Charlie November

Latest posts by Charlie November

MOB rants

Posted: 31/05/2013 at 19:05

I don't think it's *porn* or *online porn* that's the problem there. I think you have to narrow it down a bit further than that. There have even been studies done that showed a negative correlation between availability of "normal" porn and frequency of sexual assault, suggesting that men-it's-mostly-men-after-all who are that way inclined seek an outlet one way or the other and will settle for the readily available porn instead of taking risks.


Number of issues with castration, like it being irreversible and verdicts occasionally being wrong (see, for example, original Hillsborough reports, the Guildford Four, the Maguire Seven and so on). There's also the matter of motivation. Taking away the sex drive could reduce someone whose thing is little girls from predator to just some old guy who occasionally sees a little girl, thinks she's beautiful and wishes he could take her on a horse-riding holiday because she'd like that and she's got a lovely smile. Sure. What about someone who's using rape as an expression of hatred rather than trying to get off regardless of the other person's preferences or opinions? Not being able to get it up won't make him hate any less or be any less inclined to act on hate. He'll just find something else to use, like a glass bottle.


Locations of bodies? One sturdy chair, one roll of duct tape, one serrated kitchen knife, a bottle of vodka and a week or so, and they'd be begging to tell the truth. It's probably better for the soul to just stuff the bastard full of barbiturates, ecstasy and marijuana, keep him talking and wait for him to run his mouth.

If you could have any plant / tree in your garden

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 18:00

Hmmm ... a plum tree that produces plums that cast Cure Disease when eaten? I can imagine that'd be good to have. The Dryad Queen's tree from The Belgariad, complete with surrounding forest and dryads? I wouldn't be complaining. A dragon fruit vine? Oh ... I know! A strawberry plant.

Yes, a strawberry plant.

Specifically, one that's put out runners and put down roots and sent up more shoots again and again and again and is now approximately five miles by seven miles, because then I'd have a five mile by seven mile garden.

Similar answer: a 30m tall, 100m wide wisteria growing on the walls of MY HOUSE, because then I'd own a 100m wide, 10 storey high house!

help: bindweed is coming over from neighbour!

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 22:41

I see both ivy and bindweed. Leaf-absorbtion weedkiller like any glyphosate product will do nothing against ivy. It's too damn glossy and the stuff just rolls off it. On bindweed, though, it works. I got really fed up with the stuff in my hedge laughing at my attempts to kill it with correctly-diluted gylphosate bought as a concentrate from Homebase and had a word with a friend, who gave me some correctly-diluted glyphosate bought as a concentrate somewhere else. He gave me one of those mixed nuts jars (the ones that say "GO NUTS" in 72-point font in three places, "mixed nuts" in 24-point font in four places, "nuts" in 12-point font in a dozen places in the ingredients list and "warning: contains nuts" in 6-point font at the bottom edge of the label  ) half-filled with the stuff, and after assaults on various problem weeds I put what was left on a plastic bag on the lawn, unwound the bindweed from the hedge and dipped it in, then left it there for an hour in sunshine. This year: no bindweed in that hedge. I'm not sure what's different about the stuff he gave me. Maybe it was the rather extreme dosing method that did the trick and maybe Homebase are selling a dud product. I don't think they're selling a total dud, because it's done a respectable number on the giant hogweed threat that justified its purchase and that stuff's stubborn.

MOB rants

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 22:31

Caci, ce n'est pas un rant:



MOB rants

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 18:54

Automatic bottom wiper? Not seen one of those, but you can get an extra water pipe attached to the toilet to *rinse* your bottom while you're sitting on it. Saves flushing so much paper.


On reading: I used to read all the time. There was no point in trying to count the books I'd read. It was easier just to measure the total length of shelf they occupied. I'm still an obsessive reader (I've read the telephone handset at least five times) but school put me right off reading for a long time. There can be few things more effective as a way to spoil the joy of reading than handing some kid a really DULL book and making him write a dozen 2,500-word essays on it.

I don't get the National Curriculum book lists. I'm reluctant to do this without spoiler tags but ... Raymond E Feist's Ender books and Faerie Tale, Guy Gavriel Kay's Tigana, Anne McCaffrey's Pern books and the whole series from To Ride Pegasus onwards, Robert Ludlum's Bourne books and other works, some Gerald Seymour (but not too many because they'd get depressing), The Lord Of The Rings, maybe the Ballantyne sequence of Wilbur Smith's books, the Belgariad, the whole Magician series, Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising quadrilogy, Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, Jilly Cooper's Riders and Rivals and loads of other wonderful books and series of books ..... aren't on the list. Instead, we inflict The Wasp Factory and Lord Of The Flies on kids and require of them that they love books as a result of this traumatic waste of their time.

When will my asiatic/oriental lilly come through

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 18:33

Mine have been showing above ground and growing all month. No sign of any flowers yet, but definite green plants. The only ones that haven't shown up are the newest acquisitions, some two-tone red and white ones. The fancy blooms are always on the fragile plants, right? Plain white, yellow and orange ones have all come back in the lily patches and the OMG TALL varieties are over knee height, heading for kidney height. I think if you don't have green shoots now you're not getting them.

