Hello, I am Iain Reid. Welcome to my web site.

A lot of my photos are low resolution ones from before the days of Broadband - hence the reduced display width.  

My web site uses frames not supported by all systems. If you are using a tablet, or if links don't work, copy http://www.ireid.co.uk/home.html directly into your browser.

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When we were two, how many  years ago ? Jamie's graduation in July, 2001 In the garden in 2003


Thank you for visiting. You can find out more about me by clicking here. I set up my web site in a bit of a rush in early 2001, but I have added bits and pieces and made changes since then as time permitted. You are most welcome to have a look. There are sections with lots of photos and others with mostly words. Most of the year I am in the garden (weather permitting), but the intention was to find time for web site work when winter came. The best laid plans .....

Use the top navigation bar to navigate the site, or the summary or detailed contents lists below.

Summary list :
            Home Page
           
           Books - Iain's Leisure Reading
           Cars - Our family cars, with lots of photos.
           Cooking with Iain.
           Day Trips / Days out with Iain
           Family photos - Pictures to embarrass the family, with menu link to lots of pictures
           Fridge Magnets.
           Gardening - Down the garden with Iain, with menu link to lots of pictures.
           National Trust Properties - our visits there.
           Ramblings, a section heading + menu list
           School and Early days
           Slimming - Iain's slimming secrets.
           Tea Rooms - Recommended and favourite ones, with lots of photos.
           Web Site - Why have I got one ?
           Web Site - Getting started on writing one
           West End Theatre - What we saw, What we thought.
           
           Contact details and recommended sites.
           
           Whats new to this web site.

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Detailed alphabetic list :

  A Chorus Line, musical at West End Theatre.
  Aberdeen Tearoom - The Music Hall
  Aberdeen Tearoom - Dobbies, Lang Stracht
  Aboyne Tearoom - At the Sign of the Black Faced Sheep
  Adam Dalgleish books, P.D.James, recommended reading
  Akunin Boris, the Erast Fandorin Novels, recommended reading
  Alexander McCall Smith, recommended reading
  Anglesey Abbey, gardens, and Lode mill - National Trust property
  Ann Cleeves books, The Shetland Quartet, etc, DI Jimmy Perez, recommended reading
  Atkinson, Kate and the Jackson Brodie novels
  Australian Tearooms
  Banchory Tearoom - possibly Chatterbox
  Banchory Tearoom - The Shieling, but closed in 2012
  Barrie J M , birthplace, National Trust of Scotland
  Baylis, Mathew books, Rex Tracey series
  Beaton M C - the Hamish Macbeth books
  Bernard Samson spy books by Len Deighton
  Bill Bryson Books, recommended reading
  Bill Fish, friend, neighbour and garden consultant
  Bishop's Stortford Tea Room - Rosey Lea
  Jackson Brodie novels by Kate Atkinson
  Boston, Lincs Tea Room - Rumble Tums
  Bovey Tracey,Devon Tea Room - The Old Cottage Tea Room
  Braemar Tea Room - Gordon's Tearoom and Restaurant
  Braemar Tea Room - The Fyffe Arms, closed for refurbishment
  Brixham Tea Room - The Lemon Heaven Cafe - closed 2015.
  Bread Baking with Iain
  Bridlington Tea Room - Goldings
  Buckland Abbey, National Trust
  Buckie Tea Room - Aurora / Bijou
  W.J Burley and the Wycliffe crime series of books.
  Bury St Edmunds, a day trip to.
  Bury St Edmunds Tea Room - Just Traid, Fair Trade Cafe
  Cairn O' Mount Tea Room - Clatterin Brig
  Calories, daily allowance
  Cambridge Tearoom - Livingstones
  Castle Drogo, near Exeter, National Trust
  Chandler, Raymond, the Philip Marlowe books, recommended reading
  Clacton on Sea, a day trip to.
  Clacton On Sea Tearoom - The Cup of Coffee
  Claridges Afternoon Tea
  Cleethorpes Tearoom - The Coffee Lounge and Tea Garden
  Colchester Tearoom, Patisserie Valerie
  Colin Dexter, The Morse books, recommended reading
  Companion Books, a work of reference for avid fans of crime fiction.
  Contact me
  Corgarff Tearoom - Corgarff
  Cormoran Strike books by J K Rowling
  Cooking with Iain
  Cotehele House, National Trust
  Crais, Robert and the Elvis Cole books
  Crathes Castle, National Trust of Scotland
  Crookwell, NSW, Australia - Lynams Tearoom, Closed Jan, 2013
  Cullen Tearoom - Puddleducks - but now closed !
  Cutting our Beech hedge - May,2011
  Dexter, Colin, the Inspector Morse books
  DCC Bob Skinner, books by Quintin Jardine
  Days Out / Day Trips with Iain
  Dawlish Tearoom, Devon, - A Piece of Cake, Brunswick Place
  Deighton Len, The Bernard Samson spy trilogy books, recommended reading
  Dudley Watkins, recommended reading
  Doyle, Sir Arthur Conon, and the Sherlock Holmes stories
  Early and school days
  Edzell Tearoom - Tweedie Coffee Shop
  Elvis Cole books by Robert Crais
  Erast Fandorin books by Boris Akunin
  Eric and Little Ern, a tribute play at the West End
  Fakenham Tearoom, Norfolk - Q's Coffee Shop and Bistro
  Family Photos, header
  Family Cars,header
  Fats, Chemistry of
  Felbrigg Hall, National Trust
  Fettercairn Tearoom - The Arch, Alastairs as was
  Shamini Flint, the Inspector Singh books.
  Fridge Magnets
  From Here to Eternity - play at the West End
  Fyvie Castle, National Trust of Scotland
  Fuengirola Theatre Tea Room
  Galbraith Robert (J K Rowling) books
  Garden - changes, part 1,words and pictures
  Garden - changes, part 2, words and pictures
  Garden - tour of part 1,words and pictures
  Garden - tour of part 2, words and pictures
  Garden - winter arrives, words and pictures
  Garden in May/01, words and pictures
  Garden in May/02, words and pictures
  Garden in June/01, words and pictures
  Garden in Jun/02, words and pictures
  Garden in July/01, words and pictures
  Garden in Jul/02, words and pictures
  Garden in August/01, words and pictures ,
  Garden in Aug/02, words and pictures
  Garden in September/01, words and pictures
  Garden in Sep/02, words and pictures
  Garden in October/01, words and pictures
  Garden in November/01, words and pictures
  Garden in December/01, words and pictures
  Garden in January/02, words and pictures
  Garden in February/02, words and pictures
  Garden in March/02, words and pictures
  Garden in April/02, words and pictures
  Garden - Weight of annual crops grown - current year
  Garden - Weight of annual crops grown - prior years history
  Gardening Header
  Gervase Phinn, recommended reading
  George Smiley books, recommended reading
  Ghost, the Musical.
  Gibraltar Tea Rooms, The Royal Calpe, The Clipper
  Grafton Sue, the Kinsey Millhone "Alphabet" crime series of books
  Mike Hammer books by Mickey Spillane.
  Hamish Macbeth books by M C Beaton
  Harry Potter books, recommended reading
  Harry Hole books, by Jo Nesbro
  Hunter, Alan, The Chief Inspector Gently books, recommended reading
  Hatfield Forest, National Trust
  Hay Fever, play at West End Theatre.
  High Cross House, near Totnes, Devon - a NT property.
  Home
  Horncastle Tea Room - Tea at the Bridge
  I Can't Sing - musical play on at the West End
  Ickworth House, B St Edmunds, Suffolk - a NT property.
  Ian Rankin, recommended reading
  Inspector Banks books, recommended reading
  Inspector Martin Beck series of crime books by Sjowall and Wahloo.
  Inspector Singh series of crime books by Shamini Flint.
  Inspector Frost books, recommended reading
  Inspector Gently books, recommended reading
  Inspector McLean books, recommended reading
  Inspector Malcolm Fox books, recommended reading
  Inspector Morse books, recommended reading
  Inspector Jimmy Perez books books, recommended reading
  Inspector Rebus books, recommended reading
  Inspector Tom Thorne books, by Mark Billingham
  Inspector Wallander, recommended reading
  Inspector Wexford books, recommended reading
  J.K.Rowling, recommended reading
  James Oswald, the Inspector McLean books
  Jamie, pictures of
  Jardine, Quintin, the DCC Bob Skinner books
  Jeeves & Wooster - play at the West End
  John Buchan, the Richard Hannay books
  Jo Nesbro, and the Harry Hole books
  John Le Carre, recommended reading
  John Mortimer / the Rumpole books, recommended reading
  Killerton House, National Trust
  Kinsey Millhone "Alphabet" crime series books by Sue Grafton
  Kirriemuir Tearoom - Angus Fine Art and Tearoom - Closed 2016
  Kirriemuir Tearoom - the Auld Surgery - Closed 2016
  Kirsty, pictures of
  Last Month in the Garden
  Lady Detective books, recommended reading
  Lagercrantz David, author of sequels to the Millenium Series of books
  Logan MacRae novels by Stuart McBride, recommended reading
  Ludham, Norfolk Tearoom - Al Fresco Tearoom
  Lumsden Tearoom - The Bothy
  McCall Smith, the Lady Detective books
  Made in Dagenham, a musical in the West End.
  Maisie Dobbs books by Jacqueline Winspear
  Mankell Henning, the Inspector Wallander Detective books
  Mark Billingham, the DI Tom Thorne Detective books
  Metabolic rate, calculate your own
  Mark Haddon, recommended reading
  Marston, Edward - The Railway Detective book series
  Merrily We Roll Along - musical play on at the West End
  Michael Wright, books on his life in rural France
  Midmar, Aberdeenshire Tea Room - Miller's Visitor Centre, but closed 2012
  Mijas Tearoom - Costa Del Sol
  Milfield, on the A697, Borders Region Tearoom - Maelmin Cafe
  Montrose Tea Room - The Coffee House
  Mrs Henderson Presents, a West End musical.
  National Trust Properties, visits to
  Newmarket tearoom - The Pantry (& The Stable)
  Newton Abbot Tearoom - the Pharmacy
  One Man, Two Guvnors, play in West End Theatre.
  Once, The Musical - musical play on at the West End
  Oor Wullie and The Broons, recommended reading
  P.D.James, Adam Dalgleish books, recommended reading
  Peter James, Roy Grace Books, recommended reading
  Peter Robinson books, DCI Banks, recommended reading
  Philip Marlowe books by Raymond Chandler, recommended reading
  Photos of Bill Fish
  Photos of 3 of the family
  Photos of Early and school days
  Photos of family cars
  Photos of garden in May/01
  Photos of garden in May/02
  Photos of garden in June/01
  Photos of garden in Jun/02
  Photos of garden in July/01
  Photos of garden in Jul/02
  Photos of garden in August/01
  Photos of garden in Aug/02
  Photos of garden in September/01
  Photos of garden in Sep/02
  Photos of garden in October/01
  Photos of garden in November/01
  Photos of garden in December/01
  Photos of garden in January/02
  Photos of garden in February/02
  Photos of garden in March/02
  Photos of garden in April/02
  Photos of garden, a tour of, part 1
  Photos of garden, a tour of, part 2
  Photos of garden, changing, part 1
  Photos of garden, changing, part 2
  Photos of garden, our old apple tree
  Photos of garden, winter arrives
  Photos of Jamie
  Photos of Jamie and Kirsty
  Photos of Kirsty
  Photos of me
  Photos of the whole family
  Quintin Jardine , the DCC Bob Skinner books.
  R.H.Wingfield - Inspector Frost books, recommended reading
  Ramblings Index
  Recommended Tearooms
  Relatively Speaking - play at the West End
  Rex Tracey books, recommended reading
  Richard Hannay books by John Buchan
  Roy Grace Books by Peter James, recommended reading
  Rumpole books, recommended reading   
  Ruth Rendell books, recommended reading   
  Ryde, Isle of Wight Tearoom, La Croute - now closed.
  Saltram House, nr Plymouth, Devon - a NT property.
  Sherlock Holmes, the stories of Sir Arthur Conon Doyle
  Shrek, the Musical.
  Kate Shulag, Alaskan PI books by Dana Stabenow
  Sidmouth Tearoom - Trumps, now closed.
  Singin' in the Rain - musical play on at the West End
  Sjowall and Wahloo, the Inspector Martin Beck series of crime books
  Slimming Secrets
  Mickey Spillane books featuring Mike Hammer.
  Southwold Tearoom - @51, formerly Sarah's / Tilly's
  St Andrews Tearoom -McGregors
  St Albans Tearoom - the Abbot's Kitchen
  St Martins in the Field, Cafe in the Crypt, London
  Stephen Ward, a Lloyd Webber West End musical
  Stieg Larson, Millennium Trilogy Books
  Stabenow, Dana - the Kate Shulag Alaskan Novels
  Stonehaven Tearoom -Maggie Mays - formerly MiMi's, now closed
  Stonehaven Tearoom -The Waterfront Cafe Bar
  Stuart McBride Books, Logan MacRae novels, recommended reading
  Sweeny Todd, the Musical.
  Tarfside Glen Esk Tearoom - The Retreat
  Tea Palace Tea room, London
  Teignmouth Tea Room, The Oyster Catcher, Northumberland Place, Teignmouth, Devon
  Thames Afternoon Tea Cruise
  Thaxsted Tearoom, Poppies
  Thea Osborne, amateur detective, - the Cotswold Mysteries, by Rebecca Tope
  The Bodyguard - musical play on at the West End
  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, a West End play.
  The Pajama Game - musical play on at the West End
  The Sunshine Boys, play in West End Theatre.
  This month in the Garden.
  Tom Thorne, Detective books by Mark Billingham
  Totnes Tearoom - The Terrace Coffee Shop
  Tomato Soup - Iain's home made
  Top Hat - musical play on at the West End
  Tope Rebecca - the Cotswold Mysteries, featuring Thea Osborne
  Torquay Tea Room, Debenhams Restauarant, The Harbour, Torquay
  Van Hage Cafe / Tea Room - Amwell Roundabout, Ware, Herts
  Web sites - of friends and relatives
  Welcome page
  West End Theatre, visits to .
  Whats new on this web site
  Why have I got a web site
  Wimpole Hall & Estate, NT Property
  Winspear Jacqueline, the Maisie Dobbs books
  Winter in the garden, photos
  Writing your own web site - getting started
  Writing your own web site - transfer to the www.
  Wycliffe crime series by W.J Burley .


