A sceptic's take on being human – or should that be virtuous?
What Katy did!
Another seasonal milestone passed today, because what Katy (the cordon apple tree) did, was come into flower this week. It’s an early eating apple, not really suitable for storage but ready to pick in September. We have a row of five cordon apples and they were chosen to spread over the longest possible season. This is really the first year we can expect a small crop, but it will be a few years yet before they settle down. We’re due a few days of cold weather so it’s out with the fleece.
Today’s main objective was to get into the fruit cage and weed all round, and then to repair the supports for the autumn raspberries and feed all the soft fruit. Strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, red and white currants are all in leaf and the blackcurrants are about to flower. We also made use of the last day we’re officially allowed to use the incinerator, and got rid of a pile of couch and bindweed roots. We’re not keen on burning but sometimes it’s the best way to destroy pernicious weeds and you also get the ashes back to scatter on the ground.
While I was engaged with the fruit, Madame was transplanting spinach seedlings. These wil be the last batch before the autumn. First day of British Summer Time – yippee!
I've spent my life doing a lot of things, all of them interesting and many of them great fun.
When most people see my CV they probably think I'm making things up because it includes being a rather bad welder and engineering dogsbody, a potter, a groundsman and bus driver. I taught in a prison and in one of those ghastly old mental institutions as an art therapist and I spent ten years as a community artist. I was one of the founding members of Spike Island, which began life as Artspace Bristol. ! wrote a column for Bristol Evening Post (I got sacked three times, in which I take some pride) and I worked in local and network radio and then finally became an Anglican parish priest for 25 years, retiring at 68 when I realised that the institutional church and me were on different paths.
What interests me? It would be easier to list what doesn't, but I love cooking and baking with our home grown ingredients. I'm fascinated by botany and wildlife in general, and botanical illustration. We have a camper van that takes us to the wild places, we love walking, especially in the hills, and we take too many photographs.
But what really animates me is the question "what does it mean to be human?". I've spent my life exploring it in every possible way and the answer is ..... well, today it's sitting in the van in the rain and looking across Ramsey Sound towards Ramsey Island. But it might as easily be digging potatoes or making pickle, singing or finding an orchid or just sitting. But it sure as hell doesn't mean getting a promotion, beasting your co-workers or being obsequious to power, which ensured that my rise to greatness in the Church of England flatlined 30 years ago after about 2 days. But I'm still here and still searching for that elusive sweet spot, and I don't have to please anyone any more.
Over the last 50 or so years we've had a succession of gardens, some more like wildernesses when we were both working full-time, but now we're back in the game with our two allotments in Bath.
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