Friday, 25 January 2008

The latest bulletin from 66 years ago...

The only instruction in the Wartime Weekend Gardener for the fourth weekend of January is to lift any root crops remaining in the soil, frost permitting. Then store them in trays of compost or preserve them.

Hopefully we'll have a dry enough weekend so those who have fallen behind because of the wet weather (or like me, the heaviest cold for ages) can catch up.

The Spring bulbs I planted last Autumn are starting to flower, but not in the expected order. First to bloom were the dwarf irises, a deep crimson purple variety, then Katherine Hodgkin, a muted grey mauve and chartreuse one. The crocuses are open now, but the snowdrops are still budding up. With another year's growing, the timings should sort themselves out. My first venture out of the house since I went down with an absolute stinker of a cold took me on a bus past Winchmore Hill green, where I saw the first daff of the year in bloom. There's even talk of frog spawn sightings. I hope not round here - I need to remove the ponds at the old allotments, and can't do that until next week.

Sad news in the local paper. The Big Issue seller in Enfield was taken ill and died suddenly last week. His pitch was outside the Post Office, right by the bus stop. He was happy to talk to anyone, whether you bought a copy or not. In his early days selling, his dog was stolen, and people rallied around to help. His replacement dog, a very happy friendly Staffie, was as much a part of the community. Enfield is becoming even more soul less and anonymous, so losing someone who in spite of their circumstances was able to make a contribution to the feeling of community is a blow.

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