Autumn Apple Fest

I share an allotment with mad friend and every plot has an apple tree, each year we collect apples and windfalls which become stewed for pies and crumbles, chutneys and jams. Then last year mad friend got a juicer and spent most of the autumn making apple juice. So a few weeks ago I suggested we go along to an apple festival to see how other apple growers use up their fruit. Yesterday we headed up the Tamar Valley line from the railway station opposite mad friend’s house and ten minutes later we were in Bere Ferrers – in the Tamar Valley. At one time Bere Ferrers and its neighbour Bere Alston were at the heart of the market gardening industry in the South West and trains would run from there taking the produce all the way up to London. At the station you can still see the old railway lines and turning circles that would then head up the line to Tavistock.

We had collected around two and a half kilos of apples, which him indoors carried on his back, and I had a selection of empty bottles. On arrival at the village hall there was already a trailer full of different varieties so we added ours and got our bottles filled with the freshest of juice which looked like amber nectar. There was an apple pie competition and all manner of games like, who could make the longest apple peel, plus stalls selling apple related goods including apple trees to buy. The best part for me was the identification of apple types [ours were called Jupiter] and on a shelf, that ran the width of the village hall was a line up of around 30+ apples, all named with a small biography.  We also noted from a table that identified diseases and problems that a second tree, which overhangs our plot, has a spot of sooty blotch, this can happen in warm wet summers, so… that will be this summer then.

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It was reassuring that the blotch was not detrimental to the fruit, which can still be eaten. It was brilliant to have that question answered so that next year we can include them and bring along to make more juice. It was a great day out and made us more determined to continue to grow our own and use everything up.

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Writers Hut Cabin Envy

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It’s been a whirlwind of a fortnight since my last post, I need to take stock and tackle Autumn projects and writings. This writers hut was submitted to Cabin Porn by Fraser Grace, and the only Fraser Grace  I know of is a playwright. Can we assume this is his cabin, his writers hut? The short text on the cabin site claims that the many windows create a lot of light and when the light goes there is a wood burning stove and oil lamps to make it cosy. The land in front he plans to be a vegetable garden – I do hope he re submits a photo when that happens.

Talking of writing, I was amazed to see myself on this list of female writers, it’s given me a spur to sit down at my desk and develop something new.

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Au revoir to the cliff

So it’s au revoir to the cliff for teenage son as he heads off for university in ten days time.

On a beautiful sunny day last week we walked up to Rame Head at the east side of Whitsand Bay. I took this photograph of him and afterwards thought it reminiscent of the image for Psycho with Norman Bates standing outside the hotel – but that’s as far as the analogy goes, there are no rocking chairs in the chalet!! The view was pretty glorious, to our left [top right] a sweep of Devon coastline and to our right [bottom right] east Cornwall.

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Poppies Wave

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whilst in Plymouth city centre for a meeting I popped up to the Hoe and was greeted by the beautiful art installation Poppies Wave that is touring the country and will be in Plymouth until November. It surrounds the Commonwealth War memorial which commemorates those men who haven’t a grave, the thousands of sailors who were lost at sea, there are three large memorials celebrating these lives, at Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth. Originally the wave surrounded the Tower of London to commemorate the centenary of the First World War and thousands arrived in London to view it, this tour of the wave allows many more to engage with the art work. Tom Piper, one half of the design team, is a well known theatre designer and it’s therefore understandable that a theatre workshop would build the installation and the poppies were made in Plymouth at the Theatre Royal’s workshops at TR2. Looking at the #poppiestour page on the website where people can upload their images, they say its worth a trip to see them in the evening as well, so I will be heading along – but I’ve got plenty of time for that.

returning to my car I came across a wild flower patch on the hill down from the war memorial and I smiled at the ‘live’ poppies, a stones throw from the art ones.

