Tuesday, 11 January 2011


Aeonium tabuliforme - my 'splat plant' in winter, sheltered in the greenhouse.

Sorry if this NASTY NEW TEMPLATE has come as rather a shock.

No, I don't like it either, but I've got myself into rather a mess.  The old system of editing and fiddling with templates seemed far easier than, when I did it, than now with this new set up. I've just spent a frustrating couple of hours trying to make my Twitter thing fit in to the the old template, which it wouldn't.  So I went on to make some serious bishes, trying to change everything and have ended up with this frightful mess and no time to put it right.  PLEASE REGARD THIS AS A TEMPORARY, OR AS YOU MIGHT SAY A COALITION TEMPLATE.

The idea was to revive my neglected Twitter thingy so that I could post messages to everyone about blog posts and so on.  But now it's all messed up and I need a six year-old to come and help me sort out the mess and somebody nerdier than me to develop a more artistic layout.

If anyone wants to Tweet me I - the details are somewhere to your right - I will be flattered, tickled pink, delighted, amazed and elated.


I had tea with John Major, yesterday. We discussed cricket.

I've seen one legitimate snowdrop, in someone else's front garden.  

Dubiously hardy shrubs which I expected to succumb to this winter, have.  Others, which I thought would survive have perished as well.  But am I downhearted?  Of course I bloody well am.  I loved them and wanted to help them have babies.  And now they're gone.

Survivors include Euphorbia mellifera, left, which I planned to destroy because it's in the wrong place.  Isn't life grand?!  However, I've got some excellently raised seedlings in Wendy. I have about a dozen but will need one plant.  Perhaps it's time to think of starting a small nursery, again.

Euphorbia mellifera - bloody but unbowed

You may recall, on my last post, that I had an embarrassment of fallen Bramley apples and a welter of wet but unrotted leaves.  Well in the past four days, a massive flock of fieldfares raided the garden and have made short work of them.  And now, the dozy blackbirds which have lived in the garden all the time, have driven off the fieldfares and are finishing them off.  And the leaves are beginning to rot in record time.  Hurrah!

Apple remains, after the fieldfares have been.

I'm listening my son, Tom, playing the guitar superbly in the next door room.  He's a Delta Blues man but can turn his hand to almost anything.  We've just had a delightful improvised spell based on the tune Greensleeves, and now were back to an 'I woke up this mornin' ' type thing.

This time yesterday, I had a nicer blog template.  Ah me!

This week's film was  The Man Who Watched Trains Go By, a curious British thriller set in Holland and Paris starring Claude Rains, Herbert Lom and Marius Goring.  Not a major classic, but it had its moments.  Marius G as a smoothie sleuth was worth a guinea a minute - and he managed it with a fag dangling from his mouth throughout.  (For Transatlantic friends, 'fag' means cigarette, not the other thing.)

Sorry about this hateful layout - but give us a tweet.  Go on, you know you want to!


  1. It's a long time since I saw a good fieldfare blackbird fight - perhaps you could post video to you tube ?

  2. My blackbirds are always slow to twig about apples or maybe they just aren't quite desperate enough. Saw fascinating thing on Countryfile this week about them feeding swans potatoes at MartinsMere.

    Anyway are you sure you have lost everything aren't you meant to wait patiently just in case and then give up in March say?

    Finally, welcome to twitter. Its a funny old world but also quite informative and good for networking if you are like me and know no one!

  3. Hurrah! You're about to be followed by @Malvernmeet which is me in disguise. I started it to publicise the get together at Malvern, but VP did insist on chatting away on there as well.

    The blog occasionally gets a word in too over at @VegPlotting, but tends to stick to things which might be slightly useful ;)

    Template looks fine to me - have you been fiddling since your rant?

  4. What makes a snowdrop legitimate? :)

    John Grimshaw

  5. You are not wrong about the nasty blog template - it gave me a shock too.

    Welcome to twitter world - it is quite mad. I wonder if you will last longer on there than Monty Don, having a sense of humour helps. It would be good if you could give us an 140 character rant about something every few days.. ranting in such a confined way will be quite challenging but if anyone can do it well it will be you.

  6. Tea with John Major? Blimey! Mind you, i talked football with Charlie and Bones just this morning...can a E.mellifera ever be in the wrong place?

  7. Good grief, your fourth tweet is 303 days old! Does it win a Wrinklies Prize?

  8. Oh, I feel your pain. I had to have a 14-year-old get me set up on my new laptop. I am still trying to get the hang of blogging, let alone twitter and facebook and the like. And I swear I'm not THAT old.

  9. Thanks for all the lovely tweets,
    AYIMG - You Tube? I'm only just recovering from twitting. As Elephant's Eye points out, there was a massive interval between recent and early tweets.

    Mike - your namedrop tops mine by a mile. My E. mellif is occupying a spot needed for something smaller, ie, it's blocking a thoroughfare.

    Sock - minirants to follow

    John G, legit = not forced & flowering in due season in ground. Potted sdrops don't count - my own daft rules, of course.

    VP, PG - bless you both

  10. The whole template thing makes me absolutely crazy. I am on WordPress and wanted a black background. There was a choice of two. I choose the elegant, well proportioned one only to receive lots of complaint about the small type, which I discovered could only be enlarged by learning (not even sure if that's the right verb) CSS. I switched to the other template, which has, of all colors, bright orange font for the sidebar and links in the text. Not really appropriate for Carolyn's Shade Gardens, as my friend said: "What's with the font color, it looks kind of devilish?" However, since I didn't even know what a blog was on Novemeber 1, I have come a long way and am giving myself a rest from figuring out technology. Good luck with your template.

  11. Last winter (2009/2010) and this, so far, have not been kind to our E.Mellifera which, in a part of our garden with a northerly aspect was hardly likely to flourish.

    If last year was anything to go by however as we we are about to give up hope a few seedlings will appear from below the slimy remains of their parents. Fingers x'd

  12. I expect you will land up with a wonderful-looking page after a bit. I've found good things and bad about the new templates. I like being able to use captions but find choosing the right colours very difficult. The page never seems quite wide enough either, however much I fiddle with the 'widths'.

    Was John Major interesting? I once watched a programme on television in which his brother went to Europe to look into holes in the ground.

    Funny how birds take a while to cotton on to a good food idea but, once they have . . .