I’m nursing cracked ribs at the moment which has curtailed my extraordinary work on building our extension. It is eye-opening to go from peak physical fitness to ambling and shuffling based on a momentary loss of concentration.

Of all the things I have done during this build which has included digging and barrowing out 72 tons of earth and rubble and countless tons of new materials, all it took was one backwards step to level me literally!

Last week saw me back on familiar turf with a view of one of the most iconic buildings ever built in the City. I watched the emergence of this building following the aftermath of the Bishopsgate bombing and admired the sight of it from many miles away approaching London from the North and the East but now it is buried in a windy alley surrounded by the multitude of irregular shaped towers of Mammon all focussed on manipulating an unseen trade in billions of pounds of international money in a very cramped square mile. At one time, LLoyd’s of London stood out as innovative and quite large but is now dwarfed by the new and ever-propogating glass towers that surround it. It too is still a fascinating building though. This opportunistic image made on my iPhone is of a view seldom seem other than by the normal occupants of the building opposite.

Entrance to the gherkin
Sunshine and diamonds

Light duties mean I cannot really do much other than count the days down until I can crack(sic) on with building work but the allotments beckon and there is much to do as the harvest season comes to a glut of an end with tomatoes, cucumbers and courgettes spilling out everywhere.

Much to my delight the other day as I prepared to burn dry matter before the forecast rains arrived I  discovered our very own natural slug control sheltering under dried prunings.

We try our hardest not to use herbicides and pesticides on our plots which does mean we lose out to some pests. I had half expected a hedgehog to be under the prunus prunings but I was delighted to find Mr Toad. I have now idea what gender it is but in July 2018 I translocated a toad from Plot 61 that I was clearing and moved it onto our original plot. I’d like to think it is the one and same. Thankfully, I forked the dry matter with care.


This was also shot on the iPhone. There was a time, and I had discussion on the wireless at BBC Suffolk, that I decried phone images as being limited and yes they are in that I cannot print the images in very large sizes but many professionals always say that the best camera you have is the one in your hand. Well in this case it is in my overall pocket as I go about weeding and watering and I would be able to that with an SLR, medium or large format cameras. Hopefully more of these amphibians will move onto our plots and keep the slugs at bay.

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