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KW-12 An Orkney Waltz with Sirens
It's all about capturing the light.
You may have seen that the Barracks, the Pirate and our story has once again been considered the sort of thing that a big old newspaper wanted to tell its readers about. It may even be the Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazine article which brought you here. In which case, welcome.
It’s been an interesting experience. The journalist, Martin originally visited the barracks 18 months ago, and then again since he was here with Felix the cameraman, another 40 weeks have passed. Apparently SZ are well known for their very long lead-in times.
Martin has long been researching the human effect of climate change, and you should definitely read his book. He came to really believe in the barracks. I understand the editor was a little more “climate sceptical”. It’s fun spotting those influences in the piece. If you look carefully, I believe you can occasionally see the joins, but Martin is definitely a guy who gets it, and I gotta say, I quite like the dude.
All in all, I thought the article was more than fair, and the pictures were amazing. I have had many people suggest, off the back of the pictures, no doubt, that I start an OnlyFans. Believe me, I’m considering anything at the moment, but you have to understand, that was a professional who was very good at his job. I’m not usually lit that well. But, if you insist ...
I knew the article would come out well, Martin is a good guy. I like him. But, I spent far too much time this week in a state of nervous agitation to do huge amounts in the garden. Thinking about media stuff too much will kill you. There were a couple of instances this week of the barracks falling to pieces again, and I felt it pretty hard. And this week was Grundsteuer / rates week. Which I completely forgot about. Ouch.
Fear not, The Pirate is not yet entirely falling to pieces. Hardship is just a way to focus the mind. We sing a song and work through it!
I will admit that I got a bit angry with other people’s social media this week. Specifically, YouTube gardeners. The food producing ones. There are some good ones, it’s important to say that. The biggest one I have found, a likeable Aussie bear, seems to be legit. But the vast majority of them, breezing through their perfect plots, meticulously pre-prepared for camera by an army of workers you never get to see, pretending this is easy, really annoy me.
If this experiment into post-collapse living and rebuilding has shown anything, it’s that it’s virtually impossible to do, and it needs years, and lots of them.
I sometimes think the only reason I am still here is that I don't have the imagination to leave
Anyway, enough of that.
Apparently, I had forgotten how impossible it is to dig new ground here, especially at any depth, and decided to make a sunken cold-frame. It’s a bit of an experiment, and I thought I might knock it out in a day and a half. It’s been three days now, and I’m less than half done, but it’s going to look pretty good, and when it’s done, if it works, it’ll be a hell of an asset for the future. I am really desperate for some fresh greens. If this little heat trap works as it should, I might even be on the fresh greens all winter next year. I also have a cold frame inside the polytunnel. I fixed that as well. I’m going to fill it with strawberries and see if we can’t force some of them.
This week, the work list optimistically looks something like:
Weed the rhubarb and asparagus beds. Do something to hurry along the asparagus. I need fresh greens!
I want to spend two whole days raking. The maple trees went absolutely crazy last year making their helicopter seed pods. I’ve never seen anything like it and if I leave them lying much longer, they will kill the grass, and then they will sprout.
If the weather looks like it’s going to get nice for more than one day at a time, I want to move the pigs over. That’s a lot of fence work and stuff. And then I can start mucking out.
Finish the two cold frames, move the strawberries.
Fix everything that moves. Two lawnmowers, one choppy chop, and a chainsaw.
Sow seeds. Lots of seeds. More greens, more tomatoes, sweetcorn, brassica.
I did, for a day, descend into a rabbit hole of new classical music, and found a remarkable young lady called Alma Deutscher. I don’t know, perhaps she’s a name known to everyone who lives in something approximating society, but she’s new to me. Her Waltz of the Sirens reminded me of the last time I was quite so blown away by a new piece of classical music, and that was in 1993 (I think) when I first heard An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise by Peter Maxwell Davis. Have a listen, I’d be interested to know if you hear it as well.
And until next time, your loving
PS: A big welcome to the new subscribers. I don’t say thank you enough for you all being here, new and old. I do appreciate it, and would love to hear more from you. Don’t be shy, say hi! :)
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