Thursday, 31 January 2008

honkjazz The Allotment! Part 2

Sunday 27th January, 2008. Today I popped down to the plot to carry on with the fence mission. Herbert joined me a little later and we cleared more weeds from the borders, established an entrance, ripped up some more of the dead couch grass and put some more fence-posts in. Sadly our neighbors on two sides don't care much for their fences and, as you can see from the photograph, there are whole sections that have collapsed and not been fixed on one side and we've been fixing the ones on the other side as they're meshed into ours. Interesting concept - breaking down barriers with our neighbors by putting up barriers between us and our neighbors. What an awkward sentence that is.

To finish the day off I cleared an area for the shed base. This we intend to cover with rubble and sand and then put paving slabs on top. I'm quite enjoying this part of the project at the moment - designating areas of the plot for different things. Shed in bottom left corner, composting area in the bottom right corner, herb garden in the top right corner, etc. It's good because as it starts to take shape in the mind's eye the work doesn't seem so impossible. You can break it down into departments and this makes it easier to imagine and organise. And gives a good excuse for planning meetings in the pub. I love planning meetings in the pub. There is surely no better pint of ale to be had than the one after a hard days work on an allotment.
Anyway, as I write this I've just blagged some more timber so I thought it would be helpful to keep a record of how much we spend and what we manage to steptoe (as it shall be known from this day forth!).

2 Belfast sinks (local small ads) = £10
30 small paving slabs (recycling centre) = £10
Tools (2 forks, pick-axe, sledgehammer
and shears - recycling centre) = £12
Water Butt and base (recycling centre) = £10
Gardening knife and U nails (garden centre) = £9
Wetstone (local DIY shop) = £2.50
Netting (ebay) = £4
Thermos flask (local DIY shop) = £5

Total = £62.50

8 metres of picket fence
Small stakes
15 sharpened fence posts
Bulk load of mixed timber
Incinerator bin
Cable drum
2 doors (to be turned into compost bin)
Another bulk load of mixed timber
Hardcore/rubble (freecycle)
Some framed windows which will become some sort of cloche (free cycle)
(coming soon - paving slabs, breeze bloocks and sand)

So as I left on the Sunday evening you could actually see the edges of the plot and we've made a start on a shed base. The next set of jobs are going to be finishing off the fence posts, laying the hardcore on the shed plot and building some compost bins. I need to get onto my horse manure supply and I think I have two potential suppliers of chicken poo which I understand to be the most beneficial to allotments. So the sooner we can get those compost bins together the better. We also have a connection at a big seed company so that should save us a few quid.

Anyway, enough about money. I suppose we had better get our DIY heads on.
Take of yourselves. And each other.

honkjazz - The Allotment! Part 1

On Saturday 26th January, 2008 Herbert and I set foot on our allotment for the first time ever. We were very happy and excited. We were also completely flummoxed as to how we should go about fixing it. Because it needs fixing. As you can see from this photo, it's covered in couch grass and various large shrubs and plants have set up camp. There's also a lot of carpet and other rubbish left over. So throughout our first day we whistle through our teeth a lot, throw all of the rubbish into the back of my car and get down to the recycling centre. The queues there make us cheat a bit and walk the moss-heavy carpets from the recycling shop car-park, past all of the waiting cars and over to the tip bit. Got some filthy looks but I think they were just jealous because they didn't think of such a crafty idea.
Herbert eats a hamburger with mustard and onions from the chuck-wagon and says it's well nice.
Then we pop into the recycling centre and buy some tools. We get a pickaxe, two forks, a sledgehammer and some shears for £12. We dillydally over a water butt (which is a very silly thing to say) and decide to leave it. I buy a Hohner Hip II electric piano which is in pieces for £10. I can't resist a lonely toy.

After removing all of the rubbish we start wandering around aimlessly, pulling up the dead, yellow couch grass and digging up the shrubs. There's so much to tackle that it's hard to know where to start. Eventually we decide to concentrate on the boundaries so as I clear the weeds away from the small fences, Herbert re-stakes them back into the ground. A few cups of tea and some sandwiches later we feel pretty pleased with our work.

Look, there I am, working and feeling pretty pleased about it!

The plot will face the elements as the wind and rain come sweeping down from Dartmoor which is a few miles to the North of us. The heavy clay soil will hold onto the couch grass roots for dear life. The local rabbits will feast upon our produce. Our backs are already bad. We have no shed. We have no money. We have no experience.

Let the battle commence.

Friday, 11 January 2008


Thing I found out today. That singer Doris Troy who does the brilliant reggae-funk blaster 'Stretchin Out' that's on the song-link sidebar over there (no, not over there, over there, down a bit, there) was one of the backing singers on 'Dark Side Of The Moon' by Pink Floyd (who could be ace).

ps - I am fully aware that there may be more than one Doris Troy in the world it's just that I don't know any so I figured that's about that. Feel free to educate me and the nation (Herbert).

pps - I neglected to tell you why a dead horse was delivered to the kitchen of the recording studio I visited this afternoon. Never mind, these things can wait.
Those Cornish though, blimus!

Welcome One and (hopefully) All. Otherwise it's probably just Herbert. Hello Herbert.

Hello everyone (Herbert).
This is our blog. We intend to use it to talk about and promote music that we like. Songs, albums, gigs, clubs, festivals and the rest of it. Hopefully you'll like the music that we're talking about. You can listen to some of it via the song-link bar or the mix-link bar. Please feel free to let us know what you think. You can be as much a part of this as you want to be. And please read the disclaimer, it IS important.
So who are we? Two young men who live in Devon and like to play records. That's about all that's relevant for now. If you really, really want to know more about us I suppose I could elaborate. I proudly (not very) present the first in a limited list of Things That Herbert & Brazil Have In Common!
1) We both wear glasses.
2) We both have larger-than-average noses (sorry if this is news to you H).
3) Our real names (I know, shock isn't it) share the same initials.

Don't you feel like you know us so much better now?
Happy listening.
Brazil Banks

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Word (s)

blah blah blah we are ace blah blee bloo listen to this etc etc etc this is well good blah blah blah you should probably buy this record etc etc techsteperah (like some Thundercats baddy) etc blah