange tout on the go. (Also trying the last of the physalis seeds (golden berry pineapple) I have left from last year. Haven't had any success so far but you never know...) The Countryfile weather forecast for the coming week suggests everything will be fine as long as I keep the mini-cloches on the seedlings overnight. The greenhouse max/min thermometer hasn't gone below 5° for two weeks, and the cold-tolerant toms are OK down to about 2° as long as they're kept frost free (even in January's Arctic weather the greenhouse stayed frost free).
Kai came out to help, weeding around Wendy's mum's orchid, trimming the grass around the fruit cage square and along the veg bed wall, and pruning the growth along his railway track - in between watching Jason and the Argonauts, which he'd never seen.
And in the house, the Butterfly Wings Orchids are doing very nicely, although I should have used more compost: they're a little low down in the pot. Eh well. I'll need to repot them at the end of the flowering season anyway, will correct the mistake then.
The weekend was wonderfully restful, and I spent far less time than usual sitting at the desk, but tomorrow I need to get some work done - have a whole load of client site stuff to do, emails to answer, a review to post, and I absolutely must get the Heart foreword finished...
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Wonderful day! Sue and GoodTwin arrived lunchtime: after eating we drove to Clevedon for some exceptionally bracing sea air and a walk along the front and out to the end of the pier, where we didn't quite get blown overboard (though it was a close thing, I believe!) [g] But seriously, it was great. I love Clevedon at all seasons and in all weathers - it's why we bus there so often, after all - and it's fun to share favourite places with friends. Thoroughly enjoyable afternoon!
Then it was a quick trip to Cadbury Garden Centre, who were doing a 'buy two get one free' offer on laaaarge sacks of compost, which was not to be resisted given how much compost I go through in a year (many thanks GoodTwin!) - our own bins just aren't enough to keep up with demand. (Also picked up some slow release plantfood for my butterfly wing orchids, as recommended, and a snazzy silver jardinière that I hope will be of a suitable size to hold the bathroom's sweetheart vine once I've repotted it. I have a feeling it'll be too small though...)
[bemused] And we sang along to Val Doonican songs on the way back. Paddy McGinty's Goat, O'Rafferty's Motorcar, and the truly awesome Delaney's Donkey (some of the pics the Youtuber has chosen for this one are hysterical!). Was wonderfully silly.
... oh... ye... gods... My Boomerang Won't Come Back... I'm too young to be going through second childhood... I really should know better than to go hunting through Youtube by now.
But while I'm at it... Star Trekkin' For those who only know Bernard Cribbins as Wilfred, Donna Noble's grandfather (? I think I've got that right) from Dr Who - Right Said Fred and Hole in the Ground And even though I know certain people are going to hate me for this, The Chicken Song (warning - volume may be uncomfortably loud. Which is kind of fitting really).
GoodTwin did take some nifty clips of Kai playing guitar, but for some obscure reason, although they're mp4s, my system refuses to open them. Bugger. Sorry folks - if I can't open them, I certainly can't upload them. Will see if I can get a little clip with my camera, if I can persuade him to perform for an audience again...
Friday, March 26, 2010
It's stupid busy here! And the clocks change after midnight Saturday, making it even more tricky for me to work out what time it is...
Need to get my cucumber and tomato seedlings potted on this weekend: the roots are now showing through the peat pots. Will probably tackle that Sunday, as GoodTwin and Sue are visiting tomorrow. Looking forward to that!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
It's surprising how tired getting up early to make sure all the plantlife is burgeoning can leave me...
[bemused] 'alf-inched from the Engrish blog...
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Taken by Ken, permission to post granted by Kai, at my pleading as I really like this pic.
Sunday's art market was great - I could have spent a fortune had I had a fortune to spend. I particularly liked agnosia - oh, some of those seascapes... check out the pic of the North Devon surf, or Devizes moonlight, so beautiful... - and Yellow Dog Glass have some gorgeous jewellery (I love dichroic glass, even though I rarely wear much in the way of adornment).
