Miles Collins Home
[ View menu ]

Humidity 1 Miles 0

If you can’t stand the heat….

It’s hot in the kitchens, scratch that. Very hot. A distinct lack of air this week makes for tired chefs. Every year it’s the same, we look forward to the warm weather but as soon as the reality at work kicks in we all long for the autumn. I am trying to stay positive at the moment, the hay fever seems to have reduced in verocity but I continue to be bitten by every garden based insect known to mankind.

Anyway, here’s this week’s up’s and down’s.

Hay Fever

1. Rolf Harris. Yet another childhood memory to eradicate. Those poor girls.
2. Andy Murray. Utterly miserable.
3. Twitter campaigns. What’s happened to the girls kidnapped by Boko Harum Twitter world?
4. Oscar Pistorius-sick to death of this. Concentrate on the ebola outbreak instead
5. A&E departments, another world entirely.
6. Whitefly. Still got the bloody things.

Night Fever

1. Books, is there anything finer than a good read?
2. Home grown strawberries, warm and delicious.
3. Chilli plants coming back from near death. Robust little blighters!!
4. Booking tickets for Robert Plant, really looking forward to this one.
5. Plans for the new year, something good to lok forward to.
6. Gin and tonic, a damm fine thirst quencher.


  1. V says:

    Too hot

    1/ A lovely busy day but doing Tudor dancing at a Tudor feast in heavy Tudor clothes was a bit too much in an airless manor ; and two 13 year old girls almost passed out in their heavy brocade gowns dancing in this heat. They needed first aid.

    2/ My sentiments entirely …what has happened to those girls ? Their families must be out of their minds with fear.

    3/ And what about the missing plane ? This has also gone from the news.

    4/ MY usually stunning hanging baskets are desperate for water . Will they be the best on the road this year , say I, the Hyacinth Bucket of C/Hulme

    air conditioning

    1/ looking forward to my visit to Colchester castle and my holiday walking in County Galway in August.

    2/ Lunch in the sunshine outside an ancient Cheshire pub with a friend

    3/ Finishing my massive World War 1 tome BEFORE the centenary ( taken me nearly six months)

    4/ a cup of tea even on a hot day

    July 2, 2014 @ 10:19 pm

  2. V says:


    Lunch in the sunshine outside an ancient Cheshire pub with a friend and drinking Fentiman’s Rose Lemonade .


    July 2, 2014 @ 10:22 pm

  3. Rod says:

    I was at the seaside yesterday and it was plenty hot enough there, must have been crippling in an enclosed kitchen.

    Notice how all the Brit’s were genuinely supporting that miserable Jock - I wonder what support an English player would have got from the Scots?

    July 3, 2014 @ 7:22 am

  4. Sam L says:

    A great list. I hope the kitchen cools down a bit for you soon!

    Regarding your chilli plants recovering, they are amazing aren’t they!

    I had one return from the brink that looked dead, no leaves, middle of winter inside an old car for two months. Unbelievable!


    July 3, 2014 @ 9:25 am

  5. miles says:

    My biggest ‘hit and miss’ year so far. Far from impressed overall and already looking ahead to the new year in all honesty. I’ll blog some bits in due course but don’t get excited :(

    July 3, 2014 @ 3:36 pm

  6. miles says:

    Nay easy laddie :mrgreen:

    Agreed, glad he’s out-can’t stand the hysteria.

    July 3, 2014 @ 3:37 pm

  7. miles says:

    Always a good list from you thank you-my lot can’t believe I drink tea in this weather. I ask them wht they think India would be like.
    Oh, here’s another for the grumpy list…


    July 3, 2014 @ 3:39 pm

  8. v says:

    ha yes you got me back on tea the other week if you recall . After weeks without it, Miles, I did not feel any healthier without tea but was certainly grumpier !
    thank you ……

    here’s another grump !

    The old gent opposite is in his 70’s and has very advanced Parkinson’s . He leaves his Zimmer frame outside by the front door and last week , it was stolen. What utter cruelty to steal a Zimmer frame. I cannot understand such cruel callousness. The nature of the object implies its necessity and I am devastated for him! and angry at the same time.

