The last few weeks has seen some work on our back bedroom: out went the tired old window and its busted frame;

Back Bedroom - 21

and, along with it, the pink walls and redundant chimney breast (without fireplace).

Back Bedroom - 01

Leaving us with first this:

Back Bedroom - 05

and then this:

Back Bedroom - 09

and even a window that we can actually see out of, along with a radiator to heat the place.

Back Bedroom - 07

There’s still plenty more to do but whilst the plaster is drying out we’re in the process of picking out colours for the wall and suitable flooring.



Even here on the coast we weren’t as immune from the cold as we usually are!

Snowy Morning in Parkstone 

Much to Mel’s excitement we, like pretty much everyone else so it seems, awoke to a scattering of snow this morning. So, we forsook the usual car journey to work and got our walking gear – well, trainers – on and hit the pavement for a change. 

On the way to work

And even now, after a colder, snowier walk home, the snow is continuing to fall….

Snow 2009-02-02 010

Neutral Soil, Purple Sprouting and…a cat

So Mel’s gardening course continues and this week has provided us with the revelation that our garden soil has a neutral pH and is clay loam. So, not quite as bad as we thought. The simple fact that the word “loam” was even mentioned seemed encouraging.

Apparently the result is theoretically not so good for our potato crops as they should prefer a more acidic soil but it seems unlikely that we won’t be planting more of the Charlotte variety that gave us so much success and enjoyment last year.

Spurred on by these nuggets of information I managed to make it out into the garden for a little while on Saturday. The new thermometer went up on the wall and whilst it didn’t quite feel like the 26 degrees it suggested there was a certain warmth in the air that meant I could spend some time catching up with the progress of our purple sprouting broccoli and garlic. Purple Sprouting and Garlic We’ve got three different varieties of garlic on the go: Solent Wight; Iberian Wight; and Early Purple Wight. They all came from The Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight – hence the names, I suspect – and went in the ground sometime back in October. All being well, we should start to harvest the Early Purple sometime in May, continuing through the summer for the two later varieties.

Apart from a few daffodil shoots poking through that seems to be about all for now. However, I did run into one other sign of life whilst I was out. Sid the catNext door’s cat, Sid, seems to have become a frequent visitor to our garden. Keeping him away from our fledgling efforts seems likely to be our next task….

Back to more Black

So despite there being a big, empty shiny new blog sitting here for me to play with it seems that more of my time is taken up with the pre-occupation of “how it looks” rather than “what its says”. Here at the outset of my dalliance with blogging I have already spent what seems an age dithering between or as my account of choice.

And even once I had managed to nail that decision then I was no sooner faced with a choice of themes, widgets and all manner of other extras to send me into a perplexingly pleasing state of pseudo-panic. There is – perhaps so very sadly it seems – little better at occupying my mind at the moment than issues of column layouts, font selections, palettes and general typography which are of no apparent interest to anyone else that I come across on a day to day basis. Thankfully, there appears to be many number of people that I don’t come across who have some interest in all of this and so it was with some relief that I tracked down Lorelle Van Fossen’s one year anniversary article on Choosing a WordPress Theme. So it is that having flirted variously with both the Hemmingway and Emire themes I appear to have settled (for now at least) on the smart by Ulysses Ronquillo and can now begin to concentrate on the thorny issue of writing something that someone might find vaguely interesting.

Up and running

So here we are. For whatever reason, and try as I might I can’t really come up with anything more specific than “because I want to”, I am starting today with this blog.

Much as I don’t really have a reason – or rhyme – for you, so I don’t have a general, all pervasive theme that I can say will dominate my postings in the forthcoming months. Perhaps the best I can give you is that it will be something to do with me, be it my tentative interest in gardening, my more refined love of all things gadget or even my self afflicted source of constant pain and pleasure that is supporting Leeds United. In fact it will most likely be none of these but something altogether different. However, what I can say is that, like it or not, I am here and something, inconsequential as it may be, will come of it.

And so to start in such a unstructured, undefined and apparently random fashion it seems appropriate that this first post closes on my re-found, post New Year’s passion for running. Its been sometime since I ditched the gym for a return to the great outdoors, but it is only with the passage of the previous month of gluttony and imbibing, which has left me much the worse for it, that have I found the necessary nerve and steel needed for me to brave the cold, dark January nights that lay ahead,

To help me through it all I’ve enlisted the virtual services at and will be setting out tonight for my first run in quite a while as I try to get back to a decent 10k time.

All being well I’ll make it and return to keep you up to date with my progress and whatever else crosses my mind in the meantime….