Summer went, giving way to a musky autumn with the first frost already delivered a couple of weeks ago on our high hillside.
The three demijohns in the back bedroom have just about finished bubbling and all the fruit trees, bar three, are stripped.
A spectacular Golden Spire is still full of perfect big yellow ruddy-tinged apples. It’s both a cooker and an eater and improves in flavour when stored. We just stew them as they are – no need for sugar.
Two Dog’s arse Medlar also remain in full fruit. They won’t be ready for picking until the leaves have fallen. They’re peculiar and bitter and inedible, until they turn to a sweet mush – a process known as bletting. They’re an ancient English fruit – not something you’d ever see in the shops.
We have a bowl of quince awaiting processing and the hops are also beginning to turn papery brown – I’m not sure what to do with them.
Bits of broccoli, kale, a few beans (Emergo, Abundance and Cherokee Trail of Tears) and a trickle of tomatoes from the greenhouse are all that remain of the fresh veg, but there’s a succession of beetroot that will last all winter and several months worth of spuds in storage. I’ve even had some scrawny sweetcorn.
For the first time, I’ve got trays of salad leaves ready to plant into covered propagators – they’re suited to cooler weather and should grow through the winter.
I’ve got loads of delicious Greek Gigantes butter beans for winter and for next year’s seed. As a child, I always thought of butter beans as a special foreign food, never realising that they’re just a type of runner bean.
There’s a lyric from a Fall song along the lines of ‘what used to inspire you does not‘. I’m back in one of those phases where I have everything I need from my surroundings. Nature’s a teacher innit. I have no forthcoming gigs and no other commitments and I’m glad. I’m even getting into making electronic music on my own, using Notsensibles samples.
I’m at least three weeks into daily meditation – even when I first started and for years after, I never managed it every day. This is the first time and I’m letting it guide me. I resolved to give it a go as a way of ditching some excess baggage and it seems to be working. Lots of people talk about meditation, but it can only really be learned from a reputable teacher – ‘The eye cannot see itself’ and all that. The one that I stumbled upon decades ago happens to be Buddhist, originating from Thailand – it’s called Samatha, meaning calm in Pali, which is the original language of the Buddha – Sanskrit came later.
I’ve always said that growing your own food locally is revolutionary because it bypasses the dependency on ‘shop bought’. It takes away all middle men and overheads. The enormous significance of this will become more and more obvious in the months and years to come.
I’ve also rekindled my interest in archery and replaced the little bow that was nicked from the barn. It goes hand in hand with meditation – Zen in the art of and all that.
The four elements – Earth, water, fire and air are universal to just about every ancient philosophy and religion. Their interplay is apt in gardening.
A log when exposed to air will dry to provide fire. When exposed to water, it will rot to form soil. The correct amounts of soil, water, air and warmth are essential for all plant growth.
In Buddhism, the four elements (mahabhuta or catudhatu) are used as part of the teachings on suffering and escape from suffering. They correspond to solidity, fluidity, temperature, and mobility. Buddhism is full of lists which often overlap. The four properties – cohesion (water), solidity or inertia (earth), expansion or vibration (air) and heat or energy content (fire) are also based on the 4 elements. Then there’s the 8 kapalas of which the elements are the primary four and the secondary group are colour, smell, taste and nutriment.
Interesting stuff. I see the Buddhist lists as useful practical road maps for the mind. Feeling fucked? Summon some vīrya. Feel like twatting someone? Summon some metta.
Another revolutionary thing is the ability to weld off grid. I’ve been planning it for years and have finally achieved it. I used to do lots as an engineering apprentice but that was decades ago and I was nervous and reluctant to try arc welding again.
True to my Notsensible nature, instead of practising first on a bit of scrap steel, I start on a complicated 45 degree angle on a steel door frame. My first attempts are awful but I rapidly improve. If arc welding (stick welding in America) is carpentry, then gas welding is cabinet making. I have a couple of old gas bottles so I can also gas weld, but they’re nearly empty and replacements are astronomically expensive. Gas welding is poetry once you get the hang of it.
I’ve completed a steel door in a frame for the brick substation including 2 bolts, all fabricated from scratch. It’s not straightforward, because the steel warps when you heat it to welding temperatures. The icing on the cake is sanding it all down and painting it with some old Land Rover green metal paint.
Pev and I have made the seven roof frames for the new greenhouse and tacked three of them in place – hopefully production could double next year.
Talking of revolution, it hasn’t happened yet – at least not in bourgeois England. Still, I’m beginning to wonder why.
Just how much do they have to fuck us over, before people start to join the dots and rebel?
If a posh bloke with a clip board came to the door saying ‘Oh hello, I’m from the government, I’ve just come to take half your possessions and shit on the carpet on the way out’ lots of people would say no, even though there are still those who would welcome them in.
What can we do? The clue is that everything that they’re doing to us is internet/digital based….. the revolution will not be televised.
I’m always prepared to accept that it was all a dream and that I got sucked into conspiracy delusion. But it wasn’t and I didn’t, because the slices of creeping totalitarianism continue unabated.
