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Charlie November

Latest posts by Charlie November

Get it off your chest

Posted: 08/09/2013 at 17:20
tea drinker wrote (see)

lol waterbutts in my teens i met a lad who worked in a garage he had a motorbike  arranged a date he duly turned up my mum  was standing by the window then said oh my god hells angels have descended into the road  oh no hes coming here i said its ok its clive hes taking me out she opened the front door pointed to the bike and said loud enough for the neighbours to hear "my daughter is NOT going on that " before i could stop him  he said well i gave her a lift home yesterday  "realy well shes not going on it today or any other " he had to wheel it round the back and we had to walk where we were going he was told not to bring me home late and she told him that iffshe saw so much a black hand print on my underwear he would be wearing the bike 

i thought there goes that date but you know he thought she was hilariouse and the next time he came round he bought her a ton of cigarettes certainly won her round  lol

love tea and son and grumpy xxxx

So, er, she smokes a lot but won't have motorbikes around? 


Someone mentioned Boots. Boots sort of bothers me. There's just something about having to tunnel through the tampons and pregnancy tests to find the "active adult" vitamins. I've seen the adverts. You know the ones. "Are you one of those girls for whom time stands still once a month?" I know those things are advertised as allowing us to go on with our active lives. It's just a little odd for a single man to be digging through them for the vitamins.

Then I got to the end of the aisle. "Custom Baby Order Point." Stop. Stare. Think. Shake head. Stare. Finally work it out. Start giggling.

Wouldn't that be awesomely handy, though? "I'll have a 7lb 2oz, girl with straight, dark hair, pale skin that tans rather than burning, no hereditary diseases, green eyes, dimples, Vietnamese cheekbones and nose, Norse physique and ... natural singing talent's a bit expensive but she'll get a lot of pleasure out of it. Let's add that. Due date ... oh, why wait? Is October 5th available? That'll do nicely.

Neighbour has sprayed pesticide on my vegetable patch

Posted: 08/09/2013 at 13:26
Monkey in the garden wrote (see)

... does anyone know what are the strongest weedkillers you can buy and how long do you have to wait before you can plant any vegetables again?

Agent Orange, and at least 500 years.

Neighbour has sprayed pesticide on my vegetable patch

Posted: 08/09/2013 at 13:24

Document what plants you have or had in there at the time.

Yes, definitely need more info, especially WHAT was sprayed. Him refusing to tell you makes it sound Dodgy As Hell (TM). You could assume it's dangerous. You probably SHOULD assume it's dangerous and illegal because it's dangerous and he won't tell you because it's illegal. That would mean someone would have to come round with rubber gloves and boots (to be discarded afterwards and replaced) and dig it all out to maybe 9 inches deep. I charge £15 / hr including driving time plus 20p / mile. Then you'd have to get lots of that environment-friendly peat-free compost Because it's ORGANIC, you TWIT. It'll COST more! with which to refill the bed, then you'd have to replace all your plants. Then you can send him copies of all the receipts for that and an invoice for the total, and if he doesn't pay up tack on £15 an hour for yourself and sue him for it.

I'm happy to see the rain because ...

Posted: 06/09/2013 at 15:59
Heather Michaels wrote (see)

 Rain dances anyone?!  

Putting the bedding out on the line usually works for me. If I want sunshine, I take it back in. 

Horrible garage roofs

Posted: 06/09/2013 at 15:57

That first garage roof is sagging already. I just copied your photograph into GIMP and drew a straight line along its ridge, and there's a gap under the line, as big as the ridge structure where it's in line with the garage door.

If you do rebuild that roof, you could put a solid roof there and put a trellis over it, but I suspect the supports for the trellis would be ingress points for rainwater. An alternative would be posts mounted on the end wall to support wires stretched to the barn wall, but then you're putting a lot of force on the posts and bolts, increasing as plants on the wires get heavier. Also, you'd be waiting a while for plants to grow from ground level to the wall top and then along the trellis to its peak, and I reckon most climbers would find their way under a tile somewhere eventually and up behind the barge boards almost immediately.

