A one hit wonder for Jerry Keller in 1959, a particularly saccharine version when clean cut white American singers were invented to combat the threat of rock and roll. Luckily the Beatles wiped them out only to be reinvented by boy bands in the nineties. When will we ever learn as Pete Seeger sang. But humming Here Comes Summer did make me think of other favourite summer songs. Ones I could immediately think of were Summertime Blues:

I'm gonna take two weeks Gonna have a fine vacation I'm gonna take my problem To the United Nations Well, I called up my congressman And he sent a note "I'd like to help you, son But you're too young to vote"

They don’t write them like that anymore.

The coolest I know is Summertime from Porgy & Bess by Miles Davis – no other version gets anywhere near it.

The catchiest I can think of is In The Summertime by Mungo Jerry from 1970. The singer Ray Dorset I seem to remember had the uncoolest hair style imaginable.

My favourite that I can think of at present (probably be different tomorrow) is Sunny Afternoon by the Kinks. Magic lyrics:

The tax man's taken all my dough And left me in my stately home Lazing on a sunny afternoon And I can't sail my yacht He's taken everything I got All I've got's this sunny afternoon Save me, save me, save me from this squeeze I gotta big fat mama trying to break me And I love to live so pleasantly Live this life of luxury Lazing on a sunny afternoon In the summertime In the summertime In the summertime

Oh dear, all these songs are from way back. I’m sure there are some fine garage, grunge, or hip hop summer songs. I just can’t seem to recall them at present.

Anyway, back to the point – is summer coming. It’s certainly been hot during the days for the past couple of weeks but the temperature in my pollytunnel has gone down to 4.4 degrees for the past two nights. It certainly means that everything planted outside is not going to romp away at present. But planting out over the past weeks has been a necessity, otherwise plants would have become pot bound and leggy. So everything is out. All my flower plants, beans, courgettes, peas, pumpkins, butternuts, sweet corn, salad plants are planted. But they do seem to be sitting there waiting for favourable weather for them – hot and humid during the day and a shower or two overnight. We can only wish.

I’m still able to harvest enough so we don’t need to buy too many vegetables. I’ve just dug up the last few parsnips and rather than make soup or roast I find pureeing them is successful. Also, the leeks are still going with about ten to go (the new leeks sown in May are now ready to plant out). The overwintered perpetual spinach has been a winner – it looked very sorry for itself at times during the winter but has bucked up and taken on a new lease of life. It all wants to run to seed but I keep cutting it back and using the leaves in salads or steaming them. The Aquadulce Claudia broad beans are just about ready to start picking, they’re just at that very young and fresh state and absolutely scrumptious. That’s all the overwintered crops.

Of this years crops from the pollytunnel I’m picking Little Gem lettuces, Golden Acre cabbages, and French Breakfast radishes.

The other delight of this time of the year is asparagus, I’m managing to cut 3-4 spears a day at present. It makes having an allotment all worthwhile for that alone.

A few other things apropos of nothing. There was guy at work who used to say apropos of nothing frequently (well, a lot) and everyone used to groan whenever he said it. And here I am using it, it must have got into my psyche.

Firstly, a Muddy Bootz YouTube video from a couple of weeks ago was an interview with a couple of representatives of Clover composts. Muddy Bootz has been moaning for a while that the quality of Clover compost has deteriorated over the past year or so. This is something I have noticed and mentioned previously, and Gillian has been ordering New Horizon multipurpose for the shop as an alternative. The Clover reps claimed that they were unaware of the deterioration in quality (obviously don’t listen to customer feedback) and were unaware of YouTube. Oh well. But they did say that they would improve their production processes to make the compost finer and cut back on the use of fibre. We’ll wait and see.

Secondly, I mentioned last year about a YouTuber extolling the virtues of the oscillating hoe. Well, I bought one – and it’s a winner. So much quicker than the conventional hoe and much more control. Well recommended.

Thirdly, from the let’s grow something different book – I’ve just bought a couple of Wasabi plants. Why? Well, why not – I’ll update as they start to grow.

And lastly, a picture of our dog, Strummer (after Joe from the Clash – the greatest rock band ever – discuss). He loves the allotments, all the different smells. Or as we say Here Comes Strummer.

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