Sunday, 16 May 2010


Had huge lie-in this morning. Was exhausted after yesterday's teaching and general admin, which started at 7 am and went on to 4 pm.

Mowed lawn then headed for allotment, once I surfaced. Spuds are showing on allotment, although some had been touched by the frost. They'll come back. Shallots and onion sets are slow. Always the way. One forgets how much later the ground up there is compared to the garden at the house. Latter is free draining light soil over gravel, former is dear old Oxford clay.

I went to a talk given by the local historian once, a fellow at Queen's college, where the free draining village soil was explained. Bampton's church is a Minster, which means that it was a monastery church (during the Anglo-Saxon period). The historian showed us a geological map of the area with the numerous A-S monasteries marked on it--they, and their settlements, were all built on little outcrops of gravel amongst the Oxford clay. The founders of those villages obviously knew what they were about.

Next week, weather permitting, I'll do a bit more forking through then get the rest of the seeds planted.

Have now dug in the winter roots but came back with a big bag of spinach for Sunday lunch.

Although next week is supposed to be hot, it's still been chilly today, so we had a log fire. Comforting--as was the hock of ham and parsley sauce.

Tomorrow morning I'll be writing my speech for the Writers in Oxford AGM on Wednesday. My farewell event. I'm quite relieved to be standing down even though I've loved the last two years as chair. My working life has got so busy over the past year, though, that I had to give something up to make room for home life and my writing. Starting a new novel. Yey!

Hate to finish on a sad note, but when I walked along the Oxford canal on Friday morning there were three ducklings left... Nature's cruel.

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