Tuesday 26 July 2016

Allotment stocktaking

The allotment (about 250 sq m) is in full swing. We've picked the shallots, onion, garlic and some potatoes, and have been harvesting rhubarb for weeks. Here's the rest

  • Artichoke (globe) - 2 plants
  • Beans - 12m row
  • Beet - 30 plants
  • Beetroot - 60 plants
  • Broccoli - 6 plants
  • Carrots - 30 plants
  • Courgette - 12 plants
  • Fennel - 15 plants
  • Fruit bushes - 5 sq m
  • Leeks - 160 plants
  • Lettuce - 30 plants
  • Parsley - 4 plants
  • Potatoes - 9m row
  • Rhubarb - 4 sq m
  • Sage - 1 bush
  • Sweetcorn - 70 plants

However, the news isn't all good. Muntjac deer (or maybe badgers?) are raiding our sweetcorn.

Later: someone set a motion-activated night-vision camera up. The output's online, entitled Badger devastating sweetcorn at 0213 13 Aug 2016

Wednesday 20 July 2016

A list of holiday posts

I often take books with me when I go on holiday. I do some writing as well, and go on little photography expeditions, so these posts are rather more than holiday write-ups. I don't think that I've ever had anything published that's a result of these holidays, though the odd phrase creeps in.

Monday 11 July 2016


We stayed in Letojanni for a week. The view from our window looked towards Isola Bella, which we often passed. It looked beautiful from a distance.

Our nearest shop had this notice outside, showing a still that it appeared in, from Roberto Begnini's "Johnny Stecchino". They made their own wine, which we bought. Further along the coast is Taormina-Giardini train station, which Begnini's used as well. It's in the Godfather III too.

The view of Etna from Taormina's theatre is impressive.

We went up Etna - by coach, cable-car, bus and foot-guide. It was more bleak than I expected, with snow in places under the ash. I knew that a Pink Floyd film showed it, but I didn't know that ColdPlay used it too.

In Catania I visited the markets and toured the sights. Down a side-road I found Verga's house. I didn't go in - I've not read him. Round the corner was a shop where you could freely exchange books.

This recent statue in Syracuse of Archimedes is only a few weeks old. He's holding a mirror and standing on a combinatorics problem. One of the programming exercises we used to set was based on some of his work. I wandered round the narrow residential alleys of the nearby Ortigia area, having visited the Neopolis area earlier. We saw some papyrus growing.

Here's a scene from Syracuse showing a mix of old and new. The majority of my photos are of streets involving contrasts. Chess fans will be pleased to know that I noticed a Sicilian "Dragon Street" from a bus.