Stourport 2010

Stourport 2010
Winning vase 5x 'Sarah Louise'

Friday, 9 December 2011

We've had some real rough winds this week which have ripped all the panels out of my polycarbonate greenhouse; torn polycarb sheeting off the top of my shecafe which had been wired on and nailed. Despite this, i know our northern friends are experiencing much more inclement conditions with snowfall and gales.
Had a break from it all this morning and took John the Baptist and John Boswell (known from now on as The Boswell) to  see a mate of mine and to see his setup at home and then down to his allotment some 400 yards away.
My mate is Mick Poultney. Some of you may know him from when he appeared on BBCs Great British village show where he entered with his pot leeks. Some of you avid exhibitors, such as Simon (smithyveg) should know Mick from the likes of Malvern and such shows and, of course, the DA of the NVS.
Mick starts his leeks and onions off in the loft (hidden away from the missus) under a lamp and with bottom heat. God knows what his missus would have thought if she'd have come back to find three strange blokes climbing the stairs of her semi detached! Boswell thought it was a sex party but we were all disappointed to discover there were no half dressed women waiting for us when we got to the top!
Mick had got a nice lot of both blanch and pot leeks growing. Some from our Northern growers and some from Jimmy Dirden from Wednesbury. Hi onions had just been pricked out and were from Peter Glazebrook seeds. After the disappointment of no fun and frivolity with the opposite sex we moved down to Micks allotment where he is Chairman. Going through the powers that be, he recently developed a piece of waste ground from the council and has created several allotments for the disabled. One plot is all kitted out with raised beds for those in wheelchairs and with a wheelchair-accessible polytunnel. The other plot is for the 'walking disabled' and they too have their own polytunnel. Mick informs me work is still very much in progress and with his team of volunteers fast diminishing; the work will be carrying on for quite a while. But here is a pic to show how much hard work has gone into the project so far;l

With John the Baptist being very much a newbie to the world of show produce he was very interested in Micks methods- he left no stone unturned. He now knows Micks methods better than Mick himself!:
Mick is also chairman of Colley Gate gardening club (formerly Cradley gardening club) and having moved show venue Mick has had to move their trading sheds down to he allotment site. So, being an opportunist i took the pleasure of purchasing a bag of Levingtons M3 and some Maxicrop for a very good price. John the Baptist had a good spend and i know he was buying things he'd never even heard of until today! However, a good day was had by all and it was nice to have a look at someone elses plot for a change!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Brum, Brum!

Took a day off from the plots today and caught a train withsome friends to Birmingham City Centre to go and have a look at the German Christmas market there. We have been the last three years now and it's beginning to become somewhat of a tradition for us! It was a cold day with us having our first real significant frost but the sun was out and it was dry which was the main thing. Being as cold as it was, the famous Bull situated outside the Bullring had even put on a nice wooly jumper.
In desperate need ofsomething warm to drink we headed for one of the German bars, knowing something alcoholic would be available. As a change from the usual Gluhwein i opted for a very homosexual-sounding 'Men's Dream'. New to me, this drink turned out to be krakoa rum and cream- what a bostin drink! As you can see from a very merry me:-

...And a very merry Dad and John...
Well, its back to work tommorrow with more xmas trees to deal with. Should have the full 900ish total in by now and i'm expecting it to be a busy weekend with trees and wreaths.
The lights were nice in Brum, very festive. I bought some funny marshmallow things that got scoffed as we walked round and a stupid bird whistle thing that didn't even whistle. However... i did manage to get a photo of this rather dapper young man:-

Quite a handsome chap isn't he? Don't know who he was though!