Month: May 2009

May 23, 2009
I’m happy to say that the main pear tree is looking very healthy. I have been religiously removing leaves at the first sign of the mite, and it has kept it under control. It also has an incredible crop of pears growing – too many for the poor tree, in fact.

The pears tend to grow 5 pears to a spur, and it is generally recommended to thin them out to one or two to a spur. I’ve been informed that the time to do this is July, as there can also be a natural loss of fruit. However, many of my tree’s spurs were bearing 7 fruits, and I really didn’t want it wasting energy on fruit I would only be thinning out later. So I have taken off the weediest, and thinned them down to 4-5 a spur. That way, in July, I should have a pick of healthy fruit, should I want to thin again.

May 23, 2009
Have spent much of today in the garden, making sure it will survive my approaching holiday. The new bed is alive with lettuces and salad greens (and some very healthy-looking Pok Choi), and the last thing I want is it to die off if there is no rain.

The other beds all have soaker hoses buried, fed from a pipe that goes around the garden, and I have just extended this to the new bed. The pipe is normally fed from a pair of water butts, but they are almost empty at the moment. So for the two weeks I am away, I have set up a timed water feed from the mains, to come on for a while, every 3 days. I did have a cunning plan to use the timed mains water feed to simply top up the butts, using a ballcock valve – that way, the mains water would only be used if the butts were empty. But that is a level of complication I haven’t got time for at the moment.

May 21, 2009
Just watched Question Time, which this week was all about the sorry state of affairs regarding MP’s expenses. A frequently heard comment from the audience was “Why can’t we have a general election, now”, and this was supported (no surprise!) by both William Hague (Conservative) and Vince Cable (Lib Dem). To my surprise, I was more in agreement with Ben Bradshaw (Labour) who said that to do so would let those who committed the most serious offences to get away with it. I’ll explain why I think this is so.

May 8, 2009
Had another excellent evening at the George Hotel at Leadenham. I had to travel up for a meeting at Bridlington during the day, but popped in on Tim and Annie on the way back, and then went along to the George with them. Many thanks to Annie for feeding me at such short notice!

Less people were attending this month from previous months I have seen, but we still had a very good time of it.

May 3, 2009
I’ve had a couple of minor disasters in the garden this spring. Both my basket tomatoes and my courgettes got planted out way too early, resulting in a loss of plants.

Until today, it has been a puzzle to me why I decided to plant them out – it seemed to me I would start off thinking “it’s too early for X”, then suddenly decide that if anything I had left it late, and then – after I had planted – I watch the plants slowly die.

May 2, 2009
May 1, 2009
About a week ago, I was browsing in the local Factory Shop, and I saw a shelf full of slow cookers. The last time I used one was in my student days. In fact I still have the crock from my old slow cooker, but the electric bit (which also doubled as a chip fryer) got thrown out many years ago.

Anyway, among the larger family type cookers was this one, priced at 12.99 then reduced to 8 quid. I couldn’t resist it. It’s a nice little 1.5 litre cooker, perfect for 1 or 2 portions, and has 3 heat setting – “low” (slow cook), “high” (simmer) and “keep warm”.