I have lots of reason to like this picture. Chief among them is that it’s of an echium that lived in our front garden for the usual 18 months. It came from the first seed that germinated, sprouted, grew and thrived from a batch of seeds that was given to us by a very keen gardener and friend who died earlier this year.[Read more…] about Echium Shot
Quick Green Apples
Is the green apple quicker than the red? Does the green develop faster? Neither are very good questions without a context. That context is a potted apple tree that sits on our back deck. It’s been yielding green apples for over a month. Originally a gift, it’s been there about eight years and this is the most abundant yield to date. It’s an unusual apple tree in that there are two varieties grafted together. Two isn’t so many given the 250 that were in the news back in 2013. But two is enough for us.[Read more…] about Quick Green Apples
It’s hard to imagine that the sourdough you are creating will be shared across a family network a decade in the future.
But that’s what happened and today I baked a loaf based on a sourdough starter that was 8 years old. This one started from the fermentation of Kilmullen Farm apple juice left over from a wedding and started in the Gate Lodge where the couple lived at the time.[Read more…] about Sourdough Bliss
Wabi Sabi Challenge
I gave myself a simple photo challenge. I was to sit for one hour facing out to the garden and take photographs. I could use my Canon DSLR and the 70-200 lens with the 2X extender. And at the end of an hour, I had to post my favourite six. For the technical folk who might read this, I decided it had to be handheld too; no tripods. And I’d be indoors, behind a newly double glazed ‘French’ window. All photos to be taken from a seat in our living room.
We have very purposefully built up our front garden over many years. There’s about 100 square metres at the front and we converted it all into a rockery about 15 years ago. We got a lot of criticism from passers-by for returning granite boulders to a garden where they recalled a lot of granite had been blasted, broken and cleared to make way for our house. Our garden rises up quite steeply from about a metre beyond the window, running up ten metres to a road. This has a southerly aspect that has reduced direct sunlight because we are in the shadow of Roche’s Hill and surrounded by many ornamental but mature trees. So we selected plants as a botanical screen against views from the road, which is level with our first floor. And we selected plants that could survive with the benefit of indirect light reflected from the windows and white walls.[Read more…] about Wabi Sabi Challenge
File Death and Nesting
I tried to read some files from a back-up drive yesterday. Dated 1992 and 1991, they were created with MS Word V1 and 2 using Windows 3 (true but a numerical series joke in memory of Lotus 123). The files are available to me because I kept moving them through time from device to device and continent to continent until I switched from Windows to a TimeMachine in an Airport on a windowsill.
I got some text from one of the files and realised that it only gave up its text because it was different – remember Word Perfect? We kept WP up for as long as we could but together with spreadsheet software Quattro Pro, it went the way of DOS. Meanwhile, Lia had bought a Brother hybrid word-processor for her teaching and first novel, a compromise because personal computers cost a month’s gross salary back then. It was hugely important to her. A massive affirmation of the importance of her work.[Read more…] about File Death and Nesting
Just because of paranoia …
28March 2020 – 19:15 GMT – 7°C Mostly Cloudy – Co. Dublin, Ireland
I was gardening again. Chipping trimmed branches after some clearance. I was working about four metres along our driveway, that is four metres away from the pavement that passes to the front go our home. A woman spotted me as she walked by and moved off onto the road. Perhaps she was thinking about the six degrees of separation? Perhaps she moved because the square root of six is 2.44? I wasn’t unhappy that she moved, just curious as to why she thought our social distance needed to be so large.[Read more…] about Just because of paranoia …