Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Chit Chat

There is a definite feel of Spring in the air in Shropshire.

Yesterday, I plunged my hands into compost for the first time this year. I was only repotting a desperately pot bound house plant but it did get my gardening juices flowing. I decided that it was time to make a start and buy some seed potatoes.

We have a wonderful pet shop in our town called Blooming Tails. It is a far cry from the well lit, spacious pet superstores that are popular these days (and not even existing in the same universe as New York's designer clothes store from whom I assume the quirky name is derived). It is dingy and overcrowded and virtually impossible to negotiate with a pushchair. However, they sell loads of good stuff for pet owners and gardeners at really good prices and the staff are all wonderfully friendly.

I went along to buy my seed potatoes and was shocked and saddened to find that some mindless vandal had smashed a hole through the lower glass panel of Blooming Tails' door. Shards of glass lay scattered in the entrance with lethal looking jagged pieces of glass framing the hole. The premises had not been entered and nothing was taken. It seems such a shame that a small business doing their best to survive in a small town should have to deal with such unnecessary inconvenience.

Currently, Blooming Tails are stocking 33 different varieties of seed potato.  I went in to find the variety that was right for me.

Considering I know next to nothing about potato varieties (King Edwards and Jersey Royal New Potatoes representing the sum of my knowledge) I went about choosing in the same way that I pick a horse for my annual flutter on the Grand National. I picked a name I liked the sound of.

There were some wonderful sounding varieties, Pink Fir Apple being one that nearly made it into my shopping basket. In the end, I chose one called Swift in acknowledgement of my 17 year old daughter's love of American singer/songwriter, Taylor Swift. The musical talents of Taylor Swift inspired my daughter to write some songs of her own and learn to play guitar. Winning a guitar signed by her idol was a real highlight of her life and has proved to be a great motivation when it came to the task of mastering chords and strumming styles. Purchasing my dozen Swift seed potatoes for 69p made me think about all of this and smile.

My selection technique has never earned me any winnings on the National but it served me well in this instance. A quick search on Google revealed that Swift potatoes, as the name implies, are a quick maturing variety and can produce a crop within eight weeeks. Perfect for an impatient gardener such as myself. I couldn't resist doing a quick search on the Pink Fir Apple variety as well. They look amazing. I am going to go back and buy half a dozen. I'm sure I can find a space to squeeze them in.

I have placed my Swift potatoes in an egg box on the window sill to chit. Tomorrow I will go and buy my Pink Fir Apples. Hopefully, by then the glass door will be fixed.

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