First potatoes eaten 2020

Dug up a couple of plants of our potatoes, which we planted back in Febuary. A mixture of sizes but all useful.

First Tomato Seen

First Mandarin tomato seen! First tomato

Senshyu onion update(2)

The Senshyu onions planted in October now filling out a bit after a wet spring and a couple of weeks of fine weather. Autumn planted onions

First Cucumber Baby F1

Cucumber Baby F1 now has two fruit Cucumber Baby F1

New gardening forum

I have joined a new gardening forum at

First flowers on cucumber

Cucumber Baby F1 now has two flowers - yesterday only one Cucumber Baby F1

Tomatoes planted out

Planted out Gardeners’ Delight and Mandarin tomatoes in greenhouse boarder which is running at about 16C. Tomatoes in greenhouse boarder

Planted Charlotte potatoes

Planted four rows of Charlotte early potatoes under fleece. 40 tubers in 3 rows.

First true leaves on tomatoes

Tomatoes in propagator in greenhouse showing first true leaves Tomato seedlings

Melons sown

Melons Galia Lavi Gal F1 sown in propagator in greenhouse

Aubergines through

Aubergine Moneymaker seedlings are through.

Tomato seedlings through. Cucumbers sown

Tomatoes Gardener’s Delight and Mandarin seedings are through and now under a light. Cucumber Baby F1 seeds sown in propagator

Senshyu onion update

The Senshyu onions planted in October now mostly have three leaves. We have lost about ten for one reason or another. Autumn planted onions

First seeds sown

The greenhouse has been fumigated with a sulphur candle. There is new clean sand in the propagator. Sowed Tomatoes Gardener’s Delight and Manderin, and Aubergine Moneymaker. Tomatoes and aubergines in propagator

Garlic sprouting Germidour

The Germidour garlic from Suttons we planted out at beginning of October is now about 80-100mm high. Most cloves are though - don’t seem to have lost many. Garlic is growing well

Senshyu autumn onions now have roots

We set out the autumn onions (Senshyu) about a week ago and a few jump out, or are pulled out, each day. They now have roots. Senshyu onions with roots

Last melon harvested

We thought we had sown Cantaloupe melons but it seems they were Honeydews. Although sown at the same time they flowered later, fruited later and matured later. But this did give us a bit of a succession. Last melon of the season

Sweetcorn harvest

Sweetcorn harvest well underway. We have about 8 or 9 in the freezer and have eaten about the same number. We grew the variety Swift, an F1. Sown in plug trays 14 March in greenhouse on the propagator; planted out last week of April in a 5 by 5 block. The wind got two rows so we were left with a 3 by 5 block. We covered it with fleece a two or three nights in May when the forecast was still and clear.

Started harvesting aubergines

We have picked two good sized aubergines and it looks like another will be ready in a day or two will plenty coming on behind. Aubergine plants on the bench

Doomed melons - stems rotting

Although these melons look ok they are doomed. The vine stem leading to them is rotten. The wilting leaves are a give-away. Must not crowd the plants next year - allow for more air circulation. Rotting may also have been due to damage caused be ties. Will allow vines to use their tendrils next year and not tie string around the stems. Doomed melons Rotting stems of melons

Wildflowers - Gallery June 2019

The perennial wild flowers we planted a couple of years back are blooming. Some haven’t made it and we have some guests, which seem to like the cultivation regime and have come to join. Hover over a pictue for the caption; click for hi-res image. Birdsfoot trefoil Cut leaved cranesbill Kidney vetch and corncockle Knapweed and ox eye daisy

Getting quite a few trusses of tomatos

Getting lots of tomatos, none ripe yet though! Tomato truss

First melon big enough to net

Melons now have female flowers and some are swelling. Bees have been doing their First netted melon

Aubergines are filling out

The aubergines that were sown back in Feburary now have fruit that looks quite convincing. They are in 30cm pots and were stopped at 30cm high. They stand in a sand tray that is kept moist-to-wet and which has 60W heating cable. The thermostat sensor is poked in one of the aubergine pots and is set to 19C. Each of the aubergine plants has at least one fruit now

Starting to get lots of male flowers on Galia melons

The melons are starting to get lots of staminate (male) flowers but no sign of any pistillate (female) ones yet. Still, it’s only early June and I understand this imbalance is usual at this stage. The Cantaloupes, which have been behind all along only have a few, but the Galias have quite a number. Both sorts are growing stronly so I expect to see female flowers soon, at least on the Galias.

