Tuesday, April 29, 2008 

Buses pt2.

I'm being punished for slagging off buses on my last post. Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound.

In less than 24 hrs of my last post, look what happened:
Rip off.

The one on the left was Monday's and the other is today's. 10p increase!

I think the problem is that Stagecoach make their seats too small, width and depth. They cater perfectly for slim, short people. Tall people have to suffer by pressing their knees into the hard plastic seat whereas people who are carrying a little too much weight have to literally share the seat of their travel buddy as one seat is not wide enough.

I quite easily fall into the single seat catagory but I am a little on the tall side. However, I have worked out that It helps if you sit with a straight back with your bum right to the back of the seat to maximise the space for you legs.

This mornings selection of travel buddy was just aweful, I stopped at one to indicate I wanted to sit down but this persons rucksack obviously needed the seat more than me, so I carried on to a seat where the person was basically taking up the both seats by sitting across them diagonally. I hesitated, saw no reaction muttered 'oh for f**ks sake' then moved on to find a seat to perch on.

Perhaps Stagecoach should either print pamphlets/posters to educate on how to sit on the seats properly and to explain that the seats are for people not bags or measure and weigh passengers before charging a fare and offer subsidies for the slimmer, shorter ones.

I might run a little experiment to test how eligible I am as a travel buddy.

Bean update day two:

Beansprouts Day 2
They have been drained and cleaned and swollen a little bit.

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Monday, April 28, 2008 

Beansprouts and Buses.

Future Mrs Garkut is attempting to grow some beansprouts. I say attempting because everything she touches does not grow. Tonight they are having their initial soak, after that they have to be thoroughly cleaned through the muslin (or an old cut up pair of tights) twice a day until ready to be eaten (or thrown into the compost bin as another failed experiment).

Future Mrs Garkuts Beansprouts.
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I will monitor their progress regularly and get a piccy.

In other news, it's now been nearly a week without the car due to an ECU? problem. I am hating public transport the more I use it. It's not cheap and the people? I share the journey with are either en route to the local college or the local comprehensive school. Imagine, if you can, I always have to settle for an aisle seat which means I have to first select my travel buddy. I always try to pick the cleaner looking ones with headphones in. An aisle seat is crap let me tell you. Buses have shrunk the size of the seats over time and now when subjected to sitting, nay perching on one you are continually battered with rucksacks and bags when the kids are getting off the bus. Of course, this happens after trying to read my travel buddies body language out of the corner of my eye who expects me to get up without them actually saying anything. To make it worse, the comprehensive kids get off on any one of 3 stops! therefore any twitch detected can lead to a false alarm and me looking stupid.

Gawd I hope the car gets fixed soon as I need it keep my sanity, oh and to get us all on holiday in 3 weeks time to Doniford Bay.

Have you tried public transport lately?

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Sunday, April 27, 2008 

I've been tagged so here it goes...

What I Was Doing 10 Years Ago:
Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a really bad memory for dates/times/etc. Therefore I'm not really sure. It could be a man thing. But If I had to guess - I was probably getting drunk.

My To Do List for Today/Diary of What I Actually Did:
Wow! Thats a good one. I actually proposed to my partner of seven years and she said "yes".
A momentous occasion!
Future Mrs Garkuts Ring.

Snacks I Enjoy:
Savoury stuff mainly. I'm quite partial to a bit of Bavarian smoked cheese, granny smith apples (sharp, tangy ones), burger bites from the Spar and you can never go wrong with a Mars Bar (helps you work, rest and play (in the dirt at the allotment!))

Things I Would Do If I Were A Billionaire:
I would secure the future of our kids and family, and thier kids and thier families (obvious one that). Give shit loads of money/items DIRECTLY to those who need it. I would purchase a Metro 6R4 rally car - you know, just for popping into town ;-) and travel the world.

Three of My Bad Habits:
Biting/picking my nails, getting bored real quick after making a suggestion and asking how much things cost in the pound shop.

Five Places I Have Lived:
I have never really moved far from where I was born but some of the places I have lived are: Ty-Sign, Risca, Wattsville, Gelligaer and Pontymister.

Five Jobs I Have Had:
I was involved with media distribution when I was about 12 years old (paper round) then moved into sales (selling scratch cards door to door). I tried the construction industry for a while but I was the wrong build for it. I've sold fags n booze to people in my local Spar and one of my previous jobs with my current employer was to in install computer networks.

