Sunday, 4 September 2011

Working again.

I am literally paragraphs from completing the next short story collection and I'd like it finished this weekend. The first ten stories are done, but this one is killing me and I think the final paragraphs will have to be torn from my still beating blackened smoker heart.

Monday is a smoky-drinky for a friend who is fifty (there are a lot of them lately, comes of hanging around with people my own age I suppose) and there will be no sensible typing that night. I still have to meddle with the cover, the one I hastily put together doesn't actually relate to any of the stories so it's not going on this book. More thought and more trawling through photos required.

I have been in the garden, tugging at my plums again. The wasps are biting holes in them as they ripen so they must be harvested and left to ripen indoors. That works once they start to turn but it does mean I'll have a hell of a lot of plums. I would offer a taste of my plums to the woman next door but she'd probably call the police again. 'Gardening with intent', I think they call it.

If you fold up a couple of dried baccy leaves (centre stalk removed) and wrap them in kitchen paper, then put them under something heavy for a few days, they turn out okay. Still moist and most of the bitter juices end up on the kitchen roll. I'll try scaling that up as more dry.

I also tried Rose's tip of picking a leaf after it had dried on the plant. Yes, you can smoke them straight away but damn, it's strong! I mixed it in with Amber Leaf to reduce the strength and to bulk out my current pack. Next I have to try the boiling water trick. Oh, and I have to try making some cigars.

In the news, it seems the last Labour government told us lies about the Magwai. No, really? Who would have thought it?

The UAF have made up a pathetically transparent attempt to smear the EDL, aided by the Mail who have pictures of protestors clashing with police. Looking at the pictures, the more appropriate word seems to be 'chatting'. Oh and a picture of a firecracker thrown by the EDL apparently at... themselves.

Terry Wogan has hit out at the fat police, but the fat police are busy tormenting some fat people because well, they don't like fat people very much. It's okay, fat people, it's just denormalisation. You'll get used to it. There are a lot of us in denormalised club now.

An awful lot of us. Enough to rattle a few Righteous cages. The desperation is showing now, whether it's in more and more absurd scare stories or frantically trying to hide evidence of their lies. All over the place, in the antismoking, antidrink, antifat groups, in Climatology and in all levels of government. The lies rely on plenty of stupid drones willing to believe them, and the lies have reached such dizzying heights of insanity that even the drones are starting to question them. Eventually even some MPs might notice something's not as they've been told.

Next, there will be more and more frantic denouncements of everyone and everything as the Righteous try to deflect attention from themselves. They will turn on each other but they'll still be trying to control the rest of us. There's worse to come before it all falls apart.

It will fall apart. It always does. The Righteous aren't keen on history because they don't look good in it.

Okay. Back to that story. I know how it ends, I just have to find a way to get there.


TheFatBigot said...

Some will suggest you shoulod put your plums next to a banana to get them ripe. Not only is this too Carry-On for words, it is not a good idea with any stoned fruit because the flesh next to the pit will remain hard and the outer flesh will over-ripen very quickly.

The better option is to put the unripe fruits in a brown paper bag. I have no idea why it works - you're the scientist, you can tell me. I've tried it with two stoned fruits, avocados and peaches, and found everything ripens evenly.

Anonymous said...

Looked at objectively, it’s actually quite amusing to see the current slow but steady downfall of the Righteous, isn’t it? I’ve heard various attempts on radio and on the TV and seen a few in the papers trying to “get back to the glory days” where their every word was seized upon with glee by a media keen to induce hysteria and inflated to something far beyond its actual worth, but all of these latest scare/damage stories just seem to die like damp squibs now. It seems they’ve been rumbled by most as a bunch of truth-exaggerators, and by many as downright liars – and even those who were vaguely interested in what they had to say before are now, quite frankly, a bit bored with them.

It reminds me a bit of the ex-schoolteacher’s favourite who has blotted his copybook and now can’t get teacher’s attention, but still keeps sticking his hand up in class, calling “Me! Me! I know, Miss! I know!” – but getting roundly ignored.

Awww! Quelle shame!

someday said...

LI - ever tried smoking a pipe?

Anonymous said...

DM caption "controversial placard"

Placard reads "Don't fund Mosques fund Schools and Hospitals"


Anonymous said...

even though my hint about using rotting bananas to ripen tomatoes seems to have been studiously ignored I will now offer a cunning stunt to frighten away wasps.

Fill numerous plastic bags (about 9inches by 6 or 10 by 7)with clean water, tie the top tightly and hang the resultant bulging bag in amongst your drooping boughs. The wasps see their grotesque reflections in the bags and sod off sharpish before the giant wasp has a chance to bite their nuts off. Or something.


Anonymous said...

"Yes, you can smoke them straight away but damn, it's strong!"


That was a surprise at first, but now I think we may have stumbled onto something useful.

My dark brown dried out leaf is milder than my American Spirit.

But my leaf is probably around three months older than yours.

Looking at your most recent picture of the Dreadful Arnott, all the leaves are bright green.

My plants sown in January only have two properly green leaves left, right at the top, the rest grade down through various shades of yellow to cardboard colour and then dark brown.

I just snapped some of the midribs in the cardboard coloured leaves to see if that helps them along a little.


Woman on a Raft said...

