Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Any apple experts out there (before they kill me)?

I have a (usually) rather nice apple tree, which came with the back garden many years ago.

The apples are usually pretty good for eating, but some of the dry years we’ve had in the past meant they were off the menu. While it was a guess on my part, in those hot, arid years, the apples tended to crack and split while still on the branch, something I put down to dehydration and dry ground.

I never proved that thought, but the only thing I ever found that looked similar appeared be called ‘Star Disease’, and while the apples looked similar, none of the other symptoms seemed to apply, and even the online accounts were light on detail.

Our summers have now returned to their cooler and wetter days, this condition seems to have almost gone away, and I’ve been eating the apples for a few years.

But…

This year has not been good, despite appearances.

I sampled the crop a few weeks ago – and let’s just say I was ill afterwards.

The apples seemed the most likely cause, as I wasn’t trying anything else new or suspect.

But, I didn’t believe it, and after recovering, decided to try them again.

Unfortunately, while not as much ‘fun’ as that first tasting, I can’t say the result means I’m in any hurry to have a third ‘tasting’.

Also, in the intervening period I noticed this crop is not responding well to being stored.

In previous years, I’ve kept them all the way up to, and past, the New Year, with the only downside being that by then they’re tending to dry up a bit, and the skins can look a little shrivelled.

Not this lot.

Still (in October) some two months away from the New Year milestone, this lot will never last that long.

When I checked them, I found that many had become dark, discoloured, and soft.

Others had actually gone completely rotten, turned dark and soft, and even had (white) mould on their surface.

This is new, not seen in past years, and closer inspection shows that many of the remainder already show evidence of this rot setting in already.

Not good, and it’s worth noting I wash them after collecting them. I don’t store them piled up and/or touching. I also discard any that show any damage or discolouration immediately, so they never even get stored. In past years all I do is leave them on the floor in a spare room, where they usually sit undisturbed, and I usually spot the few that have been damaged/bruised, and they get picked out and dumped.

But this lot is almost going rotten as I watch.

This pic gives an idea, although the worst were all dumped a while ago – these are just what I collected this morning, plus some tiny ones just being dumped. These all looked and felt fine a week ago.

One additional thing I’ve noted now is that they are rapidly losing any shine they once had, and are becoming matt and dull, even before they become discoloured and go soft.

Sad…

Rotting Apples

Rotting Apples

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October 20, 2017 Posted by | Appeal, photography | , , | 2 Comments

Rain don’t keep meeces away

After a few days’ respite, it looks as if curiosity killed the mouse this morning, and they’re back.

Although I’m hardly suggesting they were ever away, just not trying to get in.

We’re rather soggy at the moment, with more rain than we’ve seen in a while, and I wondered if would keep the little invaders away – clearly not.

No pic evidence of this morning’s catch – our garden bin collection was on the way (we have a selection of wheelie bins to segregate our assorted wastes into) and since I’m fed up digging graves I wanted to make sure I caught this collection since I had filled the bin and it was ready to go this morning.

However, it gives me a chance to include a pic I got from someone who was having a problem getting their ‘little friends’ to obligingly wander into the waiting traps, and they consulted a local ‘expert’ who advised the following.

Occult Mouse Trap

Occult Mouse Trap

I think…

I’ll pass on this one.

Many years spent watching education films produced by Hammer Films suggest this is actually more likely to conjure up a giant demon mouse, rather than attract any ordinary one to the trap!

October 20, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Surprise gallery find in Nicholson Street next to Sheriff Court

For various reasons I tend to shy away from the area near the Sheriff Court, but passing nearby during the weekend, when the place was shut, I decided to ‘Confront The Phobia’ and walk past the façade.

Once past, I almost missed the pale ‘sandwich board’ style sign in Nicholson Street, and with its faint print almost failed to see it was not just a piece of wood abandoned there, but had something printed on it.

Looking closer, it marked the site of a new(ish) gallery (and arts collective) that opened in 2016 – but has no sign on the building (that’s not a criticism – I assume the rules for the area prohibit such a horrible thing on those buildings).

This is my second ‘surprise’, after coming across the Civic Room in High Street.

I have to admit to being a little intrigued at this find, since most of the premises there are given over to assorted legal practices, which we are usually told make an absolute fortune in legal fees, so are the only ones able to afford the cost of being established at such an address.

I was surprised to see the gallery open, but as the area (and gallery) were deserted… I chickened out and just looked in the window rather than venture in. There’s nothing worse than being somewhere you’ve no real reason to be – and have eyes burning into your back.

16 Nicholson Street Gallery

16 Nicholson Street Gallery

The sign.

Nicholson Street Gallery Sign

Nicholson Street Gallery Sign

Find the gallery online here:

16 Nicholson Street

October 20, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

   

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