Springtime

Nothing compares to the shimmering light bright green of spring as it rapidly coats the bare brown branches of the hedges. [...]

Another reset

Ranch: I have an impressive 4cm double-furrowed cut across the top of my forehead, courtesy of barbed wire – an inevitable [...]

A triumphant February beginning

Ranch: In the grey midwinter, a tawdry clinging cold pervades, yet spring heralds in the shape of brand new electric-green hawthorn [...]

Wassailing?

Ranch: Christmas and New Year have been and gone and now if ever, is the time for January blues. We had [...]

Back to Rossendale

Ranch: The weather broke into our characteristic Northern blustery drizzle, and I psychologically hunkered down for winter but then it broke [...]

Northward bound

We’ve come on holiday by mistake. Past the old toll house on the right. Past the caravan park where they used [...]

Sagefest 2

The Ranch: I’m on the ranch, living a dream come true. I’m sitting at the bar of demi-shed-A, writing at my [...]

Duties of a Doctor?

The Ranch: It’s raining. It started around 3am and is now just fizzling out at 6am. It wasn’t much, but exciting [...]

Don’t mess with the kids

Salutation to the dawn: The chorus begins at half-past three with a funny sounding bird whose song I don’t recognise – [...]

Repair and the Car Boot

The Ranch: There is nothing sweet and tender about these hooligans. They are merciless. Stealthily, the patriarch eyes track me silently. [...]

Down the rabbit hole again

The Ranch: 12 days of snow and ice, with temperatures as low as minus 8. Then a thaw and heavy rain. [...]

Revolution of the reasonable

  The Ranch: A freeze serendipitously embraces the New Year period. A raw, bruised, brutal beauty embraces the ranch. A blanket [...]

A solstice celebration

  Ranch: On Monday I'm exhausted. The last thing I feel like doing is going to the ranch. Who else is [...]

Vaccus

Ranch: I feel so grateful to live on the edge of a big park, with a wonderful Elizabethan Hall and museum [...]

Christmas tree butt plug?

  ... and baking bread:   The cosmic cycle rolls on, as day is barely distinguishable from night. It's been an [...]

How to grow your own food during a pandemic – anyone can do it – 10 tips

  Earth, water, air, fire:   That's it. That's the secret. That's the answer. That's how to do it. The four [...]

Donald Trump underpants?

  The Ranch: Toast? Via the Self sufficiency, permaculture and sustainable living group, I've managed to secure a small quantity of [...]

Please sir, can I have some more?

  The Ranch: 1st November It's sometimes tricky to romanticise ordinariness. Each and every day Linda mucks out her stable into [...]

How do you fit a square peg into a round hole?

The Ranch: What's that?   Er it's a construction. What's it for? It's for putting stuff in. So it's yet [...]

Tip-toeing, tapestry and The Law

  The Ranch: It's me and the trees. I walk through the park and they are putting on their annual autumn [...]

Medicine and Rock & Roll

  The Ranch: Once again, the weather catches me out. I'm all psyched up for settling into my curmudgeonly Autumn and Winter [...]

The Common Ground project

  Birthday to birthday: I thought that the 21st of Sept was going to be our last warm sunny day of [...]

How to start a revolution with just six people

A perfect sunny day: Monday (the 21st of Sept) was a perfect Indian summer day. It started cool and crystal blue [...]

Common ground and the House of Turds.

  Wheels: Northwards! Along the bypass. Past the college. Past the toll-house. Past the tower on the hill on the right. [...]

Kick out the jams

  A fortnight of rain and drizzle gives way to a promising weekend with warm weather forecast. I always forget what [...]

Farter’s day

  The Ranch - is a routine of comfort in a sea of madness and rising darkness. Planting; weeding; tidying; concrete [...]

Rioting for beginners

  The Ranch -  May has been and gone - my all-time favourite month. Hot, hot, hot and heady. Now we [...]

Duck weed and walnuts

The four-foot-deep well in the main allotment is completely dry for the first time since I dug it many years ago. [...]

Hey app! Sense and censorship.

I've been slowly levelling off an area next to the greenhouse in anticipation of a poly-tunnel, by emptying wheelbarrow [...]

Forty days

Phew. Grey clouds spill heavy rain, heralding the return to baseline North-westness. The ground sighs relief, marking the end of a [...]

Missing my family

  A lot of my friends and colleagues have lost access to the things that mentally help charge their batteries - [...]

The best, the worst. Corvus corone!

I'm sitting in the green plastic chair, capturing a transient moment of March sunshine. A bee lands close by [...]

Digging trenches

The primroses, in their exquisite pastel yellows are out on the shady lane, which leads past the ancient 17th [...]

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