Remote and Distant

The Cats KnackersYou may think, Dear Reader, that we’re talking about someone -or even ourself- here, but we’re not. We’re warm and cuddly even if no-one else round here is.

No, we’re talking about the remote from The Beast and the fact that Bus Stop is so damn far away by bus. A trip out to see it or the new Terminator 2 video game is a three hour round trip, but don’t worry. We haven’t fallen out of love with either The Device From Hell or Arnie’s favourite game, but it’s not like we can just pop over to make a quick change to something, then return to make it right if it isn’t. We just have to make sure that we have all the right tools before we go out there, and this will be the case this Thursday morning as we trit-trot over there, hopefully to get the video game showing something on a screen. Given that the original screen is a 27″ CRT requiring RGB with a single sync line and the closest we have to it is a 24″ LCD monitor which needs RGB plus horizontal and vertical sync, we have to make sure we’ve nailed the conversion, or waste virtually a whole day otherwise.

Wish us luck for Thursday morning.

In other news, this last weekend, with the glorious weather, we wasted no time in donning our gardening gear and heading over to our allotment a few minutes walk away.The Cats Knackers

As our Plot is right down the bottom of the site, well away from the noisy and smelly road, and given that there are no huge trees blocking out the sunlight, in our main greenhouse, even in March, it gets surprisingly warm. See the photo to the right for evidence of this fact.

Yes, this was only mid-morning on Saturday and yes, the thermometer does read 26 degrees. That’s 80 Fahrenheit in ‘real’ measurements.

Over this weekend, we’ve helped Matt replace the polycarbonate ‘glass’ in one of the LEAF greenhouse panels, which will mean that LEAF can get some seedlings in there before the growing season ‘properly‘ starts.

The Cats KnackersBack on our own Plot, we’ve done a load of digging, ably assisted by the lovely Lady A., and we’ve managed to get quite a lot of stuff planted.

To the left here she is working at getting all the couch grass out from behind one of the bay trees behind the main seating area. When this is finally clean (…there was a lot of grass to uproot and dig out…), we’ll be able to plant some rhubarb that was kindly given to Diane from LEAF by a fellow plot-holder a few days ago.

It’s nice and shady here, so it should be ideal for it, but we really must get this invasive grass out before planting it. Rhubarb is obviously hardy, so it will stay in a long time, so there must be no invasive grass or weeds around it or it would have to come out, which we really don’t want.

Elsewhere, we dig a Big Lot of digging on Saturday and Sunday in preparation for planting annual vegetables. We chose an area behind the rose bushes that has had carpet over it for a good few months. This was the area we had potatoes in many years ago (but didn’t get round to harvesting), so we had to level it all off as we took the weeds out.

The Cats KnackersLuckily, the carpet had done its job well, and there was only the odd string of bindweed and the occasional clump of creeping thistle, and that all came out easily enough.

Lady A kindly planted a load of garlic just this side of the blue board, but we dug over the rest as you can see to the right here. The soil is lovely and we’re hoping for some bumper produce this season.

So what will go in here?

The Cats KnackersWell, today, just in front on the garlic, we planted a trench of early peas, and you can see it here:

Note that the curvature of the line is fully intentional. It is to follow the line of the sun as it passes over head. Obviously.

We simply scattered peas in this trench, the carefully re-covered them with soil, marking out with posts with upturned bottles on them (…to save your eyes if you forget and quickly bend over…), then gave them a complete drenching with water we’d saved in the blue plastic bins over winter.

Back in the main greenhouse itself was a hive of activity with Lady A planting a good load of different herbs and shrubs, while yesterday afternoon after she left, we potted-up many cabbages and sprouts that Matt had very kindly given us as seedlings.

This afternoon (…yes, we know it’s a ‘School Day’ and therefore we should have been working, but all today’s work was done, and we didn’t get down there ’til after 4.00pm…), we’ve planted two trays of leeks (…we love leeks…), then we planted some seeds we’d had in for ages. These seeds are Cat Nip seeds, and if they come up, we’re going to have one stoned and happy Chairman.

Now if this happens, Dear Reader, you can bet your life we’ll be on hand with the video camera to catch all the action.

Aaaanyway, it is getting close to our bed time. We have a day of Big Meetings tomorrow, then Wednesday we’re meeting Mr Ward Senior (….who we must say is making an almost miraculous recovery, completely baffling the doctors…).

Thursday is a Bus Stop Boys day, then Friday?

Friday morning is Grow Sheffield work then some voluntary work up at Southey Forum, but in the afternoon?

Well, it looks like there may be showers on Friday afternoon, but now our main greenhouse is mostly water-tight, we can happily potter in there, drinking Earl Grey tea (…we’re getting more gas for the stove on Wednesday afternoon…), listening to Classic FM.

And the weekend?  We’ll have to see…

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