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More about me :

I was born and brought up in Scotland, and we return to Aberdeen for lots of holidays and most New Years. I now live in the village of High Wych, just into Hertfordshire, about 30 miles from London and seven miles from Stansted airport - near enough to be convenient, but distant enough at present to avoid the noise.

Who am I, what do I like?     
Well, until very recently I worked a few miles away in Harlow, which is just over the border and into Essex. In the first half of 2002 I completed a 6 month period of "gardening leave" after getting a more than generous redundancy package in December, 2001. That was the first time in over thirty years I had been unemployed, and had the time to devote to loads of outside interests. Eventually I found another job in June, 2002, and I was then well and truly back in the groove working as FD for a high tech. company still in Harlow. And just to bring things fully up to date I took early and second "retirement" in December 2006 - an early Christmas present. I have put the retirement in inverted commas as currently I am not quite sure what the future plans might be. Perhaps I should say I am self employed / semi-retired.

We have a fairly large garden with lawn and vegetables, fruit trees, compost heaps, and two greenhouses to support. I grow most plants from seeds - Spring is very busy. Our garage is reasonably equipped and I used to do my own car servicing, and most repairs. But that sort of went into abeyance when the car (usually a Citroen) was less than 3 years old and had to be serviced by a main Citroen dealer to preserve its 3 year warranty. There were no such restrictions for my various Vespas which served me reasonably faithfully as cheap second vehicles on and off for about 40 years . The last one finally succombed to one MOT too many in October 2006 - terminal rust on the sub frame. I was stuck in the shop and needed a quick replacement so I bought what they had in stock, broke the habit of a lifetime and now no longer ran a Vespa. So, the new scooter was a 250 cc Suzuki Burgman 4 stroke, with electric start ( I did miss the kick start), automatic, hand brake, etc, and all the bells and whistles. Driving sensibly and trying not to offend anyone, I used it to cut through the traffic as I hate being held up in queues. Using the scooter saved me hours every month year in, year out. Parking is so much easier - and cheaper (usually free). For a picture of the scooter click here. However, in April, 2010 when I got the Suzuki its new MOT, I realised that I had only done 150 miles in a whole year. So to cut a long story short, I sold my last scooter on 30th April, 2010. The end of an era indeed !

Finances permitting, my wife Christine and I like taking lots of UK and overseas holidays - the overseas ones are usually late availability off season bargains. I then bore friends and relatives with the video (now all transferred to DVD). I have always had a sort of ambition to be a competent pianist. Realistically, I will never, ever be a concert pianist, but I would like to be able to get up and have a go in front of a friendly audience. I'm not nearly there yet but its not for the lack of practising. I'll probably end up having to get lessons. We have a Technics electric piano - the full description is a digital ensemble piano. Its a full sized piano / keyboard with a mass of build in features which make a duffer like me sound a lot better.

Most days I walk into Sawbridgeworth village centre to get the daily paper. The return journey is about 2.2 miles. I used to go on the scooter, but then thought the exercise would be better for me. Also most ( i.e. all) days end with a late night visit to a local. We are regulars at two or three pubs, chosen mostly for the quality of their beer (beer not lager !) and comfortable bars. You are made to feel welcome, there is plenty of space to get a seat but the place is not deserted, and you don't have to shout to compete with loud music. Excluding visits to Scotland, the old faithful is a pint of Country, which is not strictly a real ale because of the way it is dispensed, but its brewed by McMullens of Hertford, a local family brewer. I like real ale so long as it is medium strength, well flavoured but not flowery, dark brown coloured and of course it must be served in a pint glass with a handle. Alternatives are too many to name, but lets mention London Pride and Adnams. When abroad we settle for what we can get so long as its not lager - and Guinness will do if all else fails. In Scotland its a pint of heavy, please.

Oh, and I am a great Archers fan - been hooked since it started ( I used to listen to Dick Barton, special agent, and just carried on when the Archers came along). It was better when Uncle Tom used to introduce the Sunday visit, but times change. It's also less interesting when they depart too far from the country theme, and I hate it when they give trailers - how can they know about something that has not happened yet. Current dumbed down short term story lines also leave a lot to be desired when all of a sudden people change their characters.

And now of course now there is "retirement", and more leasure to look forward to !

But that is enough about me, just now.

