January 2017 saw monsterinthecorner begin the arduous task of relocating all stock and holding to a new allotment plot some five miles away from its established site. We speculated then what the coming year would bring, and whether we would be capable of rising to the challenges of starting again from scratch on a new plot, in the depths of winter. We postulated then that the monster would be completely transformed by the same time next year, and that we would relish the transformative process and our part in it. Yet little did we realize just how much we could, and eventually would, achieve.
One of the very early postings from our new stomping ground last January was titled By This Time Next Year … So, by way of follow-up the best we can say is that That Time is now… We could have –indeed should have– posted many more updates during last year, but as you’ll appreciate we got busy doing as we had quite a lot to do, and it was no mean task to cultivate a totally neglected and overgrown large allotment into a prize winning kitchen garden plot, and to do so in the space of 25-30 weeks. We had many hours of wonderful fun; we’ve made some wonderful new friends and acquaintances, and mostly we learned to relearn all we formerly thought we knew about allotmenteering.
Of course, as the overall prize winning allotment last year monsterinthecorner has, (as many of our new neighbours are constantly and good-humouredly reminding us) set the standard not only for others, but also for ourselves in the seasons and years ahead. And who knows? with our template now well and truly settled after a frenetic first year, perhaps ( just perhaps) we’ll have a little more time to cultivate here as well.
April 26th and it’s another cool, bright and blustery spring day with temperatures still below average and a forecasted return to night frosts for the next 3-4 nights.
Everything in our allotment garden is at least a week, if not two, behind for the time of year. Germination is slow and patchy, and anything that is germinated seems simply to be marking time as though waiting on that rise in temperatures that will make it worth the while stretching their necks and reaching for the sky.
With things suppressed on the meteorological front, activity on the Monster’s Face has also slowed, and there is little point in popping peas and beans into drills of Terrum Frigum, for once ground temperatures recover to near normal, sowings made then will soon catch earlier sown seed-lines that will have slowed and stood still with cold feet.
With most of the springtime activity on the plot presently curtailed by weather (or complete lack thereof! ) we can at the very least still cultivate the monster’s blog.Or can we?
Writing a blog is no easy thing; and the fact that just about everyone with access to a smart phone, keyboard and an internet connection can begin blogging-or invariably already is blogging- does not mean that writing a blog is easy.
To blog is to create a weB Log of personal activity or interest on a chosen subject. Our blog here on Monster in the Corner is a web diary of our activity and experiences on our allotment plot and in our garden.
Our aim is to develop the personal story diary of the day to day activity on our allotment, and to keep it as topical and insightful as possible. A diary entry lacking one of these fundamental tenets should still communicate a great deal; it could be topical and insightful but lacking in personal content; it could be a personal and insightful entry but not very relevant or topical, or even a very personal and topical entry, yet lacking that certain insight on the subject matter or situation to hand. Yet each of these diary entry scenarios could and should still be broad enough having at least two reference points ‘twix which to draft an update of interest.
A blog update entry however, lacking two of these 3 principled reference points will not hold the reader’s attention for long: a personal blog written purely for its own sake but on no specific topic, runs the risk of offering little or no insight into anything in particular and as such becomes a personal rambling account probably concerning nothing much at all; just as a topical diary entry without a little personal filler and qualified content will most probably read like a tedious trudge through a dried -out tea bag. So what precisely do you blog about? What do you put in, and what do you leave out?
Perhaps one of the best things about modern blogging is that it is immediate. Perhaps one of the greatest drawbacks of blogging is that it is just as immediate. Gone are the days of the handwritten diary page updates and entries. Gone are the days of writing, and re-writing and copying and proofreading. Gone too the posted letter to your favourite gardening magazine and the month long wait to see if your entry had been chosen by the editorial staff for publication.
The speed and capacity of digital devices and social interface platforms has developed at a mindboggling rate. If you’re not constantly Tweeting or Pinging, Facebooking Snapchatting and Instagraming you begin to feel positively Jurassic and not very Pinteresting at all.
Today you can sit on your plot or in your garden with your Smartphone or Tablet, and if your signal is good enough or there is an open Wi-Fi connection available you can thumb-type a log entry with predictive text, take an instant photo of some fluttering by butterfly, or your broad bean bed right there beside you, then copy and paste, upload and post to the freshly pressed World Wide Web and all while sitting on an upturned barrow on your allotment. An instant What you’re doing and Where you’re doing it so to speak.
Now that’s Blogging for you: in your face; instant and immediate and at times wholly unforgiving. A smidgeon of the personal hoping to be relevant and with a modicum of insight thrown in for good measure; blogging a lá Monster In The Corner.
Et viola! a flash lunchtime visit to your plot becomes something of something; something to blog about; something you do while waiting on the weather to turn…