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Friday, 16 October 2009

Will bookshops become extinct?

I used to have a bookshop addiction. Then I discovered online bookshops such as Amazon. Not only is Amazon cheaper - even with the postage - they rarely seem to be out of stock. And they do secondhand too. Amazon is cheaper for music as well. I got a CD I wanted for £6 including postage. The HMV shop wanted £18.

I can't see how High Street bookshops can survive :-(

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Cheltenham LitFest

I've been going to this event for decades but I seem to becoming addicted.

You know how on BBC Radio 4, talk programmes, the guest always uses the phrase "in my book" from time to time? Well, Cheltenham Literature Festival is just the same except less technology is involved. The audience feedback mechanism is faster though - you just wave at the guy with the roving microphone and there you are asking Michael Mansfield, Oleg Gordievsky, John Irving or some other luminary a question in real time. None of that tedious modern emailing nonsense!

So, yeah, they talk about their books but the other stuff is fun too. A guy called Peter Millar told us about being in East Berlin when the Wall fell in 1989. Matthew D’Ancona talked about "Being British" and Stella Rimmington gave us her ideas on what the real security threats are today. Still to come, we have Susie Orbach, Tony Benn and Kate Adie. And many more!

I'm sure there must be at least one who will not say "in my book"

Friday, 9 October 2009

Worlds finest apple!

My 'Ashmead's Kernel' apple tree is a proper adult now and set about 300 large fruit. The local wildlife nibbled over half of them but there's still been a lot to eat and share. About 60 look perfect enough to store.

I took a bag into the office and got some rave reviews. This is only right and proper - the variety is very sweet and very sharp. I bough a Cox's Orange Pippin for comparison porposes and it was bland.

The tree itself still looks weighed down even though the crop is all picked

Previous post about Ashmeads Kernel

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Time to harvest the fuchsia berries

Fuchsias are popular garden plants grown mainly for their many flowers. You can get food from them too. Around this time of year, you may see small berries hanging where there was previously a flower. They look like a very small almost black cherry. They are edible.

Not a lot of people know that!

Mine are Ok. See here for a general introduction to Fuchsia as a food plant with suggested varieties.