You will find out more about me under "Early days" in My Ramblings, and how to get in touch with me under the contacts section. I have been contacted by several people including two from my primary school days. Murray, one of those who contacted me, remembered me from when I was little boy of 5 - he saw a photo of the Portessie Sunday school outing and got in touch. Its lovely to hear from old friends, so do get in touch if you would like to.

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Ramblings


Starting off at least a little organised, I have grouped my ramblings under several headings.

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Why have I got a web site ?

Well it all started on Christmas day 2000, when Chris, my wife, Kirsty, our daughter and I got to open our mysteriously small 'pressies' from our son Jamie. Each present was a floppy disk, which we were instructed to insert in a disk drive. To cut a long story short, we had all been given our own "web sites" - domain names registered on the world wide web.

To give us something to look at, Jamie had set each of us up on a page on his own web site as our temporary home page. Anyone clicking on ireid.co.uk would be taken to this temporary Iain Reid's Home page. It was all very thrilling stuff - you can see what exciting lives we lead ! Well, that meant of course that we would all have to think about what to put on our sites - quite a challenge.

Christmas and New Year came and went, and then there were all sorts of other things to catch up with. By the time I came home at night, had something to eat, then caught up with Ambridge, and then the paper in front of the telly for a wee while, there was not really much of a gap before piano practice time, off to the pub for a night-cap, back to see if there was anything still on the box, and so to bed.

But, I now had a web site name, and it would be a waste not to do something with it. The problem was and still is, what do I want it for, what to do with it, and how do I go about it ! Anyway, that was how I came to have a web site.

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Getting started on writing a web site.

I thought it might be helpful if I explained how I went about setting up my first version of this web page. I am more a novice than an expert, and probably more in need of guidance than able to offer it. But I have set up a web site of sorts, and what I did will get anyone else started.
In writing this I also thought it would be interesting and humbling to look back at my first attempts and see what I said then. And then I could later maybe do a sequel on what I did wrong, or on how / when to scrap it, and start again. Perhaps part two will be making improvements.

Step 1 - get your own name on the world wide web.

This is not essential, but its nice to have a relevant name. In my case the web name was ireid.co.uk, a gift from Jamie. At the time I did not realize it was only a name, and not an actual web site. The name was purchased for two years from easily.co.uk. You visit their site, suggest a name, and keep going until you find a near variation that has not already been taken. I think .co.uk is cheaper that .com, and possibly .com is only leased for a year. Anyone entering ireid.co.uk is then directed to a web address that you specify, which you have arranged with some web host, and anyone sending e-mail to someone@ireid.co.uk is similarly redirected to an e-mail address that you specify.

Step 2 - get a beginner's book on setting up a web site

I got The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creating a Web Page. I cannot say if it is better than any other book, but it worked for me. Jamie's copy was in the house so I got access to that free - well he hasn't charged for it yet. I then got my own copy. To start with, read part one only - you only want the essentials. It is about 100 pages in total, of reasonably large print (the large print was probably why I liked it).

Read it through once to get the overall picture, then read it again carefully. I took notes as I went through it the second time. This condensed the essentials into 8 pages which I could review quickly to refresh an aging memory. The author covers all that is needed to get going - do not be put off by his American sense of humour (humor as he would say) which is a bit wearing sometimes. Then review the notes several times, and get going.

Step 3 - get a web site (how to do this is in the above book)

You want to arrange for some web host to house your web site. I started off by registering for free hosting with geocities.com (part of yahoo). It was all straight forward - like getting your web name, you suggest a user name for yourself starting with your own name, and you keep going until you get one reasonably similar which has not been taken. They then give you a web site address ( this is your URL) which consists of http://, then their web name , then your user name, then index.html. All of this is one expression with no spaces. The user name is really the name of the directory or slot they give you, and the index.html is the default name for the page a visitor goes to if he / she enter only part of the full address. Everyone is advised to rename their home page as a file named index.html. Visitors then default to the home page. (In my case I later changed the index.html page to be a two part frame to house a non scrolling site index at the top, and the home page below - working with frames is described in the book).
Free hosting is not so common now, but it did let you experiment. I moved to a fee charging site later to escape the pop up adverts.

Step four - get cracking.

With what you have learned, your notes and the book to refer to, set up a file structure on your home computer. I set up a new directory which I named webiain - see Windows help if you need help to do this. Rather than using Word, I used the simpler Wordpad which was under Accessories in Windows 95 and is still there in Windows XP. Microsoft Word formats documents, and you do not want this - you just want simple text. I typed away to create a page for my web site, and saved it as a file called "index.html" as a text only document. Note the " ", but see later. I saved this file and also another file called graphicsi in my directory webiain. Graphicsi was where I was going to store future graphics and photos. Everything to do with my web site was then in one place, in a directory webiain. I also copy / saved everything in another directory as back up.

I usually opened the page I was working on in Wordpad, and then minimised it. I then opened the same page with Internet Explorer in my case, left it open, and then maximised the Wordpad page again. So I had two windows open and could toggle between the two (press alt + tab at the same time). I worked away in Wordpad, and saved what I had done every so often. I then switched to the Internet Explorer view, and clicked refresh to see what I had just done looked like on the web. Then it was back to Wordpad to do corrections, save, switch , refresh, and so on.

One problem that I found was that my references to files and images, were not working, no matter what I did. I then found that the file index.html, had been saved as index.html.html, and this was happening to all files. Renaming the files e.g. "index" only, got rid of the extra .html, and solved the problem. Its easier not to open new files, just copy existing ones as a template, and save the copy with a new name.

Other problems were the usual mistakes which the book warns about. Look to see what is wrong in the web display then toggle to the text display to find the entry causing the problem. If you have problems with tables, add lines and borders to the tables to see what the problem is - you can easily remove them once the problem is fixed. Remember to save changes in the text file to get them to appear in the web display. Finally test everything to see that all internal links work, etc.

Step five - test it live whilst logged in to the world wide web.

You are advised to view how your site looks on several current browsers, and older versions of the main ones, but I skipped this. Sorry if this has caused you problems. You should also test your site whilst you are logged on to the world wide web. This is to test that all your external references work.

Step six - ship it to your live web site.

As recommended in the book, I used CuteFTP to transfer files to the web. This of course was a few years ago now. The book also advised on how to use CuteFTP. There was a copy of this software with the book. It has also been on some magazine cover disks.
CuteFTP seems easy enough to set up. You load it up initially with various web addresses and passwords, and thereafter you just use it. I had two problems. Failing to send files to www.geocities.com, I had to change the address to ftp.geocities.com for file transfer - but you do not have to put in the ftp part for all companies. If all else fails, look at your site's help screen, or ask someone who has done it before - in my case I asked Jamie.

After transfer, you close CuteFTP, and rush on to the web to admire your handiwork. And that is it, you are up and running and you can proceed at your own pace to add to or delete, or change what you have done. And you do not need to tell anyone you have a web site until there is something there for them to see.

As a footnote I should add that the very old version of CuteFTP that I had did not work 100% when I switched to Windows 7, and a new 64 bit computer. I'm still use it, but have to copy in all the settings (password, host name, etc) to the quick connect page each time I use CuteFTP. It used to remember these settings. Perhaps I should pay for a new copy, but I have all the required settings in an Exel spread sheeet, and it doesn't take long to Cntrl-C, Cntrl-V copy, paste.

Step seven, making improvements.

That is a future story, to which I may return ........... However I did make one big improvement in May/02 when I migrated to a fee charging host and got rid of those annoying adverts.
The site went live in February, 2001.

Some tips :



There are probably lots of other things to said, but that is for another day.

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Iain's Slimming Secrets

We pile on the pounds when more energy is taken in than burnt off by the body. "It is as simple as that. There is no magical way to defy the laws of thermodynamics" - Professor John Speakman, of the Rowett Research Institute, Univ. of Aberdeen. Well, I would go to Aberdeen for a good quote, wouldn't I.


I am not sure that I really have any secrets to pass on, but what's wrong with a catchy heading! There are books galore on the subject, and all sorts of special diets which come and go with fashion. My method is simple, lets you eat the kind of food you like, and drink what you like to drink, and really, really works. Its all about control. If you lose control of your weight, you will probably put on too much. Get control back by having a theory about how to lose weight, decide how much to lose, and how quickly, do some sums and calculate how many calories to allow yourself per day. Then get on with it, and compare what is happening with what was predicted. Yes, it does require will power and some bother to start with, but after a few days your body gets used to the new regime, less will power is necessary, and you find its less bother.


The method I used depends on never exceeding a daily calorie allowance, and strict calorie counting, even weighing portions to start with. You keep a written running total of calories consumed, can top up with fruit, but must stop eating when you get to the daily allowance. First you will have to get a book that lists alphabetically the calorific value of various foods and drinks. You can often get a good book in a Charity shop or a bargain book shop.

Use common sense. Look at the calorie value of the sort of things that you like to eat. Go for bigger portions of the low calorie items rather than smaller portions of the high calorie ones. If you like carrots and greens, go for these, rather than chips and sausages. But if you like sausages you can still have a couple with your evening meal, and sensible portions of boiled potatoes are mostly OK. The diet is flexible. However you will soon see that there are some things you cannot really eat, except as a birthday treat - eg blackcurrant cheesecake, trifle, etc.


