Monthly Archives: July 2009

My geranium is getting leggy – any suggestions?

I HAVE A  BEAUTIFUL Geranium giving vivid red colours but it is getting bolshie.

My questions are these, as in Gardeners’ Question Time.

1. Do I throw it away and say your time is past?

2. Do I get rid of all these stupid extra leaves it is making for no reason at all, thus contraventing Darwinism just so I can get more useless but attractive blooms?

3. Do I try to eat it and pretend the leaves are nasturtium leaves?

No answers required. But the Geranium had best stop getting leggy or I will have it!

Let us acclaim the successful potato

BELIEVE IT or believe it not, there used to be a title published by Reed called the Successful Potato.

Of course the ultimate successful potato has got to be the King Edward – a royal potato in every way. I am sure that when Sir Walter Raleigh – executed later by Queen Elizabeth I James I* – brought back a potato and a tomato and tobacco and a chili from the Americas, it was not a King Edward.

What a versatile creature the potato is – you can mash it, fry it, boil it, chip it, french fry it, bake it and roast it.

OK, King Edward is related to the Lucrezia Borgia of the genus, Deadly Nightshade. But his Brittanic Majesty is also related to capsicums and nicotines. What a versatile family!

The edible starchy tuber has, of course, many varieties apart from the King.

There is of course his consort, the Charlotte. And his mistress, Desiree. There’s Nicola whoever she is, and there’s Jersey Royals – the princelings of potato-hood. The Saxon variety is related to the House of Hangover, based in Hannover, which at one time by default became the right royal owners of England.

We’d be interested to know if there was a Republican variety of potato, one that organised the Boston Potato Party, and threw Edward, the Saxons and the Princelings into the drink. But we guess we’ll never find out.

* oops. Fixed SNAFU

Don’t thrush me, I’m hungry

WHAT DO YOU do when you’re a hungry thrush and you find a snail that’s as big as your head?

You grab the snail any way you can and you hammer it and hammer it again on a concrete patio until the shell breaks and you can have your breakfast.

That’s what the little thrush did in the back yard of the Oxford Violin Shop just a few minutes ago. Sort of escargot to go.

There’s a beer shortage in Italy

BELOW WE SEE a very sad state of affairs. There’s obviously a beer drought in Italy and, worse than that, you’ve got to pay through the nose for it!

droughtbeer

Just what is this tree?

What the heck is this tree>

What the heck is this tree?

Facebook is Velikovsky’s worlds colliding

I HAVE A FACEBOOK page, and have loads of chums around the world who have all chipped in with their various attitudes and points of view.

I think, I think, my Facebook page is called Mad Mike Mageek. It’s sometimes very very hard to tell what’s happening with FB.

Never mind Twitter.

But on your right you will see my interests in the links on this Volesoft page. There are many many worlds set to collide.  According to Velikovski.  Catastrophic!

Strings, blackbirds serenade my summer days

HERE IN my Tower of Light in Oxford, I am lucky enough to back onto Oxford Violins.  When it’s a warm summer day, the guys open their windows and you can hear them tuning and playing the beautiful instruments they make.

A couple of weeks ago, one of the chaps, Bruno Guastalla, came across the back garden to introduce himself. He’d heard me whistling a refrain to the blackbird that hangs around the yard, and joined me for a glass of white wine.

Later, he invited me into the workshop, and it was wonderful to see the tools and equipment they use to create the instruments.

If you go to Oxford Violins’ website, there’s a video showing a violinist playing one of the instruments Bruno made and different stages in the creation of a violin.  It’s all rather magical, really this little area.

They play themselves – I heard them jamming earlier this week, most beautiful.