Our Allotment

Our AllotmentWe have had some minor successes at growing our own vegetables in our rather small back garden. Last year we tried growing courgettes, spring onions, lettuces, sweetcorn, parsnips, carrots, broccoli and potatoes along with some herbs, amongst other things.

Most worked out quite well, except for the broccoli for some reason. There were some restrictions in our small garden though as the whole area was paved over a few years ago. This meant that everything has to be grown in pots and a single raised bed. The carrots and parsnips didn’t really have the depth they required and so turned out a bit small but they were still nice.

There’s something really rewarding about picking, cooking and eating something that you have grown yourself.

So in about August last year Shirley put our names down for an allotment. There was a waiting list so we weren’t expecting to hear back for some time…

Then in January we got a phone call offering us a plot at Turners Allotments, which is within easy walking distance for us. We jumped at the chance and are now the proud holders of our own allotment.

Bookshelf

BookshelfAs I have mentioned before I am on a mission to purge a lot of stuff from my life. Especially items that I no longer have use for.

Over the years I had accumulated a fairly large collection of books. I only ever read them once but I just liked to have a copy of each book I read. This even went to the level of me picking up a couple of books from a second hand shop with no intention of ever reading them…

I had read a lot of books while travelling. Some I boxed up and sent home—another wasted cost looking back—but others I either borrowed or left behind when moving on. One such book was The Beach by Alex Garland—the subsequent film was OK but the book was much better. Everyone seemed to be reading that book so I borrowed it off a friend and really enjoyed it. So much so I decided to pick up a copy when I got home just to sit on my shelf and gather dust…

Anyway you get the picture, I had a pretty large collection of books, some paperback and some hardback, that I wanted to get rid of so I thought I would simply sell them online.

Lazy Time

Lazy TimeAt the end of each year I like to look back and review what I got up to and then look forward to the year ahead. Last Year I posted most of the details of this personal review here on this site. Now it’s time to look back and see how I got on.

I’m not going to go through each of the goals in detail as I tried this at the six month point and the post got so big I had to split it into two parts: Mid Year Review For 2011 – Part 1 and Mid Year Review For 2011 – Part 2.

Do you really want to know exactly which books I have read? If anything interesting happened I probably wrote a post about it anyway…

Instead I am just going to write a summary of how I felt the year went…

Wet RoseI have been meaning to sort out a complete backup regime for a while now. Unfortunately every attempt I make finds something lacking in the program I trial…

This would force me to find another program to try out, which takes time. After a while I found it hard to find the time to find exactly what I needed as there was always something more important to do.

Then the other week the worst happened, my hard disk failed…

I had some of the stuff backed up, but how much? I really couldn’t tell. There are collections of different bits of my data scattered here and there, some on my iMac, some on my little HP server even some on DVD’s—from when I used to use them for my weekly backup. After a while my requirements spiralled out of control and the 4.7GB on a DVD wouldn’t even scratch the surface…

I know I haven’t done a complete backup in probably a year. My heart sank…

Cheddar StalagmitesIn my previous post, The World Is Still Spinning, I noticed that I missed posting an article the week before. This gave me pause for thought and I decided to look back over what I have written about over the 2 years since the very first post.

To help me gather together my thoughts on what I had written I thought it might be a good idead to collect some notes and links to the various types of posts I have written. This grew a bit out of hand to be included in last weeks post so I though it best to release this summary of my blog so far as a separate entity. But be warned, even on it’s own it’s quite a long post though…

Anyway I hope you enjoy it and please leave a comment if you feel so inclined…

Inquisitive BirdSomehow I completely forgot to post something last Friday. I haven’t missed a week since I started nearly 2 years ago so I started to feel that I had really let myself down…

But guess what, nothing happened. The world is still spinning even though I missed my, self imposed, weekly posting schedule…

I didn’t even notice until about Tuesday. I just happened to go to my blog to reference something I wrote a while ago. Then I noticed that the latest post was written 10 days ago. Oops…

So is this a big deal or not?

Total Money MakeoverI have recently finished reading The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. I have been reading various financial blogs for a while now and this book is mentioned over and over again so I thought it was about time I picked it up.

The more of this book I read the more I realised how many of these financial based posts I have been reading have some basis from this book. There are also some great quotes and a lot of myth busting about peoples approaches to finances.

There are a fair few references to the bible but it’s not an overriding factor of the book so don’t let that put you off. The book is also American so there are some references that don’t apply over here in the UK but the basic ideas are sound.

I’m not going to go into great detail about the processes laid out in the book but here’s a few quotes and my overall thoughts.

KindlesAmazon recently announced three new Kindle devices, the new Kindle, the Kindle Touch and the Kindle Fire. Then immediately afterwards it was suggested that they were unlikely to be made available in the UK before the end of the year…

I still have a fair few paper books so I wasn’t too put out by this delay. Then when the new, cheaper, Kindle was displayed on the Amazon site for ¬£89 I couldn’t resist and decided to pre-order one. And as it arrived today I decided to get to work and write a review…

Once I had placed my pre-order I wanted to get my hands on an old Kindle, which has now been renamed the Kindle Keyboard, to make sure I would be able to make a decent comparison between the two so I recently read a short book on Shirley’s Kindle.

I received my new Kindle through the post today. That’s why this post is a little late. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to play with my new gadget so I can give a honest opinion of it…

Epson Stylus Photo PX720WDMy old HP printer recently died a death and started making some horrible noises as it tried to feed through the sheets of paper. It wasn’t long before it completely failed to pull in the paper so it was time to hunt for a replacement. I had been pretty happy with my last two HP printers but there was one feature that was lacking that only seems to be available on Epson printers, CD & DVD printing…

Now that in itself is not a good enough reason to buy a printer so I had to look into the details of the different printers out there and try and come up with a suitable replacement pretty quickly.

As you can tell from the title of this post I settled on the Epson Stylus Photo PX720WD. I’ll go into how I made the choice and my view of the printer having been using it for a little while.