London (change)
Today 5°C / 0°C
Tomorrow 6°C / 2°C

Charlie November

Latest posts by Charlie November

Room 101

Posted: 04/01/2015 at 15:04

Irresponsible dog owners.

Wandering domestic and feral cats.

People who talk on mobile phones while driving ... and their cars.

Brussels sprouts. I can actually eat them. For years, I couldn't, and I was told not to be stupid and to get them down me. There must be millions of children being abused like that every Christmas. Allelocide FTW. Get rid.

Land slugs. One got into my bedroom once and I stepped on it in the dark. *POP* Slug guts everywhere. Also: lungworm.


Sleeping sickness.

Ebola haemmorhagic fever.




Sudden oak death.

Sudden ash death.





Professional football. I don't mind people playing it, but as soon as money gets involved, *teleport enemy* goodbye!



Everyone who thinks their children are entitled to everyone else's time, money, effort, consideration, cars, homes, help et cetera above and beyond all other concerns because they're theirs.

The Ayatollahs of Iran. Not the President. Not the Ministers. Not the rest of the government. Not the ordinary Mullahs. Not the population in general, who are all lovely people. Just the religious nutters in charge preventing us from all getting along.

Hamas leadership. Not the ambulance drivers or teachers or sewage workers. Just the leadership and the chain of command behind the rocket launches and the burning down of a UN school in the Gaza strip (for not segregating 8-year-old boys and girls).

Hip-hop, reggae, R&B and rap, and everyone who's ever presented BBC Radio 1.

Capital and Capital Extra radio stations while I'm at it.

Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson.

Every grey squirrel, black squirrel, brown rat, black rat and American mink in the British Isles.

Formula 1.

Every car parked in the "pick-up / drop-off only" lane anywhere in the past or next year (except ones picking up disabled people).

Facebook and Twitter.

Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Avigdor Lieberman, Jeremy Clarkson, Rupert Murdoch and the Daily Mail.

Everybody in favour of FGM. I'd teleport the lot of them to the Moon if I could. No, no space suits. Just them as they are.

Child-molesters ... unless there's a Room 201 or something where I can put them, somewhere worse.


Unexploded cluster-bomb sub-munitions. Not many around here, but they're horrible enough to get a place on my list.



Anyone who ever threw a live hedgehog into a lit bonfire.


If I keep going long enough we'll have solved that whole question of how to cut carbon emissions by 90% in 35 years, won't we?

Seaside Home

Posted: 04/01/2015 at 14:35

Near Penzance, quite a lot. Near Cape Wrath, not so much.

Fortunately, crocus have a filter for coastal gardens:

Hmm. 2928 plants, including 2432 "flowering" plants, 3 "invasive" ones and 9 "non-invasive" ones.

"Special conditions: coastal" narrows it down to 102, and "evergreen" and "low maintenance" take it down to 14.

Not necessarily the definitive source of info or plants, but still a good place to start looking. Never had a problem with them.


Positive thoughts and silly things for the tough times

Posted: 31/12/2014 at 16:50

Lesley, I've actually done that for someone ... so that she could eat at night.

Jewish. Friday night. Opening fridge door illuminates light. Lighting a light is symbolically lighting a fire. Lighting a fire is work. Work is forbidden from just before sunset Friday to just after sunset Saturday. She left it too late to remove the bulb herself, so had to get me to do it.



Need to replace what I think is box

Posted: 31/12/2014 at 16:45

nutcutlet, it's not me you need to tell. It's the plant.

Susan, I think I see the issue here. They're supposed to flower after the leaves drop off at the onset of winter? Mine's evergreen.

It's between the compost heap and the fence, where rotting compost gently heats the ground and the air and the wind can't get at it. I had two in the wrong place and no good place for them (silly me mistook them for climbers) so I cut them down to transportable size, dug them up and gave them away. To get them disentangled, I had to take a straight 2' stem off one, so I stripped the bottom inch of all bark, the next inch of outer bark and the next several inches of leaves and stabbed it 15" deep into the ground behind the compost heap, just to see whether it would grow. It grew. It's been pruned in spring a few times to bush it out a bit. I don't think any of its leaves have lasted more than 30 months, but it's never without them.

Plum Codling Moth battle

Posted: 30/12/2014 at 10:37

They pretty much already said it: biological warfare. Nematodes.


  1. The number of annual generations varies from one to four according to the climate (varying with latitude and altitude), the year, and sometimes the host plant.

... so they'll show up at all sorts of times, depending where you live.