To save a bit of counting and weighing we also bought an excellent recipe book "The Classic 1000 Calorie-counted Recipes" by Carolyn Humphries. It cost 5.99 in the UK in January, 2001. It is split into sections - breakfasts, snacks, lunches, evening meals, etc. - and within each section there are sub groups by calorie ranges - e.g. up to 150 or 250, or 500 calories. There are loads and loads of recipes in each section. Just about everything you could possibly want is there, usually in a recipe for 4 servings. Just halve the quantities if its for two (but use more than half the liquid quantity with some recipies). The complete meal then has a known number of calories, with no further counting required. There are lots of similar books.

The overall slimming technique consists of :

Step 1 - Calculate your body's metabolic rate.
Step 2 - Set a daily calorie allowance for a target rate of weight loss
Step 3 - Get started, monitor, and watch your weight reduce !

Addendum - the chemistry of fats (please don't be frightened by the title)
And finally, how did I get on, and did it stay off ?


Step 1 - Calculate your body's metabolic rate

To start with assume you have a normal metabolic rate, and take this as 2,500 calories per day for a man, and 2,000 calories a day for a woman. If you are very active, e.g. a manual worker you might have to add a bit to this, say 50 and if you are aged over fifty, reduce this by 200 say - your muscles reduce with age, and so your metabolic rate goes down. If you were to lie still and not move about your body would use about 1500 calories a day, just breathing, to keep your heart going, etc. Your actual metabolic rate will depend on the amount of exercise you do, and also on your weight. I have added a little about the effect of exercise at the end of this section. Most people are in the range 1,900 to 2,500 calories. As you lose weight your body has less work to do moving less weight about, and so your metabolic rate decreases. This partly explains why you seem to lose less weight per week the further into a diet you go.

Generally use the 2,500 or 2,000 calorie number as a starting figure for metabolic rate. After a couple of weeks sticking strictly to the diet, and keeping a written record, calculate your average weekly calories consumed, and the average weekly weight loss. Calculate back to get a revised figure for your metabolic rate. So if you initially took 2,500 as your metabolic rate now take eg 2,200 or whatever your estimate is. I have added an example of the calculation using both pounds and kilos ( 1 kilo = 2.2 lbs.) ( On the subject of pounds, what sort of country have our politicians created for us when a UK butcher cannot sell you a pound of sausages, but a street trader in France can sell you as a tourist a pound of apples! I don't blame the politicians, its our fault, as we elected them. Do we pick the best of a bad bunch - well its still our fault for creating the circumstances where no one better wants to stand. Nor can we blame the papers - we buy the papers. But I digress. )

What you didExample in poundsDifferent metric example
  CaloriesWeight savedTimeCaloriesWeight savedTime
Calories consumed12,600 cals   5 lbs 2 weeks18,000 cals   4 kilos 3 weeks
Per week   (A)  6,300 cals   2.5 lbs 1 week  6,000 cals   1.3 kilos  1 week
Factor   3,500 cals = 1 lb    7,700 cals = 1 kilo   
Cals equiv of weight loss *(B)  8,750 cals= 2.5 lbs 1 week10,010 cals = 1.3 kilos 1 week
Add B to A 15,050 cals    no lbs 1 week16,010 cals    no kilos 1 week
So,metabolic rate (1/7) 2,150 cals     daily 2,287 cals     daily

* i.e. 2.5 lbs loss at factor 3,500 per lb = 8,750 cals


The effect of exercise

A section on slimming requires a few words about exercise. As explained above, all you have to do is to eat less than your metabolic rate and you will lose weight. How much less determines the speed of weight loss. Don't kid yourself that you are the one in a million with thyroid deficiency, or whatever. To lose weight eat less, or increase your metabolic rate with exercise, or both.

The book you bought to look up calorie values will probably have tables showing how many calories you can use up with various activities. The following list gives a flavour, so that you can estimate what you might try. However if you already play squash you are unlikely to be considering slimming, which just leaves walking as an extra for most of us. Its easier to save 60 calories by not eating 60 calories (less that one slice of bread) than going for a half hour walk, but I cannot argue that you could just as easily do both. And I do find that I can eat a little more on holidays as I get more exercise when on holiday just walking about.

Note that the amount of calories you burn in exercise depends on your body weight - the more you weigh, the more calories you burn per minute of exercise.

Calories used per minuteExamples
10 per minutee.g. Squash
8 per minutee.g. climbing stairs, running
7 per minutee.g. cycling, swimming, aerobics class
5 to 6 per minutee.g. rugby, football, skipping, disco dancing
3 to 4 per minutee.g. house work, digging the garden, ironing
2 per minutee.g. walking



Step 2 - Set a daily calorie allowance for a target rate of weight loss.

Most people who want to lose weight fairly quickly, stick to the old tried and tested 1,000 calories a day. So for a women of average metabolic rate this is a daily saving of 1,000 calories, and for a man again of average metabolic rate this would be a daily saving of 1,500 calories. Now to lose 1 pound per week (or 1 kilo) you have to save 500 calories per day ( or 1,100 calories a day for 1 kilo). So with the above diet a man should lose about 3 lbs a week ( about 1.4 kilos) and a women about 2 lbs a week (about 0.9 kilos a week).

Most advice says aim for a steady loss of about 2 lbs a week (0.9 kilos), and if you are a woman you cannot sensibly aim for more. To try for more would not leave enough daily calories for sensible nourishment. If you try to eat less than 1,000 calories your body may even think it is being starved, and try to conserve fat. As a man I had the option of going for 3 lbs a week (1.4 kilos), and chose this, wanting to get it all over and done with as soon as possible, and hoping to get the encouragement of early weight reduction.

However to set off with a target rate of weigh loss, simply work backwards using the above table. Thus, 1 lb a week requires a daily saving of 500 calories (1 kilo requires 1,100 kilos daily saving) - and twice the weight loss requires twice the daily calorie saving, etc. Start off assuming you have average metabolic rate, and take the daily calorie saving away for this to get a daily calorie allowance. I have an example below

Suppose you calculate you should save 750 calories a day (500 calories a day = 1lb saved).
If you are a man of average 2,500 calories metabolic rate, this leaves 1,750 calories a day.
If you are a woman of average 2,000 calories metabolic rate, this leaves 1,250 calories a day
If you have worked out your actual metabolic rate as 2,150 calories, this leaves 2,150 minus 750 = 1,400 calories per day.


Step 3 - Get started, monitor, and watch your weight reduce

Once you have set your daily calorie allowance, its just a case of sticking to it, and checking every so often that weight loss is going to plan. It is advised that you should only weigh yourself once a week, but I doubt if anyone ever does this. I weigh myself first thing every morning with nothing on after getting washed, etc. I find that some mornings I seem to have gained a pound or two. You must expect this - apart from anything else scales are not perfect. If they claim to weigh to the nearest pound, that just means if true weight is 10 stone, 5.55 lbs they show 10 stone 6 lbs, and if true weight falls to 10 stone, 5.54 lbs they show 10 stone 5 lbs - a tiny drop in true weight can show as a full pound. The same works in reverse. On top of rounding, there is also machine error. And remember your body is a living system breathing, sweating, retaining food for different time periods, etc, etc. So in brief, expect funny readings, even with the weekly readings, but go by the trend. Try to weigh yourself at the same time in the same circumstances on the same scales, and stand on the same part of the scales each time.

Space out your calorie allowance throughout the day depending on your likes and dislikes. I tended to eat minimum amounts at breakfast and lunch, and then have an almost normal, quite filling evening meal. I also like a couple of pints of beer in the pub at night, so I leave 360 calories for this. I am not really doing it sensibly, but this was my choice of how to spend my daily calorie allowance.

A typical day might be :
Meal timeWhat I might eatCalories  
BreakfastTea -2 sugars (40 cals), no milk,dry slice of toast(70 cals)110 cals110 calories
LunchBowl of soup75 cals185 calories
Eveningchicken (5 oz) and something, or meat curry, or stir fry (low fat spread not oil), or spaghetti bolognaise, etc, meals include lots of green vegetables, or salads, no dressing 420 cals605 calories
Snack Orange40 cals645 calories
Recreationpub, 2 pints beer360 cals 1005 calories

I hasten to add that I do not recommend this particular combination to anyone. It is just an illustration of a planned day for me. Plan your own eating, according to your own preferences. Try to include fibre in your diet as it mostly passes straight through your system undigested. But add everything into your calculations. Drink lots of water to flush out your system. Water can be taken in lots of forms, but do not entirely count tea, coffee or beer as water substitutes - they contain diuretics. Lose the total weight target you set yourself, and then a little bit more, and then try to keep your weight below the target. Most of all, good luck ! It did work for me, and it will work for you !


An addendum - the chemistry of fats

Please don't be frightened by the title. I am not really going to say anything about chemistry other than a few sentences to acknowledge the subject. The fats we are mostly dealing with are polymer molecules with 14 to 22 carbon atoms in a long chain, with a methyl group at one end, and a carboxyl acid group at the other. Some have a shorter chain length( liquid vegetable oils), but usually fats are water insoluble. Sometimes there are reactive sites (or double bonds) in the chain (a double bond) - the unsaturated fats. Then the molecules can adopt different shapes if attachments are on the same (cis) or opposite (trans) side of the backbone of carbon atoms. Hence the names of some of the familiar polyunsaturated fats, should you read the words on the container of a Flora type spread.

Anyway, now to come to the point. When my daughter got round to looking at my web site (worried about hearing that there might be embarrassing photos) she noticed the section about slimming, and calorie counting. She thought that what I was saying was a bit of an old fashioned view. Nowadays they know more about fat in diet. Just put fat in an internet search engine and you will get lots of updated references if you are interested.

