Kent: Canterbury, Dover, St. Margaret’s Bay, Sandwich, Margate

April 22nd, 2011 by aaron.coble

Norfolk: Wells-next-the-sea, Cley, Morston, Blakeney seals

April 22nd, 2011 by aaron.coble

Winter Garden at Anglesey Abbey

March 18th, 2011 by alekka

In February, we decided to reprise our annual trip to the winter garden at Anglesey Abbey, this time with two friends from tea, Peter and Kazumi.  Kazumi is a fan especially of snowdrops, for which Anglesey Abbey is particularly famous.  As usual, the winter garden was a cheerful flash of color amidst the grey and gloom of an English winter.

Rebirth of the Victory garden…

March 18th, 2011 by alekka

After many lessons learned last summer with my first gardening attempt, I’ve started working on my garden for this summer. Lesson 1: start early. I made the mistake of planting seeds for tomato last year so late that I didn’t get any fruit until nearly September and the yields were pretty poor. Lesson 2: courgette (zucchini) and apartment garden don’t mix. As successful as my courgette plant was last summer, my poor neighbor had to step over and squeeze past the monstrous plant and I’ve decided growing courgette in small spaces falls into the category of antisocial behavior. If only there was some way to make them grow up a trellis…but that is beyond the scope of my gardening skills for the time being. Lesson 3: thin seedlings. I just couldn’t bring myself to uproot excess seedlings last year and ended up with messes of tangled plantlets that ended up dying anyway. I haven’t worked up the courage to tear the poor things up yet, but I’m definitely planning on it this year.
So, with these lessons (hopefully) learned, I’ve started my 2011 garden. I’m growing a few varieties of tomato, sweet peas, bell peppers, chili peppers, rocket (arugula?) and gem lettuce. So far I have seedlings of everything but the bell peppers, which I’m starting to worry won’t sprout :( If all goes well, I’ll be able to plant them outside in pots soon, and hopefully I’ve started early enough to harvest some fruit during the summer.

Oh, and I nearly forgot that I started my first mushroom kit about two weeks ago.  I’m expecting my first harvest in another 2-3 weeks and there is already a little bump of a mushroom forming!

Gedichte aus Berlin

February 16th, 2011 by aaron.coble

After returning from Berlin I was inspired to finally read the copy of Durs Grünbein’s “Ashes for Breakfast”, a collection of his poems translated by Michael Hofmann and published by Faber. He’s lived in Berlin for the past 15 years or so, hence the connection. Here are a few of my favourite excerpts:

from “NO. 8″

Astonishment at the brightness

of even the remotest back alleys

on a night of fresh snow—

there it was again

that haiku-unerringness.

from “MONOLOGICAL POEM #I”

what is the whole surreal jokeshop

of terrors compared to the

infinitely chance little

tricks of a poem.

from “PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG BORDER DOG (NOT COLLIE), 6″

Homo sap., the animal with letters after its name,

The only one to lie, to obey the logic

Of appearance and deception. As you’ll see

If you cast your eye once over a newspaper.

A world of opinions smashed to smithereens.

As any child will tell you, the very first word

Paradoxically produces a misunderstanding

That it takes repetition to clear.

from “VARIATIONS ON NO THEME”

How many gestures are futile, and yet

Their inadequacy keeps them going.

To make menaces at a fly, to lower the head

In mute respect before the departed,

To sweeten your time in solitary by waving

Or greeting, can be diverting

Or decent. It’s all absurd anyway,

Against the slothful clouds.

Fotos von Berlin

February 16th, 2011 by aaron.coble

Photos from Christmas in the U.S. of A.

January 19th, 2011 by aaron.coble

After great delay, we’ve finally gotten around to an update. There’s not much too it, it’s not terribly organised, but it’s an update all the same. Following the links below you’ll find your way to assorted photos from our Christmas holiday; the sets haven’t been edited as of yet, so please excuse the duplicates, etc.

In chronological order:

On the farm in Bedford, PA

Riding the Duquesne Incline

A walk along Tulpehocken Creek

A tour of the Yuengling Factory

Exploring Centralia, PA

Victory Garden!

August 8th, 2010 by alekka

This past spring, I made a first attempt at gardening, despite a lack of ground. A scattering of seeds in a few pots of dirt, and voilà, a vegetable garden! It’s been a few months of watering and feeding every morning, and we are finally starting to eat the fruits of our labor. To celebrate, we made pizza caprese this evening, taking advantage of some of our fresh produce (tomatoes, zucchini, and rocket). Our super easy version of pizza caprese used a flour tortilla for the base, a dollop of pesto for the sauce, a few slices of mozzarella, and a smattering of our home-grown veggies. In the oven for 5 minutes and done! It was very tasty! I’ve included a few pictures of our “garden” and our pizza. Enjoy!

Paintings from our first course

April 1st, 2010 by aaron.coble

Our first course (of 8 weeks) in painting finished recently and we got to mount some of our pieces at the last session. This was done with the traditional, ancient Chinese method using a wheat starch paste.

We were also given pen names for our painting, so we will be working on carving some seals with which to sign our paintings sometime soon. Alex was given the name Kin Shin Sai, roughly translating as progressing towards a golden heart. Aaron was given the name Ko Ishi An, meaning small stone hut.

Here are some pictures of our paintings:

Canneles – a first attempt

April 1st, 2010 by aaron.coble