Did a little work in the garden when we got back. Well, K&K did all the work while I supervised: I have no strength at all in my left hand at the moment and even lifting a
Haven't managed much today at all - actually, was so tired come 2pm I had to take a cycle's nap, which is a bit bothersome. Not fond of this constant tiredness. Maybe something else to ask the Dr. about, if I remember.
Later edit - good show!
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
It's frog-bonking season!
We now have a couple of clumps of frogspawn in Roeg's Pool and Tyjer is most intrigued by all the activity in the water. He brought a frog in yesterday while I was out, which Ken had to return to the pool. [rolls eyes] Cats...
Right, let's see about a bit more detail...
Bused up to Broadwalk yesterday morning to buy the rest of the paint (we decided to go for Wilkinson's own Bathroom paint, colour 'Summer Tide', a light bright shade similar to the Dulux Bathroom that will contrast nicely with the one I've already bought): while in Wilkinson's I also picked up another tin of the generic red wine home brew - will get that on the go next week. And I found three tops for me in the various charity shops, two cotton, and one (this Christian Dior short-sleeved shirt) pure silk. All for under a tenner! Chuffed, I am.
Back home, unpacked, then back out for regular shopping at Tesco. The rest of the afternoon was taken up variously by client site updates, greenhouse work and a little more spring cleaning... Oh, and we watched Burn after Reading, which was 99p in Age Concern. After the first twenty minutes we very nearly gave up and changed DVDs, but persevered, and I'm glad we did, as it did pick up and there were several places I was LOLing quite loudly.
Today was Kai shopping in town, and it all went extremely well. He now has three new short-sleeved t-shirts (black, royal blue and light blue), two long sleeved t-shirts (black and green), a cosy pull-on dark blue hoodie and one of those hoodless hoodies with the high necks and a zip front, in grey. His choices, and all pretty good value at £30 (that includes a sage-green t-shirt I bought for myself). When we got home he ripped through his old wardrobe and I now have a garden binbag full of good stuff for charity.
And I was reckless. Usually anything I buy for the house is practical, durable and inexpensive - but yesterday I found the most gorgeous bedding set in Wilkinson's - liked it so much I took a photo of it with phone's camera to show Ken. Terribly impractical - Tyjer only has to lie on it and it'll look grubby, and I'll need to wash it separately, and at £25 it's a bit more expensive than I'd usually consider, especially given the impracticality. But I couldn't resist...
This is from the packaging, obviously - that's not our bedroom, and it's not going on the bed until I've finished the spring cleaning up there! The teal stripes are a satin fabric, very luxurious.
My honey berry plants had arrived from Thompson and Morgan when we got back, so they are now planted at the top of the garden where they'll get plenty of sun.
Kai has also brought his amp downstairs - seemed a bit pointless it taking up precious space in his bedroom when he always practises down here. It's now in his corner, and rather closer to his stack than I like, but he's posted a note to himself to NOT switch on the speaker without moving the whole thing well away from the computer. The magnet is very powerful and the last thing we want is a wiped C drive. He's happy, and spent an hour or so with his headphones plugged in practising. (He also picked up a tempered glass slide at Mickelburgh, and likes the sound, so is now hoping for a metal one.)
So, a busy couple of days. And there's an Art Market on at Paintworks on the Bath Rd (about a 15 minute walk away) tomorrow that I plan to check out, so Sunday is likely to be full too...
Later edit: forgot to say I also found the whole of 24 season 2 at a charity shop - on video but at £1.25 I couldn't really say no. Our VCR still works just fine.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Spent much of the day shopping, but managed to get everything I went for and more, which is very gratifying.
Well that was interesting, wasn't it? Sorry, too tired to go into details.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
[g] All three Butterfly Wing Orchid tubers have now sprouted! I'm dead chuffed.
