Middle Aged Gardening

I never thought I'd become this guy. But something about making the back garden thrive with greenery and life just makes me smile. It has taken some time to get the garden to a state where I feel it's ok to show somebody, mainly due to it being a new build house. We basically got a square of grass and a few basic slabs leading to the back gate. Much time, a patio, shed and a few raised beds later I've finally been ready to plant something! Whilst I'd love to go off-grid like Tom and Barbara Good, to not end up with a garden that looks like an allotment, I think we have to temper the amount of edible produce. However, a starter-for-ten were the eighteen strawberry plants I stuck in in March. It has been a success! They are delicious. I'm fairly sure they're only about 20% better than can be bought from the supermarket. But they're all shapes and sizes, I took care of them, and they're just better. Like having chips out of the paper. It wasn't even a g


Another spring is arriving, and with it the anniversary of the pandemic looms into view. The UK is still locked down and we are limited to local travel only; I am aching to get out and about more. I feel like my lovely new camera is not getting the material it deserves!

I adore this time of year. Naturing is waking up, we are dusting out the cobwebs, and Mr Mole is about to grab his can of white wash. Crisp cool mornings, sunny days that are not sweltering, colourful sunsets, more light at both ends of the day, and more photographic interest. Lovely.

If, like me, you feel you've been rather lazy of late, then let me remind you of a great quote from The Wind in the Willows:

No animal, according to the rules of animal-etiquette, is ever expected to do anything strenuous, or heroic, or even moderately active during the off-season of winter. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

So don't feel guilty about it; now is the time to get out and about. There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about with cameras. Pretty sure that's right.

At this point I've pretty much exhausted every local walk and point of interest that google maps has to offer though. I think I've had it easier than some in this respect, so I shouldn't complain too much. Fingers crossed that we are restrained only a little while longer.


Having been bound locally I've been doing my best trying to photograph things close-by. I've put together another video since I last wrote here, but I should really get cracking on the next one. I've not filmed much yet. I'm still finding it very strange talking to a camera. I'm just about to pass the 3,000 shots mark on the new Nikon Z7ii, so I thought it would be good to summarise what I've managed so far and offer some brief thoughts on it. To cut a long story short, it's cracking!

For those interested, you can see a collection of 2021s photos by clicking here, and stay tuned for my upcoming ramblings via the medium of internet video.

Managed to snap this cheeky Kingfisher!

Around Congleton

Fergus in the back garden

Rainy day efforts

Jess' costume for word book day

Stunning spring sunset in Marton

Mow Cop Castle


With a new season comes a new book. I've recently enjoyed Brandon Sanderson's Oathbringer, which is a 1,200 page tome and the third book in the Stormlight Archive. I'm not going to go through chapter and verse about it as there are many more reviews online that do it better justice than I can. Though if you're a fan of fantasy and haven't started this series, then I can safely say you're missing out. The next logical thing to do was to get started on the 4th book, Rhythm of War. But since these books are so long and intense I felt I needed a break.

A comfort break in the shape of the Lord of the Rings that is. Thoroughly analysed and made into an almost timeless film series, the three books of the Lord of the Rings are arguably the bible of epic fantasy. I first read the series in my teens and have not touched it since. Over the last 15 years or so the films have somewhat warped my memory of what was written by Tolkien, and what is Peter Jackson's interpretation. Due my tender age, I also don't think I truly took it all in properly.

At the time of writing I'm most of the way through The Fellowship of the Ring. It's been quite a comfort read, and it has been fun delving into this World once again. Although, Tolkien's writing style can send me to sleep at times. A two page song is sometimes more effective at sending me to sleep than a warm cup of hot chocolate and listening to the shipping forecast!


In other news, I successfully managed to install a mains-powered lighting setup in the garden! It seems my DIY skills are improving. This should make for some pleasant summer evenings reading outside.

Its waterproof-ness has been thoroughly tested in the storms of the last few days. Great success!

Until next time.