Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The Plot's Flooded

Yesterday we had a spot of rain. OK, I lie, we had a major storm. Loads of rain, wind and all sorts of unhealthy stuff going on. So today I thought I'd go take a look to see if everything survived. Last time this sort of thing happened, one of the windows in the shed blew in. Well guess what... one of the windows of the shed blew in. Not the one supported by the rake. It was the other one. So now I have the spade and fork doing double duty as window supports as well. Guess one of my jobs for the new year is to get those windows sorted.

But that wasn't the major shock. No, the biggest shock is the fact that the plot is under water. Anything from about an inch to three or four. The greenhouse is blocked off (and only wearing trainers it's a bit hard to get to) and the rest of the plot looks like high tide.

And people wonder why I built my shed on stilts.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Shelves for the Shed

I don't have to go back to work until the 6th. So I have plenty of time to turf out the 16 years of accumulated "stuff" from the house. The 2nd bedroom (we call the "Otaku Room" is my office and storage room. But it's kind of turned into the throw-it-all-in-and-slam-the-door-before-it-falls-out room. So it definitely needs a clean out. Yet there are somethings which really should be re-purposed for another life.

I have a set of metal shelves which have been with me for the better part of 25 years and are still in almost new condition. But they're not suited to the house. So where else could they live? Simple enough. In the shed. Mind you, the shed also needs a bit of a clean out.

There is stuff in the shed left over from when I built the greenhouse back in the "spring". I had intended to keep the paper and cardboard for using as fire starters for the rocket stove for cooking. But I never got round to building that. Nor do I think I will ever build it. So it all has to go.

I will however keep the cable ties that were used to keep the glass together as they are useful for tying up the grape vine and apple tree. They can stay on the floor as they don't fold, stack or stay put in a small container. But at least it's a little cleaner in there now.

But I'm still using the rake to hold my window in place.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Committee before Plot

I still have loads to dig on the plot. The whole back section between myself and neighbour (30a) needs to be cleared of brambles and the pernicious couch grass, ready for a whole load of lavender to go in.

Well I didn't get very far. For starters the brambles had put runners all over the place. That and the pulling up of the couch grass rhizomes meant I didn't get a lot of it done by 1pm. And from then on it was Committee work.

We had a number of plots from this years intake of "noobs" to check. We need to check to ensure that they are actually being worked and that they are coping ok with the plot itself. Lets just say it was a disappointing number who were actually busy on the plot or who had done anything over the previous few months. It looks like we'll be taking back some of the plots.

Now we have also had some residents complain about an oak tree on the site. It has grown too big. But since it is over the size limit, it is automatically given a tree preservation order. So cutting it down is not an option. Not that we would ever do such a thing anyway. But it can be pollarded. So I had to take a number of photos of the tree to send to the arborists to discuss access and methods to deal with it. Fortunately the plot holder on whose plot it is, is happy with the need to give it a short back and sides. Even better they're happy for the trimmed branches to be left on the plot for them to use. So we don't need to allocate space for dealing with the remains.

Finally there was some measuring to do. Our plots are all 10 rods. But due to the sheer number of people wanting an allotment for the past few years only 5 rod plots have been given out. 5 rods is about 125m2. But due to a mix up with one of our plot holders who has a large plot we only billed him for a half plot. When we sent the invoices out in October for next years rent, we took the opportunity to correct his bill and ask him to pay the full 10 rods. Of course he wasn't happy about the increase. But we are not billing him for past years when he had the full number of rods, but only was paying for 5. It's our loss. But of course he is now kicking up a fuss about the actual cost of the extra 5 rods of billing. So, to prove everything is above board, we had to dig out the tape measure and get things measured. He has a shade over 260m2 on his plot all told. So he definitely falls into the 10 rod size. So that is what we are billing him. If he doesn't like it, well tough. He now pays the same as everybody else.

But after all that, I really didn't get the back section fully dug over. Ah well. There is always next week... if the weather holds.