Saturday, February 11, 2006

Visiting McDonalds - The Pond - Aegithalos caudatus - Cedrus libani

I think the idea was, to regenerate Boldon Colliery after the pit was shut-down in the 80s. Hmm. So they built a trading estate, a massive supermarket, (Asda-fucking-Walmart), a multiplex cinema, a pub and an ersatz Italian "restaurant". Oh yes, and a McBloody-Donalds. Anyhow, this morning, the sky being leaden and unpropitious for photography, I took Molly that way for our walk. I got a paper at Asda and went to McDonalds. Well, I suppose a parent has to make a child aware of both the bad and the good things that life provides...

It hasn't rained at all since we dug that pond at The Allotment. There's no tap water, but there is an ingenious system to collect rainwater, and we emptied the main collection tank into the pond yesterday, (crossing our fingers the while in behopes that Spring showers will refill it). And this morning... not a drop had drained away! We've rigged up a pipe from a nearby shed to channel rainwater into the pond, when it does rain.

There were a pair of long tailed tits at The Allotment today. I hope they find a nest site there. There's a big privet bush which they seemed to be checking out.

And the first seeds of the year have been planted: eighteen Lebanon Cedars. I chose them as the first sowing of 2006 with reason. When I was in Libya I was on a decent salary, but had nothing to spend it on out there. So, fantasising about Home and the Future, I'd buy seeds over the Internet. I paid a fiver for 15 Lebanon Cedar seeds.

Then I came home in March last year, and put them in the bottom of the fridge, in a margarine tub with damp compost, to stratify them, the idea being to plant them out later that spring. But then another Libyan contract came along and back I went - so the seeds stayed in the fridge until this morning.

Mind you, I'll never see them grow to maturity. They flower after twenty five to thirty years, so, inshallah, I could see that. Molly might see them grow up, if she's spared to become an old lady. And they grow to colossal proportions. I'll probably put one of them at the bottom of The Allotment, but the rest... Give them to anyone I know with enough space.