Sunday, 9 October 2011


One of the advantages of the micro four thirds cameras is the lack of a mirror box, this allows a shallow body from sensor to lens throat. As a result, adaptors can be made to mount, and give infinity focus on, a wide range of lenses of all ages and types.
Today I tried a Russian Jupiter 135mm f4, 39mm thread screw mount lens on my EPL1. This was probably made in the early to mid 1960s for the Fed and Zorki rangefinder cameras. The angle of view is equivalent to about 270mm on a full frame.
The problem was holding it steady at slow shutter speeds, but the in-body anti-shake mechanism helped at down to about an eighth of a second. The results were quite good, although the contrast was a little low. It was good to be able to open up the aperture enough to get a shallow depth of field.
The pictures are from Oliver's Castle and Roundway Down, near Devizes. This was the site of the victory of the Royalists over the Parliamentarians on the 13th July 1643.

Saturday, 3 September 2011


Cucumber & Leeks

One cucumber plant is still growing; this is the size of a large supermarket sausage so I think I'll give it a bit longer.
Leeks transplanted to their growing position.


The plot has been increasingly neglected over the last two years, and is now producing little but weeds. This picture shows cavolo nero, struggling to get some light and air. Hopefully I'll now have a little more time to get the plot sorted over the winter and back on track for 2012.

Monday, 27 June 2011


Max hangs around the allotments, and likes mice and voles.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Fruit & seedlings

Picked about 4lbs of strawberries. The raspberries are developing but only a few are starting to ripen; the redcurrants and gooseberries are close as well.

Sowed, weeded and watered. Forgot to get some more (organic) slug pellets; these need to be down before the next rain.

The first lettuce are nearly ready to have leaves picked; a mix of oak leaf and crinkly, red and green.

Many of the seeds are now coming through, although all are a bit late; runner beans, peas, mange tout, carrot, rocket, basil and radish.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Clearing the weeds.

Mostly cleared the weeds now. There was so much to dig out that I need to pick up some more pallets to make an extra compost bin.

The potatoes are all in and the first earlies are starting to show through. Some seeds sown; lettuce, radish, peas and mange tout. Supports put up for beans and peas.

A new bird scarer on the shed; the birds still come on the plot but at least they don't perch on the shed.

Planting holes have been dug for the courgettes, these are back-filled with compost to provide food and moisture.

Still having to water each evening; the soil is very dusty and dry a long way down, it will be good to have some rain.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Home Guard

Planted a row of first earlies, (cup of tea included to give scale). The variety is home guard, this was introduced in 1942 and became a staple of the war years.

Picked some rhubarb and the first asparagus spears. There are flowers on the strawberry plants, so I finished weeding the bed; I'll add some fertiliser when enough rain is forecast to wash it in.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Landscape photography day.

Went to a landscape photography workshop with the National Trust at Avebury. A talk on some of the technical bits, then a walk around to take some pictures.

After lunch; the showing of the results and discussion in the group.

Difficult to find something new in a place so near, but being pushed to do so was a good challenge; it was an interesting and fun day.

Broad beans.

The broad beans are just showing through.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Warmer weather and butterflies.

Two hours at the plot, mostly digging out weeds where the potatoes are to go. I have a crop rotation based on trying to remember where things went last year and putting them somewhere else this time.

A warm sunny day day, saw the first butterflies of 2011, a bit hazy looking down towards Salisbury Plain.

Picked some rhubarb, and dug up some leeks. No sign of the broad beans yet, I think I might dig one up at the weekend to check they haven't been eaten by mice.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Notes from Overground.

Just started reading Notes from Overground by Tiresias (a psuedonym for Roger Green). These are jottings from a long period of commuting by train from Oxford to London. The book was published in 1984 and I believe is now out of print. It was highly recommended, and rightly so, on Joe Morans's blog. This might give a flavour;

Unexplained delay at Didcot. (Nothing abnormal about that). At last, two uniformed soldiers boarded the train. Handcuffed to one of them a pugnacious-looking, close cropped, bedenimmed youth. Train moves off. Law-abiding commuters look variously annoyed, smug, curious, compassionate indifferent. We should not. And therefore never send to know. Casual travellers do not notice our handcuffs. Few of us sense the bracelets round our own wrists. But they are there, along with the uniformed escort. There, too, rigid rails and sharp ballast: iron bars and stone walls which do make a prison and a cage. Man is born free and is everywhere in trains.  

Sunday, 27 February 2011


Today we had the first rhubarb from the plot, stewed with brown sugar and ground ginger.

Broad beans


Sowed a double row of broad beans; Aquadalce Longpod. These should be hardy enough to survive light frosts after they've sprouted, but the growing tips should be tough enough to deter black fly. With good weather there will be beans by July. The trench was filled with soil with some pelleted poultry manure raked in; I'll add some compost as a mulch when the seeds come through.

This heavy shower coming over Salisbury Plain sent me into the shed with a flask.

Saturday, 19 February 2011


The rhubarb is nearly ready to start picking, maybe another week.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Caen Hill.

An open day on Saturday at Caen Hill on the Kennet & Avon Canal. New lock gates and repairs to the banks.

Cold & wet.

Sunday, too wet to dig.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Beeton's Shilling Gardening.

Beeton's Shilling Gardening (Ward Lock 1895), found on a lunch time visit to the charity shop.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Bean trench.

Dug the bean trench, filled it with semi-rotted compost and backfilled; ready to be sown and planted with bean plants in May. Dug up some small parsnips, and a few leeks which had more below the soils's surface than expected. The hardy blue leeks had survived the frosts well, but the yellow early leeks were ok too. The warmer weather has started regrowth on the black cabbage, and buds are showing on the summer raspberries.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Today at the plot, still some cavolo nero and a few small parsnips.
To the allotment this afternoon. Last of the potatoes too frosted to use, kindling too damp to light the storm kettle; after an hour of clearing up old pea supports I couldn't feel my fingers so home for a cup of tea.