Excess deaths, especially in younger age groups continue to rise. Two local children died recently – a parent of a classmate told me – they sent home the entire year 11. I’ve no idea what happened but it’s most unusual. I can find no mention of it in the local press. There are documented post-vaccine deaths in children and teenagers worldwide. It really is beyond horror. They knew that this would happen and rolled it out anyway. It’s a very serious crime.
They are pushing hard for people to have the latest Moderna booster and once again the only evidence to support its use is a single f’ing awful paper based on results from a few mice. Why aren’t UK healthcare professionals speaking out more? Check out this brave American doc here speaking out against it.
Censorship abounds and several high calibre healthcare professionals, who dare to speak out have been zapped from Twitter including one of America’s most prestigious cardiologists Dr Peter McCulloch. They’ll probably zap me soon – feel free to subscribe.
I saw a 2-home Tory on telly, patronisingly telling the peasants how to use less energy and it made my blood boil. Not long ago, the more reasonable of us would simply have parachuted the lot of them out to places of need such as Yemen and Somalia and stripped all their assets. Not so now – we really wouldn’t want to use all that plane fuel – it would be against their climate agenda.
The way that they introduce their draconian measures is via hints a few months in advance – just like they did with vaccine mandates. The latest one that they’ve announced is power cuts over the winter.
Dr Aseem Molhatra, a UK cardiologist has been speaking out against mRNA vaccines after his father died post-jab. Before that, he was a fierce advocate and is double-jabbed. he’s written a paper ‘Curing the pandemic of misinformation on COVID-19 mRNA vaccines through real evidence-based medicine‘. The problem is that it’s in The Journal of Insulin Resistance, which in medical terms is pretty obscure and about as prestigious as Fart-cuppers’ fortnightly.
All the multi-pronged threads of livelihood destruction are linked and orchestrated by the same bunch of crooks via their numerous tiers of puppets.
I’m out of touch with Emergency Medicine now, but I still hear from former colleagues who tell me things are much worse since I left. I get very annoyed at idiots with no frontline experience, who spread hatred against NHS workers, blaming them for the adverse events related to jabs. I’ve tried to explain before that working in the coalface NHS is so intense that it’s a complex wood from the trees situation.
Some days, I rage. There’s a Zen saying ‘let it burn’, meaning just that. i.e. keep it to yourself until it burns out.
I have to revert to my ‘reflection’ training and work through a couple of online modules on the wellness forum: How not to be a cunt; The art of curbing one’s gobshittery.
They teach you just to observe the angry voices and let them float by without attachment;
‘Hey dimwit dolt, pass a lil spelling test; explain the use of the possessive apostrophe; explain your understanding of absolute versus relative risk; describe your method of critically appraising a paper, then we can chat – otherwise fuck off’.
…. and breath.
Joking aside, those of us questioning the mainstream narrative have plenty in common and that’s what we should concentrate on. Staying positive is a fine art and the ranch helps immensely – above all be kind.
I phoned Dewy on my birthday and as he answered the phone he tripped and fell. ‘I’ve broken my finger’, he calmly reported. ‘Is it broken or dislocated?’ I asked him. ‘Broken, I think.’ I told him to come round and I’d have a look. As soon as I saw it, I knew that it was dislocated. I happened to have some local anaesthetic in a first aid kit, so I put in a quick ring block and put it back for him, then strapped it to the next finger and he went back to work. Normally, in A&E you would do an XR before and after. I’ve seen so many, that I didn’t need an XR.
It’s that depth of experience and knowledge that I regret not being able to share any more and sometimes I miss it. There are days that I think ‘I’d go back if they asked me’, but they never will. I told the car park cunts and those upstairs where to stuff it, which earned me an awful lot of bad boy points.
Rock & Roll:
The autumn equinox on the 21st of September coincided with a few big birthdays, so I decided to have a little Sagefest on the ranch on the Saturday after – there were omens that guided me and the weather forecast was good.
I took all the music gear and decks up in the van and even got a barrel of beer. It was a most pleasant affair. My favourite bit was when Tyler, Sam, Bryn and I did an impromptu dancy jam. We did a couple of songs with Dawn and Deano got up and did Tainted Love with her. As usual, Bryn DJed.
Later on, we lit the stove and Gaz did his first techno DJ set. After the last person had gone, I had one last drink then slept like a rock in my little garret.
Louise came up at 9 on Sunday and 4 hours later, everything was back home and tidied away, in time for the Allotment Association meeting at 1. We have a good thing going on that hillside. I keep meaning to invite other like-minded gardeners to help on a ‘your time for my time’ basis, but I’m not quite ready yet. I’m selfishly keeping the company of the trees to myself.
The party was a farewell in a way. A farewell to summer, but also a farewell to a particular era. The youngsters are all grown up now nearly 30. They have their own lives now. There are babies to think of and preparations to make. There are some things that I just won’t be doing again. I realise that certain aspects of me will never change and that at last I’m old enough to choose for myself. Punctuality, reliability and honesty count for everything in my small blinkered world when trying to work with others. The rest is secondary.
Something makes me look up from my welding. There’s a buzzard circling quite low eyeing me up. I watch him for a long time through the binoculars until he disappears into the low cloud. It’s a full moon today – Hunter’s moon. I’m off hunting for the better me.