In addition, my tomatoes and cucumber are almost ready to be planted on, I have the first sweet and bell pepper seedlings appearing, the Yugoslav lettuce and Brussels sprouts shoots are showing above the compost, and the strawberry seeds also appear to have worked! This is all great. Still haven't quite managed to get the caulis and beans on the go, although there's still plenty of time. (Haven't quite got the schedule of planting, major spring cleaning, and writing right yet, but it'll come...)
Early night, perhaps.
Later edit - tch', forgot to say. Kai's German conference thing went very well and he really enjoyed it. However, it was a non-uniform event and to my horror, when he tried to find something smart but casual to wear, we discovered he's grown out of almost all his clothes. Though why this should have been such a surprise is a mystery, as he's now as tall as me so obviously everything's going to be too short and too small. Except for the jeans we bought recently, they're still OK... Anyway, this means a trip into town on Saturday to throw money [wince] at the problem. Oh joy. Clothes shopping comes way low down on my list of enjoyable endeavours.
The Ostara egg hatchlings are ridiculously cute!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
I can haz orchid...
OK, it may not look very impressive at the moment, but this is the first of the three Butterfly Wings Orchid tubers sprouting.
I have to confess I wasn't at all sure if any of these were going to be successful: I've never tried them before (obviously, as they're fairly new to buy) and the instructions that came with them seem to suggest that they may be difficult to grow. I had to make up my own compost mix for them, too, and their requirements are different to my other orchids. So I am very pleased (and excited!) that even one has germinated. Keeping fingers crossed for the other two now.
And for the White Egret Orchids, which are currently in the greenhouse and to date haven't sprouted (although I shall go and check as soon as I've posted this). More photos as things happen!
Labels: orchids and more orchids
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Same as yesterday, but with gardening instead of shopping and new CSIs instead of film.
Labels: nowt really
Monday, March 15, 2010
My Monday, by Joules A Taylor, aged - oh, about half a millennium probably...
Up at 7.
Sprayed weedkiller up in the square to try - again - to get rid of the stubborn goosegrass and nettles.
Later edit: I forgot to say, didn't I? The publisher really liked the illustration we provided and says it's perfect for the Ghosts book. All very gratifying!
Sunday, March 14, 2010
It's been Mothering Sunday here, and I've had a very nice day. Daft card from Kai, Ken made brunch (sossij, bacon, eggs, button mushrooms, beans, all organic) then the B sprog came 'round to watch The Mighty Boosh with Kai, so I spent a bit of time in the greenhouse, preparing the new pot and frame for the first cucumber plant and generally tidying up a little. Yes, I love spending time in my greenhouse! The cucumber and tomato seedlings are developing very nicely (I still bring them in at night): nothing else has sprouted yet apart from the salad leaves, but it is still quite chilly and apparently spring is three weeks late this year, thanks to the cold snap, so I shouldn't be expecting too much too soon. Once everything really starts growing it'll catch up.
24 - aaarrgghh! I hate having to wait a whole week to find out what happens next! (Which is the whole point, of course...)
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Clevedon from the hill fort
Gorgeous day, perfect weather, wonderful fresh sea air, deliciously naughty plastic seaside cheeseburger for lunch, loooong walk up to the hill fort then back and along the front to the pier, where we sat and savoured a tub each of Marshfield ice cream (chocoholic heaven for Kai, toffee fudge fiasco for me) before heading tiredly back to Briz. Fantastic.
You might remember a wee while back I bought three mini trial pots of paint to try for the bathroom. Here are splodges of all three on the bathroom wall. It's not a great photo but it does give some idea. The D(ulux) at the top is far too dark, while the D(ulux) B(athroom) is, we think, too cold and icy for the room, which faces north-east and can be distinctly cool, even with the heating on. The W(ilkinson's own bathroom) is a warmer bluish-teal colour, and our favourite. That being said, I think I'm going to buy a small pot of the DB for the shower wall and window, as I think it'll lighten that side of the room.
But first I need to get a matching gloss and tackle the window frame. Oh joy.
Friday, March 12, 2010
It's all go, innit?
