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October 2014
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The Fabiana Four

“I’d like to say thanks on behalf of the group – and I hope we passed the audition,” said Homer Simpson, as the Be-Sharps performed their last ever gig on top of Moe’s Tavern in the excellent episode, Homer’s Barbershop Quartet. Of course, as anyone with a smidgeon of music knowledge will know, this quote [...]

Hand in glove box

In the seven years I’ve owned my car you can count the number of times I’ve cleaned the inside out properly on one hand. Well, today I’m delighted to let you know that I’ve moved onto my second paw. I’m selling the old rust bucket next week, so decided I ought to give it a [...]

Stop me and buy one

Do you have a favourite flavour of ice cream or ice lolly? I do and it hasn’t changed since childhood. You can keep your Häagen-Dazs, Ben and Jerry’s, Magnum, Solero and Callipo, because for me it has always been, and always will be, the aptly named Fab – a strawberry and vanilla concoction with a [...]

Glaston-berry Festival

We’re hurtling towards music festival season, so as a way of celebrating dodgy toilets, veggie burgers and not taking a shower for several days, I’ve put together a list of plants blessed with the name of a band or singer. For once I haven’t resorted to puns as these are all included in the RHS [...]

Cannes you dig it?

While gardening eyes have been on the Chelsea Flower Show this week, film lovers have been closely following events in the south of France, where the 62nd Cannes International Film Festival has been attracting the glitterati of the movie world. Founded in 1946, the festival sees 20 films battling it out to win the coveted [...]

Extra! Extra! Chelsea coverage starts today

The gates to the 86th Chelsea Flower Show will open next week, so I thought I’d start my offbeat coverage of the world famous event by plundering my book of headlines – a thin volume (actually a crumpled sheet of A4 paper) that I put together while news editor at Amateur Gardening in the late [...]

Turn! Turn! Turn!

Everybody knows that the secret to good compost is to turn it regularly, but did you know that today is the start of Compost Awareness Week? To kick off seven days of compost filled fun I thought I’d put together a list of sayings, cliches and expressions that vaguely nod towards composting – some are [...]

The Beautiful Game?

Some people have suggested that I’m going to subject my son to a lifetime of misery by taking him to his first football match tomorrow. Why? Well rather than take him to nearby West Ham or Tottenham Hotspur, I’ve decided his introduction to the beautiful game will be at the less than glamorous Matchroom Stadium, [...]

Now that’s what I call Gardeners’ World 42

It’s only been back on our TV screens for two weeks, but the 42nd series of Gardeners’ World has attracted a fair bit of stick. Everything from the new location to the colour of the shed has come in for criticism and the chat boards are heaving with messages from disgruntled licence paying viewers. Even [...]

Wet your whistle

Made any plans for the week beginning 20 April? If not, why not book your flights to the International Whistlers Convention 2009, which is being held at Louisburg (the world’s whistling capital apparently) in North Carolina, USA. It sounds like the week is going to be blast, attracting professional and amateur whistlers from all around [...]