Friday, 2 January 2015

Burning New Year Wishes

We had a lovely couple of hours on the allotment this afternoon; quite surprised to be the only ones there as it was so sunny and pleasant, but I know some people had to go back to work this week.
We were joined by many different birds: a robin, blackbirds, long-tailed tits, blue tits, terns and even the little egret flew over a couple of times - none was willing to pose for a photo though!
So I've sneakily added this photo of a kingfisher which I saw the other side of the hedge, on Freeman's marsh, on Monday (well, it's probably the one that we saw on the allotments last year {poetic licence!})
Jamie and I got on with our chosen jobs. Jamie cleared and dug manure into the sprout bed for next year's Christmas meal! (We missed them this year) The patch is covered in weed suppressant now and we'll weigh it down so the earth is nice and firm, just how the sprouts like it. That quarter will mostly for brassicas and root crops. There's a row of beets still in the ground but they're probably destined for the compost - I think the mice have started enjoying them already!
Before Christmas I went to a Chinese supermarket and bought, what I thought, were some paper hanging lantern kits (not the pretty set-fire-to-wildlife floataway type). I asked a Chinese girl at work for some advice and, after speaking with her mum, she said the paper wasn't for displaying (it would bring bad luck) and that I should write wishes on it, then burn them and put the ashes in a mountain stream (tricky, in Hungerford) or in a tree. Well, I figure on an allotment is probably acceptable so that's what I did. I burned all my wishes and some dried cuttings, but not as much as intended as the smoke was blowing straight along the hedge towards the nearby house and we don't want to cause problems for our neighbours. The ashes were watered into the ground, so my wishes can grow (I think that's the general idea).
It's rather a dull pic so I edited it a bit
I spent the rest of the time moving the compost bins to their new position. It's back-breaking after not doing much for a few weeks! It was a good opportunity to give the compost a turn - I'm pleased I didn't find any mice in there. I added some vegetable scraps, brown cardboard waste (and the remaining Chinese paper) to it. It's looking good; masses of fresh pink worms - lovely!
We left as the sun had gone and the moon was shining. A happy start to the new year - let's hope those wishes work :-)


  1. Love the moon picture - Colin and I both agree we've seen enough Kingfishers for a while!!

    1. haha! But now the kingfisher is on the blog for ever :-)

  2. Well done for the kingfisher shot. Martyn managed a quick photo of one this week which he posted on his blog but I wasn't quick enough and just managed a shot if where it had been seconds earlier.

    1. Thank you. They are nippy little birds - was very pleased that this one decided to pose. I've only seen about 5 in my life - and three of them were on Monday!
      (I've just looked at Martyn's blog - he got a good close-up of the kingfisher, so lovely to see

    2. The closest shots we goy were at Slimbridge during the nesting season when one hung around by the nesting hole..

    3. I think we'll walk to the allotments via the marsh more often - a bit too soggy today though!


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