68 tons and counting

What’s in a hole?

It seems like a stuck needle but I have been very busy of late, in fact over busy since 1st August when building work started on this plot of ours. I have not had time to make any serious images with a traditional camera with being focussed on getting the ‘shed’ water tight (ha ha!).

People often ask why I am half the workforce on this job and it is because we have too much invested here to just let a third party do a job raise an invoice and bugger off leaving a botch job behind as they ride off to the bank.

Sadly some jobs require a third party and it is stressful to see others working with gay abandon with a cavalier approach on something that has been nurtured out of the ground from some 2.1m under footings to some 4.6m above them. Such is life and now with an enforced 2 week shutdown of the building trade I’m nurturing/nursing a bursitis struck right elbow. I suppose the two week lay-off ought to be a blessing really but Brexit is approaching fast and I want those German windows and doors in place before they are parked at Dover!

As the title suggests, between the builder and me 68 tons have been dug out by hand and transferred into 8 8 yard skips, but for the festive break, we have managed to clear away the skip from the street until we get going again in 2019.

Further afield, but not that far, the allotments continue to yield produce and yesterday we had our Christmas cake – a red currant drizzle cake made by Mrs O from fruit harvested during late summer in the 30 plus degrees of heat but shared and eaten with her brother at just over 0 degrees on plot 831 where it all started on April 14th. An alternative start to Christmas but very rewarding.

Red Currant drizzle cake
Mrs O’s Red Currant Drizzle cake

Having just finished Allan Jenkins’ Plot 29, I can relate to the joys of solitude on the plots and the times of sharing with other allotmenteers. Something can be harvested all year if thought through and planned for in the warm balmy months. How those 0500 starts during the heatwave seem so long ago.

Now we feast on Savoy cabbages, Musselburgh leeks and that most elegant of kales Cavalo Nero whilst the red cabbages continue to heart up whilst being protected from the local pigeon population.

Savoys and Cavalo Nero
Savoys and Cavalo Nero
Red Cabbages
Red Cabbages caged from hungry pigeons

Now, the weeds are doing well, rather too well in fact so I’m hoping for some drier weather and a cured elbow before I venture forth to remove them from their choking grip on our cultivated plants.

Unripe strawberry Christmas Day 2018
2018 Christmas Day unripe strawberry

2018 has been a strange year but I dare say not the strangest yet to come. But come on, strawberry flowers and fruits in late December? T’int right, t’int proper.

Hope 2019 is good for all.

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