Apparently it is the fat contained in our diet that is last to be metabolised. If not fully metabolised it causes / results in the body fat that we are trying to get rid of when we diet. So could we apply this - if we ate a fat free diet could we completely avoid getting fat, and why didn't I know about it.

To cut another long story short, if we eat carbohydrate and fat, the body will use up the carbohydrate first. If we eat too much what is left will be the fat that has not be used up - i.e. we get fat. I have thought about this, and concluded that this doesn't really change anything. If you eat less calories than your metabolic rate all you eat will be used up, including the fat. If you eat more, it is the fat content that will be left, and produce a fat problem for dieters. This is an explanation rather than a possible cure. Western diets do have a higher percentage fat content. But we don't really have the option to go for a fat free diet - apart from anything else we need fat to give the body access to many of life's essential chemicals. Some are only soluble in fat, and not soluble in water. Fat also supplies chemicals necessary for brain function.

Then there is the Atkins diet, GI diet, etc, etc. Some also point out that digesting foods is work that consumes calories so given a choice between two items of equal calorific values, choose the food where digestion will burn off more calories. And so on. But whatever else I have read, I have never ever been persuaded that there is anything better than simple calorie counting. This is sufficient and there is no need to get more complicated.


So how did I do ?

Well I set out trying to lose 1 stone (6.4 kilos), and I managed this in 6 weeks. It was all going so easily, I'd got used to the regime, and wasn't really feeling hungry. So I thought I would press on and lose slightly over 2 stone (13 kilos), and then, if I put a little on again, I would still be down 2 stone. I managed to lose 2 stone in 17 weeks, which is twice as long and a bit - i.e. my metabolic rate had decreased as I had had lost weight.

The following table gives more details. I calculated my metabolic rate at 3 weeks as 2170 calories a day, and I used this throughout as a constant. However, as I lost weight and had less to carry around each day, I should have really reduced the figure to allow for this. All in all the theory seemed to work, bearing in mind that I could not measure things perfectly all the time.

Time elapsedAverage daily CaloriesWeight loss *Cumulative loss
weeksCumulative  CumulativeActualTheoryActualTheory
1 wk  1091  3 lbs2 lbs    
1 wk2 wks97210311 lb2 lbs4 lbs4.5 lbs
1 wk3 wks94510033 lbs2.5 lbs7 lbs7 lbs
1 wk4 wks9489894 lbs2.5 lbs11 lbs9 lbs
1 wk5 wks9429801 lb2.5 lbs12 lbs12 lbs
1 wk6 wks9569762 lbs2.5 lbs1 st1 st
2 wks8 wks9969815 lbs4.5 lbs1 st 5 lbs1 st 5 lbs
4 wks12 wks110310214 lbs8 lbs1 st 9 lbs1 st 13 lbs
5 wks17 wks103710267 lbs11 lbs2 st 2 lbs2 st 10 lbs

* the theoretical weight loss is calculated as calories saved divided by 500 / day = 1 lb saved

Now its a few years since this started, and I am still determined not to put all the weight back on again. Although no longer on a diet, I am still calorie counting. I'm mostly on 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day. I eat a bit more when on holiday, and my weight goes up a few pounds, but I soon take it off again. I aim for a weight range i.e. target weight plus/minus 2 pounds. If I get to the lower weight I eat a bit more, and if I reach the top weight, I eat a bit less. And then I usually allow my weight to drift down before a holiday, knowing it will then go back up again. In short, it all seems under control. I wish you similar success should you want to try.




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Contact details and recommended sites.

One of the delights of having a web site is when someone contacts me. It does not happen often, but it does happen more than I imagined it would. My furthest back contact was Murray who remembered me from when I was 5 and got in touch! Rex got in touch too - he was a chum from when I was about 12.

I would really like to hear from you, especially if you are someone I know.

Click on the following to send me an email: -     Mail me.


Friends and relatives web sites.
Jamie's web site is no longer there

You can send e-mails to the above by clicking on the following mail to links.
Jamie Reid Kirsty Reid Christine Reid

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Temp : Click here to see pictures of Peter & Liz's Oct/04 visit - it used to take a long time to load, in pre broadband days.
















Whats new ?

I often tinker with my web site, adding comments, an extra photo or two, and delete this and that, etc.
I don't always remember all that I have changed, nor bother to record it.

But if you just want a quick route to some new sections added recently, you might care to try the following list.