Due to wasps next door the plums here are not edible. Technically, the plums also belong to next door as that is where the tree is but I don't think they mind me having the overhang. Anyway, the point is I've been using a pyrethrum spray to ward off the wasps who then make themselves scarce this side of the fence, but the fruit is very heavily coated.

The spray says it is a killer, but it doesn't seem to bother them except they don't like the smell of it.

I'm going to try the giant wasp-bag trick to see what happens. With my luck, a stray ray of sunshine is likely to get amplified and set fire to the bench, melting the plums above and causing the wasps to die in a hale of falling plum jam.

Anonymous said...

The UAF have made up a pathetically transparent attempt to smear the EDL,

David Davis said...

Bananas when ripening, or picked, produce ethylene, (C2H4) which is a natural fruit-ripening hormone. To some extent, all fruiting trees produce the stuff. Therefore, if you put partially-ripe fruit in a paper bag, then the partial pressure of ethylene in the bag will be higher than outside and the fruit will ripen faster.

Bananas are usually picked while just on the turn from green to ripe, and sent in chilled containers to Bootle. About two days before unloading, ethylene is pumped into the container, so that when you go to Tesco, the bananas are just about right.

Anonymous said...

I am curious about leaving the leaves on the plant as long as possible. I was so late planting out that my plants are only now beginning to get sizable leaves.

This year is an experiment. I expect nothing. Nevertheless, I expect to have a crop, even it it is only some 20 leaves. I am in no rush. I have in mind to just let the leaves do what they wish - let them yellow and brown as nature dictates. I do not see frost as a factor (except in the initial planting-out stage). One of the things that I am interested in is, "Just how big will the leaves get?" Some of the leaves have been chewed by insects (not slugs!), but that does not matter to me - they will still smoke.

Like LI, I have in mind to try various methods. If I get, say, 40 decent leaves (and I should, since I have 30 plants in the garden), I can try 8 methods with 5 leaves per method. One method that I had in mind was to dry the leaves and place them in a plastic bag and exclude air to the best of my ability (to exclude fungi development). One method that I will exclude is boiling them - I read somewhere that a lot of the nicotine would leach out in that process, which is not what I want. I am also interested in spraying the leaves with a sugar solution for flavour.

The only idea which really bothers me is the idea of 'sweating' the leaves. I vaguely understand that this has something to do with removing unwanted odours and surplus smoke/wetness, but I have no real idea.

today is 4th September. With a bit of luck, we still have the possibility of reasonably warm weather to the end of October. I suppose that the plant development depends upon the nature of the plant! While some of my plants (roses in particular) are almost finished completely, the weeds are going great guns! Is the tobacco plant, essentially, in our climate, a weed? Interesting thought!

Leg-iron said...

FB - the plums ripen on their own indoors, at variable rates. Which is good because otherwise I'd never manage to do anything with them all!

I like the idea of the banana in the greenhouse (tomatoes and chillis). I have to try something out there!

Leg-iron said...

Anon - watch out for that downfall. They don't go quietly.

Someday - I've returned to pipe smoking after a long absence. It takes a little practice to get back into it.

Leg-iron said...

Simples - your banana trick was duly noted. As is your water-bag idea. I'll try anything that doesn't cost much.

Leg-iron said...

Rose - the stuff I tried was nowhere near properly ready, but the temptation was just too much.

Leg-iron said...

WoaR - plum napalm? Naplum? It would be worth it just for the laughs.

Leg-iron said...

Anon 21:23 - quite. Not much EDL violence on show, was there?

Leg-iron said...

David D - I have noticed when ripening tomatoes on a windowsill, once one of them starts to turn, they all start.

So maybe I should put them in a bag?

Leg-iron said...

Junican - I won't be trying the long-boil method but the quick dip (akin to blanching parsley) could well be worth a go. Nicotine is water-soluble so it'll lose some but probably not too much.

I'll try a few methods too, with a few leaves per method. If I'm lucky, next year I'll know what to do.

Anonymous said...

Sowing in January was more in the way of a happy accident.

A friend of mine of mine has failed two years running with her sweet peppers, she just ran out of summer.

As I'm the one with the propagator and start off her seedlings anyway, having read that you can start chillies in January, I started her sweet pepper seeds then, along with some of my own to try and find a more efficient method to ensure her success this year.

As there was still space in the propagator, I put in the virginia as well.

Being naturally bone idle, this is the method I will use from now on, and let the tobacco cure itself.


bristolmoose said...

More rubbish from the organ of the state...

"The government wants us all to think more carefully about what we eat to stem rising obesity rates."

Does it, by golly? It can go take a running jump as far as I'm concerned

I want the government to think more carefully about leaving us alone to live our lives without being told what we can or can't do, where we can, or can't do it and who we can, or can't with, but it ain't going to happen is it?

"Dietitian Helen Bond says the figures might come as a surprise to some: "People don't necessarily realise what they are consuming.

"Without clear calorie labelling it is easy to see how someone might consume - without any guilt - an entire day's calories in just one sitting.""

Without any guilt?!!
Typical language of the Righteous. Treating obesity as a criminal act

And then this gem:
"The trick to keeping within the daily limits, she says, is knowing what choices to make."

Yeah, evidently the choices you say we have to make.

Leg-iron said...

Bristolmoose - everything I do, I do without guilt.

They've tried to make me feel guilty every day for so many years it's acted like an immunisation.

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