JK Rowling, allotments – is it the end?, “could not make head nor tail of it”
Went to see JK Rowling the other day. Some people were selling her book on Ebay after the talk and signing. JK was very nice. The audience was mainly very sweet geeks aged around 20. I vox popped a few and they’d come from France, Italy, Surbiton etc. Some were in witch hats. The book is quite sweary- JK read a bit that sounded like Vicky Pollard as read by Pam Ayres. She had a go at the Daily Mail off camera because Jan Moir criticised the book for being a ‘socialist manifesto.’ JK said she took this a compliment. Mail doesn’t like JK. JK doesn’t like Mail much either.
1. I’m running the Royal Parks half marathon this weekend. Aiming to beat Chester the Squirrel and Ben Fogle. And my personal worst. The event is the grandest half marathon the the world, heading through Hyde Park, Green Park, past Big Ben, Whitehall, the Mall etc. I’m a big fan. I’ve done it every year since it started. I’ll take a bag for freebies too.
2. Got an email from James Alexander Sinclair about iPad garden magazine appintoGardens. Tiffany Daneff is co-editor or whatever they’re titling themselves. Tiff is married to James ‘batshit’ Delingpole, popular Telegraph anti-environmentalist blogger. Del has written anti-windfarm articles. I quite like windmills. What is interesting is how Del and Tiff get on. I always feel sorry for the spouse of the foaming type of writer. She’s a garden hack and he’s anti-green. How does that work? I know nothing about either by the way. I used to blog for Telegraph and was popular in my own field (gardening) and was told to contact DT blogs ed Damian Thompson. He ignored me. Which is what you don’t want as a blogger I’m told.
3. More allotmenteers are getting thrown off their plots. This is a good thing, say some, because of waiting lists. Mainly newbies who are giving up, allotment types tell me, such as Allotment Regeneration Initiative, which is closing. Gardeners Click has closed too.
4. Debra Stephenson is a celeb friend of Red Tractor Week.
5. National Trust’s Morden Hall Park farmers’ market is surprise hit. The market includes a wet fish stall as well as the usual stalls selling “meat, fruit, vegetables, apple juice, chutneys, cheeses, bread, cakes and more!” Why is bread singular but cheeses plural? Also at Morden Hall, they had an apple day recently. Derek Diaper from Clandon turned up to drop off some kit and got roped in.
6. Dear Matthew, At the Daily Mail we are now running a new syndication website whereby you can view all the features that have appeared in the Daily Mail and its associated papers and magazines. This includes a vast backlog with contributions from top contributors and award winning magazines. Of particular interest to your magazine is our collection of garden features that include contributions from Monty Don. It is free to set you up with an account, from where you can easily navigate the site, and then select any features that are of interest to you. We can also send you the latest features that are of interest to you on a weekly basis. Is this something that would be of interest to you? Kind regards, Sean.” I asked how much MD’s articles cost. No reply.
7. Mr Bloom is coming back.
8. Best selling gardening lit. James Wong is top.
9. Conifer Encyclopedia should win Garden Media Guild book of the year. It’s comprehensive. Probably won’t, I’m told. I sent an entry to GMG the other day. They rang back, endlessly repeating they “could not make head nor tail of it”. Does not bode well.
10. I’ve written a piece on sweetpeas for Guardian for 20 October and wild bird care for mid November. I really want to write about peat. And Christmas trees. Amateur Gardening is set to publish a news featureby me on peat. It will be the first in a consumer mag that isn’t an opinion piece in the history of garden writing.
12. Countryfile-style pic. There’s a lot of spiders around.
13. On a sadder note, attended Kew inquest.