I'm not sure how the succulent roof was done, but I assume it could be achieved by putting wooden rails around the outside of the roof, leaving slots for drainage, and placing potted plants on the roof. As long as it's not delicate and they can't slide around, they shouldn't make holes in it.

A variation of that would be a stepped planter. You could have a series of low walls along the roof, filled with soil between them to make beds, and leave a couple of spaces to walk up there to check on them, feed them or whatever. Bury a perforated hose or length of 50mm drainpipe in each one with an open end by the steps so you can just pour diluted feed into it and reasonably expect it to be spread along the full length. Two down-sides: one is that it's one heck of an engineering project, to the extent that I'd want to get the walls' max load checked before I put that much stuff on them, and the other is that when it needs replacing it'll be another huge project (and a real mess if it comes down on a car because you put it off too long).

For a lightweight option, replace the existing roof with big 4mm acrylic sheets and seal the edges with gutter sealant. It'll save you using electric lights in the garage during the day. You may need to get slightly clever with the woodwork underneath them to get the overlaps rights, but it's not that big a deal. I was going to do that for a covered washing line here, but the company went for exposed rotary ones instead.

Talkback: Seeds - how to collect allium seeds

Posted: 06/09/2013 at 11:55

tucker2010: seems to be the machine for the job, but I found that via instructables and the write-up says you have to have black oil sunflower seeds not the munchy kind, so grow from bird food (25kg for £42, 2.25kg for £6.25), not from a tiny packet from the health food shop (500g for £3.19).

The manufacturer's website says minimum 25% oil and this page says that includes striped sunflower seeds ... barely ... as well as black sunflower seeds and also peanut, safflower and nyjer.

Get it off your chest

Posted: 06/09/2013 at 11:34

Oh, ye gods, BT?

Yeah, maybe I should ask my father to post his saga.

For now, I shall provide this link to a newspaper column:

Unwelcome visitor

Posted: 06/09/2013 at 11:21

Another vote for the gun, and specifically a .177 at 11.9 ft-lb muzzle energy, no paperwork required. Get an underlever, as they're more accurate than a break-action and involve less kit than a bottle-charged one. Choose a spot for your bait, pick a comfortable spot to wait, measure the distance, zero your sights at that range and learn how far high or low the gun hits at other ranges (e.g. on target 5m, 1cm high at 10m, 2cm high at 15m, 1cm high 20m, on target 25m, 1cm low 30m, 2cm low 35m) and then just put some food there and wait.

6 rats that moved into my compost heap when the cottage next door was demolished died of pistol (max 6 ft-lb energy or you need a class 1 firearms certificate and good luck getting one of them for a short weapon) shots to the head, but that involved standing over the hole for an hour, waiting for them to poke their heads out. A rifle will let you take them out from much longer ranges. One big one found its way into the peanut feeder this year. One big hole from its left kidney to its right shoulder put a stop to its raiding.

You'll need to keep trying it to be sure there aren't a few more, but it's the one way to be sure you kill exactly the creature you want to kill and nothing else. (Most important skill with a projectile weapon: NOT shooting what you DON'T want to hit!)


Curious English composition exercise: "I killed the 6 rats that moved into my compost heap with an air pistol ... and am glad there were only 6 or they could have brought at M16 and then I'd have been in trouble." "I killed the 6 rats that moved into my compost heap when the cottage next door was demolished with an air pistol ... and, let me tell you, demolishing a cottage with an air pistol is a long, slow job."

MOB rants

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 12:31

I wonder whether it would be easy enough and cheap enough to build a sort of giant airbrush that would allow you to squirt lemon juice from your hosepipe while hosing the cats off the shed. Eh, the lemon juice would probably cost a fortune. What you need is an air cannon to fire hollow-point lemons at the cats. That ought to get the message home.