    July 3, 2014 @ 4:47 pm

  9. Sam L says:

    Oh dear, sorry to hear that! I’ve neglected mine a bit this year so progress isn’t great either.

    I’ve been doing well with my Quadgrow though. It’s a life saver as the four large Jalapeno plants I have in it are getting through A LOT of water and I wouldn’t keep up if they were in normal pots.

    I’m also thinking about next year though. I think I’m going to make a few more Quadgrow type things as they work so well. I bought a load of capillary matting this year (which is amazing) and have some spare.


    July 4, 2014 @ 9:44 am

  10. miles says:

    I was really looking forward to a good crop-still time to come good but not hopeful.
    Let me now how you get on.

    July 4, 2014 @ 5:12 pm

  11. Sam L says:

    Yes still time. I’ve harvested as late as Christmas a number of times.The Whitefly won’t help things though. They really seem to sap the plants energy.

    I’ve been very lucky this year in the greenhouse, none so far. I’ve got a zero tolerance policy this year. Any evidence on a plant and it’s out the door!


    July 7, 2014 @ 9:10 am

  12. miles says:

    I shall be tougher next year. You do have to wonder what is brought in by bags of compost though. I’m not saying that’s the reason but it’s a pause for thought at least.
    The crop is and will be severley diminished but that sad I have so many dried in stock it’s hardly a disaster in that sense.

    July 7, 2014 @ 9:59 am

  13. Sam L says:

    I think the vast majority is from the compost to be honest. I used to grow my chillies in my flat in a town with very little if any green anywhere near it.

    Add to that the window where they were growing being fixed shut, and I’d say the compost is the only suspect.

    What I do find interesting though, is that the Whitefly do seem to attack the weaker plants (initially at least). It may be worth ‘weeding out’ these before they attract the problem. A risky strategy though!


    July 7, 2014 @ 4:56 pm

  14. miles says:

    That’s a good point, I think next year I’ll leave them indoors for longer before putting in the greenhouse. Possibly too eager this year with the arrival of the new greenhouse. I’ll not be bothering with growbags again either I don’t think.

    July 7, 2014 @ 6:46 pm

  15. Sam L says:

    I’ve never tried grow bags actually. Maybe chillies like deeper roots?

    I’d highly recommend either buying a quad-grow or making your own. It’s a really simple system.

    You just need a large tub with no holes in and a lid. Sit a pot on top of that with some capillary matting running from the bottom of the tub, through the lid and the bottom of the pot. Plant the youngish plant in the pot with the roots touching the matting then fill the tub with water and chilli focus or tomarite (half strength).

    I reckon mine are double the size of the others. Very bushy and lots of chillies. Great for the greenhouse too as the water lasts for ages.


    July 8, 2014 @ 11:23 am

  16. miles says:

    I have something similar which one of my chefs bought me, it’s a good system for sure. You ’spike’ a grow bag onto it and then fill the bottom with water.
    I’ve had another look at the greenhouse today (was away working for last four days) and things are on the up!

    July 9, 2014 @ 7:42 pm

  17. Sam L says:

    Glad to hear it!


    July 10, 2014 @ 9:12 am

  18. Sam L says:

    Saw this and thought of you Miles.

    I’ve heard positive reports. One to consider for next year. Fight fire with fire!


    July 14, 2014 @ 11:04 am

  19. miles says:

    Very interesting!!!! Thank you!
    I’ve bookmarked that for next year. I must say though that the chillies are fighting back, I’m getting evermore optimistic!!
    Thanks Sam, much appreciated.

    July 14, 2014 @ 7:27 pm

  20. Sam L says:

    I thought so too. I’ve read a bit about biological controls like this but for some reason had never considered them for Whitefly!

    As soon as I spot the next one, I’m going biological on them!

    Great news about the chillies!


    July 16, 2014 @ 9:29 am

  21. miles says:

    I’m definately looking at these, will be having a radical rethink over the coming months about the game plan for next year. Now that I know what I can fit in the new greenhouse etc it should be better,

    July 16, 2014 @ 3:31 pm

RSS feed Comments

Write Comment

XHTML: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>