I normally cannot wait to take down our Christmas tree after the big day itself. Along with all the clutter of wrapping paper, leftover food and empty wine bottles I just want to get rid of it once its purpose is served. By early January after two or three weeks in a centrally heated sitting [...]
There are worse New Year’s resolutions to make than deciding to take up running. It was in January 1999 and my very first run, if you discount ten minutes, pounding a treadmill in an air conditioned gym, was in London. I drove to a park with a friend who was an experienced runner and kindly [...]
Christmas is a time for many traditions and one of ours, on Christmas Eve, is to hurry around our local shops picking up all the food we’ve ordered, standing in line outside different stores. We are not the only ones. It is as if a madness has descended and we believe that, from the close [...]
Raf Simons’ latest Dior collection marched out across the square dais of Tokyo’s Ryōgoku sumo hall – an arena more akin to fat men slogging it out in underpants than thin women trying to sell us expensive ones. This is Dior’s contribution to a season most of the world dubs pre-Fall – the no-man’s season that lies between spring/summer and autumn/winter.
How long will fashion journalists feel the need to explain that? Possibly a good while longer if houses continue to come up with inventive names to mask the issue they all seem to have with “pre”.
The Government may insist winter doesn’t start until December 21st (which is why they can have an Autumn Statement this month) but winter has definitely arrived everywhere else outside Westminster. On Sunday night we had our coldest night in London all year – in fact last winter was so mild I think it might have [...]
Round our neck of the woods, everyone seems to be having a basement fix-up or a loft conversion. The reason I know this is because on every block on every street there is a skip containing a lot of junk of little use to anyone – apart from, if you’re renovating your beds at your [...]
It would be tempting, as autumn slips into winter, to do a tidy up of the plot, a bit of digging of beds, and then leave it until spring. In London, the last two weeks have changed Plot 35a significantly, again. In the first week of November, when I spent a week doing my autumn [...]
Despite the dark and the wet, November is still a month of possibilities. Yeah, so it’s not April with all its blossom, or August with its abundance, but this month is the time to pause and reflect, stepping back and planning what to grow next year. Most exciting of all, it is the start of [...]
I’ve just had a week’s holiday, and spent most of it getting my plot whipped into shape for the winter. At this time of year, there’s a lot of clearing up to do – raking up leaves to make leaf mould, tearing out the last of the spent runner and climbing bean plants to put [...]
It is easy to lose yourself in your own plot. With your nose to the soil, trowel in hand, sowing a line of broad beans, or staring at your compost heap wondering if it needs more green or brown waste, it can be a very insular experience.
But allotments are also about community: sharing tips about [...]
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