Hrm. Let me look into that. 2400 psi in a 50mm drainpipe is 4083 N, which would accelerate a 58 gram lemon at 70,395 m/s^2, so down a metre of barrel ... in 0.00533 seconds it'd reach 375.22 m/s, with a muzzle energy of 4095 J, which is more than a .30-06 Springfield or a 444 Marlin and more than four times a .44 Magnum.

Okay, you know what? I think maybe you shouldn't launch hollow-point lemons at 160 bar at those cats after all. You might damage the shed.

I could do with one of those for my car. "It's 30 for a reason, ****head. Now *BANG* back off!"

Large Canvas

Posted: 01/09/2013 at 12:20

Assuming that was an early afternoon photograph taken from the SW corner, you've got tree (partial) shade throughout the day in the southern third, fence shade along the west side in the afternoon, widening in the evening, and house shade in the NE in the evenings, so if you want a sun trap it's going to have to be SE of the S end of the house. At least you've got a reflective white wall there. I'd put sun-lovers in the NE, where they'll get the warmest sunshine, with lawn between them and the house providing flop-space. Your sun-trap goes south of there where early afternoon sunlight bounces off the house onto it and the evening sun can light it up too. Between the two you have your washing line, so you're stuck with leaving that space open, but from the washing line south in an arc into the middle of the garden you can surround your sun-trap with low-growing prettiness, like shrub roses. Behind them you either raise a bed for more low stuff or plant medium-height stuff, so you've got an embankment of greenery and blossom around you while you're socialising. Siting a BBQ is a tricky call, because you don't want to stink up the neighbours' washing by putting it against the fence but you don't want a huge brick obelisk in the middle of your lawn either. The simple answer would be to put it against the house. Alternatively, if you go with raised beds, you could tuck it into them.

That'd leave the south end of the house free for sun-loving climbers. Put chunky eye-bolts in, string 2mm wire across them and grow a huge wisteria with horizontal tiers, or put wooden rails on, mount trellis on them and cover the whole thing in a chaotic mixture of akebia and honeysuckle. You could build a full-height strawberry planter and fill it with strawberry plants, but I think that's asking to get sick of climbing ladders. Either way, leave a gap at the top so stuff doesn't climb in under the eaves and invade the loft.

Bird boxes should be in sheltered north-facing spots, so put them on the other end of the house, but bats like to have a box on each side so they can choose the one that gets the right temperatures as the seasons change.

 South of the house is where I've put your vegetable plot, with another raised bed between it and the sun-trap. This is partly because a raised bed of decorative plants looks better than a vegetable plot, and partly so that you can sit and relax in the garden without constantly checking for caterpillars and weeds.

Between raised areas, there's a wide path leading south to the acers. An evenly-spaced and straight line probably isn't what you want, but I was just sketching. The shed and compost heap are right in the corner, out of sight. It's a bit of a trek from there to the north end of the vegetable plot, but you'll have a wheelbarrow, won't you?

Under the acers, you can plant shade-lovers. Grow a bed of English bluebells, perhaps? You could also arrange them differently to have a sort-of-hidden corner in the SW, and put in a little love seat there.

I've left a 17m square of lawn there. That should be plenty.

If you'd wanted a garden for boys and tomboys, I'd have been designing wooden forts instead.

Discussions started by Charlie November

Holy glyphosate, Batman! What's that?

Huge thing with tiny white flowers and heart-shaped leaves 
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Last Post: 24/06/2014 at 16:52

Rose cuttings: timing

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When is honey fungus not honey fungus?

At least I didn't spend anything. 
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Last Post: 26/10/2013 at 16:46

Apple tree with white leaves

It seems to be healthy enough, if slow-growing 
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Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 18:34


Not a lily. Not an apple tree. 
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Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 22:29


Planning? Measuring? Me? 
Replies: 17    Views: 886
Last Post: 07/05/2014 at 16:57

Leaving tulips in the ground

Can they be left in if the drainage is good? 
Replies: 14    Views: 2122
Last Post: 13/05/2013 at 08:09
7 threads returned