updated 25th Sep, 2017 :  Updated garden yield
updated 25th Sep, 2017 :  Wycliffe and Death in a Sulubrius Place, a Chief Super Wycliffe book by W.J.Burley.
updated 25th Sep, 2017 :  The Dying Hours, a DI Tom Thorne book by Mark Billingham.
updated 12th Sep, 2017 :  Signal for Vengeance - a Railway Detecvtive book by Edward Marston.
updated 7th Sep, 2017 :  The Troubled Man - the last Kurt Wallander book by Henning Mankell.
updated 31st Aug, 2017 :  Evita, a West End musical.
updated 30th Aug, 2017 :  Inspector Singh Investigates - a Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder.
updated 30th Aug, 2017 :  Shamini Flint - the Inspector Singh books.
updated 26th Aug, 2017 :  Wycliffe and The Guilt Edged Alibi, a Chief Super Wycliffe book by W.J.Burley.
updated 21st Aug, 2017 :  An Event in Autumn, a Kurt Wallander book by Henning Mankell.
updated 20th Aug, 2017 :  Written in Bones, a DI Tony McLean book by James Oswald.
updated 12th Aug, 2017 :  Good as Dead, a DI Tom Thorne book by Mark Billingham.
updated 3rd Aug, 2017 :  Wycliffe and How to Kill a Cat, a Chief Super Wycliffe book by W.J.Burley.
updated 2nd Aug, 2017 :  Breakup, a Kate Shugak book by Dana Stabenow.
updated 1st Aug, 2017 :  From the Dead, a DI Tom Thorne book by Mark Billingham.
updated 1st Aug, 2017 :  Wycliffe and the Three-Toed Pussy, a Chief Super Wycliffe book by W.J.Burley.
updated 1st Aug, 2017 :  The Chief Superintendent Wycliffe books by W.J.Burley.
updated 31st Jul, 2017 :  Gently Continental, a George Gently book by Alan Hunter.
updated 11th Jul, 2017 :  Kinsey and Me, short stories and more about Kinsey Millhone / Sue Graftom.
updated 8th Jul, 2017 :  Bloodline, a DI Tom Thorne book by Mark Billingham.
updated 2nd Jul, 2017 :  Guilt in the Cotswolds, a Thea Osborne book by Rebecca Tope.
updated 29th Jun, 2017 :  Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, a West End musical.
updated 28th Jun, 2017 :  Vengeance is Mine, a Mike Hammer book by Mickey Spillane.
updated 22nd Jun, 2017 :  Death Message, a DI Tom Thorne book by Mark Billingham.
updated 22th Jun, 2017 :  The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 12 Sherlock Holmes short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
updated 7th Jun, 2017 :  Buried, a DI Tom Thorne book by Mark Billingham.
updated 2nd June, 2017 :  The Girls, a West End musical.
updated 31st May, 2017 :  The Promise, an Elvis Cole, Joe Pike book by Robert Crais.
updated 28th May, 2017 :  Journey to Munich, a Maisie Dobbs book by Jacqueline Winspear.
updated 26th May, 2017 :  The Book of Mormon, a West End musical.
updated 22nd May, 2017 :  My Gun is Quick, a Mike Hammer book by Mickey Spillane.
updated 16th May, 2017 :  I, The Jury, a Mike Hammer book by Mickey Spillane.
updated 16th May, 2017 :  Mickey Spillane and the Mike Hammer Books.
updated 14th May, 2017 :  The Long Goodbye, a Philip Marlowe book by Raymond Chandler.
updated 14th May, 2017 :  Lifeless, a DI Tom Thorne book by Mark Billingham.
updated 14th May, 2017 :  Death of a Nurse, a Hamish Macbeth book by M.C.Beaton.
updated 14th May, 2017 :  Gently North West, a George Gently book by Alan Hunter.
updated 26th Apr, 2017 :  An American in Paris, a West End musical.
updated 26th Apr, 2017 :  Precious and Grace, A No 1 Ladies Detective book by McCall Smilh.
updated 23rd Apr, 2017 :  Rebus's Scotland, A Personal Journey by Ian Rankin.
updated 21st Apr, 2017 :  Valley of Fear, a Sherlock Holmes story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
updated 17th Apr, 2017 :  Revenge in the Cotswolds, a Thea Osborne book by Rebecca Tope.
updated 13th Apr, 2017 :  The Burning Girl, a DI Tom Thorne novel by Mark Billingham.
updated 5th Apr, 2017 :  A Dangerous Place, a Maisie Dobbs book by Jacqueline Winspear.
updated 30th Mar, 2017 :  Stepping Out, starring Amanda Holden, a West End "musical".
updated 30th Mar, 2017 :  Cold Earth, a Jimmy Perez novel by Ann Cleeves.
updated 20th Mar, 2017 :  Lazy Bones, a DI Tom Thorne novel by Mark Billingham.
updated 20th Mar, 2017 :  When The Music's Over, a DCI Alan Banks novel by Peter Robinson.
updated 8th Mar, 2017 :  Secrets at the Little Village School, a Gervase Phinn book in the Village School Series.
updated 27th Feb, 2017 :  The Terrorists, a Martin Beck book by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo.
updated 24th Feb, 2017 :  Greenmantle, a Richard Hannay book by John Buchan.
updated 24th Feb, 2017 :  The Thirty-Nine Steps, a Richard Hannay book by John Buchan.
updated 24th Feb, 2017 :  John Buchan and the Richard Hannay books.
updated 24th Feb, 2017 :  Scaredy Cat, a DI Tom Thorne novel by Mark Billingham.
updated 24th Feb, 2017 :  Sleepyhead, a DI Tom Thorne novel by Mark Billingham.
updated 24th Feb, 2017 :  The DI Tom Thorne novels by Mark Billingham.
updated 22nd Feb, 2017 :  Rather Be The Devil, John Rebus novel by Ian Rankin.
updated 22nd Feb, 2017 :  Gently With The Ladies, an Inspector George Gently book by Alan Hunter.
updated 22nd Feb, 2017 :  Trouble in the Cotswolds, a Thea Osborne book by Rebecca Tope.
updated 21st Feb, 2017 :  Shadows in the Cotswolds, a Thea Osborne book by Rebecca Tope.
updated 21st Feb, 2017 :  Leaving Everything Most Loved, a Maisie Dobbs book by Jacqueline Winspear.
updated 20th Feb, 2017 :  Elegy for Eddie, a Maisie Dobbs book by Jacqueline Winspear.
updated 20th Feb, 2017 :  Cop Killer, a Martin Beck book by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo.
updated 20th Feb, 2017 :  The Locked Room, a Martin Beck book by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo.
updated 7th Jan, 2017 :  The Television Detectives Omnibus, a companion book.
updated 25th Dec, 2016 :  Half A Sixpence, starring Charlie Stemp, a West End musical.
updated 19th Dec, 2016 :  A Lesson in Secrets, a Maisie Dobbs book by Jacqueline Winspear.
updated 19th Dec, 2016 :  The Abominable Man, a Martin Beck book by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo.
updated 18th Dec, 2016 :  Death of a Liar, a Hamish Macbeth novel by M C Beaton.
updated 18th Dec, 2016 :  Malice in the Cotswolds, a Thea Osborne book by Rebecca Tope.
updated 18th Dec, 2016 :  Gently Sahib, an Inspector George Gently book by Alan Hunter.
updated 18th Dec, 2016 :  The Little Sister, a Philip Marlow book by Raymond Chandler book.
updated 19th Nov, 2016 :  The Mapping of Love and Death, a Maisie Dobbs book by Jacqueline Winspear.
updated 14th Nov, 2016 :  Started Early, Took my Dog, a Jackson Brodie book by Kate Atkinson.
updated 6th Nov, 2016 :  The Entertainer, starring Kenneth Branagh, a West End play.
updated 4th Nov, 2016 :  Murder at the Savoy, a Martin Beck book by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo.
updated 30th Oct, 2016 :  Private Investigations, a Bob Skinner book by Quintin Jardine.
updated 30th Oct, 2016 :  Among the Mad, a Maisie Dobbs book by Jacqueline Winspear.
updated 21st Oct, 2016 :  The Hound of the Baskervilles, a Sherlock Holmes book by Conan Doyle.
updated 17th Oct, 2016 :  Deception in the Cotswolds, a Thea Osborne book by Rebecca Tope.
updated 13th Oct, 2016 :  The Go Between, starring Michael Crawford, a West End musical.
updated 10th Oct, 2016 :  "X", a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 10th Oct, 2016 :  Philip Marlowe's Guide to Life, a Raymond Chandler book.
updated 28th Sep, 2016 :  Timetable of Death, a Railway Detective book by Edward Marston.
updated 25th Sep, 2016 :  The Damage Done, an Inspector Tony Maclean book by James Oswald.
updated 14th Sep, 2016 :  The Fire Engine that Disappeared, a Martin Beck book by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo.
updated 12th Sep, 2016 :  How the Other Half Loves, a West End comedy.
updated 4th Sep, 2016 :  Blood Will Tell, a Kate Shugak story by Dana Stabenow
updated 1st Sep, 2016 :  Gently Floating, an Inspector George Gently book by Alan Hunter.
updated 28th Aug, 2015 :  The Laughing Policeman, a Martin Beck book by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo.
updated 25th Aug, 2015 :  A Grave in the Cotswolds, a Thea Osborne book by Rebecca Tope.
updated 23rd Aug, 2015 :  In the Cold Dark Ground, a Logan MacRae book by Stuart MacBride.
updated 22nd Aug, 2016 :  An Incomplete Revenge, a Maisie Dobbs book by Jacqueline Winspear.
updated 22nd Aug, 2016 :  Before the Frost, a Linda Wallander plus her dad book by Henning Mankell.
updated 2nd Aug, 2016 :  Gently Where the Roads Go, an Inspector George Gently book by Alan Hunter.
updated 1st Aug, 2016 :  Love You Dead, a Roy Grace book by Peter James.
updated 28th Jul, 2016 :  Kinky Boots, a West End musical.
updated 24th Jul, 2016 :  The Road to Little Dribbling, a Bill Bryson book in his travel series.
updated 16th Jul, 2016 :  Career of Evil, a Cormoran Strike book by Robert Galbraith (J.K.Rowling).
updated 5th Jul, 2016 :  A Lesson in Love, a Gervase Phinn book in the Village School Series.
updated 29th Jun, 2016 :  The Pyramid, a Kurt Wallender book by Henning Mankell.
updated 26th Jun, 2016 :  Beautiful - The Carole King Musical, a West End production.
updated 20th Jun, 2016 :  Play With Fire, a Kate Shugak story by Dana Stabenow
updated 18th June, 2016 :  Messenger of Truth, a Maisie Dobbs book by Jacqueline Winspear.
updated 14th June, 2016 :  The Lady in the Lake, a Philip Marlow book by Raymond Chandler.
updated 9th June, 2016 :  Last Resort, a Bob Skinner book by Quintin Jardine.
updated 4th June, 2016 :  Death of a Policeman, Hamish Macbeth novel by M C Beaton.
updated 31st May, 2016 :  Even Dogs in the Wild, John Rebus novel by Ian Rankin.
updated 19th May, 2016 :  Inspector Colbeck's Casebook, Railway Detective short stories book by Edward Marston.
updated 13th May, 2016 :  Afternoon Tea on the River Thames
updated 13th May, 2016 :  Firewall, a Kurt Wallender book by Henning Mankell.
updated 4th May, 2016 :  Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, a West End musical.
updated 3rd May, 2016 :  The Sign of the Four, a Sherlock Holmes novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
updated 28th Apr, 2016 :  The School Inspector Calls, a Gervase Phinn book in the Village School Series.
updated 25th Apr, 2016 :  A Cold Blooded Business, a Kate Shugak story by Dana Stabenow
updated 24th Apr, 2016 :  Showboat, a West End musical classic.