The weather is now sufficiently warm for me to take the kitchen windowshelf propagators into the greenhouse during the day, to soak up the sun and gradually get used to being out there. (Then of course I have to remember to bring them in again around 4...) The salad leaves are still sprouting, and today I've got two different versions of Brussels sprouts on the go - was in two minds, as they are an awful lot of work, but it's almost impossible to buy organic sprouts (given how much wastage there is I can understand why!) and the taste of the ones I raised this year was so good I decided just to do a few - along with a couple of large aubergines and a handful of the Yugoslav red lettuce we liked so much last year. I would have got a few caulis on the go too but I ran out of the 'peat' pots, so have to take a trip up to Broadwalk next week. The Pound shop up there sells cheap versions, 48 pots for £1, that work just as well as the more expensive ones from garden centres.
The garden is still full of birds, and the blackbirds have become surprisingly tame, letting me get within a couple of feet of them before flitting off. Perhaps they've made the connection between me and their favourite organic sun-dried sultanas on the bird-table! I think that mysterious small bird is a female redcap (not my photo, I hasten to add!): it's been back at the table so I've had a clearer look. Not very distinctive but it's cute and spritely. I do hope it becomes a regular!
Wendy's mum's orchid is in leaf in the meadow, I'll take a photo later. Really chuffed as I think I can now safely assume it's a permanent resident, and as long as I keep the ground around it fairly weed-free it should carry on for years to come.
On the subject of orchids, I took an hour to give the indoor plants a bit of tlc. They're looking a little bedraggled after the long winter, but should perk up a little now.
Oh yes - and I did a slew of client site stuff as well. Now hoping to actually get some writing done tonight, as it's been about a week since I've had a chance to look at any fiction. And hoping to go to Severn Beach (or maybe Weston) with Kai tomorrow with the kite we bought last year - I really need some sea air and a cobweb-blowing session - if the weather is good...
Happy Birthday Lutra!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
[bemused] Anyone else think the trailer for the BBC's Late Kickoff sports programme looks like a furries convention? 'Cause I did, the first time I saw it...
Labels: ... wut...?
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Client site stuff done. No .php yet though.
Finally sorted out all the junk in the airing cupboard and went through my wardrobe ditching nearly everything with more than 50% man-made fibre, in an attempt to deal with the horrible hassle I'm having at the moment with static electricity. It's got to the stage where I have to earth myself on the kitchen cold-water tap before I dare stroke Tyjer, otherwise I give him little electric shocks (and in the dark you can actually see the sparks between my fingers and his fur) and he becomes - quite rightly - most aggrieved. It hurts, too! So I'm aiming to only buy natural fibres as far as I can in future. Luckily a lot of my clothes are already pure cotton (Fairtrade, mostly) or of a cotton-heavy mix... [sigh] There's always something isn't there?
Still, ended up with two large bags for charity and two full-sized bin bags fill of stuff to throw out (a lot of which is biodegradable but not good enough to be given away), so it was all quite successful. And I have an awful lot more room now. Next project, Ken's study's cupboard.
We bought Kai the Terminator: Salvation DVD as a little extra present, and tonight we watched it. It's OK. Nowt more than that. Predictable, very silly ending, but have to admit the casting was pretty good. I loved Michael Biehn as Reese in the first film, and was dreading who would portray him and how, but young Chekov - sorry, Anton Yelchin - does a fine job, and I could see him growing up to become the Kyle we know. A reasonably enjoyable way to chill for a couple of hours mid-week...
Am I too tired to get some writing done...?
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
That was fun.
Kai says he had a good, quiet, low-key day and arrived home happy, although nervousness set in when I told him at 5 o'clock to get changed as we had one last surprise for him...
