Driving, Shed Sorting, Weeding & Potatoes

On Sunday we went down to see my mother. She’s moving house shortly and wanted some help clearing things and tidying up the shed where my late father kept his tools. Mum lives in Banbury and 110 miles from us, door to door, mainly motorway. Now I don’t know if it is my age changing my perception or if it is fact but the standard of driving on the motorway is just appalling.

About 15 years ago I had a job that involved me driving a lot, 1,000 miles was an average week. I really don’t think I could cope with it now. The concept of 3 lanes has gone out of the window completely, now we seem to have an outside lane full and the inside lane empty. Then there was the idiot in a blue Honda Civic who seemed to have decided to fixate on the rear of our car. I tried slowing down but Civic driver slowed, speeding up and the same result. The scary thing was that every time I braked Civic driver closed the distance to within a few feet before seeming to realise what the bright red lights on the back of our car indicated.

The journey back was worse. Rain and reduced visibility don’t seem to slow the traffic at all, in fact the only thing that slowed the traffic was rubber necking at the accidents.

Well, back to the shed. Our instructions were to clear it out, take what we want and throw the rest away. We came back with the car full. I don’t actually need more hammers, another crowbar etc but they’re perfectly good and to throw them away would be a sin. As luck would have it, there were two junction boxes that would have been ideal for our shed. I bought two last week. But, there were some shelf brackets just the size I need and a wire hanging rack from his old shop that will be perfect in the shed.

Yes, absolute proof that stuff expands to fill the space available to store it.

Monday seemed a nice enough day so I thought I’d head down to the plot after putting up yet another shelf and the rack in the shed. I’d just about finished when the rain arrived.

Larry turned up, he’d got caught on the plot in the downpour so he thought he’d pop round to boast about his sweet peppers, which are rather good. He’s getting quite competitive recently, I think he’s spent too long at the NVS meetings.

Talking of the NVS, the national championships are coming up on 29 th September at Malvern. I’ve set them up a system so that the results will appear on the web site in real time. They should start coming in around 8am to 11am.

Today I got down to the plot just after two. Plugged into my radio, with headphones so I don’t bother anyone else and listened to Captain Corelli’s Mandolin on Radio 4. I quite enjoyed the film but this radio play is much better – you can listen again on the Radio 4 web site.

Cleared all the weeds off a couple of deep beds and from around the leeks. They’ve leapt up in the last week but they’re becoming compost now. The strawberry bed is a right mess, overgrown with couch grass and there’s horsetail popping up all over it so the plan is to transplant the strawberries to another bed and spray it. I could probably get the couch out but the horsetail is a never ending problem. Especially since the adjoining plot has loads and it spreads really easily.

Next job was to clear the haulm off the Sarpo potatoes preparatory to lifting them. First indications are that they are going to be good. We’ll have to see how the weather is. Today was certainly colder, even got my thermal vest on. A flask of hot coffee kept me going though.

Nearly forgot, Val sorted the pots out in the new shed and put up some more hooks to hang carrier bags with the bubble wrap and fleece in.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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