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We are friends Orchid.  Can you lend me £ 20 please? 

Orchid Lady

Of course Verdun, you can give it me back next month with interest....just call it £40 

star gaze lily

Its fine Philippa, just sounded a bit harsh at first. As you say, don't always agree with all he says.

All forgotten, I agree OL, lifes too short.

Orchid Lady

No arguing from us Mike  Verdun's my friend, I've lent him £20 to buy more plug plants because he likes them now 


HI Mike. Glad you're ok..I do miss your posts. I read your last one with the same interest I read them all. I do worry about you the same as I would worry about any of the others who I haven't seen on here for a while.

Bikerbabe. Welcome to the family......., I mean site .....Mike is a lovely man (and father figure to me), who is one of the regular contributors to this site.

Back on top form Mike 


Hello Mike, Yes I am a motorcycle enthusiast, however, I dont have a Triumph or a BSA!  I have Honda! Love my bike almost as much as my garden, so its tough sorting out my time between them. This weather is not good for either hobbies though, its only been 28 deg C here in Yorkshire and I am wilting!  Just finished feeding my tomatoes and checking all ok before the storms hit, hope everyone gets through it ok without too much damage to gardens etc., 

Orchid Lady

I have a pedal bike.....a Dawes, does that count  I was hoping to get out on it tomorrow but the forecast isn't good.  Don't do motorbikes I'm afraid, my youngest (13)  wants one, I've told him while he is living in my house he has no chance 

Good to see you back on form Mike, how's the book coming along? 


ohh motorbikes  interesting story you have there Mike. I also like my bikes i currently patrol the garden centers on my Triumph Daytona 675. I sure people look at me funny when i go to the GardenC on my bike. They must think what sort of a idiot comes to the GardenC on a motorbike.

But financially its a master plan , with it being a sports bike i can barely carry anything. So i basic i pick loads of goodies up but i cant take them home . So  only the special plants get a ride home on the Triumph.  Cant wait for spring though i can fill my rucksack full of bulbs/seeds 

Orchid lady - you sound just like my mum  she dislikes motorbikes aswell sent me a PM...........unfortunately I cannot reply as the PM system is not working for me at the moment.  I gather there is some glitch in the system.  If you are happy to post your email address, I will respond using that method.

I assume you are following this thread

Best wishes



Mike - re your chapter four from your policing days. Please don't loose those chapters!  We at the National Emergency Services Museum are always wanting memories from those who have served to keep in our records and help preserve things to show visitors and school groups how things have changed!

(Can't ride a motorcycle myself - hell I can barely get my fathers off its stand!)

 Mike........nothing to do with motor cycles but just a mentioned that the heat is really draining you during this hot weather. 

Why not make yourself some Gazpacho ?  It's not only delicious but also good for you and very, very cooling.  You can make enough to keep in the fridge for a few days and treat yourself to a drink  throughout the day 



I feel a recipe is in order Philippa.

Pansyface.......usual thing I'm bad habit of assuming everyone immediately knows what I am on about  So here goes.......this is the "rustic" method I was shown so no cutting crusts of bread or peeling veg (other than onion and garlic ) but can be done if you want.


2 slices of bread

4 large ripe tomatoes

1 Green bell pepper

Half a cucumber

Half an onion

2 cloves Garlic

4 tbs good Olive Oil

2 tsp Salt

One quarter tsp freshly ground Cumin

5 tbs Lemon Juice

One quarter to One half litre of water.


Put bread to soak in water.

Chop up Toms, Cucumber, Pepper, Onion and Garlic .......put in Blender and run until pureed.

Decant the above into a bowl and put to one side.

Squeeze excess water from the soaked bread and run in the Blender until soggy.

Keeping the Blender running, add the Olive Oil little by little until incorporated into the bread.

Add the salt, Cumin and Lemon juice.

Ladle some of the contents of the bowl of veg into the blender and then when fully mixed, tip back into the bowl of remaining pureed veg and mix thoroughly. You can run the whole caboodle thru the Blender again if necessary.

Chill the resulting mixture in the fridge for a few hours. I decant into used Mineral Water bottles to save space in fridge.

As it cools down, it will can add cold water to thin it out to taste.

Depending on the size of your Blender, with the quantities given you may need to do it in two batches.  IMO, it is not worth making in lesser quantities but then again, I love it and so can never have enough

Hope that is easy to follow...........if not, let me know




Ooh, thanks for that. If I could persuade my d****d cucumbers to calve iI'd be able to do it more or less in its entirety from the garden.

Will give it a go tomorrow - assuming it is still hot tomorrow in these parts.

Steve 309

That's brilliant, Mike!  I agree with Edd - autobiography is required.