Latest posts by hypercharleyfarley

Bike stolen from back garden. Need gate lock solutions.

Posted: 10/09/2014 at 12:41

You can get padlocks which are designed for use without a key - simply a combination of numbers which, when aligned on the barrel part, enable you to unlock by clicking a little button on the bottom of the padlock. I'd suggest that you might look at these, and maybe also consider a padlock and chain on the bike itself. 

One problem which arises when thieves can do their "thing" out of sight, is that they have the time to work at it without anyone noticing.  The best thing you can do - and this was some good advice from the police and loss adjusters after theft of my property -  is that you use several devices/locks which would make it take far longer for them. 

As far as keys are concerned, there are several makes of "key box" available nowadays.  These are fixed to the wall of a property and (like some padlocks) can be accessed by aligning a number-code.  You sometimes see these boxes at properties which are occupied by elderly people who have carers visits - the carer will have been given the key-code and so there's no need to have copies of keys made for their use.  Any shop/store which sells disability aids would have them, and I guess that you could find them on the internet as well.

Also  (and this is nothing really to do with the original query)  - it's a good idea  - when you move house - to change all the external locks to your "new" property, as you never know who might have had access in the past.

Designing an outdoor eating/living space

Posted: 31/08/2014 at 19:55

Hi!  some great ideas already, though from your photos I dont think there's enough space/rooom between the window in the house extension & its roof for one of those extending/pull-out roller blinds. 

Ref decking - (and at the risk of creating some comments to the contrary!) - I'd say "Don't do it".  It's one of those things which were made fashionable some years ago via those garden-makeover programmes, but it really doesn't work well in our climate.  It gets extremely slippery when wet, even if well looked-after & maintained, and I've heard several stories about people losing things like jewellery which - when accidentally dropped - fell down between the gaps.  It also provides a haven for some unwanted garden visitors (rats) so that's another reason to avoid it, in my opinion anyway!


Posted: 13/06/2014 at 19:49

It will depend a bit where your're going as to what insurance companies will take on+ relevant cost/premium.  I think you need some proper advice from someone like an insurance broker who'll be able to help.  It might be possible for you to add travel insurance to your household policy - and if you're likely to make more than one trip in a calendar year, what they call "annual cover" would be worthwhile.  Saga may well be able to help, so that would be my first suggestion for you.  Whatever you do  please mention all the health issues you have - if not, they won't pay up as regards any claim, even if it's not related to a particular health problem which might need medical care.

A grand Auld Lad.

Posted: 09/06/2014 at 21:33

Hi Frank - Orchid Lady beat me to it, in that I wondered whether you'd consider contacting one of the breed rescue societies.  I bet there's one for Westies, and they'd probably be only too pleased to hear from someone who'd be happy to re-home an older dog.

I can't imagine life without dogs - since the age of 5 I've never been without one (or two) apart from a brief time when we were living in the Fasr East, and even then we had a cat.  It "belonged" to the house we rented then, so although we didn't have to find it a new home when we left - the next tenants would have taken it on -  the Amah we had then wouldn't hear of that, so she took it home with her instead, as she & the cat had become really attached to each other.

My two are doing their best to help rid the garden of rabbits these days.  Not a total success of course, since the rabbits are in the garden 24/7 and the dogs aren't!  Have had to deal with two dead baby bunnies (trophies?) these past two days.  Not too bad if I find them outside, but not so good when they've brought them indoors.....  luckily they just seem to despatch them and then "show off" a bit - at least it's not too much of a mess to clear up because they don't fight over the corpses, so no gory bits to deal with, just some fluff.


The established Garden.

Posted: 05/06/2014 at 19:59

Hello again Frank - I suppose that we've learned to be patient and neither want - nor expect - "instant" results in life.  One of the things I've enjoyed is being able to stay in this house for over 20 years and see some of the things I planted in the early years look now as though they've always been there.

I used to think - as far as fashions in houses etc go - that it was just kitchens and bathrooms which people simply "had" to replace as soon as they moved in.  In most cases "have to" is no more true than anyone "having to" spend a fortune on what look to me like the sort of trousers which are only fit for the rag-bag! Now it looks as though people aren't happy merely to amend/adjust things in the garden either.  Oh well - it'd be really boring if we were all of the same opinion, wouldn't it?!

The established Garden.

Posted: 05/06/2014 at 17:57

Hi Frank! - I reckon it's got something to do with our age..................!      and we belong to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" brigade.  Why make changes simply for change's sake - and when you get past a certain stage in life, fashions don't matter either.