Greenhouse update

Greenhouse seems to be going well. Tomatoes, melons, aubergines, and stawberries all thriving. There is no space heating in the greenhouse, only a 120 W ground heat cable in the bed (tomatoes and melons) and a 60 W cable in the bench sand tray (aubergines and chillis). Heating is controlled by a small computer. Although thermostats are cheap enough singly, the cost mounts if you want more than one, and I had a computer spare.

We have a greenhouse

Our neighbours kindly gave us a greenhouse. It’s a very old Crittle one about 2500 by 1500 but still very serviceable Trying tomatoes and melons. MelonCam Picture is updated every 60 minutes or so. It may be dark if viewed at night.

Blackthorn blossom is out 2019

Spring is officialy here! Blackthorn blossom is nealy four weeks earlier than in 2017. I don’t seem to have recorded the date in 2018

First spinach showing

About 25% of the row of spinach Palco planted Febuary 2nd, is now showing through. About 17 days.

Onions planted 2019

Kevin and Gudrun planted out our onion sets in the new garden. 100 Centurion, 180 Piroska Red and 100 Sturon.

Huish Family History

Some notes on Huish/Dumont/Witcher family history, from brush makers in Chard towards end of 19c, through a generation in South Wales to London. Includes notes on Dumonts as jewellers of french extraction. View/Download PDF

The hedge is waking up

I think spring is going to be with us a little earlier this year than the last two years. The Sea Buckthorn buds are opening and the Blackthorn blossom buds look as if they might open any day now. These bushes are in the hedge we planted in about 2012. Sea Buckthorn Blackthorn blossom buds

First Cherry Blossom 2019

We have the first blossom on our flowering cherry - 19 days earlier than last year and 9 days earlier than 2017

Sowed first peas

Sowed a first row of peas - 70 Kelvedon Wonder. Spread about 500g our own woodash along the row and soaked the peas in parafin to put off mice. The ground was fleeced for a few weeks before sowing and the fleece replaced after sowing.

Sowed Daikon radishes

Sowed first batch of Daikon radishes in plot 1a

Kevin rotovating the garden

We rented a giant rotovater on a 50% off deal over New Year and got a week for a weekend hire. Kevin heroicly rotovated our garden and the one next door we are taking over

Lots of orchid flower shoots

November seems to be the month for orchids to put out new flower shoots. We now have three of ours putting out new shoots. Orchid flower shoot Orchid flower shoot - slightly out of focus Orchid flower shoot

Planted Asparagus

We lost all our asparagus due to very cold spring and neglect so trying again! Autumn planting is unsual but quite feasable, particularly here in Cornwall. We got 10 of each and they are planted in two rows 5, 5, and 5 each alphabeticly from the bank. Asparagus set out Asparagus put to bed We got ours from D.T.Brown who describe the collection like this:

Camellia - flowering in October

Again this year the Camellia is flowering really early - end October. This is its second year and last year we put early flowering down to the disturbance of replanting but there isn’t that excuse this year.

Leatherjackets - trying out nematodes

Update About two weeks after treatment it is begining to look like the nematodes are working. The brown patches are greening up after a quite a lot of a rain. Original post Earlier this year we suffered from leatherjacket damage, direct to the grass roots and subsquently when badgers dug up the grass to eat them. There is no longer any chemical control available for cranefies so we are tring nematodes.