MOB rants

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 18:13

No children or grandchildren here. I'd be terrified for 18 years or more if I had any. I'd probably end up in jail for banging the school bully's head and the headmaster's head against each other in a brief 2-hour demonstration of how cool using strength to hurt weaker people isn't.

No TV in my home, let alone their hypothetical bedrooms. I remember spotting some blatant b______ on Tomorrow's World a couple of times as a kid but I'm sure we used to have really good stuff on TV like The Muppet ShowHorizon and Wildlife on One. These days? No.

4x4s at the school gates: wouldn't it be nice to be able to roll a Warrior IFV out there and just be bigger than them? Apparently if your parents can't afford to show up at the gates in a light-armoured all-terrain vehicle to pick you up you're not worth the worry and whether you get killed trying to walk to the bus stop or not is trivial. May I suggest carrying a fence-post-planting spike or extendable branch saw? It's amazing how much more careful those drivers are about their paintwork than about other people's children.

WW2 games and films: I suppose it's like sex education. You just have to pick an age and tell them all about it, simply and honestly, in one go. Otherwise you get Hollywood movie / GI Joe versions and "Unlearn, they must, unlearn," or you get ...

We had a school trip to France aged around 10 or 11, and got to see Pegasus Bridge and ... Sword Beach, I think. It was very strange at the time to be faced with the reality, even at that remove, of the glider landings and beach landings. There was a man who'd been on the first glider down there to meet us, and he never really explicitly said that they'd just dropped into the middle of a vastly greater number of enemy soldiers with no plan on where to hide behind what, but it was implied, and there was a landing craft still on the beach, front ramp down, with no cover for anyone still on the boat and this huge, open scape between it and the remains of the fortifications, which made the Saving Private RyanThe Longest Day situation uncomfortably easy to imagine.

What did you do in your garden today?

Posted: 26/05/2013 at 20:55

This weekend I have planted what I hope will be a very hardy perennial indeed: the new washing line.

Other tasks accomplished: pruning the privet hedge and various lonicera, reburying the bulbs that *******ed cat keeps digging up, feeding the birds. The lawn needs mowing too, and badly, but ... I'd rather be feeding the birds. Sweet little coal tit has started coming very close to me for mealworms, a bluetit's learned to do the same, that blackbird is obviously ferrying my offerings straight back to the nest and the robins are pretty quick to show up when I open the shed too.

Not done, but needs doing: pull all the grass out of the front of the bulb bed now that the crocuses and anemones have gone back into the ground. Can't weed further back until gladiolus and grape hyacinth get out of the way. Allium is only just opening and the lilies haven't even formed flower buds yet. It's going to be a long job.

MOB rants

Posted: 26/05/2013 at 01:42

Oh, I didn't mean applying a bulldozer to the speed bumps. I meant applying a bulldozer to the BMW sitting on the "SCHOOL KEEP CLEAR" markings to pick up The Only Important Child On The Planet.

Need a climber for a pergola in full shade, ideally fragrant! Any ideas?

Posted: 25/05/2013 at 23:57

"Sausage vine?"

"Holboellia coriacea 'Cathedral Gem'. ... It blooms in late winter to early spring they say and requires part shade and consistent moisture in rich, but well draining soil. The straight species can grow up to 20 to 20 feet when mature."

Further poking around says: partial shade, full sun

Light needs: Full to partial shade Water Needs: Water regularly; requires consistently moist soil.

Hrm. They think it'll like your shady pergola. Credit to the second site for calling it "climber, twining" not just "climber" 

Is the top of your pergola sunlit? Some plants grow well and flower if they're well-lit and some where they're well-lit.

Poking the website for scented, shade-friendly climbers gives a list of roses, clematis, honeysuckle and akebia:

Adding "Evergreen" gives three Clematis:

(Akebia's "semi-evergreen")

Adding "easy to grow" gives just one Clematis:

My experience: clematis all die, "climbing" roses are bushes that smell gorgeous when in flower (for up to 2 days), honeysuckle will only go green on the sunny side and akebia will look terribly drab and weak until it climbs into sunlight, if it can do that, then start to look a lot healthier and happier.

Purple Akebia from BlueBell

White Akebia from BlueBell


Discussions started by Charlie November

Holy glyphosate, Batman! What's that?

Huge thing with tiny white flowers and heart-shaped leaves 
Replies: 16    Views: 568
Last Post: 24/06/2014 at 16:52

Rose cuttings: timing

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Last Post: 31/03/2014 at 17:26

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 
Replies: 2    Views: 318
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 18:34


Not a lily. Not an apple tree. 
Replies: 6    Views: 482
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 22:29


Planning? Measuring? Me? 
Replies: 17    Views: 870
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: 1885
Last Post: 13/05/2013 at 08:09
7 threads returned