I’ve given up the plot…

… after a few years limping on, I’ve now fully given up the allotment. Seems daft to continue with 18 Saughton Mains as a blog title, so I’m moving to Alex in Shandon.


Over-committed in 2014!

I’ve stopped leasing the allotment, so I’ve gained plenty of time where I used to work on that. And as New Year is a time for resolutions, and the more the better, I may as well over-commit to things to do and see which ones stick…

  • Italian — CEC evening course “Beginners 2” starting end January; Coursera course La visione del mondo della Relativit√† e della Meccanica Quantistica starting February 24
  • Running — signed up for the Seven Hills Challenge on 22 June; going to do some running during lunch breaks, perhaps with Jog Scotland groups at work
  • Tai chi — am wanting to get back into this. I think there’s a mid-morning course on Thursdays, or the Monday evening slot
  • Sorting the garden
  • Better cooking (see Italian section, above :-)

Unison’s contribution to the independence debate is welcome

The Scottish independence debate should be framed in terms of what will lead to more local decision-making and a more active democracy; it’s viewing independence as a tactic to gain more local control rather than treating independence as a strategic goal. And so I’m pleased to see Unison Scotland’s A Fairer Scotland report which starts by defining the positive characteristics we want for a society, and argues that these should be debated first to give us a way of choosing between the referendum options.

The characteristics Unison defines makes me pleased to be a member of that union.

And I’m still not voting for the union. I’m undecided, in the sense that it’s Yes or a spoiled ballot paper for me.

As an addendum, here’s a link to the Christie Commission report that’s quoted in the Unison document.

Rhubarb or raspberries?

After the worst year yet on the allotment, I’m giving up half the plot. Feeling a bit dejected about that but today I was there and looking at the half plot, and thinking that it’s a more manageable size.

The South side is the one with the shed I fixed earlier in the year, and has the best-developed beds. I’ve been moving as many plants as I can on to this side before the North side is reallocated but there are plenty of plants still on the North side that I’ll leave: an apple tree, a redcurrant, some Autumn raspberries. And today I had to make a decision. I’ve only got one bed clear on the South side and I had to choose whether to move some Summer raspberries or some rhubarb. I can’t imagine I’ll have another chance to prepare a bed and move the other before the plot is reallocated, hence decision time.

I chose rhubarb.

In the end it wasn’t a difficult decision: rhubarb comes up earlier in the year and there’s more bulk from the plant, so it’s a sensible decision. But I feel a little sad that I won’t have raspberries for the next couple of years until I sort my new half-plot out. There’s something so good about picking a couple of warm raspberries when down the allotment… That would have been the heart decision.