Planted board beans

Sowed a double row of Super Aquadulce from groseeds. Cleaned the soil more than usual and dug in a barrowful of home-made compost and a few handfuls of growmore before setting out the seeds. Sieved about 2cm of soil on top. Wetted seeds with parafin to put of mice. Let’s see how an October sowing does…

First potatoes eaten 2018

Dug up a couple of plants of our potatoes, which we planted back in Febuary. A mixture of sizes but all useful.

First flowers in wild flower meadow

We have been trying to establis a wild flower meadow for 4 years and it may, finally, be starting to get going. We put in about a hundred plugs and about a 60% are thriving. The first to flower are the delicate Ragged Robin

Badgers digging up the lawn

Badgers caught digging up our lawn First the lawn was attacked by leatherjackets, which left large bare patches. Then starlings came to feast on the leatherjackets and that was fine because the pull them out surgically leaving small neat hole - good to aerate the lawn. But now we have badgers, who are not nearly as neat. This is what the damage looks like The red crocs are mine, not the badgers’.

Sea Thrift on Coast Path

Sea Thrift On Coast Path The cool wet spring has been good for the Sea Thrift, which is now out in great clouds along the coast path

Spring is late in the garden 2018

Very cold winter After a long cold wet the winter first Blackthorn blossom is showing on 15 April 2018, and potatoes just showing through about the same time, about a week later than last year. Filled in some holes The cold winter left some holes in the Burncose bank so we filled in with - Armeria maritima ‘Splendens Perfecta’ - Argyranthemum ‘Cornish Gold’ - Leucanthemum ‘Wirral Supreme’ - Buddleja globose

First Cherry Blossom 2018

We have the first blossom on our flowering cherry - 10 days later than last year

First spinach sown 2018

Two rows of Palco spinach sown

Potatoes just showing through 2017

About 45 days 8.5 weeks after planting. Earthed up the potatoes. Just a couple of leaves on about ¼ of the plants showing through

Blackthorn blossom out 2017

This is the first time we have had Blackthorn blossom in our mixed hedge since we planted it.

Asparagus is through!

Asparagus is through! Asparagus is through! Better than April 4 last year, but not as early as March 2 and 4 in 2014,2015

First Cherry Blossom 2017

We have the first blossom on our flowering cherry.

Charlotte potatoes planted 2017

Planted seven rows of nine plants with lots of manure.

Local butterflies

Taken with a mobile phone so a bit blurry: it has its own idea about where the focus should be set. Red Admiral – It’s hard to snap them landed, they dart about so much

Cold wet spring delays planting early potatoes and onions

Finally got around to planting four rows of Charlotte early potatoes under fleece. Got two packs of 20 tubers each from Sycamore Trading on Amazon. Also planted 100 Sturon onion sets in five rows

Cold wet spring delays planting early potatoes and onions

Finally got around to planting  4 rows of Charlotte early potatoes under fleece. Also planted 100 Sturon onion sets in five rows

Planted a couple of Himalayan White Birch trees

We have extended our little birch copse with two Himalayan White Birch trees Betula utitis var. jacquemontii. They are quite mature standards so it remains to be seen whether they will take an thrive. We have done all the right things: lots of Rootgrow; a big hole, back-filled with compost rich soil mixture, lots of water. As a counterpoint to the white-barked birch we put in a black-barked flowering cherry (well ornamental plum) _Prunus cerasifera_ var.

Wildflower hay meadow project

Shed garden Our “front” garden is really just a utility space, used for the washing line and occasional overflow parking. It is currently rough weedy grass and the project is to turn it into a wildflower meadow. A key feature of wildflower meadows is low soil fertility. The soil here didn’t start off too good, so I have cut the grass closely and removed the cuttings a few times, resulting in the brown patches in the picture.

First early potatoes eaten

Our Cornish First Early potatoes, actually Pentland Javelin, are ready. We had a meal of them on Saturday 23rd

Garden update

Comparing Oct 2013 to May 2015 Oct 2015 May 2015 Even allowing for differences in photo technique you can see how the hedge has thickened up over 18 months.

