M6 mania

Last Thursday we packed the kids and dog in The Mighty Berlingo (pronounced berrrLin-Goooo!) and headed for my parents place in Gatley, which is just south of Manchester. As with previous journeys I started to get stressed on the approach to Birmingham. It seems that none of the roadworks that wound me up six months earlier are any nearer completion. So on top of the driving rain, occassional snow-drifts and arguing kids we’re packed liked sardines into lanes that appear to be narrowing while the artics hang closer on to our bumpers. By the time I get to final dash (J15 – J20 M6 northbound is the 5th worst place to drive in the UK according to the RAC) I am barking. It really is complete insane. But like a party that went too far, we get up the next morning and wipe it from our collective consciousness. Until next time.


I need to plant some. We are blessed with a couple of acres of unused land next to us and it needs to have potatoes growing in it. There are two obstacles. The brambles have stems like oak trees, and the land is owned by someone I’ve never met: but apparently he’s a real nasty. The brambles are lethal but armed with my mighty scythe and trusty rake I’m well on the way to clearing 48 square metres. Mr Nasty is something of an unknown but I feel quite determined that the growing of potatoes on someone else’s unused land is not a moral problem, even if it may become a legal one. Technically that makes me a guerrilla gardener which is quite exciting :-). I do actually think it’s rubbish that we import potatoes from places like Egypt. The only downside is that I will need to purchase 133 early and 211 maincrop seeders. This is an outlay of eighty quid. which is possibly more than I’ve spent on potatoes in my entire life.

The Great Flakes

daddy snapped by ruben
daddy snapped by ruben

After the long winter, like some ancestral awakening we were drawn to the outdoors. Lake Flake and it’s neighbour Lake Caramel was our destination. The watery sun, the mossy trees and the forgotten stream together with the happy sounds of carefree and muddy children. I was struck deep. And today a new discovery Lake Galaxy! The adventure continues.