Wednesday 27 June 2007

Glastonbury 2007

Just got back from Glastonbury Festival. The lights, the mud, the music, the tipis, the mud, the fires, the drums, the freaky circus people, the mud...

If only real life were like that.

Will write some more when I'm cleaner.

Sunday 17 June 2007

"A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian" by Marina Lewycka

Fun story about a completely mad family. The impressive thing was that I found all the characters and much of the dialogue believable. They're mad in a particularly Eastern European way, and if you have any mad and/or Eastern European family then you'll probably recognise them.

Don't go looking on Amazon - use independent booksellers!

Saturday 16 June 2007

Blake's 7

For a long time I've been telling highly skeptical friends that even if they don't like sci-fi they'll like Blake's 7. It's got complex characters, moral dilemmas, cunning plot twists and political themes, and although the fourth series is distinctly patchy (especially when they all start kissing - yuck!) it's well worth persevering with. I saw the final episode a few days ago and I'm still in shock.

Did Blake betray them all? Or did Avon betray Blake? Will the resistance continue or does the Federation win? I need to watch it again, and if you've never seen it then so do you. Even if you think you're too cool for science fiction.

Tuesday 12 June 2007

Pickled Slug Deli Bar

Someone or something has pulled all the beer traps out of the ground and emptied them. I've met quite a few dogs who like beer so I think I'm going to blame the fox, who is probably right now telling all its mates about the nice new pickled slug deli just opened round the corner. It's some consolation that four cans of Double Dutch must have given it a pretty bad hangover, but I am a bit stumped for fox-proof beer trap designs. Maybe I should just make a very big one to catch the fox in?

I've also got a resident mouse which keeps making big holes in my no-dig bed and knocking all the onions over, but before I got too annoyed about that I noticed that the tadpoles are very fat now, they've all got big froggy eyes and a couple of them have even got tiny little back legs! First one to walk is going to be called Ralph. And is probably going to be eaten by a pissed fox.

Sunday 3 June 2007

Slug Blog

It’s not fair! I’m right at the top of the food chain, I’ve got a spine and opposable thumbs and everything, and yet I still have to compete for my food with bloody SLUGS! I’ve just lost a second lot of courgette plants and something has got to be done.

I saw a friend’s lovely new veg patch and beer traps last weekend. I think I’ve tried beer traps before, but I seem to remember going about it a bit half-heartedly because I didn’t really expect it to work. Nothing really seems to work against slugs. Still, I was in the mood to see at least a few of the little bastards die so I thought I’d try it again.

Burying the pots was a bit of a faff, but not quite as difficult as finding a non-Muslim shop that would sell me lager around here - I ended up going all the way to Sainsbury’s and then spent ages persuading them to give me some Carling for 50p because the cans were so badly dented. By this time I was really starting to resent having to get the beer in for the slugs when they’ve already had at least ten marigolds, eight courgette plants, three broad bean plants, a dozen sunflowers and quite a few strawberries. I think my previous attempt at making beer traps might have ended with me just drinking all the beer at about this point, which probably at least made me feel better about all the slug eaten plants for a while.


I persevered this time and I can’t believe it - they really do all obligingly drown themselves! Some of the pots were full to the brim with dead slugs the next day, and I actually had to empty them out to make room for any more.

I then started working out how much it would cost me to buy six cans of lager every time I went to the allotment and decided that it would be a good idea to sieve all the slugs out and re-use the beer instead. This bit is disgusting and if you’re eating then you shouldn’t scroll any further down the page…

Yuck. In a satisfying sort of way. I wonder whether they like elderflower champagne?

Saturday 2 June 2007

Technical Problems...

For some reason I can't load Blogger pages at the moment - after about an hour I managed to get as far as "Help", and after another hour I found a way of sending someone a message about it, but this is the first time in ages that I've been able to write a post.

Anyone got any suggestions?

Pictures won't load either. The picture I was going to use is here.

Accidental Art

Came home from work for lunch. Put an egg on to boil. Forgot about it and went back to work. Returned home four and a half hours later. Pretty, isn’t it?

Any idea how to get rid of the SMELL??

Friday 1 June 2007

"Vida" by Marge Piercy

Most fiction about activists makes me cringe, but Piercy's characters here are naive only because it's the 1970s, and she avoids reducing any of them to caricatures. The personal and the political are not just juxtaposed to prove a point but are completely interwoven, and give someone my age a much-needed insight into the roots of feminism and sexual politics. It also keeps you guessing until the end, which gives any book that essential compulsive quality. Seems to be out of print, but there are plenty of copies on Abebooks.