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Jez's Notebook | January, 2017 Archive

Tales from the Farm – the BP toilet

Sunflowers and birds in the BP toilets - whatever next?

Sunflowers and birds in the BP toilets – whatever next?

Medical diagnoses of depression, anxiety and stress-related pathology such as high blood pressure have never been higher. Read that again. Doctors are prescribing more into-depressants than they ever have done before in the history of mankind and hundreds of thousands of people take medication to control their blood pressure, anxiety and symptoms of their stress.

That’s as remarkable as it is sad, isn’t it?

What does this have to do with BP, the petroleum giant and their filling station toilets? Well, yesterday, on my way home from London, I needed to

Tales from the Farm – the patience of a saint

“TV’s favourite gardener”, Monty Don, inspires Jez Rose, a frustrated behaviourist and amateur gardener, to grow a new life, as detailed in Tales from the Farm. Monty Don’s book inspired Jez to buy a farm in the countryside, create his own garden and write about the joy, obsession and mud.

 

The beginnings of the hard landscaping of the vegetable garden and sensory garden where the research barn will be built.

The beginnings of the hard landscaping of the vegetable garden and sensory garden where the research barn will be built.

Monty says in his book The Complete Gardener, my guide and bible of garden renovation, that gardening takes time. He encourages patience and embracing the notion of gardening for the long run – enjoying the perpetual journey of nurture, growth, tending, death, clearing and preparing.  He always looks so happy on the TV and his garden always looks so beautiful, which is perfect as a role model and for encouragement but I do find myself willing Monty to throw his shears down in a huff and scream: “bloody begonias!”, maybe to lob a branch across the jewel garden or go berserk with a chainsaw in his

Tales From the Farm – building the windy city

Marley helps to dig the trench for the oil pipeline.

Marley helps to dig the trench for the oil pipeline.

“TV’s favourite gardener” inspired Jez Rose, a frustrated behaviourist and amateur gardener, to grow a new life, as detailed in Tales from the Farm. Monty Don’s book inspired Jez to buy a farm in the countryside, create his own garden and write about the joy, obsession and mud.

 

The farm is, like many old rural buildings, powered by oil and I’m honestly not a fan of oil. It’s messy, expensive and environmentally debilitating. The thought that heating our house and water is playing a part in the destruction of our beautiful planet and helping to fund wars and terrorists, doesn’t sit well with me. So Mrs Jez and I looked at some renewable, alternative energy options.

We were both very excited at the prospect of keeping pigs and using their waste to

New Year Thoughts for 2017

Ducklings about to get married - there's something for everyone in my blogs.

Ducklings about to get married – there’s something for everyone in my blogs.

Happy New Year and welcome to 2017!

It’s that time again to go through my giant jar of post-it notes, reflecting on all of the positive things that have happened throughout 2016 and the little things that made a difference. Each one of those things I wrote down onto a sticky note, folded it up and put them inside a giant jar in my office: a collection of more than 500 individual snapshots of positivity from the past year.

I find it especially