But then his face lit up as I ushered him into the Glass Boat! (After hearing how much Ken and I enjoyed our anniversary meal he'd asked if he might ever go for a meal there, and at the moment they're doing a special offer for March, two course meal for two with a bottle of wine, tea and coffee for just £25.) I'd noted on booking online that it was his birthday treat so please could we have a table on the river side of the boat (as opposed to the wharf-side) and they gave us the best in the place, river side right at the back, where it's all floor to ceiling windows and you hang out over the water... fantastic. We had the most perfect lamb we've ever tasted, they swapped the wine for fresh apple juice, and put a lighted candle on Kai's chocolate cake dessert! It was wonderful, and Kai loved it.
And his amp arrived while he was at school. He had time to try it before we left, and the effects are terrific; he's over the moon.
My latest Lovefilm rental also arrived - G.I. Joe - which Kai and I vegged out to while Ken went to a meeting this evening. On a second perusal it's off the 'buy when cheap' list as it's really awful!
Lazy day today (Ken said that although it was Kai's day, I was entitled as I did most of the work!) Busy day tomorrow catching up with everything I didn't do today.
Oh, and I have four tomato seedlings already showing, and the salad leaves in the greenhouse are also sprouting...
Monday, March 08, 2010
Well, I was planning to try to get the new Heart foreword finished, but the Ghosts publisher emailed Ken frantically asking if we could provide an illustration for a page in the book for which they couldn't find anything appropriate. Cue Ken getting into town to hunt for a couple of the missing elements while I tried to assemble background material... We did end up with rather a nice illustration (although we had to treat the hall as a sort of dim room in order to get it) but it's taken all damn day...
[sigh] Oh well. Will try again tomorrow.
In other news, Kai had enough, with his Yule and birthday money, to buy one of these, so it's now on its way. He even had some cash left over! He's now deciding what he'd like with it (the remaining cash, I mean: he wants a slide, and we thought we'd pop into Reverb to pick one up on our way to see Avatar - only to find that Reverb appear to have closed down...) I'm sure he'll come up with something!
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Kai was in the mood to watch films today. "That one with the problem with the sun." he said. "Sunshine?" I suggested. "No, the other one. With the flare." "Ah, Knowing." I offered knowingly. So we put that on. Afterwards, fancying more Nic Cage, Ghost Rider was opted for. Then it went back to Sunshine (wonderful film, deeply deeply flawed but magnificent even so), then Ken suggested 2010, I think because the Discovery looks a little like the Icarus. Kai hadn't seen it before and really enjoyed it (and it's an eternal favourite of mine).
So we were five minutes late turning over to 24, but it's fairly easy to catch up these days.
I think I'm all filmed out!
Saturday, March 06, 2010
The film is beautiful. Oh, the plot is simple and ancient - 'Pocahontas on an alien planet' as it's been described - hugely predictable of course (I kept wondering when Pandora was going to start fighting back) but gorgeously realised. And I was impressed - impressed, I tell you! - with the 3D: the tech is extremely good now. I'd expected to have problems; I usually get a shadow over my left eye when I wear 3D glasses, and although it was present, once the film started it either disappeared or my brain compensated - at any rate, I didn't notice it - and a headache from straining to focus, but these were absolutely fine. And the colours! So lovely...
I'm sure the Clash of the Titans trailer said it's 3D too. If so, that's a definite.
Friday, March 05, 2010
For all that I haven't actually stopped today, I don't seem to have accomplished very much. Although I have now managed to get tickets to take Kai to see Avatar 3D at the Showcase de Lux tomorrow, as a birthday treat. Heh. As of his birthday next week he's no longer eligible for child prices on buses or at cinemas. Where the hell did that fifteen years go...?
Someone has spliced together all the sections of Sam's dream scattered throughout Brazil and posted the resultant video on Youtube... Soooo beautiful.
I was bemused to realise that Sam is played by Jonathan Pryce - later to play Governor Swann (Elizabeth's father) in Pirates of the Caribbean...
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Client site updates done, sweet peppers and salad leaves planted, and I've started creating the BCP amenities database in the hopes that I can work out how to create the search function in .php...
