Thursday, August 26, 2010

End of Neglect?

Over winter the garden has been a little neglected. This has been reflected in the lack of gardening content on this blog. Now winter is coming to a close but its last effects remain.

We’ve had only five rain free days this month (and eight last month) and our water tank has been continually full and overflowing. If only that overflow water could be saved until it could be put to good use in summer!

A 10,000 litre tank seemed to be a good size but it fills quickly with steady rain and empties equally quickly during dry spells. But what more can be done on land in town? Even if we could afford more tanks where would we put them?

I can only wonder what can be expected in summer. How quickly will the garden dry out again once the temperatures start rising? Will we go from one extreme to the other?

At the moment the veggie garden is starting to show a little promise. A bed of onions is coming along nicely, and for once my brassicas aren’t looking too bad. I’ve been growing most of my cabbages and broccoli under bird netting to prevent access by butterflies. Last year we had a lot of trouble with caterpillars. I’m confident that the netting will keep the butterflies out. The holes in the mesh are about 1cm in diameter.

I also have another bed with Kale, lettuces and more cabbage which will need to be netted soon. So far it’s been too cold for butterflies to cause a problem with more newly planted seedlings. The covered bed with more mature plants was established earlier while there were still a few butterflies around before the real cold of winter hit.

This year’s crop of garlic is showing mixed results. I have Russian garlic going well and I also have Silverskins and Australian Whites. One of the latter two has been growing quite strangely (I don’t recall which one at the moment). It has sent up leaves like clumps of thick grass. Gloria told me that when she used that type of garlic in her cooking, each individual clove tended to disintegrate further into separate, thin little bulbs. I also found the same thing when I planted some of them. I’m not sure that I’ll grow that type again – even though they didn’t show that characteristic last year.

Another plant that is causing me some concern is the raspberry. I planted it last year and had no fruit at all over summer (which would probably be normal) but now it is sending suckers everywhere and little shoots are springing up a metre and a half away from the parent plant, even in my garlic bed having tunnelled under a small brick retaining wall.
I’ve decided to leave it alone for the next growing season, hoping to get enough fruit for it to repay the cost of purchase. Then after fruiting I’ll rip it out. Even so I’m sure it will be quite some time before we no longer have to deal with its offspring.

Earlier today I received an email to let me know two apple trees I’ve purchased have been mailed. I ordered a Fuji and a type I’d not previously heard of, a Winchester Pearmain. They are only small trees so will take a few years until they fruit. Hopefully they will eventually be productive enough to give us a decent crop of apples each year.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Predictable Election "Result"

It seems like we have been given the election result most fitting to the campaigns of both of major parties.

Labor and the Coalition spent most of their time and resources telling us not to vote for the other party. So it seems we followed advice from both of them and either voted for someone else (Greens or Independents) or didn't vote at all (highest informal vote on record).

Maybe when the next election comes around one or both of the parties might be able to give us reason to vote FOR THEM instead of reasons not to vote for the others.

Also, they might consider keeping true to those reasons by fulfilling their promises instead of backing out when the going gets a bit tough.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thank you Mark Latham!

Our Federal Election is only a few days away and I’m unsure of how to vote.
I find neither major party appealing.

I had earlier weighed up the options and decided to leave my ballot papers blank– but then Mark Latham spoiled my plan.

Now my choice is not only a two way decision between Labor and the Coalition: the Latham factor has been added.

He has suggested the very same action that I had intended to take: that is not supporting anyone.

If I now carry on with my original plan, I will effectively be aligning myself with Latham and that is perhaps the worst of the three available evils.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Embrace Life

Posting the video "Embrace Life" is in no way an endorsement or a recommendation of any other youtube video that may be displayed at the end of "Embrace Life".

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blogging My Obsessions…

My profile description exposes me as a man of “diverse obsessions”. My primary obsessions can be determined from the content of my three blogs.

At the top is faith in Jesus Christ. My first blog “Onesimus Files” (focused upon that faith) has now been going for 5 years. It’s something I take very seriously and I have deep concerns about the extent that church tradition and theology have moved away from the foundations of simple biblical teaching. So often theologians spend time explaining why the bible doesn’t really mean what it clearly says and “Christianity” today is far removed from the teachings of Jesus and the writers of the New Testament.

Where the "Blogs Have No Names", is the second blog I started. It has no specific theme, but it became a record of my move from Sydney to the country with a lot of emphasis on my gardening attempts.
I haven’t written much about my garden recently because, over winter, there hasn’t been much to write about. The garden is merely less productive and more lifeless than at other times of the year.
Winter has allowed me to make a start on my front garden – reclaiming more lawn to establish a new native garden bed. Unfortunately winter isn’t the best time for planting. The frost has hit things hard and some of my new plants may not survive.

The blog name was clearly influenced by the U2 song “Where the Streets Have no Name”, and I came up with it on the spur of the moment when I couldn’t think of anything clever to name it.

My most recent blog is “Out of Shadows”. A “literary blog” dealing with books I’ve been reading as well as some thoughts about writing and storytelling. When I started that blog I was going through a period of frustration. Several times in my life I have tried to change career direction, but every time I seem to travel full circle and end up back where I started – and again I’m back in an administrative job little different to every other job I’ve had.

“Out of Shadows” was initially a tool to revitalise the only career ambition I ever had – to be a writer. The first step on that journey was the revival of my interest in reading. I had to find books that I could enjoy, that would maintain my interest until I reached the end. I’ve started far too many books that were eventually abandoned or perhaps more correctly: forgotten through disinterest.

So far I haven’t done too badly with the reading part. By keeping a list of completed books I can see the progress I’m making, but there is the temptation to inflate the numbers through choosing “easy reads”.

Looking over my reading for this year I can see that the majority has been non-fiction, so I’ve drifted away from the aim of re-inspiring my desire to write fiction.
Authors are always being asked for advice from people like me who have writing ambitions, and one of the common pieces of advice they give is to read. I guess reading other writers is supposed to provide inspiration, but there are so few writers today who I would find inspiring.

Yesterday I looked over the list of the fiction I’ve read recently, trying to select my three favourite books. I struggled. There was only one clear choice, and a second that made the grade with a couple of minor reservations. For a third I had to compromise a little by choosing a book I ‘d recently reread – one that I had enjoyed years ago, but not quite so much the second time around.

I was intending to write an article about my top three choices (three fiction and three non-fiction) but have decided to wait until I finish reading Slam by Nick Hornby – I’m enjoying it so much that I can already see it will easily push the compromise book out of contention.

Reading back over this article I can see how easily I become distracted. In what was intended as a look at my diverse obsessions, I have touched on merely a few. Maybe a clearer idea of the things that interest me would be found in reading through earlier posts, both here and on my other blogs. And perhaps the books I’ve been reading will also give a clue to some of my many interests.