Five People Who Write Interesting Blogs That I’d Like to Tag:
To be perfectly honest, I don't really follow/read that many blogs other than allotment themed ones. I would like to therefore offer 5 websites that I frequent:

b3ta.com - pixelised mayhem/anarchy.

the truthseeker - wake up/open your eyes!

bbc weather - sad eh?/don't believe the hype as they usually get it wrong.

nectarine radio station - streaming chipmusic.

atari forum - to satisfy my retro geekiness.


Thursday, April 24, 2008 

Recycling & BIG Plot Update!

Lack of recent posts can be entirely blamed on some malicious one's and zero's coming down the internet pipeline and manifesting themselves as a nasty critter called 'VirtuMonde'.

Problem solved now (after a complete re-install of M$ Windoze) and im sure this PeeCee of mine is almost bullet proof.

Well, we have finally been blessed with some good sunshine and calmer winds - just in time to play catch up on all the things to do round the plot.

Tuesday evening I planted some more parsnips using a technique I read about on one of the many brilliant allotment blogs out there. I prepared the ground by giving it another turning over whilst adding some growmore pellet things to condition it a bit, then I raked it to a fine tilth, flattened it lightly with a board that was hanging round then made some cone shapes with the handle of an old spade by inserting it about 12 inches then moving it around to create a growing environment for the parsnips. I filled these holes with compost then popped in about 3 seeds per cone as I read on another blog that parsnips are bad germinators, especially over time and these seeds I was using were bought last year:
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Wednesday evening was taken up by planting 3 lines of carrots (2 standard lines and 1 experimental). We have been saving toilet roll and kitchen roll tubes for a while now to be re-used as other things.
Collection of toilet roll and kitchen roll tubes
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I dug a small trench and placed a line of tubes into it, filled them with compost then dropped some carrot seeds into them. My theory is that the tubes will help guide the carrots downwards to make them a better shape. Other uses for the tubes include using them for seedlings (see below), the kids love making stuff with them like desk tidies, etc and whatever tubes are left over can be put into the compost bin as they will break down!
Kohlrabi in cut toilet roll tubes
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Other unwanted items from around the home that have had another lease of life breathed into them before finally going to landfill or re-cycling are milk bottle scoops:
Home made scoops from plastic milk bottles
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I will be using these to scoop out fertiliser pellets that you are not supposed to get on your hands.

Here is my 'watering bottle' made from an old 2 litre pop bottle by burning some holes in the lid with a hot needle. This is ideal for little seedlings that are too delicate to pour heavy water from a watering can on to. Its easy to get the water into awkward places too (like at the back of my mini plastic greenhouse that came courtesy of freecycle).
Watering bottle for delicate seedlings
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Used straws also have a use around here. I have never bought tags so instead stick different coloured, cut straws into each pot then note it down on a text document so not to get confused what is growing where.
Cut straws indicating what has been planted
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more cut straws
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I will wrap up this post now with a few random photos I took tonight of the plot.

These are potatoes that need to be earthed up. They are the seed potatoes that I did not chit and they sprouted loads! I was always confident they would grow as I didnt chit last year and they still grew.
First earlies
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Here are some lillies that I rescued from the house. Louise didnt want them anymore as they only flower for a few days a year. I said "I'm sure I can find a place for them over the plot." and here they are so far:
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Rhubarb patches one and two:
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More rhubarb
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And finally (if you can make them out) my onion sets that seem to be making themselves at home quite nicely.
Onion sets
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Saturday, April 05, 2008 

Grand National.


Louise and I put a pound each way on some horses for the first time and won!

Louise chose Snowy Morning and Baily Breeze and I chose Backbeat and Comply or Die.

It cost £8 in total for the bets and we won £17.50

Curry tonight! ;-)

Sent from my PDA

Wednesday, April 02, 2008 


Been on a course today about how to make successful telesales. Nuff said.

In other news - the wind blew my mini green house over the other morning so I sunk 2 eyes into the wall so I can secure it with a piece of rope. I lost my sage and lavender cuttings :-( . Not to worry, there's plenty of time to take more.

Planted a small line of turnips and parsnips tonight as the sun was shining and I managed to get home a little earlier than usual because of the early finish of the course. Also popped a few radish in just to see if we can get some early ones...

Louise and I are about to settle down with a bottle of 'Good Spanish White' from Morrisons and a film called 'Grow Your Own'. I learned about this film from Allotment Plot 48's blog.