I’ve been enduring enforced “bachelorhood” this week, as Mrs. C, unwisely a it turns out, has accompanied daughter number two on short visit to Canada, where she’s a bridesmaid for a friend she met whilst working over there (see various “Postcards From Canada” previously posted in 2018). I won’t go into it, but British Airways, once the veritable bastion of decent service and customer relations, is now just a shadow of its former self and deserves to be avoided if at all possible on each and every occasion. They’re back on Monday (yesterday) following having a real fight to get their tickets reinstated after some deluded flunky cancelled the transatlantic part of their flight after BA had cancelled the internal UK flight without even asking if they wanted to make the journey. What part of a return flight don’t (didn’t) they understand? COMPUTER SAYS NO!!!
Things in the greenhouse, on the other hand, aren’t doing so bad. There’s produce aplenty (especially as there’s only me to feed) although we still don’t have a single fully ripe tomato. The carrots I’ve been growing in a tub (Chanteray) have been nice and sweet, but I must have planted a couple of seeds a little too close together, resulting in a bit of size disparity and the inadvertent unearthing of the smaller one, when it could really have done with another month or so. A bit like eating a sweet radish, but, as the saying goes, “waste not, want not”. The lack of tomatoes leaves me with another problem, the larger green courgettes (I’ve mentioned this before) which I use as a natural thickener for soup, are now being passed on to a vegetarian neighbour who’s happy to make use of them. I can eat courgettes as a veg, but I like them young and just cooked or raw in salads. They never did taste of much in their own right, although they do carry flavour fairly well.
I was right about the purple beans, the plants are cropping in copious amounts, although both the green climbers and the runner beans (which are now showing some signs of producing) have been slow to start and haven’t produced the same amounts of pods as in previous years. It’s clear to me that, given these plants are all growing in virtually the same place, some plants have a greater tolerance to it (the contaminated manure) than others, even those within the same “family”. One has to wonder if such resistance is bred in, as it were and, if so, how prevalent is this “herbicide drift” problem? I suppose I could look it up if I weren’t such a rough old gardener. Either way, there’ll be plenty of beans in the freezer this winter. Given the purple ones turn green when cooked I can just ask them to self identify as runner beans. It’s their choice, surely?
The ongoing plan of treating the chili plants mean to keep em’ keen seems to be paying dividends. I do give them water directly once they become virtually bone dry but if I manage to get up early enough, on the odd day when I know it’s going to be warm in the house (it peaked at around 47c on “Heatwave” day) then I try to replicate a cool rain shower for them. It seems to work, the leaf structure allows some of the water to penetrate down to the growing medium and the plants themselves seem to enjoy being “freshened up”. Cropping is good, but the lack of sunshine isn’t only affecting the tomato ripening process, consequently the several varieties which will eventually be red (hopefully) remain stubbornly green. The “Havana Gold” chili is nice though, with a green yellow colour and a subtle, fruity taste. The heat from this particular variety is also subtle, it doesn’t hit, but grows slowly as you eat. Very nice, if you like that sort of thing.
It doesn’t look like much, but I’m a simple man and the pleasure I derive from knowing I’ve produced all (or most of) the veg on a plate is, if not exactly life affirming, certainly very enjoyable. Par boiled potatoes, crushed and finished off in the oven, mixed beans and a take on “Courgette Provencal” accompanied my rib eye steak with blue cheese sauce for my first Saturday “Home Alone”. It’s just as well the local’s still closed, I’d probably have been too drunk to cook it, or worse still, I’d have spent twenty quid on a pub meal and the satisfaction derived would have been fleeting at best and good food, lovingly tended, may have gone to waste.
