Portable garden

Over the past couple of months, I’ve deliberately been blind to the mess of pots full of used compost and the scraggy plants demanding a trim as I’ve darted to the end of the garden to put the bins out before scurrying back to the warmth of the house. But …

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Noise

Every so often, I use noise generators to aid with concentration. A favourite site to find lots of them is MyNoise, which produces the sounds of everything from a Tibetan throat choir to walking by a riverbank, or just white noise. They seem to work best when they’re cancelling out background …

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Aims for 2015

Report on 2014: First third – Feh. The rest of it – Gardened a lot. Changed a bit. Started college. No resolutions for 2015, just a to-do-or-keep-doing list: Keep up with the career change – keep up with college, get a chainsaw qualification, learn to drive a tractor, get more countryside management experience, find …

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Hedge laying

There was a beautiful moment today when a mess of pleached blackthorn and elm suddenly turned into a hedge, when the heatherings had been woven through the stakes and the whole structure took on a new strength. This is Midland style – sort of. Presentable side facing outwards as far as possible, the thorny side is presented to the livestock, all the better to make them think twice about breaking through it. Except there were no livestock in this field because it’s a vineyard. The stakes go in amongst the pleached material spaced apart the length of your elbow to your fingertip, and all is secured with heatherings, weaving through in a braided pattern, under and over and around.

I love being back at school, and I love doing this.

Hara hachi bu for the mind

Hara hachi bu is the Confucian teaching that instructs you to stop eating when you feel 80% full. When eating, your belly may be full but it takes time for your brain to register it. You’re accounting for the fact that your body isn’t always as smart as it needs to …

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