Oh, and we racked and bottled the red wine. It's rather nice for a cheap generic variety of home-brew. I think I'll pick up another can when I'm next in Wilkinson's.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
All I seem to have done today is shopping. And watch films. Though this latter was fun. Well, interesting, anyway. Eye for an Eye, which is extremely nasty and harrowing while being a good film with marvellous acting, and we all watched Brazil this evening... wow... I'd forgotten how bloody good that film is.
I have some client site updates to do, but tomorrow will be soon enough...
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Still not enlarging the font as the problem seems to be more basic. You'll have to excuse any odd formatting over the next few days as I try to whip the blog into cross-browser compatibility.
In the meantime, Tyjer brought this home today, poor little sod. It was still alive when I found it, panting and in shock but it looked uninjured. I popped it into a box to give it some peace to see if it would recover, and heard some rustling so had hopes. But in the end it died...
I couldn't be angry with Ty. He was so proud of himself, bringing home dinner for mum, winding his way in and out around my legs and purring up a storm. And at least what he brings home is still alive, so I have a chance to try to rescue it.
Eh well. He's a cat, it's what he does. Although I am worried about the birds. The female blackbird is making her nest in the ivy tree in the middle of the meadow - and far too low down to be safe (we could tell because she was stripping moss from the rockery stones this morning and flitting into the tree). It'll be OK during the day, I hope, as I'll keep an eye on Tyjer, but other cats come in at night, and I can't protect the garden residents all the time. Will have to see how we go.
Trying this without increasing the font size to see if it makes any difference to the way the blog renders on Sue's screen...
Joules: what you up to?[shakes head sadly...] I wonder sometimes, I really do...
Monday, March 01, 2010
Taking a quick break in between organising seedlings and greenhouse...
Glorious, glorious weather today - hot enough in the sun for a t-shirt. We've had all the windows and patio doors open for a blow-through, and everything smells spring-like.
It will probably snow tomorrow.
However, I've started the tomatoes for the greenhouse (Stupice, Black Russian, and a new T&M variety, Harbinger), cucumber (Burpless again, since they were so amazingly prolific last year), bell peppers, and I picked up some T&M strawberry seeds at Almondsbury, a variety called Sarian that the packaging says is excellent. We'll see. They're all sitting on the kitchen windowshelf in propagators. I've also got some companion marigolds starting in the greenhouse, and will shortly get out and repot and feed my citrus plants - two grapefruit and two clementines. Now I know what I've been doing wrong I might have more success this year!
The greenhouse will be getting a general sweep down when I go back out, and I've shovelled the molehill earth into the potato growbag - in a way I'd rather the mole made hills in the greenhouse, I don't grow anything in the soil and it stops him disturbing the roots of plants in the garden itself, and the soil he throws up is rich and fine.
My White Egret Orchids are now planted, and the Butterfly Orchid tubers have just arrived, so will make up the mix and plant them this afternoon too.
My garden is full of birds! The sparrows queue up to eat at the sunflower feeder, we have a pair of the cutest long-tailed tits who now appear to be residents and love the suet/seed filled half coconut, our resident blackbirds have started gathering nest material, our robins are feasting on the birdtable, our wren is back, and we now seem to have a chaffinch visiting regularly, along with a bird that might be a female blackcap or a garden warbler, we're not entirely sure which... It's fantastic, and the garden is full of birdsong.
[bemused] And we had a letter from Prince Charles.
Well, strictly speaking, we and around 1,699 other business concerns had a letter from him. Not sure how many readers know, but back in 2007 we (WaveWrights, that is) became part of the May Day Network, "the UK’s largest group of businesses committed to taking action on climate change". At the time there were less than 500 members, so it's great to see how it's grown! If you want to see how we qualify, check here.
It's a form letter, of course, though it does apologise for being so impersonal, thanking everyone for their efforts to make a change and announcing several new initiatives, one of which is to be a relaunched website.
For us, trying to live as sustainably as possible is so much a way of life we tend to forget about it, but it is nice to be recognised.
Right - off to see if I can get the citrus plants into productive order! Later...