Desert Island Blogs (3)

The moment of truth. The acid test. The place where cliches come to die…

Part 1 was easy as the three bloggers have all become part of my daily life over the last few years and with eight slots that still left five. Part 2 was harder. The blogs are also part of my blogging life, but the choices had to be made against a background of declining availability. I’m happy that all the choices are good, I’m just concerned that I only have two slots left to go and more than two blogs to fit in.

From Lancashire we moved to Lincolnshire. In phonetic terms it wasn’t a great change, but in terms of weather it was a revelation. In Lincolnshire they have weeks where there is no rain.

They also had a village school that looked like it had been undisturbed since the old Queen’s jubilee. It had two rooms, dip pens, inkwells, a pot-bellied stove and a map where the Empire was still coloured red. There’s one very much like it in Retford Museum.

My penultimate choice is Beating the Bounds – a blog about walking and nature and family and the area around Lancater. I’ve just been reading one of his posts and it’s like entering a different world – lizards, damsel flies, beetles, birds, butterflies limestone pavements, bilberries, Are You Being Served? and the Song of Soloman have all featured recently.

A blog that can weave cheesy seventies comedy and the King James Bible into one story has to be one to watch. Add trips to the Lake District and Silverdale, deer in the garden and digressions into books, science, art and history…

After Lincolnshire we moved to Peterborough, which is where the family stayed. My Dad and sister are still there. There are far too many memories to even start. One of the most significant features is that the place is cluttered with Magpies now, but when we lived there we only saw Magpies when we visited Lancashire. Same with Buzzards. There are Red Kites round Peterborough now often to be seen circling over the A1 and the city tip. We had Lapwings, Yellow Wagtails, nesting Long-tailed Tits in the rough grazing around the house with newts in the back garden. As the area has been developed over the last 50 years these have all disappeared.

Final choice is difficult.

It goes, after a ecrtain amount of heart-searching, to Helen. She’s currently experimenting with bokashi (or fermented Japanese compost if you prefer it in English). She’s a couple of weeks ahead of me, which is good because I can learn from her experiences.

The blog captures the true up and down moments of growing back garden veg, making compost, learning about permaculture, earthworms and volunteering. And much, much more, as they say in the adverts. Her broccoli is currently looking skeletal after a butterfly attack, She’s taking it well, as I try to do, because let’s face it, butterflies need to eat too.

It was touch and go here, and it was hard to exclude The Snail of Happiness. So hard in fact, that she seems to have managed to get in despite my decision. When you grow veg, cook ethically, raise chickens and crochet blankets for refugees it’s always going to be tough to keep her out. So I sneaked her in.

That’s about it for now. All that remains are the bits and pieces.

I can have Shakespeare and an “appropriate cultural or philosophical work”. I don’t want The Bible because I know how it ends, so I’m going to opt for The Stripping of the Altars by Eamon Duffy. It’s the story of the Reformation, and though I’ve read and enjoyed The Voices of Morebath I’ve never tried the bigger book. It’s been on my shelves for a while but I haven’t actually opened it. When I have plenty of time to sit and wait I’ll have a good crack at it.

I intend building a tidal fish trap and digging a pit to see what meat drops into it, hopefully a pig. I’m certainly not going to run round chasing things. I’d better learn how to make a salt pan and smoke fish too. By the time I’m rescued I’m intending to be fit, well fed, brainier and, probably, sick of fish.

The book to read for pleasure is the collected version of the Chronicles of Narnia. I could probably make do with the first six, as I’ve often thought The Last Battle is a miserable piece of writing.

Finally, the luxury item.

What else could it be but another blog – I’ll go for the Nottingham Food Blog by Marcus from the Bread Group. We have baked much bread together, and managed to eat most of it, though I never did get the hang of rye bread.

It will be nice to read about the junk food of Nottingham while I’m away. He also writes about his devotion to the fast food of Chicago, so it’s never a boring blog, even though I do wonder what a blood test would reveal. I’d like to see him start testing porridge and salad to make sure he hangs around a bit longer.

And that, is that.

I’m off to look for a desert island now.

Closing music.

37 thoughts on “Desert Island Blogs (3)

  1. beatingthebounds

    Oh – forgot to mention. The Narnia books are very special to me, they were the first books I devoured after getting my own library card. I’ve passed on my enthusiasm to the kids, but they’ve watched the films and listened to audio books as befits these changed times. Youngest keeps suggesting ‘The Last Battle’ for longing car journeys, but is consistently shouted down by the rest of the family.

  2. beatingthebounds

    Thanks for the positive review, much appreciated. I wish I could do gags like you do – the one about Cats and your offspring in a previous post had me snorting my tea. Again.
    We have many points in common in our past – I am from Lincoln, my Dad grew up in the Wolds, I grew up in Leicestershire, not so far from Peterborough, and have lived in Lancashire all my adult life, barring a brief stint just over the border in Westmorland.
    I have never heard of fermented compost and will be following the link to find out more. I’m already way behind with both my own blog and my blog reading, but now have several clearly excellent recommendations to follow upon. Curses!

  3. Helen

    Thank you for mentioning my blog, Simon! I’m glad you appreciate my efforts 😊.

    I should be getting up to go to work now but I will do some serious blog reading when I get home this evening.

  4. myfoodhunt

    Hi Simon,

    YThanks for the inclusion, I kind of feel a bit uncertain of being the ‘luxury item’ perhaps a little bit out of keeping with the content of my average blog post.

    Of course it’s not all junk on my blogs 🙂 there are a lot of burgers, a lot of plates of fish and chips, and many, I mean, many meat filled sandwiches 🙂

    In amongst it all there is some fancier stuff, but I concede that I live mostly within my means 🙂



      1. Helen

        I’m not a fan of awards. When I first started blogging, I was pleased to get one – although realistically after only a few posts, how could anyone say my blog was fantastic! I think this ‘Desert Island Disc’ idea is much more sincere 😊.

      2. Helen

        As an aside, I think that people do occasionally find other blogs just from clicking on the links with comments. I used to do that more myself when the blogging world was newer.

        Now, most of my new follows are through mrjohnmoore (he seems to promote new blogs with organic and permaculture leanings). British bloggers seem to be more elusive – or perhaps they are submerged under the blogs coming out of America?

      3. quercuscommunity

        I still do that sometimes, though I seem to have almost no time to read these days. mrjohnmoore does a good job spreading the word and has promoted a couple of my posts, which is better than award (whilst not being quite so prestigious as featuring in Desert Island Blogs). 🙂

      4. Helen

        Mrjohnmoore certainly does a good job of promoting posts. I don’t have time to read all that I would like and even though working from a phone has got better these days, it’s still not as conducive to appreciating blogs as reading on a computer.

      5. Helen

        Yes, I started blogging on a smartphone when my laptop became less than reliable about five years ago. And now when I occasionally access WP from a desktop I am amazed by the better visuals, functionality etc.

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