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Hidden Stories: Hidden Places

 

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Over the past few months I have been working with my colleague Derek on recording some stories that will become part of an audio trail for a hidden cemetery in Falmouth. The Ponsharden Burial ground is a dissenters graveyard that runs alongside a Jewish cemetery and on Sunday September 10th it will be open between 2-4pm. This is in conjunction with the European Days of Jewish Culture and Heritage. Prior to the opening Derek and I will be giving a presentation at the Falmouth Poly about the wider project called Hidden Stories; Hidden Places, how some stories we have found have connections that run across and through the eighteenth and nineteenth century Jewish communities that were scattered across the south west of England. On the same day [the 10th]we will also have audios playing in the Exeter synagogue that are about people buried in the old cemetery at Bull Meadow and there will be an accompanying film.

For more information go to https://rippletheatreco.com

Hidden Stories: Hidden Places is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Exeter City Council’s small grants scheme and FEAST, a programme to make great art happen across Cornwall.

FEAST harnesses the talents and energy of Cornwall’s artists and communities, generating new opportunities for everyone to enjoy the arts. The focus is on bringing people together to share experiences as audiences or participants, and on animating local celebrations and cultural life.

For the link to book your place at the Falmouth Poly see below

http://thepoly.org/whats-on/event/491/hidden-stories-hidden-places

For information on the September 10th open days

http://www.dissenters.moonfruit.com/open-day/4587242113

https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/event/exeter-synagogue2

 

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Dam the plastic flood

‘The EU wants to fight the waste problem, but behind the scenes, the plastic lobby is fighting for its interests – for example, against bans on single-use plastic. It’s up to us to tip the balance.’ [WeMove.EU]

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photo by Chris Jordan

This is a petition to the EU commission to reduce the production and use of plastic. Over the next month or so the commission is reviewing it’s plastic strategy, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that plastic is clogging up our seas. With one click you could sign a petition to make the EU take notice of us. Plastic is getting into our rivers and seas at an alarming rate and is tipping the eco balance of the waters, eventually coming back into our food chain.

By 2050, our oceans will have more plastic trash than fish.

In 2015  Rame Peninsula Beach Care did a call out and these were the items they felt were most relevant – they still are so we need to keep talking about it.

1) The need for plastics packaging producers to accept greater responsibility for their disposable products. We need a bottle deposit scheme for plastic bottles. Systems like this have reduced plastic bottle litter by up to 90% in countries where they are in place. We currently discard 15 million plastic bottles in the UK each day, of which over half are landfilled or littered.
2) A small surcharge on disposable plastic packaging. A 1p tax on bottles alone could raise £1 million a week. This could be spent (for example) on (a) a major nationwide online and media awareness campaign, (b) environmental warning labels on disposable plastic packaging and (c) a redesign of disposable plastic packaging to ensure it is 100% recycling.
3) An extension of the forthcoming charge on plastic shopping bags to all businesses rather than just stores with over 250 employees, as in the other countries of the UK.
4) Providing better disposal and recycling facilities for fishermen,
5) Banning all plastic micro-beads in cosmetics and taking stronger action on plastic sewage-related debris
6) Classifying balloon releases as littering, and therefore a criminal offence.’

Here’s the petition https://act.wemove.eu/campaigns/plastics-strategy-INT-EN

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Summer in the back lane

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Above is the back lane at the height of summer with Tregantle Fort in the background.

Many times as you drive down you will see a buzzard sitting on the pole looking down into the verges, or a dragon fly flit by with the countless butterflies. Sometimes you may encounter a pheasant who will waddle along until it decides to hop aside. Then, as the light goes you may have to swerve for the occasional rabbit and once we stopped to watch a young deer stare at us and then in one push jump over the hedge. Of course those are the sort of encounters you look forward to but most times it will be an encounter with another four wheeled engine, cars are okay as long as you make a mental note of the passing places along the route and it’s pretty democratic who will pull in for the other but tractors you have to back up for no matter what.

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