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Do you really want me? Do you really love me?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 31 May 2022, 14:38

An opportunity arose to work for The OU again so I applied; let's see what happens. Maybe departing after just one year the first time round was a mistake that I can never put right - but that was then, and now is now. The kids have left school, gone through university and settled down and 'we' are free to move ... within reason. We'll see. Meanwhile, the two big events of this last week have been trips to Rodmell Food Forest and to Brighton Open Art Houses 2022. 

A collage of photographs of Rodmell Food Forest showing a Siberian Pea Tree and a Toona Tree.

The Rodmell Food Forest was an eye-opener. I garden on chalk so know how tough it is to develop a sound soil. It has taken me over 12 years to grow substantial shrubs and hedging through total lawn destruction, mulching with kitchen waste and all cuttings, and while there was lawn to nibble my secret weapon - guinea-pigs. (I'm told a goat is handy at the job too. Up in Cumbria we used a small herd of Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs to root up the foot-trodden turf). 

I know now to mulch intensively, keyhole plant, collect rainwater, encourage birds and other kritters to look after the garden for me. We may stop short of having a composting toilet to collect dry human waste - though the head garden Marc Stenham recommended it - that and comfrey leaves.

Cover for work featuring figures underwater by Patsy McArthur

We left Brighton Open Art Houses late - again. We always mean to make an early start and be picking off a last trail or returning to a favourite one by the end of the month. Here we are trying to cover too much ground on the last afternoon and it went slightly pear-shaped, largely because we also thought we could ditch the car and do it on foot. We spent most of the allotted 4 hours treading the pavements of Brighton seafront; there were some gems though, I loved a return visit to Sussex County Arts Club where I took up life drawing in 2016 and to the work of figurate fine artist Patsy McArthur. I aspire to paint large, on a big canvas or mural in scale. 

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Design Museum

How have things changed?

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From E-Learning V

Fig.1. Reader's Digest 'The Gardening Year' 1963

In previous years by November 5th the leaves of deciduous trees have mostly gone. This year some are yet to turn orange and fall. Picking up the fifty year old book on gardening I saw the above. 

By how much have the seasons changed marked by the first and last frost. This year may be exceptional but the averages must have changed a lot? I remember snow on the fells in Cumbria in late September. That seems unlikely. Growing up as a boy 100 years ago my grandfather spoke of 'real winters' with deep snow and being snowed in for several weeks on the fells of County Durham. 

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New blog post

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Fig.1 So much for trying to grow broccoli

I thought picking them off would do. Now I've used a chemical spray sad So much for trying get nature to manage my veg patch. There is no cost saving whatsoever; the plot is too small. There are fresh veggies which so far appear in gluts. I can only assume that each year I'll learn and understand a bit more, and every year have to deal with quite different seasonal weather conditions. 

What is this? Cabbage white? What's the answer?

 

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Design Museum

Happy to be a ... florist

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 16 Nov 2012, 07:16

CGHappinessshortform500pxjpg

I found this fascinating. Kirstie Donnelly of City & Guilds introduced it at a presentation yesterday. I guess if we can't be a florist we can at least grew flowers in our garden?

http://www.cityandguilds.com/About-Us/Broadsheet-News/November-2012/Careers-Happiness-Index-2012

 

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Walled Garden or Swimming Pool, how would you define this environment?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 7 Nov 2011, 06:01
As an exercise I have for the first time since I started this blog in February 2010, gone through EVERY tag. The typos are going and there is some consolidation. Do I need the duplication of Agnes Kukulska-Hulme and Kukulska-Hulme? I don't need the duplication of h808 week 5, and h808 wk5. And are the tags e-learning and MAODE pointless if so many entries are so identified? My view is to get stuck in and alter stuff as I go along, exactly like gardening.

Blogging here in OU land is to do so within a 'walled garden' (a technical term for a safe haven, a nursery if you will, polytunnel or cold frame if you prefer, even the training pool in a Leisure Complex rather than the open sea.

Can I gather my thoughts this way? That's the idea. More than an aide memoir once you have 100 entries + (there are more like 500 here) with tags, they can be as personal as you decide, and you can search anyway.

What I have found over ten years blogging, and 18 months here, is that almost EVERYTHING you write and tag, title (and categorise if you cut, paste and duplicate into an external blog) sparks off a memory of when and why you made that note or had that thought: you can build on this.

So why go public?

This is where a blog differs from the private diary or journal (which are valuable in their own right). A blog, shared with a discrete tutor group, or just your tutor, with the cohort for that module or the entire course, let alone ALL current OU students and the www, is guided by comments. These are always supportive, constructive, considered and relevant. Only ONCE was I ever 'flamed' and that was nine years ago on an external blog. The thoughts of those on other courses are often the most insightful of all as they come unburdened, curious and willing to challenge.

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