updated 24th Apr, 2016 :  Pardonable Lies, book three of the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear.
updated 24th Apr, 2016 :  One Step Behind, a Kurt Wallander book by Henning Mankell.
updated 24th Apr, 2016 :  Gently Go Man, an Inspector George Gently book by James Hunter.
updated 24th Apr, 2016 :  Fear in the Cotswolds, a Thea Osborne book by Rebecca Tope.
updated 24th Apr, 2016 :  W is for Wasted, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 6th Apr, 2016 :  The Girl in the Spider's Web, the Millenium series resurrected by David Lagercrantz.
updated 31st Mar, 2016 :  Birds of a Feathers, book two of the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear.
updated 27th Mar, 2016 :  The Fifth Woman, a Kurt Wallender book by Henning Mankell.
updated 24th March, 2016 :  Newmarket Tearoom, The Pantry (& The Stable)
updated 21st Mar, 2016 :  Trouble at the Little Village School, a Gervase Phinn book in the Village School Series.
updated 17th Mar, 2016 :  The High Window, a Philip Marlowe book by Ray Chandler.
updated 16th Mar, 2016 :  Nell Gwynn, a West End musical/ romp.
updated 11th Mar, 2016 :  V is for Vengeance, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 11th Mar, 2016 :  Dead in the Water, a Kate Shugak story by Dana Stabenow
updated 10th Mar, 2016 :  A Study in Scarlet, a Sherlock Holmes novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
updated 10th Mar, 2016 :  The Sherlock Holmes canon by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
updated 26th Feb, 2016 :  A Death at the Palace, a Rex Tracey mystery by M H Baylis
updated 26th Feb, 2016 :  The Matt Baylis series about Rex Tracey, newspaperman
updated 21st Feb, 2016 :  The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine, McCall Smith's No.1 Ladies Detective Agency.
updated 14th Feb, 2016 :  Mrs Henderson Presents, a West End musical.
updated 11th Feb, 2016 :  Sidetracked, a Kurt Wallender book by Henning Mankell.
updated 1st Feb, 2016 :  Slaughter in the Cotswolds, a Thea Osborne book by Rebecca Tope.
updated 28th Jan, 2016 :  U is for Undertow, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 24th Jan, 2016 :  The Man Who Smiled, a Kurt Wallender book by Henning Mankell.
updated 21st Jan, 2016 :  Maisie Dobbs, book one of the series by Jacqueline Winspear.
updated 21st Jan, 2016 :  Jacqueline Winspear, author of the the Maisie Dobbs books.
updated 18th Jan, 2016 :  Taken, an Elvis Cole, Joe Pike book by Robert Crais.
updated 13th Jan, 2016 :  A Christmas Carol, a West End play.
updated 12th Jan, 2016 :  Death of Yesterday, a Hamish Macbeth book by M.C.Beaton.
updated 12th Jan, 2016 :  S is for Silence, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 24th Dec, 2015 :  Gently to the Summit, a D Superintendent George Gently book by Alan Hunter.
updated 20th Dec, 2015 :  The Missing and The Dead, a Logan MacRae book by Stuart MacBride.
updated 19th Dec, 2015 :  Goodnight Mr Tom, a West End play.
updated 18th Dec, 2015 :  A Fatal Thaw, a Kate Sulag book by Dana Stabenow.
updated 17th Dec, 2015 :  "R" is for Richochet, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 12th Dec, 2015 :  Blood in the Cotswolds, a Thea Osborne Cotswolds Series book by Rebecca Tope.
updated 12th Dec, 2015 :  "Q" is for Quarry, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 12th Dec, 2015 :  The White Lioness, a DI Kurt Wallander book by Henning Mankell.
updated 12th Dec, 2015 :  "P" is for Peril, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 12th Dec, 2015 :  "O" is for Outlaw, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 12th Dec, 2015 :  The Man on The Balcony, a Martin Beck book by Sjowall and Wahloo.
updated 12th Dec, 2015 :  "N" is for Noose, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 12th Dec, 2015 :  The Man Who Went Up in Smoke, a Martin Beck book by Sjowall and Wahloo.
updated 12th Dec, 2015 :  "M" is for Malice, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 29th Oct, 2015 :  Updated 2015 garden yield.
updated 28th Oct, 2015 :  22 Dead Little Bodies, a Logan MacRae book by Stuart MacBride.
updated 27th Oct, 2015 :  The Sentry, a Joe Pike and Elvis Cole book by Robert Crais.
updated 27th Oct, 2015 :  "L" is for Lawless, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 12th Oct, 2015 :  "K" is for Killer, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 5th Oct, 2015 :  A Cold Day For Murder, a Kate Shugak book by Dana Stabenow.
updated 5th Oct, 2015 :  The Kate Shugak books by Dana Stabenow.
updated 5th Oct, 2015 :  "J" is for Judgment, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 4th Oct, 2015 :  Gently with the Painters, an Inspector George Gently book by Alan Hunter.
updated 1st Oct, 2015 :  Prayer For The Dead, an Inspector Tony Maclean book by James Oswald.
updated 15th Sep, 2015 :  A Cotswold Mystery, a Thea Osborne Cotswolds Series book by Rebecca Tope.
updated 11th Sep, 2015 :  Bend It Like Beckam, a West End musical.
updated 9th Sept, 2015 :  Hour of Darkness, a Bob Skinner book by Quintin Jardine.
updated 2nd Sept, 2015 :  "I" is for Innocent, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 2nd Sept, 2015 :  "H" is for Homicide, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 10th Aug, 2015 :  Roseanna, a Martin Beck book by Sjowall and Wahloo.
updated 10th Aug, 2015 :  The Martin Beck series of crime books by Sjowall and Wahloo.
updated 3rd Aug, 2015 :  "G" is for Gumshoe, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 31st Jul, 2015 :  War Horse, a West End play.
updated 27th Jul, 2015 :  A Ticket to Oblivion, a Railway Detective book by Edward Marston.
updated 24th Jul, 2015 :  "F" is for Fugitive, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 20th Jul, 2015 :  "E" is for Evidence, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 20th Jul, 2015 :  You are Dead, a Super. Roy Grace book by Peter James.
updated 7th Jul, 2015 :  Death in the Cotswolds, a Thea Osborne Cotswolds Mystery by Rebecca Tope.
updated 7th Jul, 2015 :  Gently in the Sun, an Inspector George Gently book by Alan Hunter.
updated 28th Jun, 2015 :  The Play That Goes Wrong, a West End play.
updated 25th Jun, 2015 :  "D" is for Deadbeat, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 23rd Jun, 2015 :  Colchester Tearoom, Patisserie Valerie
updated 23rd Jun, 2015 :  Dead Men's Bones, an Inspector Tony Maclean book by James Oswald.
updated 23rd Jun, 2015 :  The First Rule, a Joe Pike and Elvis Cole book by Robert Crais.
updated 23rd Jun, 2015 :  A Cotswold Ordeal, a Thea Osborne Cotswolds Mystery book by Rebecca Tope.
updated 5th June, 2015 :  "C" is for Corpse, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 5th June, 2015 :  Death of a Kingfisher, a Hamish Macbeth book by M C Beaton.
updated 31st May, 2015 :  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, a West End play.
updated 27th May, 2015 :  Abattoir Blues, a DCI Alan Banks book by Peter Robinson.
updated 27th May, 2015 :  The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe, a Lady Detective book by Alexander McCall Smith.
updated 14th May, 2015 :  The Hangman's Song, an Inspector Tony Maclean book by James Oswald.
updated 14th May, 2015 :  Miss Saigon, a musical in the West End.
updated 6th May, 2015 :  the Book of Souls, an Inspector Tony Maclean book by James Oswald.
updated 6th May, 2015 :  Death of a Sweep, a Hamish Macbeth book by M C Beaton.
updated 6th May, 2015 :  B is for Burglar, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 6th May, 2015 :  A is for Alibi, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 22nd Apr, 2015 :  The Dogs of Riga, a DI Kurt Wallander book by Henning Mankell.
updated 21st Apr, 2015 :  T is for Trespass, a Kinsey Millhone book by Sue Grafton.
updated 19th Apr, 2015 :  The Kinsey Millhone "Alphabet" crime series of books by Sue Grafton.
updated 19th Apr, 2015 :  Gently Through the Mill, an Inspector George Gently book by Alan Hunter.
updated 29th Mar, 2015 :  Death of a Valentine, a Hamish Macbeth book by M C Beaton.
updated 26th Mar, 2015 :  A Cotswold Killing, a Thea Osborne Cotswolds Mystery book by Rebecca Tope.
updated 26th Mar, 2015 :  The Thea Osborne Cotswolds Mysteries, books by Rebecca Tope.
updated 25th Mar, 2015 :  Want you Dead, a Super. Roy Grace book by Peter James.
updated 25th Mar, 2015 :  Death of a Witch, a Hamish Macbeth book by M C Beaton.
updated 24th Mar, 2015 :  Companion Books, a work of reference for avid fans of crime fiction.
updated 24th Mar, 2015 :  Faceless Killers, an Inspector Wallander Book, by Henning Mankell.
updated 24th Mar, 2015 :  The Inspector Wallander Books, by Henning Mankell.
updated 10th Mar, 2015 :  Memphis, the Musical, a musical in the West End.
updated 25th Feb, 2015 :  Chasing Darkness, an Elvis Cole & Joe Pike book by Robert Crais.
updated 22nd Feb, 2015 :  Our Fridge Magnets.
updated 22nd Feb, 2015 :  Death of a Gentle Lady, a Hamish Macbeth book by M C Beaton.
updated 21st Feb, 2015 :  Saints of the Shadow Bible, a John Rebus book by Ian Rankin.
updated 12th Feb, 2015 :  The Scottsboro Boys, a musical in the West End.
updated 9th Feb, 2015 :  Death of a Maid, a Hamish Macbeth book by M C Beaton.
updated 8th Feb, 2015 :  Death of a Dreamer, a Hamish Macbeth book by M C Beaton.
updated 8th Feb, 2015 :  Natural Causes, an Inspector McLean book by James Oswald.
updated 22nd Jan, 2015 :  The Watchman, an Elvis Cole & Joe Pike book by Robert Crais.
updated 21st Jan, 2015 :  Police, a Harry Hole book by Jo Nesbo.
updated 21st Jan, 2015 :  Landed Gently, an Inspector George Gently book by Alan Hunter.
updated 20th Jan, 2015 :  The Last Detective, an Elvis Cole & Joe Pike book by Robert Crais.
updated 20th Jan, 2015 :  The Forgotten Man, an Elvis Cole & Joe Pike book by Robert Crais.
updated 18th Jan, 2015 :  No Man's Nightingale, an Inspector Wexford book by Ruth Rendell.
updated 18th Jan, 2015 :  The Anti Social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole, i.e. Rumpole of the Bailey, by John Mortimer.
updated 18th Jan, 2015 :  Death of a Village, a Hamish Macbeth book by M C Beaton.
updated 18th Jan, 2015 :  Death of a Poison Pen, a Hamish Macbeth book by M C Beaton.
updated 18th Jan, 2015 :  Death of a Bore, a Hamish Macbeth book by M C Beaton.
     

