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Sunday, 19 April 2009

Peas, Breeze .. and no sleaze!!

FOR ONCE, STUART MANAGES TO AVOID PUTTING HIS HIGH HEELED JACK BOOTS INTO THE POLITICAL SLURRY OF ENGLISH GOVERNMENT

Because:-


a) I haven't watched TV for a few days
b) The dog ate the Sunday Times

c) Jacqui Smith is on holiday (on the tax payers expense)

d) All the above and life is just too short..



I actually put my boots on and followed the dog around a really beautiful valley East of Sao Bras, an area called Carrasquira. Dotted, hidden in trees were several wooden huts, all with solar panels, some with chimneys, decks, shaded terraces. With one or two po├žos (wells) nearby, not a bad place to live - but there was virtually no growing of vegetables or fruit trees, and with a long trek to any local market not the ideal place to live.




Two houses like these plus solar panels and well for 90,000 euros?



All the soil has been washed or eroded by wind over the last few hundred years into a rich alluvial soil in the bottom of the valley, where vegetables and fruit trees abound... all owned by the local Portuguese without a Brit of German to be seen. Think there might be a lesson there!






Growing on the North face of a steep hill helos retain the bright hues of blue

The shepherd tracks up to the summit were littered with wild flowers, all blue, I guess from growing on the shady North side of the hill. On reaching the summit, I came across the only fence in the whole area and was stopped from continuing by this stupid line of steel surrounding Stalaghouse 16, a massive monolith of a villa all shuttered up and probably guarded by evil vultures. What is the lure of owning something so big that it would take you a week to open all the windows? Unless you live in the basement, of course.... must be Austrian owned.

A nice few showers has kept the garden moist, the fruit is growing on my trees and my peas are running amok. I bought half a litre of seeds about four years ago for 50 cents, and the ten I planted six weeks ago are dripping with pods. So easy, so little watering needed. It is a critical time for the new fruit trees, they need a lot of water to stop the fruit from dropping. Whilst wiser to concentrate on getting the tree stronger by removing the fruit.

Heck, life is too short, the fruit is staying. Death isn't something we're born afraid of, it's something we learn to fear. Children have no concept of death, from five to eight, they have a vague understanding of the finality of death and only from nine onwards to they understand that one day it may happen to them. My awakening came at the age of eleven when my gran died. She had always terrified me by leaving an empty bucket by my bed when there was a loo just down the hall and force feeding me vast quantities of toast (She once fed me 12 slices in one sitting, but I should explain she was so slow in cooking them that it kind of encompassed breakfast lunch and dinner in one go..) I was amazed that not only was the mass feeder no longer around but my Dad ended up with an extra house - shame we can't have loads of grans!

Mind you, it was only a stones throw from the pub - not a five km hike like the wooden house above!

P.S. I lied about the sleaze. Print this coupon and cut it out. Take it to your local massage parlour and tell them Tony the Greek gave it to you. See you next week, Stu x
















































Sunday, 12 April 2009

Strawberries, Sawdust, Sex and Swastikas



Dispondent TMN staff, subtle clues to fascist origins...


Held down at gunpoint, robbed and pistol whipped, the three thieves with the unmistakeable SS iron cross around their neck and a warped T on their back left me alone and I was able to leave the bloody TMN repair shop unaided.

Finally I have installed my SIXTH TMN mobile modem. Or should I say it works on my laptop but not on my Mac or Owl's PC..... It's been a strange week. Time for another politician -kinky sex - true story!

Former spin doctor Alistair likes cooking, likes cooking naked and whilst under stress likes to hold his "tool". When his wife returned home last week, she found him bathing his love stick in a cup of milk. After her initial shock (Jaqui Smith would have smiled), he protested his innocent lactic coated wanger. It turns out he was peeling chillis and at the time accidentally held his stress releasing truncheon.

Sometimes holding a candle for Permaculture hurts. I failed to convince a new client that a big new lawn was non sustainable and a meadow with fruit trees was nicer, then I crashed into an ice sculpture truck and snapped Tiger Woods head off (it was the centre piece of some golf tournament dinner), gout, a broken house pump and leaking pipes later.
Note the missing head........

Happy Easter.. heck I like a challenge but not every day of my wonderful life:-

You know, I was whipped as a child,
Beaten up as a teenager,
Mugged as an adult,
Ripped to bits by a savage dog,
Saddened by the death of my parents
Hardened by divorce
And I can still cry my eyes out to a slushy movie..
So I have decided to get hard. And I give you lesson number one. Airports are portals of doom and destruction, germs and genocide. Avoid at all costs. If not ...............
The Burger King credit card, eat now pay later


HOW TO TURN A CREDIT CARD INTO A KNIFE

1. Select a stiff credit card - or use an old hotel room key card.
2. Take a single edged disposable razor such as a plastic bic.
3. Break the plastic head apart and remove the blade.
4. Super glue the blade to the corner of the card at an angle. It should protrude about 2 mm above the card.
5. Cover the lower part of the blade with strong tape to keep it from snagging when making deep cuts.
6. Keep the card blade down behind your drivers license.
7. This way, if someone asks you for your ID or bank card, you can whip it out and slice their neck
8. NB Although I don't fly, because of the small blade, it can be carried safely through most metal detectors.

