Bringing It All Back Home: (Plot 99) The Garden Of Eden.

Allotment tales and art.

Sunday the 9th of September 2018.

The joys and sorrows of a Webb’s Whippet push mower.

For: Quiet. No smell of petrol or pollution. Good for the management of your carbon footprint. Handles well. (Good exercise in shoving one of these) A good (adjustable) cut.

Against:  They need some maintenance and spares can be difficult though not impossible to get. They are also hard to find, this Whippet, a rare item, cost me £60 on eBay.

This weekend was a case in point. The chain had to be shortened as it kept rolling off the sprocket and jamming the mower, I managed to make an adjustment to the chain and mow on.

In Cool (Autumnal) Weather:

Had a good day tidying up and composting the old runner beans, de headed herbs, and borage leaves.  Cut the edges of paths with hand shears and hoed some weeds. (I think the hoe is my favourite tool with the scythe and fork a close runner up)

Bringing It All Back Home:

At the moment I’m harvesting a variety of green veg: kale, cabbage, onions, pumpkin etc, even peas, not to mention potatoes, all of which means some sumptuous healthy organic vegan meals.

You should be prepared for the time spent in washing, storing, refrigerating and freezing your vegetables. Be prepared also for creepy crawlies on leaves. They are easy to wash off and a natural aspect of growing. I would fear more for those bright coloured, perfectly shaped, unblemished veg in the supermarkets grown with chemical fertilisers and additives, and devoid of all taste.

I find it odd how the mice ate many of my broad beans earlier this year but so far have left the peas alone. I wait with baited breath, growing organic food has its disappointments.



I had to coat myself in insect repellant on arrival for the insect bites can be very troublesome around this time of year. Not too many wasps around today which was good. I find it difficult to keep still and wait for them to lose interest. Has the fact that I have a purpose built insect hotel on site added to my problem of insect bites? Probably, but a little sacrifice to support collapsing insect species world wide is a small price to pay.



Woodland walks no 1. Uffmoor wood

uffmoor-woodUffmoor Wood is a semi-natural woodland in Worcestershire, in the English Midlands with an area of 84.84 hectares, sitting at the foot of the Clent Hills and next to Hagley Woods, (The site of several pre war murders including ‘Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?) Uffmoor has developed a reputation for the supernatural as well as a latter day venue for casual male sex.  Uffmoor Wood is a stone’s throw from a spring thought to be the source of the river Stour, the same spring that gushed forth miraculously when Kenelm, the boy king of the Hwicci, was murdered and buried here by his sister in AD821 amid what was then also woodland. The waters gained a reputation for their curative powers and soon drew pilgrims. People still come to St Kenelm’s well at Winchcombe in the Cotswolds for healing and leave a strip of clothing on a nearby bush. uffmoor-wood-2

The woods, a mixture of ancient woodland, younger broad-leaves and imposing stands of conifers, are lovely at this time of year and I was lucky enough not to see too many people on the outside perimeter track of four miles and enjoy a bright sunny autumn day. I liked in particular the opprtunity within the wood to go off the main path and explore the wood in depth, its tangled and delightful small untrodden paths, its dark glades and tangled undergrowth.

The Peoples Assembly

Birmingham Against the Cuts 5The Peoples Assembly held a national anti austerity demonstration in Victoria Square Birmingham on Sunday October 2nd, with a large crowd, carrying a huge variety of colourful and witty banners and placards, many of them home made,  then marching to Digbeth for a further rally and speeches. I attended the rally both as a supporter of the Peoples Assembly and its political objectives, and as a photographer involved in documenting the ongoing social, ploitical and cultural activities of Birmingham Against the Cuts, a collection of Birmingham trade unionists and political activists from all walks of life who campaign regularly in defence of public services and social justice. Birmingham Against the Cuts 10This social history, social documentary and archive now contains many images, posters and fliers covering a variety of contemporary issues collected over the last ten years.

The Birth of a Star


image-and-text-10The creative process:

  1. Took a photo of a dead flower head that I found lying on the ground.
  2. Imported the image into photoshop
  3. Isolated the flower head with the selection tool
  4. Inverted the selction
  5. Added a new solid colour layer of black
  6. Added a curve to the flower
  7. Added a title with text

Global warming. (Leave it in the ground)

reclaim-the-power-3In April 2016 I joined the anarchist action group “Reclaim the Power” in the occupation of Ffos y Fran, near Merthr Tydfill, the UK,s biggest open cast coal mine, a mine owned and operated by the multi national extraction company Miller Argent. The occupation was planned in collaboration with and in support of local environmental activists  from Friends of the Earth and the United Valleys Action Group who have for a number of years been campaigning to bring an end to a site that pollutes their health and well being, has degraded the local landscape, does very little for the local economy and is an anathema to the realities of global warming.

The weekend long camp was on local common land, (land under threat as Miller Argent wish to expand their operations locally) was highly organised,  it produced its own energy, recycled its waste and provided three excellent vegan meals per day, provided workshops on other environmental issues, training and entertainment and was a highly rewarding life affirming experience.



Images from the weekend can be viewed below at:

I have enquired about exhibiting the images locally and would love to hear from anyone interested in this documentary project and the issues it raises




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