Tag Archives: Birthday

68th Birthday Mac-Cheese with 68 shoots of 4 species

Last year’s birthday dinner was the Around the World in 80 Mac-Cheese,  this year’s green mac-cheese contained 68 Hablitzia shoots, 68 ramsons (ramsløk) leaves, 68 ground elder (skvallerkål) leaves and 68 stinging nettle (brennesle) shoots, with opium poppy seeds and nutty alpine bistort (harerug) bulbils on top! 
The video shows me collecting the Hablitzia shoots!

Birthday excavations

Many thanks for all the birthday greetings yesterday! 
Last year’s signature tune was When I’m 64 by the Beatles, but this year’s I’ve been looking forward to most. It’s a song recorded by my favourite singer/ songwriter Vin Garbutt on his album “Tossin’ a Wobbler” from 1978. It goes like this:
“A man of the earth, a man of the soil in his lonely allotment he labours and toils.
He’s not much to do since he turned 65.
So he took to his garden to keep him alive its his only joy and his pride.
Every day as I go through the old shanty town where the sheds and allotments all stand I see the old man of the land with a rake or a spade in his hand.
He’s there in all weather in sunshine or rain.”
Here’s a live recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMrzhLedV1o
I even used to sing it (very badly) when I was young to the torment of my family! I recently discovered and bought a documentary about Garbutt (he died in 2017) and was pleasantly surprised to discover that he was a veggie gardener in real life (http://www.pancrack.tv/vin.html), I spent my birthday doing what I like best…digging…and completing about 30m of trench along the driveway and around the outhouse, the latter to eliminate the tree roots from a new garden area and along the whole length of the driveway, also to keep tree roots out of an area where I still grow annuals. It’s difficult on my shallow soil to get a balance and the trees I planted on my boundary over 30 years ago were taking over. I last dug up the 20-30m of the driveway by hand 34 years ago so that we could drive the car up to the house. I know as I have a picture somewhere of my wife pregnant with Hazel and Robin with a pile of stones. We’ve now gone full circle and we’re carless and the drive is back to being a footpath.
P.S: I’ve also become known as ESM: Extreme Subterranean Man

…and extending a bed around this birch tree with excess soil: