One of the things I find with all the news coverage about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the US is that you can’t really envision the scale of this oil slick.

via Twitter, I found this graphic which seems to really help

Graphic of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in context

Most of the south of england would be covered, if the spill had happened off the coast of France

You can also go here to see it for yourself, or choose where else to center the map in order to get some scale on this disaster


Yesterday we got another couple of fence panels painted – only about another 85 to go. (We started off with 97 to do, and it’s a shitty boring job, but it’s going slowly)

One fence panel, half done and you can see the difference

One fence panel, half done

The wood is very dry, so it’s sucking in the treatment as soon as it’s applied. Probably means we’ll need to do a second coat at some point, but I need to get the lot done first.

Garden Produce

One of the better bits of this gardening thing- spuds growing in their buckets

Potato plants in their buckets

Potato plants in their buckets on the patio

No idea what the particular types are – I lost the labels, in typical style – but they’re all growing well, and I’m really pleased with how things are progressing.

Last year the buckets weren’t that successful when we bought spuds from Suttons – this year they’re from Homebase, and seem to be doing much better.

Malvern Spring Show

One of our main reasons for coming to Malvern this week on our break was to go to the Malvern Spring Show. My mum’s always recommended it as a good plant/flower/garden show, so we thought we’d give it a thrash.

We went to Chelsea show a couple of years back, and hated the number of people crammed in to too small a space, and being unable to see what we wanted without fighting our way through the people first. The show was OK, the size and people were awful.

By contrast, Malvern was a really pleasant experience. There were still lots of people, and plenty of shitheads with sodding tugalong trollies, but it didn’t feel crowded. In the indoor exhibitions there was plenty of space between stands, wider aisles, all told there was just space to spare. There was tons to see, lots of stands, exhibitions, products and the like, and it was a really good day.

We came out of it with plenty of ideas for the garden, shitloads of brochures and information, and sore feet from walking. We’ll be going back next year.

Flowering Rhubarb

One of the stranger sights in our garden this week…

Flower from Rhubarb

Rhubarb Flower - click to embiggenify

I’ve never seen this before, but our main rhubarb plant has created what appears to be a flower. It’s kind of broccoli-like, but with (as you can see) red bits and pale green bits.

In short, very strange, and very alien-looking.

Cold Frame

Today we’ve been assembling a cold-frame for the garden that Herself bought this week. It was OK in the end – Herself took the lead, which meant I was infinitely less annoyed/annoyable and sweary – but still a pig to put together.

While instructions usually prove to be sodding annoying, it’s still better to have some step-by-step instructions on how to build these things. In this case all we had was four pages with some drawings of how to put together certain bits of the cold frame. Other than that, we were on our own.

Still, it’s up now – it took the best part of three damn hours to construct, but it’s done now. Happy Day.

Resources and Consequences

Following on from yesterday’s post about Global Warming, Claire commented

Yes, the planet will happily survive, but are you implying that we shouldn’t be going out of our way to prevent the millions of deaths that will be caused by Climate Change in the very near future?

And to be honest, I don’t know.

On my more cynical days, I wonder whether Climate Change isn’t just another case of Darwinism and/or that Gaia hypothesis. We’re working so hard to save everyone, but does the planet have enough resources to support all the people that are saved? And if we don’t have the resources in the first place, what’s the answer?

As an example, one of Comic Relief’s big aims this year was about tackling malaria. According to Comic Relief, Malaria kills a child every 30 seconds – so the money raised for this project was primarily aimed at providing mosquito nets, and thus stopping those children from being infected in the first place. But for all those people who now survive, rather than die of malaria (or other disease of choice) will they take up extra resources? Will we see Uganda (and Africa in general) in droughts and famines in ten years time because there are so many extra mouths to feed than there used to be?

If Climate Change and Global Warming are going to be as world-changing as they’re purported to be, planetary resources are going to be reduced from their current levels anyway. So how will we plan on feeding/watering/housing everyone?

I don’t know the answers – I don’t even pretend to know the answers – and this is just shit I think about on cynical days.