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Latest posts by Clarington

Paralysed but excited

Posted: 26/01/2016 at 14:46

1. Get yourself a notebook and get jotting! Types of plants you like the look of, ones you see in books, on TV. Write them down before you can forget. I have to confess that due to my memory issues I take photographs of the plant, the plant label, and the care instructions. My phone has quite the old collection of photographs.

2. Do you know what soil type you have? Or where is damp / dry / acid / alkaline / the general might affect picky plants type of thing. That always helps focus your mind as to what you can have.

3. There's nothing wrong with a bit of bare soil, I do like tidy beds with plenty of soil between the flowers especially when you put all the effort into keeping them tidy

4. Do you have a theme for the garden? I.e. country garden. Or areas that need to have a certain criteria? I.e. hiding the neighbours monster of a garage that lunges through your eyesight like a fat naked man on the beach.

5. No matter how well you plan it, no matter how many hours you stare and stare at your garden. You WILL end up moving one plant at least three times. My poor daffodils seem to get their bulbs dug up after every season to be moved somewhere else and I'm still not sure their current location is any good.


Posted: 26/01/2016 at 14:15

Lyn, my parents used to have a water filter: but because they're used to the water (as I must have been once!) They don't think it makes much difference and are not terribly inclined with gadgets that involve effort.

Its incentive at least to get the house finished (removing the plaster off the walls starts as soon as spring appears) at least so that they can make the trek up here instead of us spending all our spare time on the M1.

The dog is snoring away next to me: what did I do in life to deserve not just a partner that snores all night but a dog that snores all day?

I am impatiently staring at my hyacinth bulbs: I need some colour in the house (and not just the paint samples on the walls). My fault for not planting sooner! (Well by planting: putting them in a glass jar hardly counts). My daffodils are at least showing sign that (providing the wind doesn't send them in the direction of Norway) we'll have something pretty to look forward too very soon.


Anyone for a mug of really wet tea?


Posted: 26/01/2016 at 13:08

Hazel, I'm 30; my partner younger. But we both are convinced their water just isn't as "wet" as up here: you shouldn't feel thirsty after a cup of tea! We're quietly convinced even the dog doesn't like drinking the tap water (he never seems to drink in their house but rushes outside and tries to drain the pond); I say quietly. Everyone thinks he's spoilt enough as it is I'm not going to loudly proclaim we need to bring the dog his own water supplies!

Definitely can't be a fussy age thing. I've had most of my quirks since I was 19! 

As for stuck in our ways. I prefer to say I have high expectations.

I'm debating turning the heating on. Its not overly cold, just not overly warm.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 26/01/2016 at 12:53

I've just watched a very heavy (I can't shift it and I can pick up 30kg of dog) pot roll across the lawn. I don't think I'll be going out there unless I desperately need too today. 

My strawberries are in six hanging baskets Marygold: nice and easy to care for (not prone to slugs being off the ground, nor being eaten by a German Shepherd as they're just out of his reach too) and are by the kitchen door for ease of picking. In the summer when it was hot I upturned plastic cola bottles filled with water into the soil and that seemed to work really well.

They hang from one another to form two chains so don't even take up that much space either.

When I eventually get the garden finished I'm going to have drain pipe running on slates horizontally across the back of the greenhouse for some strawberry plant vertical gardening.


Posted: 26/01/2016 at 12:45

I have got a large arse Fairy. Thanks for noticing. People don't realise the amount of effort and cake an arse like this takes. 

Hound and I got out in the fresh air earlier: neither of us were particularly keen to climb to the top of the hill and he looked at me like I was insane when we walked past the pond (he normally goes straight into it): the waves were really rather large!

Now safely tucked up in the lounge watching the trees waving. Woodhead Pass has been closed due to the wind and gusts of 70 mph have been recorded.

I am... as you'll have guessed sorting my work emails. 

Hazel, funny you mention the lengths we go. I stayed at my parents house at the weekend. As I lay trying to get to sleep (with my hot water bottle I brought with me, and my "bedtime stories" playing... that of course I brought with me) I realised that next time I visit I'm going to have to bring *my* pillows. 

And perhaps my own bedsheets (no idea what detergent mum uses but it was so perfumed I felt ill).

Oh and I could really do with bringing my own water because their water makes awful tea compared to the water up here. (I already bring my own bread and snacks).

Going away is such hard work.

Oh Pat sorry to hear you're not well. Keep your fluids up, as well as dehydration being a BAD thing, having to keep moving (i.e. to get up to pee) is very important to

a) distract yourself from feeling ill as you watch the loo roll rations get lower and lower

b) keep your muscles from melting into the shape of the sofa


Wonky: we have two duvets both quite thin (one thicker than the other) that come winter we button together if the thicker one isn't warm enough which seems to work rather well. Brought them from Ikea so nothing terribly special!


Posted: 26/01/2016 at 07:54

Morning all.

I've got today off; I spent all evening planning my exploits in the garden (as I was away at the weekend and had to suffer sitting inside watching the nice weather be wasted away) to wake and find... strong winds and threats of flooding.


Those light evenings can't come soon enough! 

Time to potter off and see what you have been up too. I'll keep the kettle on!

Pond ice prevention

Posted: 26/01/2016 at 07:47

I use a football (much to the dogs confusion). However I have found my floating island (plants with polystyrene floats so they bumble around the pond depending on where the wind takes them) seem to do a good job of creating enough ripples in the pond to stop it freezing... on the rare days it's been cold enough, 


Posted: 18/01/2016 at 16:58

Fidget: most of them are children, in fact I bet a good 95% are children. I'll be good and not get ranty about that arse hole of a MP who jabbered away to stop them discussing teaching first aid to school children. It is incase that in modern society there are so many people that don't know how to do CPR.

One thing for sure if I hope that if he ever needs first aid its a rugby player doing the chest compressions. He'll live but my god will those ribs hurt for a few months.

This year I'm aiming to get my number up to two thousand knowing CPR: we don't charge to learn and I even pay all the costs of us going out to a local scout / guide group to keep it free for them.


Well I went out for a walk with Reggie. I'm convinced he dropped his favourite ball down that steep bank deliberately knowing that if he whimpered and cried and howled enough that eventually I'd slide down on my bum to retrieve it. I very nearly couldn't get back up and was contemplating following the river until I found a bank I could climb back up! Back now in my pjams while his lordship snoozes on the sofa besides me.

At least dinner tonight is easy: I've defrosted one of the meals that I made in bulk the other weekend!


Stay warm everyone: and don't do anything too foolish!

Proposal on the local gardening show!

Posted: 18/01/2016 at 16:51

Oh Tootles congratulations!!!


Posted: 18/01/2016 at 14:22

Don't drink all the wine at once GWRS. 

12:58 and I finally decided to stop work for long enough to have a shower. Its now 14:22 and I'm still sorting emails. I think its safe to say that my day off hasn't gone well. 

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