More quoted material:

The natural enemies of the codling moth include birds, spiders, insects, nematodes, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses (Falcon & Huber, 1991). Natural enemies are most effective in reducing codling moth population at three times during its life cycle: egg stage, newly hatched larvae, and the wintering larvae (MacLellan, 1969).

The great tit, Parus major Linnaeus, was considered by Massee (1954) the most important species of bird attacking codling moth larvae in Britain. This species, along with the blue tits, Parus caeruleus Linnaeus, was also found to be the most important by Solomon et al.(1976) in different unsprayed apple orchards in Europe.

In Britain and Nova Scotia (Canada), heteropterans seem to be the most important codling moth predators (MacLellan, 1962, 1963; Glen, 1975).

... plus earwigs, but they wreck the fruit too.

Then you get to the parasitoids, little tiny wasps whose babies go all H.R.Giger Alien on the moth larvae. There's a beauty of an example called the emerald wasp who's the best friend of anyone with a cockroach phobia.

A few good bird boxes (the kind made from a 240x30x2cm plank, not the "2mm plywood and panel pins" things some bird food companies sell) and a load of well-stocked feeders could encourage some dedicated predators to come visiting every day, as long as you're not spraying poisons all over the place.

Failing all that, you could always try burning cigars around the trees ...

Need to replace what I think is box

Posted: 30/12/2014 at 10:20

"Bare in patches" sounds an awful lot like my privet hedge here. It's been getting shorter year by year as the end tree keeps dying off. Lost maybe a metre in 10 years, so not "disappearing before my eyes" but still an issue. Turns out to be honey fungus working its way through them. Most irritating. Dig a very big hole, and get rid of all the roots, before you plant anything else there. Hard to do in my case as the hedge was planted down the side of a tarmac parking area and the lawn was laid on top.

Susan: winter honeysuckle actually flowers? I hadn't noticed. Mine are just shrubs.


Posted: 30/12/2014 at 10:02

Another clear night last night here, another clear morning today. Bird bath a solid piece of ice at 09:50. Emptied the kettle over it, so a nice 37'C for them at the moment. The little apple tree next to the bird bath has finally decided it feels like autumn and some of its leaves are starting to turn yellow and red.


rich, if you don't want the snow, send it to Esfahan. They'd appreciate it there.

Positive thoughts and silly things for the tough times

Posted: 29/12/2014 at 17:31


Worries & troubles that affect Forum friends.

Posted: 29/12/2014 at 17:22

We don't have a "bad dog" problem here. "Irresponsible dog-owner" problem, yes. I'm tempted to get a pressure washer and some really long extension leads and hoses and take to lurking in the shadows in the early mornings. Pretty sure a direct hit on a fresh steamer, sending it right up the idiot's legs, would get the point across. It's weird that my gardening wellies are cleaner than my street shoes. Pretty easy to avoid the occasional cat turd in the flowerbed. Hard to avoid an entire pavement.

Philippa, that sounds horrible! Luckily for me, I only have to worry about the opposite: ash trees on my side of the fence, cars parked along the other side. TPOs can be ignored if work needs to be done urgently to make a tree safe. If there are rotten branches overhanging places people go, you can take 'em down or get 'em taken down and then let the council know afterwards.


Posted: 28/12/2014 at 20:02

Frosty? I've been getting frostier and frostier on top since I was 17. Started in front of the ears and spread upwards.

Here, it's been crystal-clear overhead all day. The cars had beautiful frost patterns all over them this morning. By mid-afternoon, the fence was steaming where direct sun and sun reflected from windows heated it from both sides and the lawn was clear where it had had direct sun but still frosty in the shadow of the fence.

KEF, You can get little parasites and predators to eat your whitefly for you. They're also prey for lacewings, ladybirds and hoverfly larvae, so encouraging them might help. Hoverflies here seem to love the honeysuckle and allium flowers, and my "cream cascade" has no respect for seasons and calendars, flowering for 10 months at a time, so the local whitefly population is very small, very scared and moving away as soon as it can afford the van rental.

Discussions started by Charlie November

Holy glyphosate, Batman! What's that?

Huge thing with tiny white flowers and heart-shaped leaves 
Replies: 16    Views: 650
Last Post: 24/06/2014 at 16:52

Rose cuttings: timing

Replies: 7    Views: 451
Last Post: 31/03/2014 at 17:26

When is honey fungus not honey fungus?

At least I didn't spend anything. 
Replies: 18    Views: 1757
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: 398
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 18:34


Not a lily. Not an apple tree. 
Replies: 6    Views: 563
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 22:29


Planning? Measuring? Me? 
Replies: 17    Views: 961
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: 2471
Last Post: 13/05/2013 at 08:09
7 threads returned