Makes you wonder what genuinely nasty people carry on them?

TWO METHODS TO ATTACK ....... THE STOCK MARKET

Doesn't common sense tell you to stay away from casinos and online gambling .. otherwise known as the stock market.
Mr A. (Not his real name, is it Mr R.) advocates diving in now to the stock market. This plump, diabetic ruin of a man, who would be a real nice guy if he ever shuts up is still buying dodgy Chinese bank shares.
Mr T. (Maybe his real name) has sold all his shares as soon as the banks started to cheat and is somewhat coincidentally currently touring China.






BBC ACTUALLY MENTIONS THE P WORD
Raised beds, morning after the night before...
Yes, Gardeners World last week actually built raised beds and lined them with cardboard, scored some free council compost and mentioned Permaculture. Gosh, next they might even build a compost loo. I wish they might suggest that you could actually share an allotment with a few friends and invest in "Square Foot Gardening", one of the best books on vegetable gardening in small spaces.

It's still a wonderful world, just sometimes you have to remember the best stuff..








Thursday, 2 April 2009

Jaqui Smith is the new Kate Moss

Porn Girl Jaqui Outshines Shearers return

It's been a few blogs since I :-

a) Wrote a list
b) Wrote about politics
c) Didn't write about love, sex and the universe

Well, fixed the first one OK...
 I've had quite a crush on Jaqui Smith, the home secretary for a while and after TheDaily  Sleeze found that her husband bought two blue movies with our credit card (i.e taxpayers money), they completely lost the plot. Instead of him apologizing, she should have faced the Sky news twerp, and commented " We have a very active sex life". It would have been the best 0.00000562 pence each tax payer could have spent, and it would have wound up my Jaqui Smith and moi fantasies to the next level. I mean, 2000 pounds each to give bankers extra bonuses for failing or 1\2p in your life time, you choose.

If you keep adding bits to your garden, one of the best pleasures in life (other than Jaqui Smith appearing in yer dreams or Alan Shearer becoming Newcastle manager) is coming across dormant food stores. My Jerusalem Artichokes have been dormant for months and only accidentally I came across a shload* of them as I dug to fix a tube. They are a tuber \ potato that are great roasted. As soon as they shoot or before (if you can find them), they can be picked. As soon as they head skywards (they are sun flower family), leave them until completely died back. Very little water needed and survives hot  hot climes - they line the entrance up at Tamera.


About a kilo from the original tuba in one year - this is "future food". 

I have been working in Messines again - home of great coffee and the Winge Family Naggingson
(the incestuous tree squatting neighbours). Oh to have soil like this, alluvial, silty, free draining strong red soil. It rocks! I built a raised vegetable bed using rock dug up from the swimming pool, sand and a little cement left by the builder and filled up using the alluvial soil and some humanure recycled compost. Whilst not 100% eco, it will be an area that is sat on, leaned over, so the use of high carbon cement was essential for strength and with good localized irrigation, an easy way to grow some nice vegetables - climbing tomatoes, corgettes, aubergines and peppers for starters.


Use of local rocks and soil kept the price down. At a handy height of 50cms, you can reach over to all areas without having to compact the soil \ manure mix. Good veg = non compacted soil + regular watering!!


How did you all fare with last Saturday nights storm? Here near Faro we had 27mm in six hours with reports of even higher near Loule. Check the Extreme Weather link on the right or Ricks Algarve Weather Station lower down for a continuous update on all rain totals. It was magic here, with a big lightening storm here and really drumming on our tin roof. It drained away so quickly, a warning of how dry the Algarve gets so suddenly.



One nights rain, no puddles by midday...

The rain did reduce my manure pile and encourage me to fill another couple of my raised beds, after picking a record crop of broad beans - so easy to grow, throw then into any ground after the first rains of the winter and just watch them!! No chemicals, no manure or fertilizing, just pure food.


Green compost (grass cuttings), a layer of cardboard then my rotted manure on top. I will leave for a couple of weeks before planting my summer crops - all hot weather stuff, tomatoes, peppers, corgettes, aubergines et al.

This week has been great for harvesting my Brocolli, my Loquat (Nespeiras) and the ongoing crop of Cape Gooseberry. Remember the more you plant, especially fruit trees and repeating veg like the jerusalem Artichoke, the more you have free of charge. You can't beat a free eat.


This is the single large floret version  - six weeks from seedling to plate


Loquat, the first of the stone fruit crops at Quinta Stuart this year, great for chutney or jam. Pick and use the same day, it rots so quick.


Cape Gooseberry, tasty little fruit, nearly all year round, just like Jaqui Smith.......

( * collective noun for a bucket full of vegetables!)