I’ve mentioned already this season just how surprisingly good the strawberries have been, but this latest crop, following the “heatwave” have been something else, if you discount the shape of some of them. I think “bird wars” have reached a reasonably acceptable stage, the net hasn’t stopped the blackbird(s) trying their luck but it’s clear from the relatively small numbers of pecked at fruit that it’s frustrating their efforts somewhat. I’ve taken to putting the odd soft or previously pecked strawberry on one of the posts supporting the compost heap and they’re getting eaten. I suppose if I were a blackbird after a free feed, then I’d rather eat the offerings from the crazy stick waving human, than risk getting my feet tangled in a mesh net.
The village show is fast approaching and, typically, I’m still not too sure what I’ll have of “show quality” to put in front of the judges. I’m sure some of you show (or have shown veg/flowers) in the past, but, as with most things, showing’s a learning game. Courgettes (a member of the squash or gourd family) for instance (according to the last judge we had) cease to be courgettes once they are over six inches long. They’re always better received if the flower is still intact and attached to the body of the fruit. The outside two of these three in the picture would have been good enough to take first prize at every show I’ve attended here. Sadly, they’re now eaten and I have to hope there’ll be two of similar size, colour and shape ready at just the right time.
It’s a while ago now, but I believe it was on this august platform that I once wrote a lengthy post in the comments regarding something I called “The last great taboo”, in response to the recurring theme of paedophilia and the ongoing nudging by both paedophiles and their “useful idiots” to normalise the practice of having sex with children, often the younger the better. The Paedophile Information Exchange, founded by two gay men called Ian Dunn and Tom O’Carroll (ex Labour Party member, expelled in 2016) in 1974 and disbanded in 1984 lobbied for the age of consent to be lowered nearly 50 years ago. It had many high profile champions in the 70’s and 80’s, notable amongst them Harriet Harman, her husband Jack Dromey and Patricia Hewitt, although I understand they all withdrew their support following public outrage at the time. Peter Tatchell, a high profile “Gay Rights” campaigner, although never openly condoning paedophilia (that I’m aware of) was happy to state, in a 1997 Guardian article that “not all sex involving children is (was) unwanted,abusive or harmful”, which kind of gives us an idea of where he stood (and maybe still stands) on this subject. There’s little new in all this, degenerates have been coming after our children for a long time and they’re quite happy to use every sly trick in the book to have their way. Paedophiles have now taken to renaming themselves (at least the ones who put their heads above the parapets, many still hide, in plain sight, amongst us) as MAPS, an acronym standing for Minor Attracted Persons. They do this, I suppose, to try to sanitise their base carnality, but l don’t think it’s working. We see them.
Why am I going on about this you may ask? My interest was piqued, although it didn’t take much piquing, by the recent “news” that feminist blogger and “You Tuber” Jay Keen (Posie Parker) has been visited by police and allegedly warned about her choice of language, for being “Untoward About Paedophiles”. Ms Keen has been the target of much vitriol from the “trans” community for her stance on women’s rights and her unarguable belief that “trans” women aren’t women. It doesn’t take a great leap of the imagination to assume the complainant has “skin in the game”.
Stonewall (a major “gay rights” organisation with lots of clout and an annual budget of over £9million) has taken up the radical “trans” cause. Although it’s now rowing back somewhat, claiming a misunderstanding, it recently made this claim “research suggested children as young as two recognise their trans identity”. Across the western world, although most notably in America and the UK, children (many of them prepubescent) are being encouraged to “explore their sexuality”. The “trans” lobby wants “drag” acts in schools, to promote “love and inclusivity”. TikTok is awash with video’s of sexual fantasists and fetishists, the dark side of twitter, if your stomach can stand it, has some of the nastiest clips of sexual activity you can imagine. I might be wrong, I’ve been wrong before, but I think they’re still coming after our children, they’re just dressing it up in rainbows, glittery frock and pantomime dame make up. Sadly, far too many “progressives”, frightened to turn against the tide, are happy for their children to be exposed to what they see as either educational or a bit of “harmless fun”. I hope, for the sake of their children, that’s all it is, but I very much doubt it.
Next time; The Village Show, Potatoes as a year round crop, brassica, aubergines, soup (maybe), Hooptedoodle
© Colin Cross 2022