Another year comes around and, with it, a couple of days for quiet reflection, mostly to let the pudding settle. I don’t normally make a start in the old greenhouse much before February, the weather is crap and I think I must have a form of SADS. It’s a “variant of concern”, known in professional rough gardening circles as “I can’t be arsed-itis”. Anyway, this year I’ve decided to shrug it off, gird my loins, dig out my trusty penknife and get a couple of weeks ahead of myself. I’m guessing that the shiny new tool kit, a most thoughtful Christmas gift from my eldest, has provided not a little of the stimulus required to get me to walk the 300 yards or so and at least look as if I’m doing something positive, apart from shit-posting and moaning to myself about broken glass, crumbling breeze blocks and the ubiquitous weeds, which, if you read my musings, are the bane of my life.
I’ve mentioned Dave before, unlike me, he’s one of those blokes who can’t keep still, he always knows a job that needs doing and he’s always happy to get on with it. I kid you not, even after we’d had a skinful on Christmas night he was out, first thing Boxing Day, wandering around the fields, checking his mole traps. I can appreciate the need for “Mowdy Trapping”, they’re a bloody pest, but if there’s one in a trap it ain’t going anywhere; conversely, if the trap is empty there’s every chance it’ll be full the next day, it wouldn’t do for us all to be the same though, would it? On the 27th of December, without any prompting from me, he remodelled an old “pigeon hole” shelving unit, sequestered from the village hall, and created a wall of cubbyholes to keep our bits in. A ply and stud wall had to be removed from the old “bait cabin” to make room, but we now have the makings of a nice little hideaway right next door to the greenhouse. All I had to do was put the stuff on the shelves. The perfect partnership. He’ll get his just reward, later in the year, in the form of tomatoes, chilies and grapes, no doubt.
Any road up, the greenhouse, such as it is, is still standing. We lost a couple of sheets of glass (now replaced) during the last storm and one of the skylight has snapped a hinge, but all in all, structurally at least, I don’t envisage any major works needing doing (touch wood) this season. The plastic which helps to protect the block base has seen better days and it’ll need a bit of work doing with it in the spring, but for now I’m content to get the old support strings down, wash the pots in a mild solution of water and Jeyes fluid, have a good spray around with an agricultural weedkiller, sort out the strawberry and salad beds, harvest the last of the leeks and the small pot of Swiss chard, which has soldiered on nicely. Shouldn’t take me more than a couple of weeks (lol). In the meantime it’s all about sorting out seeds, replacing the ones I guess to be past their best, deciding whether to put the peas & beans into the central trench and run the tomatoes along either side of the paths and deciding whether to set up another table & grow more things in pots. Decisions, decisions.
Those of you that can be bothered following my occasional ramblings will remember that 2021 was the year of the compost heap. I still probably don’t have the full knack of managing it, I suppose I should find the time to do some research and take advice how to get the best from it, I’m guessing there’s more to it than being a warm haven for rats to snuggle down. I hadn’t been in the greenhouse for several weeks, but the last time I was in there I’d pulled down the last of the straggly beans which had woven themselves around the roof supports and turned them over into the compost. I didn’t give a second though to the fact that there were several pods still intact, they weren’t fit to eat as they’d become mouldy in the damp air and that was that. I was pleasantly surprised to see half a dozen healthy looking shoots had sprouted. I don’t know which variety they are just yet, I’m hoping French climbers, but if they survive until I can be bothered, I’ll pot them on, put them in the propagator and plant them out in early March. With a bit of luck and a following wind there may be an earlier than normal crop to be had.
I don’t spend all my time sitting on the old bench, (which, due to it having been repaired so many times, we now call “Triggers Broom”), thinking about what to plant, where to plant it and can I make any money out of it (negotiations with the new farm shop are due to commence as soon as I can be bothered to instigate them). Rough gardening can only occupy even the most moribund of minds for short periods of time. Consequently, over the last week or two I’ve been giving some consideration to the ongoing brouhaha surrounding the whole “trans” business and the misogyny evinced by many media commentators, whenever this subject enters the news cycle. Firstly, let me make my position clear; anyone can pretend to be anything they like, it’s pretty silly, unless you’re going to a fancy dress or Halloween party, but we do live in strange times. The truth of the matter is, whatever ones chosen sexual proclivities there are only two (apart from very rare quirks of nature) genders. So far as I’m concerned (simplistic as my view may be) male and female, chromosome based biological fact MUST trump however anyone feelz where this subject is concerned, but it doesn’t, obviously.
Taken from Mail On Line;
“A paedophile has been sent to prison for 20 months for getting high on cocaine and having group sex with an Alsatian. Trans woman Claire Goodier – who was previously known as John and convicted of child abuse images as a man in the past – admitted the offence in an earlier hearing. Goodier, 60, was described as ‘manipulative’ and ‘deceitful’ by a probation officer at the Chester Crown Court sentencing today”.
“A group of the UK’s leading girls’ schools will not accept transgender pupils because they are worried it will ‘jeopardise’ their status as single-sex institutions. The Girls’ Day School Trust, which represents 23 private schools and two academies, updated its gender identity policy guidance document last month and shared it with its members. In a new section on admissions, the GDST said its schools do not accept applications from pupils who are legally biologically male, even if they identify as women”.
Taken from Mail On Line;
Henig, a 20-year-old from Palo Alto, California, has delayed hormone treatments to finish his career on Yale’s women’s team as he transitions from female to male. In the women’s 400-yard freestyle relay, Henig again crushed Thomas and his other competitors, finishing in 50.45 seconds to power Yale to victory in the meet. Thomas finished her leg of the race in 51.94 seconds. Henig also finished first in the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 22.76. After the race, Henig, who has had surgery to remove his breasts, pulled down the top of his swimsuit, shocking some parents at the meet. ‘I wasn’t prepared for that. Everything is messed up. I can’t wrap my head around this. The NCAA needs to do something about this. They need to put science into the decision and discussion,’ a UPenn parent, who wanted to remain anonymous, told DailyMail.com. Another parent said: ‘A man just crushed the women’s team.’
Just three examples, taken from Main Stream Media, which highlight not only the hypocrisy surrounding this whole sorry business, but also the dangers it presents to women and their role in our ever changing society. The rights of women to feel safe in their own environs, to be free of the dangers of sexual predation from degenerates who hide their perversions behind “trans” identity, to compete in sports on a level playing field and to be educated in a way that best suits them and their peers, free from the worry of who’s in the next toilet cubicle or who’s lurking in the showers, looking to get a cheap thrill, is sacrosanct. Far too many male “journalists”, talking heads and “activist” commentators , for the sake of being “on message”, are willing to ignore the needs of the majority of women to appeal to a tiny, very vocal minority. They know who they are and they should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves, but you know, as well as I do, they won’t be. Tom Harwood of GB News “fame” was particularly exercised about the girls school business, showing not one iota of concern for the girls themselves. I didn’t find his position that surprising, to be fair.
All that remains, until next time, is to wish all Postaliers, Puffins and assorted others a belated Happy New Year and, hopefully, a 2022 in which some level of common sense returns to the zeitgeist before we all become trapped in the recurring nightmare of either endless *jabs* or virtual exclusion from our own society. I’m sure there’ll be plenty for me to ruminate over in the coming weeks and months.
Next time, seeds, weeds, needs and plant breeds…..
© Colin Cross 2022