Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Look what I got for Christmas!

Roll on March! I can't wait to get my seeds going in this - it's heated!

And also this:

But so far the birds either haven't noticed it yet, or are turning their beaks up at it. I don't know why as you couldn't wish for a posher or smarter feeding post. Anyway it's a lot more attractive than the swingball that was there before.

I went on a long walk this morning, coming back through the allotments. I haven't walked down the alleyway that connects them to the main road for a while, but today I noticed that the vandals have obviously rampaged their way down there as well: a whole length of fence has been pulled down. They clearly start at that end and work their way down, having a go at all the allotments on either side of the public path, particularly the ones nearest the entrance gates. One poor plotholder has had his metal shed (presumably a precaution against arson) completely destroyed. It's just a mangled mess. I think by the time they got as far as mine they had run out of steam a bit - just a couple of tyres and a plank of wood out of place today.

I have been thinking about what could be used as an effective, but legal deterrent. The site manager had had the good idea of surrounding my shed with prickly brambles and holly etc. What would be really great is if you could somehow douse the offender with some seriously smelly fermented comfrey juice. But how? Suggestions welcome. I will have to wait until spring now anyway as there is no comfrey growing at the moment.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

I spoke too soon....

Had another phonecall this morning; the vandals have been back - with a vengeance. They have finally managed to fulfill their ambition of pushing my shed right over, along with both compost bins. And as usual, several netting hoops pulled out again. Apparently about 25 kids were running amok up there last night, the police were called and ONE of them was arrested! Let's hope they persuaded him/her to TALK. The site manager advised me to leave the shed as it was until it has all died down, or they'd only be back to do it again. However I needed my spade to sort out the compost situation, so I had to put the shed back up as it was lying door side down. It didn't take me too long to put everything back as it was, so I'm hoping they've got it all out of their systems now. I wonder if vandals go out to play over Christmas, or do they stay at home like everyone else? It's hard to imagine what's a normal lifestyle for a vandal.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Christmas decs!

Nothing whatsoever to do with allotments, but I just wanted to show off my Christmas decorations! I love to have the house bedecked with greenery brought in from the garden:

Fairy lights and things the children have brought home from school over the years,

and of course, the sweetie tree!

The snow-flakes are stuck on the window behind, not part of the tree.
Sorry about the fuzziness of some of the above - I switched the flash off to get the warmth of the fairy lights so got a bit of camera shake as a result of the longer exposure.

Allotment news is: the vandals came back once again, but haven't been back the last two times I've been. I intend to go again tomorrow to check. Also, my seed potatoes have already arrived - a couple of weeks ago actually, so I've left them in their cardboard box and put them in a cool dark place, hoping they won't go mouldy between now and February when I get them out to start chitting. When's the earliest you can start? January?


Sunday, 7 December 2008

Yetis? Hoodies more like

I had a phone call this morning from the allotment site manager to tell me there had been a spate of vandalism, and they had attempted to lift and move my shed!! She and her husband had very kindly put it back as it was (they hoped) and it seems to be still in tact, albeit slightly wonky on it's base. However the contents had been rather shaken up so it all fell out when I opened the door.

In addition they had taken a whole bag of bark chips, split it open and sprinkled the entire contents all over the path just outside the gate. They had also pulled out some netting hoops and thrown them over the hedge, and chucked a few bamboo canes around for good measure.

However it seems I got off pretty lightly, look what they did to the plot on the other side of the hedge:

He only put this shed up a few weeks ago, and they have kicked the door in, breaking the catch and the hinges. He has put in a lot of work and, by the looks of things, spent quite a bit of money, over the past few months.

These aluminium pole and ball structures don't come cheap, some of these have been completely mangled.

Ooh it makes your blood boil. We have been asked to phone and report it to the police individually, presumably because the more reports they get the more likely they are to do something about it (fat chance). Anyway I hope if they ever do send someone to patrol they catch the little toerags and BANG 'EM TO RIGHTS!!

On a happier note, here is a thrush on top of the damson tree:

Does he look full of snails?