The Garden

May 29, 2015

Since moving in Dec 2011 we hadn’t done much with our garden other than putting up a new fence when the existing one fell down, cutting the grass, etc. The main problems the garden had was poor drainage close to the house where the ‘grass’ is often waterlogged, steps and slabs that became an issue with a toddler around

Our priorities for a garden space is

  • Child safe & fun, so robust planting that will survive a child and educational
  • Functional (clothes lines, seating, bbq, play, storage)
  • Food! veg & herbs
  • Compost area
  • hardy and seasonal plants, scented planting, nothing with thorns and if possible insect friendly

March 2015 The Design I came up with…garden-the-planLevel step out from house onto decking area – pots and containers on deck for herbs – an ‘open pergola’ structure to give height and something to hang a swing, lights, planting, etc. – storage benches made from decking material to tie in – storage shed – raised beds for veg -two flower beds, one in sun an one shaded – keep the existing paved area retained for BBQ or play area.




It took several quotes and chasing builders to find someone who could do it then in two weeks this happened…

Before & After Photos..




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2015-05-04 18.23.21

2015-05-09 15.10.25


Now I just need to grow stuff :-)


Food: The Rum Shack

May 27, 2015

I used to blog about food a fair bit, but got out of the habit, tonight is worth sharing…

The Rum Shack on Pollokshaws Road, opened about a year ago and is exactly what you expect from a place called The Rum Shack – lots of Rums (their facebook site claims 50, I didn’t count), Caribbean food and reggae music.

2015-05-26 20.13.01Being child free for a night meant we were out on a school night – but being parents of a young child meant we were in and out again before the cool people made the place look busy, in order to get to bed at a sensible time :-(

However, there was time for a couple of rums.  The bar staff were knowledgeable and after a few questions and suggestions….  “Yea I’ve tried that”  “Is that like their previous one”  “What’s new from Barbados?” I had an Angostura Cask Collection No.1 and later a Plantation Grande Réserve 5 years.  Both were very nice, but the Angostura was amazingly smooth and I’ve started trying to track down a bottle (limited edition with only 9,600 bottles available worldwide).  But I was supposed to be blogging about food not rum…

The Rum Shack’s menu isn’t extensive but from my limited Caribbean experience (honeymoon in Barbados) it seems authentic enough with Salt Fish, Curry Goat and rice-and-peas of course. We shared a starter of Accra -Salt Fish mixed with herbs and seasoning, shaped into balls and fried till golden. This came with the house hot sauce which nearly melted my lips and I thought I wouldn’t taste anything else all night!  The hot sauce isn’t messing and was way beyond my limit.

After some water and about 10min my mouth had calmed down enough to carry on.

2015-05-26 19.45.05Our main courses were Rum Shack Fish-n-chips which had a jerk style coating, sweet potato chips and lentils and Jerk Chicken, served with rice and peas and corn on the cob.  It was all absolutely delicious, the flavours weren’t overwhelming or too hot, everything was perfect.  Except, in my opinion, the portion size was a little small especially given the prices, e.g. 3 small balls of fish.  It isn’t extortionate but neither is this a cheap choice so you really don’t want to leave still feeling hungry.  That said, I would certainly like to go back and give it another try for both the excellent food and the chance to try different Rums!


Book: Michael Connelly “The Black Echo”

May 21, 2015

I watched the ten-episode TV series “Bosch” on Amazon Prime, enjoyed the character so much I started reading this book “The Black Echo” which is the  début novel of Michael Connelly‘s and our introduction to the character Detective Harry Bosch.

bookThis is a ‘police procedural’ genre book set in LAPD’s Hollywood Division that starts with a body turning up of someone Bosch happens to have known in his past.  Initially it looks like an overdose but a few things aren’t right which makes Bosch push the autopsy which shows enough suspicion to turn this into a homicide.  Through many twists, gradual reveals, and good old detective work – with lots of “your off this case” from senior officers and while being investigated by Internal Affairs… Harry Bosch not only solves the case but much more besides.

There is a real depth to the characters and the descriptions of the city that bring this story alive.  Bosch himself has a troubled and well drawn past that brings his character to life – we are left wanting to know more about what brought him to this place and his current state of mind and attitude to the job and authority but these things are only hinted at.

A good read, a great character and I’ve moved straight on to the second book in the series. Great writing.