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Down the garden with Iain



Pictures are grouped into the following sections :

Down the garden in May/01 Down the garden in May/02 Down the garden in June/01
Down the garden in Jun/02 Down the garden in July/01 Down the garden in Jul/02
Down the garden in Aug/01 Down the garden in Aug/02 Down the garden in Sep/01
Down the garden in Sep/02 Down the garden in Oct/01 Down the garden in Nov/01
Down the garden in Dec/01 Down the garden in Jan/02 Down the garden in Feb/02
Down the garden in Mar/02 Down the garden in April/02

I seem to spend a lot of my time in the garden, mostly weeding, but sometimes I get a reward for my labours - fruit, vegetables or a tomato or two (or more) for tea. Occasionally I just sit and relax in the fresh air. Gardens are a lot of work, but remember they are there to be enjoyed. Anyway, as gardening occupies a lot of my time, I thought I should put it on my web site, with lots of photos.


I had better start by describing the garden - there are pictures in the section headed a tour of the garden. In total including the house, our plot of land is slightly over 1/5 of an acre. Its roughly a rectangle 50 feet by 180 feet. There is a small front garden laid to grass to separate us from the road outside, then the house, and then a back garden. And a long thin side garden runs from front to back. We exit from our back door to a small patio, and then to the back lawn which extends over 100 feet back to a wrought iron fence between us and the farmer's field behind. At the back, right is the vegetable patch. The side garden is mostly a quiet shady area set to lawn, but there is an enclosed (protected from rabbits) part at the rear mostly now planted with raspberries.

We have a lovely old bay tree at the back, and a huge fir tree at the front corner of the plot. There are also several fruit trees - 6 apple , 5 plumb, 4 elderberry, 3 cherry, 2 greengage and 1 pear (bought Jan/07), and we have raspberry, gooseberry, and blackcurrant bushes. In the vegetable plot we grow rhubarb, peas (sometimes), runner beans, brussel sprouts, cabbage and lettuce. There is also a conservatory / greenhouse not in the best of positions, and the main greenhouse at the foot of the garden. We grow tomato and cucumber mostly, but sometimes peppers and courgettes, etc. Unfortunately the garden is north facing, but the extreme rear is in the sun most of the day. At the side of the drive we have a long high Beach hedge, and at the edge of the side garden a mature hedge of assorted trees and shrubs.

To help me cope I have a Honda rotovator, and I used to have an old petrol Suffolk Punch lawnmower - both of which I bought second hand, and maintain myself. The Punch broke down for the last time in Aug/03 - it covered me in oil, and I got so annoyed I threw it out ( but it was me that overfilled it with oil in the first place). Anyway it was replaced with a bigger rotary petrol mower, and I can now cut the grass without having to do lawnmower repairs each time. I also got a cheap hover mower to cope with long, wet grass in the days when I had the Punch. And then of course there are lots of smaller items, a strimmer, wheelbarrow, hedge trimmer, lawn aerator, etc, etc

But that is enough for just now. Lets look at the pictures.

Before leaving the words, though, I could not write about the garden without first paying homage to my old friend, former neighbour, and gardening consultant Bill Fish. Sadly he is no longer with us, but his son Barry sold me part of his garden. Every time I wonder what to do, I try to think of what Bill would have done. I also bought Bill's rotovator from Barry, so the same machine still cultivates the same plot of land, which seems an appropriate little bit of gardening continuity.



Annual harvest totals :

One more section of words, before the pictures. I thought it might be interesting to log the amount of fruit we pick each year, to see if things get better or worse. I've done this in two tables - a current year summary one, and a prior years history one with data going back to 2001. The current year summary table is below, click the link to see the history table :-

Summary Table :        Or Click here to see the Prior Years History Table

  Record Year      201720162015
FruitYear  Total         Last Picking  Total     Comments  Last Picking  Total   Last picking  Total   
Plums
- Rivers


2006


132 lbs
      6th Aug

    30 lbs
disappointing 2nd Aug

     8 lbs
13th Aug

   37 lbs
Plums
- Victoria


2005


195 lbs
      6th Aug

    87 lbs
better 23rd Aug

  20 lbs
14th Aug

   87 lbs
Plums
- sub total


2005


301 lbs
      6th Aug

  117 lbs
better 23rd Aug

  28 lbs
14th Aug

 124 lbs
Greengages

2007


  75 lbs
      6th Aug

       1 lb
poor year  

     
11th Aug

   6 lbs
Tomatoes

2004


105 lbs
      24th Sep

     19 lbs
still picking 20th Oct

   42 lbs
15th Oct

  60 lbs
Rhubarb

2003


  82 lbs
     21st Aug

      8 lbs
still picking 27th Aug

  11 lbs
 6th Sep

  11 lbs
Rasps

2005


  39 lbs
      31st Jul

      1 lb
still picking 4th Aug

    1 lb
 9th Aug

    5 lbs
Gooseberries

2005


  42 lbs
     12th Jul

      2 lb
disappointing 25th Jul

   8 lbs
16th Jul

 1 lb
Cherries

2003


    3 lbs
      18th Jun

  0.1 lbs
still picking 19th Jul

  0.1 lbs
 9th Jul

 0.3 lbs
Blackcurrants

2013


  11 lbs
      31st Jul

      4 lbs
disappointing 21st Aug

  4 lbs
10th Sep

   7 lbs
Pears

2016


   16 lbs
      

   
   13th Oct

   16 lbs
 8th Oct

   14 lbs
Runner Beans

2002


  69 lbs
      24th Sep

    26 lbs
still picking 30th Oct

   10 lbs
25th Oct

  25 lbs
Apples
- Middle Tree


2008


242 lbs
      23rd Sep

  244 lbs
still picking 18th Oct

 137 lbs
15th Oct

 181 lbs
Apples
- Cox


2015


  84 lbs
      14th Sep

      64 lbs
still picking 30th Oct

   15 lbs
16th Oct

   84 lbs
Apples
- Foot of garden


2011


  76 lbs
      14th Sep

      30 lbs
still picking 13th Oct

    5 lbs
16th Oct

   58 lbs
Apples
- Winter Gem


2011


  71 lbs
      7th Sep

        1 lb
still picking 15th Sep

   17 lbs
16th Oct

  23 lbs
Apples
- J Grieve

2016

   20 lbs
      14th Sep

      14 lbs
still picking 11th Sep

   20 lbs
15th Sep

   18 lbs
Apples
- Cooking


2008


  92 lbs
       

  
tree died  

  
 

  
Apples
- Sub total


2007


403 lbs
        

 
   30th Oct

 193 lbs
16th Oct

 364 lbs
GRAND  TOTAL FOR  YEAR2005908 lbs                313 lbs   617 lbs

It's a constant struggle v. pests, etc. Some you win, some you lose. I have learned not to bother with stuff that doesn't seem to suit our garden or stuff that is not really to our taste. Also you must expect swings and roundabouts - not everything is good the same year. If it's a bad year for one thing, the chances are something else will compensate. But our plum trees are very old now, and they have lost a lot of branches over the last few years - they cannot bear the weight of fruit any longer.
2005 was a record year with over 900 lbs of produce - missed the tonne, through.
Following a bumper year, 2006 was down about 50% - drought almost, and a hose pipe ban. Perhaps the shape of things to come I thought. I tried to keep things alive with 6 watering cans, but yields really suffered.
Then 2007 was back up to 826lbs - an excellent year for apples all over the country and in our garden too. Also we discovered that we liked greengages after all, and picked 75 lbs. Had we picked all the greengages in 2005 we might have reached the tonne.
2008 was mostly a disappointing year - the old apple tree and the cooking apples had record years, but the overall yield was no-where near the 1,000 lbs target. I didn't notice it at the time, but according to a friend an early frost got the plum and greengage blossom in quite a few local gardens.
2009 was a poor to fair year, and based on that I thought a more realistic annual target to set myself seemed about 600 lbs.
2010 wasn't too bad a year - we managed to pick 674 lbs in total.
I thought 2011 wasn't too good a year, with only 529 lbs picked, and bad blight on the tomatoes, but
2012 was a terrible year with only 341 lbs of fruit. It was damp and dismal, rain, rain ,rain for month after month, and this grounded all the pollinating insects. No pollination no fruit ! The general coldness produced slow plant growth, small yields.
2013 was a better year than 2012, with a total yield of 516 lbs. It was a record year for Pears, Blackcurrants, and J Grieve apples but against that the cooking apple tree had died. There were more plums than in 2012, but 24 lbs of plums for a whole year is not very good - the trees are very old, and a lot of the branches have broken off.
2014 was slightly poorer overall than 2013, with a total yield of 475 lbs v 516 lbs. The plum trees continue to shed branches, but surprisingly the Victoria plum still managed to produce 99 lbs of fruit. Gooseberries formed early in the season, but then dropped off before ripening. And again no cherries, nor pears. The only record yield in 2014 was the James Grieve apple tree in the front side garden. The Wintergem apple tree in the back garden is also a young tree, and should really be producing more each year - but only managed a disappointing 7 lbs.
2015 was the best year since 2010 with good apple yields, and suprisingly good plum yields too, considering that most of the plum tree branches have fallen down. I will need to get some more rasp canes, as 5 lbs is very disappointing considering how much space the rasps take up. I also expect better rhubarb yields. We used to get a lot more runner beans than we do now - perhaps I have been growing them in the same spot for too long. They seem to stop producing beans after our August holiday when they are not picked and start to go to seed.
2016 was a poor year. The plum yield was disappointing but to be expected as all the branches have fallen off the old trees. I continue to wage war with lots of pigeons that seem to have taken up residence. They are very destructive, attack blossom, and break lots of small fruit bearing branches. A menace ! I did get some new rasp canes, but they didn't bear fruit. Rhubarb was also disappointing. Overall the lowest garden yield since 2001.

Overall, you win some, you lose some ...

By way of a foot note, our son Jamie emmigrated to Australia in February 2008. He and his wife Jacqui work in Sydney, but also have a farm near the Blue Mountains for weekends and holidays. It's mostly a merino sheep farm, but Jamie and Jacqui have also planted an orchard on part of the farm with over 50 fruit trees. When that starts to yield and if they get some rain instead of drought, I think I had better keep quiet about our humble garden efforts.

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