Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Introducing the allotment


Charles with the family, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

The entries to this blog seem to be drying up. I have been keeping it going for almost three years now, the first two when I did not have a job and this last year since I have had a job. Not that the demands of the job are so extreme, but there just does seem to be less time (and less energy) to devote to interesting topics of the day and the blog has become more of a personal diary, albeit illustrated with photos from my Flickr site.

Anyway, I am not exactly planning to give up on the blog but I am beginning to feel more relaxed about not submitting entries on a daily basis and I still hope to make it a little interesting for others to read.

Again, I find myself traveling and having the time and inclination to write as I travel down to Paris on the first stage of the journey down to Grenoble. I missed out last month and didn’t have much time in April, so having now three days down there should help me sort a few things out. Maybe even time to wander around the shops. I am not expecting particularly good weather either as there seems to be a lot of rain about, the best weather in Europe being found in the north at the moment. It was 28 yesterday in Amsterdam, a beautiful hot summer’s day, cooler and more humid today after a rainburst last night. In England all it has done is rain and Mum’s Crewkerne was mentioned all over the news due to a flash flood a week ago. Fortunately, it didn’t affect Mum or her allotment too much. Meanwhile our allotment is looking a lot happier after we finally had some heavy rain late on Saturday night (after I had gone to bed and fallen asleep…)

I don’t think I ever formally announced the allotment n this blog, but it is something which I have had since about the time we went to Syria. I had helped a friend, Bas, once on his allotment, which he was sharing with a couple, someway back in February, when the sun was shining. I expressed an interest in joining in and sure enough this couple suddenly stopped coming to the allotment and it turns out they are making plans to move to Scotland, which gave me the perfect chance to join in. We have 200 square meters in an area about a ten minute cycle ride from home, under a canal and next to some sports fields. The soil is clay and dries very easily and becomes impossibly hard.

The first task was to finish the weeding and get rid of so much grass that at least 85% of the garden had been turned over. My friend has a bit of a bad back so it is mostly Fred and I who have done this, with Bas being more for the planting of seeds, hanging of nets and gentle weeding. We have potatoes, tomatoes, courgettes, maize, beans, onions, garlic, strawberries, raspberries, red currants, a few fruit trees, radishes, carrots, spinach, artichokes and various cabbage sorts. There is a hut and a terrace and it is all becoming a lot more interesting now the seeds are germinating and the plants are poking their heads above the soil. Enemies are the pigeons, slugs and hares which also live in the gardens and we can expect produce to mysteriously disappear once it becomes ripe… thieving humans apparently.

I hope to find a way to take some interesting photos of either the allotment or the produce or both in the weeks and months to come.

In the meantime, the photos of our recent trip to Syria are getting very positive reactions, which I am happy about as I do particularly want to portray a very positive image of that country, going against the grain of the general media reporting about Syria. I do notice that more and more my photography is concentrating on photos of attractive looking (mainly young) men, either posing or caught candidly by my lens. I do take other photos but these are the ones which get the best reception and it is normal, I suppose, to chase the positive comments.

With respect to our forthcoming holiday in the Balkans, I have seen plenty of photos of Kosova and Macedonia but they are almost all of the mosques, churches, woods, lakes and mountains in those countries and very little of the people, unless they are folkloric (older people in traditional clothes). It will be interesting to see if I can come up with anything different.

6 Comments:

Blogger Shane Gilchrist Ó hEorpa said...

Yu asked me when I was reading ur blog what the allotment is - had to explain! :)

wont mind applying for an allotment myself but have to decide once I start my PhD. My wife wants to raise chicken and I dont think they ll allow that in Amsterdam, eh?

29 June, 2008 20:30  
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