Of onions and volcanoes

Onion setsWretched climate. It’s astonishing how it can be so warm (18C yesterday), yet everything look so lifeless. I planted these onion sets three weeks ago; they’re making very slow and feeble growth.

Might have to get used to it, though, if the Icelandic volcano keeps erupting. Being me, I’m ghoulishly attracted to the doomiest predictions – that Eyjafjallajoekull will erupt for years, that north European air traffic will be semi-permanently disrupted, that trade will be decimated etc etc.

From a gardener’s point of a view, a year without a summer would clearly be tedious. But uncharacteristically, I see silver linings everywhere. To wit:

  • Silence. I live not a million miles from Heathrow airport, and to be liberated from the 24/7 whine of jet engines is blissful
  • No tourists. OK, so hotels and attractions will suffer – for which my sympathies. But the rest of us get a break from snap-happy, shuffling, sweating, gormless holidaymakers in London (I would set aside a special sort of Hell for those filthy, dreadlocked backpackers who insist upon using the London Underground during rush hour)
  • A boost for shipping and trains – civilised forms of transport both. Plus it will be delightful seeing companies doing more conference-calling and video link-ups etc to avoid flying. In my own experience, most corporate air travel is strictly unnecessary – more about a company-funded jolly hundreds of miles from the spouse than for any essential business purpose

12 Responses to “Of onions and volcanoes”

  1. Tanya Walton Says:

    I think it’s great to see the clear blue skies with no trails and to hear only the nature…if only the low flying army jets were grounded to…that would be heaven as I live between two airbases and the flight path is directly over my house.

  2. Rham Says:

    It’s definitely those minimum temperatures that we are having. Yesterday was just a pick, but we need more of those for the veggies to start growing. Mind you, my weeds do not seem to be bothered by the low temps!

  3. Mal's Allotment Says:

    Ah the Global Warming Correctio Program – subtitled “Planet Earth Fights Back – Don’t Send Out The Plane” (All film rights reserved)

    You southerners will have to adopt the current Scottish planting timetable. Shall I polytunnel over my plot now?

    Don’t panic Cpt Mainwaring….

  4. glittertrash Says:

    Oh dear. Although I lack dreadlocks, I DO have facial piercings & funny coloured hair & I HAVE accidentally stumbled onto the London Underground with my backpack in rush hour, clueless backpacker eyes seeking fruitlessly for some clue as to where the fuck I was going or how to get there, or possibly a flicker of warmth in the eyes of someone who might tell me (fat chance!). The whole time I was thinking “I’m sorry! I’m SO SORRY!” but it was too cold to wait out the interminable rush-hour in a park, and I was too poor for a pub. I tried not to take anybody out with my backpack, and remembered the extremely complicated rules of the London Underground escalators as best I could.

    I am enjoying the spectacle of the world so disrupted without the usual mass loss of life that happens when the planet decides to throw a spanner in our human works. I’m just hoping the lovely volcano settles down a bit come June, when I plan to be flying back over there. Hope your onions are going better by then, I might just pop by and have a look!

  5. Soilman Says:

    Please do! If you have a backpack I’ll try not to be offensive about it. I may even try to be kind to somebody on the tube. Just once, mind: wouldn’t do to make it a habit, right?

  6. Greenmantle Says:

    Hi mate,

    I have new plot at last, after nearly 3 years, and “Dig for Victory” lives again!

  7. Damo Says:

    My boss is stuck in Dubai, shame!

  8. Jo Says:

    It must be very quiet at the moment for those living near airports. The kids went back to school today and there are numerous teachers as well as many kids absent as they are stuck abroad.

  9. Manor Stables Veg Plot Says:

    I also have some kind of weird fascination with this volcano (I wanted to be a volcanologist when I was at school – but too much science for my liking!) and I really want it to keep erupting – like the idea that its nature fighting back like a wierd movie! Talking of which watched that 2012 at the weekend – what a pile of sh*t!!!!!!!

  10. Lucy @ Smallest Smallholding Says:

    It was strange to see our south eastern skies without vapour trails. Just pure, unadulterated blue.

    I put my onion sets in about 3 weeks ago (ish), and they seem to be doing ok. Are yours under mini polytunnels? I used to use them on mine and they seemed to help things along. I gave up though because the cat thought that them there warm tunnels were put in for her benefit, and my onions mostly end up bent.

  11. Soilman Says:

    I don’t use plastic tunnels for onions, Lucy, but they’re invaluable for getting sweetcorn off to an early start in May. Or sowing early carrots in March, which I did last year – was a huge success.

  12. Taylor Says:

    I tend to agree with you on the boon in boat and train travel, but that I’m slated to fly from Boston to London in three weeks to spend 10 days in Wales, so I’d be much obliged if that volcano would give it a break for a month or so- then it can continue errupting to its heart’s content!