Cheering Up My Mondays

It’s the first day of October. The swallows have gone, and the days are shortening. My gardening year is coming to a close, yet there is much to do. However, rather than doing it, I am still in writing mode and the doing will be done it its own good time.
In attempting to find reasons to cheer Up My Monday, I am never lost for ideas. This week, I find myself thinking about bots. Yes, bots. These are the fake automated accounts I realised are everywhere out there. Let me give an example.

A recent Instagram photo

I use Instagram to share my garden with others. My account is petalsbyparaig and I love the interaction there. A simple garden photograph speeds its way to my many followers. Similarly, I enjoy looking at photographs posted by others, and the circle continues, adding excitement and motivation to my garden photography.
This is a list of some recent “followers”: (names edited to prevent further following!

  • click.toincreasefollowers (Yeah, right…. more bots!)
  • clinique58 (House of Fazer?)
  • presstoobtain (Get Fame on instagram)
  • pproteinIreland (I have enough, thanks!)
  • Gracie98 (with Snapchat link only)
  • hayeng212 (I  can earn $100 per day…. wow!)
  • Brazilian Lingerie (Online shop that delivers to me)
The list goes on and on. What amazed me was that many of these replies are automated, and a “like” or a “follow” returns instantly. Initially, I thought to myself, ah feck off…. and continued my day. But as I write this, I intend taking things a step further. I intend removing accounts that are obviously fake, because not only do I not want them following me, more importantly, I do not want them having access to my data. I am considering making my account private but will consider the matter a bit more. In such a case, I would approve follow requests, yet this takes away from gardening and writing time.
This will cheer up my Monday big time! Other things that cheer me up today include:
  • Still lots of tomatoes ripening
  • Garden catalogues arriving soon
  • Sunshine last week was incredible
  • The garden still looks great.
  • Autumn is blooming
My to-do-list is taking shape. Among many of the jobs on the list are:
  • Final spraying of roses
  • Make a cold-frame
  • Fix a leaking drainpipe
  • Propagate several plants from cuttings and division
  • Stop the birds from enjoying a soil dust-bath just where I have sown beetroot seed
  • Sto the birds from enjoying a soil dust-bath just where I have sown spring onion seed
Other than that, here’s a photo selection to cheer me up even more!

About the author: Páraig is the author of Petals by Páraig. He photographs and writes about his garden in Ireland. He loves using Instagram and sharing things there, but doesn’t love the bots, and particularly dislikes the ones that promise money or other things.

Cheering Up My Monday: Shaggy Ink Cap

Last Thursday I cycled the off-road Waterford Greenway with my wife. We had a fantastic day and a very tasty lunch on the way. On our return cycle, we stopped to sit on a bench strategically placed to allow us to admire the stunning view of local hills, and while we sat, I noticed some mushrooms growing in the tall grass.

Coprinus comatus

Later, I put out an Instagram and Garden Tags request to help me identify this, and the results came back in double quick time.

“It’s Coprinus comatus”, says Ben.

Problem solved! Yet more information arrived via the internet wires and cables from the US, Italy and England. The common name is Shaggy Ink Cap, edible when young and fresh.

“In Italy we call them mazze di tamburo which means drum maces”, says Chantal. “When the hat is open (as in the back ones), it is cooked on the plate and then seasoned with oil and parsley.”

I was able to send some Irish language idioms back across the miles to my assistants, and I mentioned that the phrase for mushroom is “fás aon oiche”, which means one-night growth. Therefore, the circle of information is complete. The internet is now full, and is accepting no further data.

Sit with yourself: Do nothing, breathe and watch yourself.
After a while, you will feel a positive change inside.

Happy gardening, wherever you are!.

About the author: Páraig is the author of GrowWriteRepeat. He loves mushrooms and photographs of mushrooms. He also loves connecting with others far and near, but not while driving.

Beauty Berry Profusion

I think profusion is a very lovely word.
I had this beautiful shrub until the snow of March 2018. Unfortunately, along with 5 other plants, it died. I have added it once again to my wish list.
About the author: Páraig is the author of GrowWriteRepeat. He loves berried shrubs and snow. He loves lots of other things too! Like cycling, great movies such as Shawshank Redemption, but not hoovering.

Pádraig,

9th September 2018.