Planted Burncoose Cornish Coastal boarder

Took days clearing the bank then about an hour to plant eight metres of boarder. Boarder with both collections               Coastal Collection 1 Armeria maritima ‘Splendens Perfecta’ 2 Santolina chamaecyparissus 3 Kniphofia ‘Little Maid’ 4 Anthemis cupaniana 5 Agapanthus ‘Rosewarne’ 6 Argyranthemum ‘Cornish Gold’ 7 Lavandula intermedia ‘Grosso’ 8 Centranthus ruber ‘Albus’ 9 Leucanthemum ‘Wirral Supreme’ 10 Buddleja globosa  

Magnolia Stellata

The Magnolia Stellata is out! March 31. So about 3 weeks late

Fred likes being the highest dog in Penwith

Fred on Carn Gulva Fred on Carn Gulva Thanks to the work of Gerald Babcock and his grazing cattle we were able to find a way through the bracken and gorse to the rocks at the top.

God is in the details

German direction signs Look at how the left pointing signs are left justified, and the right-pointing ones are right justified. Together with the timeless DIN font this elevates highway signage to high craft. “God is in the details” Ludwig Mies van der Rohe       I am grateful to Anne-Louise Quinton @AnneQuinton for pointing out this collection of signs

One room done…

Before and after The sitting room, with the stove in, but before being re-plastered and the view now, with the shutters closed against the evening sun. Same window. Old plaster stripped off Shutters with sun coming through

Death of Andrew Coak

Flag on Pendeen Church at half mast Flag on St John’s Church, Pendeen at half mast Sunday 31 August 2014 for the death of Andrew Coak, with whom I shared a great great grandfather William Thomas Floyd. He was a good man, who will be missed.

Natural rockery

Pendeen Carn Quarry Rockery in the garden of a fine country house? No, the quarry at the back of Pendeen Carn in late summer sunshine. Click on picture for full size view.

Banksia ericifolia and scarifying the lawn

Trewidden Nursery had its twice annual opening today and we got a Banksia ericifolia, a native of eastern Australia, to Banksia in the foreground plant on the north bank of the big garden. It needs a low pH or will get iron deficient so may need some iron chelate. Apparently phosphate fertilisers must be avoided, so no growmore! See for more details. Splashed out £14.60 to rent a lawn raking machine from HSS in Pool.

Garden update Autumn 2013

Autumn 2013

It’s a year now since we planted the windbreak hedge on the south side of the part of the big garden nearest the house.

Garden with hedge

Garden with hedge

Click on picture for full size image

It is mostly Olearia virgata laxifolia with some Rosa rugosa and the old bay tree and olive we brought from Ipswich. The olearia has been a real success. They have grown from about 600mm when we planted them to over two metres. I cut them back to about 1.8 m a and thinned them out to lighten them a few weeks ago. I fed them well in the summer and they got a bit top heavy for our rather light soil.

Witchfinder’s summer cruise 2005

[Written late summer 2005, but only just came to light again]

I can only take four weeks leave at one time in the summer but this year we wanted to Go Somewhere.  This would be our third summer sailing Witchfinder General, a Sigma 362 and our first boat.  Our first two summer cruises had seen us setting off from Suffolk and getting as far as Isle Of Wight along the English South Coast the first year; and Honfleur and the Cotentin peninsular along the French coast last year. Each of these trips had fitted into a fortnight and people kept telling us we had “done the hardest part”. Usually there are just the two of us, but this time we were joined by our son and his partner who have just taken up sailing but need experience to convince their insurer that they can be trusted to take their old (sorry, classic) wooden Nicholson out alone. So this year we decided to go further afield but where should we go? We thought we might get as far as Portugal, which would mean my extending my vacation to an unauthorised six or seven weeks, but would be happy with the Scillies or southern Brittany.

