Thursday, October 14, 2021

break, heron, stillness, interlude, frenetic


Took a walk along the Oxford canal during my break earlier this week.

Lovely to watch this heron for a few minutes of its stillness.

A quiet interlude between the frenetic start of Michaelmas Term.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

first charles ross apples!


Picked the first apples from our Charles Ross tree.

We both had half of each - one was somewhat soft but the other was crunchy with a subtle sweetness.

The apples were both small and there are half-a-dozen or more left. Next year the fruit should be bigger.

It's been lovely to have apples from all five trees this year.

Coxes still going strong. They are amazingly delicious. It's great taking one into work for lunchtime - a gorgeous reminder of home.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

harvests, shropshire wedding!, holidays, apples, uncertain times...


An unbelievable harvest - one of so many this summer. None of it much to do with us. We just sowed, planted and watered. The heavy old clay allotment soil, which we often malign (so much more tricky than the free-draining loam-over-gravel in the garden) did the rest!

A lovely late-summer break.

A Shropshire wedding to start it off - the apprehension of a gathering, then the sheer joy of seeing old friends and being there to celebrate!

The rest of the time, long walks with our dog, some meals out and lots of reading.

Oh, and apples. The Lord Lambournes are nearly done, the James Grieves are as giving as ever. About to start the Coxes. Later, the Blenheim Oranges and Charles Rosses.

Holding our breath, as we enter this difficult next phase of unlocking, back to normal, or whatever unsatisfactory metaphor one chooses, but at least there have been some happy days.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

first lord lambourne


First of our most recently planted apples. A Lord Lambourne. 

Luckily, we spotted that the one next to it had gone rotten. This one was a little mushy - on the far side - but still delicious. Refreshing, crunchy, subtly tasty. Though the variety is said to be strong flavoured, so perhaps the rot had some effect.

Parentage is James Grieve, which we've been growing for some years, and Worcester Pearmain. Imagined it was a local - west Berkshire - variety but then realised our spelling mistake (Lambourn). In fact the variety was bred by Laxtons Brothers Ltd in Bedford in 1907.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

barley field in july, the spiders, the limits of thought, mental sleights of hand, abundant cucumbers, nearing the end of the maris peer


Three photos taken between 30th June and 22nd July, showing the story of a barley field in west Oxfordshire. While I love the idea of harvest, I can't help worrying for the spiders. Just as I worry for the insects when I strim grass on the allotment. Not that I stop strimming... I suppose the mind gives up on such contemplations. They are too boggling and disturbing.

In the meantime, the trimmed paths of the allotment surround generous plants. Abundant runner beans - and never have we had so many cucumbers! I love J's cucumber soup! Today I dug half of the remaining Maris Peer earlies. Not as firm as last year's crop but certainly delicious!

Saturday, August 7, 2021

wake-up bike ride, rain on the way?, blackcurrants and tea


Sun-still-low-on-the-horizon wake-up bike ride earlier.

Doubt the weather will last though.

Now, some chores done, blackcurrants and tea and catching up with Open Country.

Friday, August 6, 2021

brisk, central oxford (not far off)


Brisk walk earlier in the week at lunchtime.

Through the Parks and over the rainbow bridge.

Astonishing that this view is ten minutes from Oxford's city centre.