House progressing

Sub-floor down, walls plastered…   Beginning of July the builders started. It was a bit more radical than I expected! They went right down to the stone, then waterproofed it and started applying layers of render to flatten and square off the walls.       One layer of render and first fix electrics                 One layer of render and first fix electrics  

Plan ahead…

Signpost to Trewellard on road into Pendeen

Always use a proofreader who can read and write…

Signpost near Gurnard’s Head on the road from St Ives to Pendeen

Pendeen living

We have moved… We have moved to Pendeen on the north coast of the far west of Cornwall, 7 degrees, or half a time zone west of Ipswich. Front (ie away from road) The house is about 150 years old: a granite tin miner’s cottage with three gardens and the front at the back (it shows its back to the road – the best side faces the garden).

Chun Quoit and the Straw Dogs farm

In which we make it to Chun Quoit, but not to the Straw Dogs farm Jenny has located the farm where Straw Dogs was made and it is only a few hundred metres away so I set off to walk there, taking in Chun Quoit on the way. The weather was typical Pendeen – not cold but wet, misty and windy. Fred thought it was a great walk, at least at first, since it was off-lead right from the front door.

5° 40′ W

20 Carn View Terrace TR19 7DU Not where the "A" pin is! Its the last but one on the left. See the plan also Ignore the “A” pin. Number 20 is the last but one from the bottom on the left. It is the one with the gable end facing the road, giving it a roof ridge in the shape of a T on its side. You can just make out the garden boundaries in the undergrowth.

CItris – A console mode tetris in C#

A very simple console mode tetris in C# without using Object Oriented features. citrus Edexcel Level 3 BTEC National Unit 16 Procedural Programming distinguishes between procedural and object oriented programming techniques. Arguably this is an absurd distinction, but they are the awarding body so we have to go with what they say. I wrote a number of programs help me to decide which initial programming language to use with entry-level programmers.

Gozo walks – North out of Victoria to Xaghra

It is quite a way to Xaghra by road but this 20 minute walk will take you there over footpaths and quiet roads. It does involve an over all climb of about 100m and needs some careful route finding at one place. Maps and GPS datums See this other Gozo walk for a brief discussion of Gozo maps and GPS datums Route Take the Marsalforn road out of Victoria the just at the northern edge of town turn right.

Gozo walks – The big rock east of Hondoq c8fd7409015b

Hondoq is a tiny bathing beach at the east end of Gozo. A short canoe paddle east of the beach is a big rock about 100m off a tiny, apparently inaccessible beach. This easy to follow 1km walk leads from a reasonable parking space above Hondoq down the the tiny beach. Maps Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) produces an excellent 1:25000 topographical map of Gozo and Comino printed on good paper but it is hard to get hold of a copy outside Malta.


Bike in winter configuration Fixed wheel, straight bars, lights and a single brake. In summer has free wheel with slightly higher gearing, drop bars, no lights and two brakes.

Witchfinder’s 2006 summer cruise

In which Witchfinder has three glorious weeks with moderate winds and one with winds verging on too strong, hosts a hitch-hiking pigeon, boxes the western Channel, and gets an unsolicited visit from a lifeboat. As in the past few years we had four weeks for our summer cruise. We wanted to get as far as possible to the west of Brittany and maybe round to the south in about a week, have a week as “holiday”, then take a couple of weeks getting back.


Peter Wilkinson @peterfwilkinson +44 (0) 7711 421 056 Current position: Lecturer in Computing Summary Peter Wilkinson I started teaching in 2001 after a varied and successful career in IT industry here and in USA. I was Programme Manager of the team that founded degree courses at Colchester with the validation of Foundation Degree in Computer Systems in 2002. I managed the changes in programme needed for change of HEI from Anglia Ruskin to University of Essex in 2005.

ATP Assembler

Assembler Training Program was originated to support the hypothetical processor described in (Knott & Waites 2000). The original ATP was written in Visual Basic and was difficult to distribute and maintain. ATP V3 is a Java ® applet. Documentation is hereATP Documentation