If - oh if - I had rolling acres of parkland to play with, I'd love the sort of vista you get with some stately homes, but even then there's often a rose garden or something small-scale too.  My own garden is surrounded by fields, so I make do with that - actually I'm looking out over a huge area of potatoes at the moment - you'll be eating them one day soon in the form of crisps (or is it frozen chips they're going to end up as.........?)   By this time next year the field will be grass again - it needed re-seeding anyway as the sileage made last year wasn't the best quality, hence the need to plough & deal with it.  The potato people are doing part of the job!  Once the crop is gone, they'll cultivate/re-seed and then - apart from the cattle which used to graze there - my view will return to what it has been in the past.

I can't see the whole garden at a glance - it's in three parts right/left/rear of the house - &  the smallest part of the garden is hidden behind the garage/storage shed and that's where I have my little veg plot. The local rabbit population has exploded this year (potatoes instead of their usual space?) & many of the bunnies have taken up residence in my shrubberies.  They eat  (or sample) - any-and-everything, so there's not much chance of things like the odd few summer bedding plants surviving.  The only things they've not managed to destroy are those in the tallest planters/pots which are too high even for a rabbit on tip-toes.  The dogs are enjoying things though - but I'm not exactly thrilled to have to remove (as I did earlier today) a dead baby bunny which they were squabbling over in the hallway.  The other day one of the dogs brought a dead rabbit in & put it in his bed in the kitchen.  Oh well...........  whippets were bred to catch rabbits, weren't they!

New Gardening business...

Posted: 04/06/2014 at 18:25

Hi! - I'd suggest that before you take things any further you investigate whether or not you'd need some sort of planning permission for what you propose to do.  If you fail to do that, you might well find yourself in all sorts of trouble with not only the neighbours/locals, but also the council's planning department.  There are all sorts of issues which people might feel they'd want to object to -  additional traffic/change of use/loss of amenity to them etc etc. so do take some proper advice first before starting any sort of business where none has existed previously.

Sorry to be what looks like the bearer of bad news, but "better safe than sorry".

Rabbits (again, sorry) what to do about gates ?

Posted: 24/05/2014 at 22:22

Wire mesh does keep rabbits out when attached to gates - but it needs to be the sort of netting that's welded in small squares/rectangles rather than the chicken-wire type.  It's much more rigid than chicken-wire, and can be fixed to a gate without needing to attach it to a pole in the way you've described.  If the gate's made of wood, you can attach it with staples, and if it's a metal gate you can use cable ties.  Provided you fix it properly, in order to keep it as rigid as possible, it does work.

I have some netting fixed to a wooden five-bar gate - the mesh itself is in fact coated with some sort of green-coloured plastic - and doesn't need any support at ground level.  There's about a 3cm gap between the bottom of the mesh and the ground.

If you google around a bit - or better still go & try to find a local agricultural supplies place - you might find what you need. 



Posted: 08/05/2014 at 19:38

The rabbits have enjoyed all the pansies in my garden over the past week whilst I was away.  They've munched away at all sorts of other stuff too, and I still see them in the garden during the daytime.  One of my whippets caught one this morning - he didn't kill it - I had to do that - so that's one less to feed.  The dog's howling like mad right now - he can see two on the lawn and wants to get out there.  Trouble is that he'll make such a racket as soon as I open the back door to let him out that the rabbits will have made it to cover before he gets round the corner of the house to the part of the garden where they are at the moment.

Since the demise of my last semi-feral cat the rabbits have increased in numbers to a huge extent here, so if anyone's thinking of getting a JR terrier, I'd suggest a much better solution is to get a cat instead.  A cat would be out in the garden at all hours, whereas the dogs aren't!


Posted: 27/04/2014 at 07:59

You can blame the Normans for introducing them in the first place!  There's some argument as to whether or not it was the Romans - but there's no real evidence that they used them in the way that the Normans did - i.e. for meat and fur.   It certainly was the Normans who created special rabbit enclosures - "warrens" - and although some rabbits did escape, they didn't last long outside the warren as they were caught and eaten by the peasantry, who were only too glad to find a source of meat.  As far as I know rabbits were one of the few wild creatures which they were allowed to hunt/trap without getting into too much trouble with the local "landlords".

I'm not sure about when "myxi" was introduced into the UK - it certainly wasn't what you'd call "an issue" when I was a child. I wonder whether it was another deliberate introduction, relatively recently & perhaps from Australia, because the introduction of rabbits there caused a great problem too. Apparently myxi is spread via fleas and passes from one rabbit to another when they are underground in the burrows and come into close contact with one another.  I don't ever remember anyone mentioning myxi in hares and this is probably because their habits are somewhat different and they don't go underground at all.

Although there have been several myxi outbreaks round here in the past few years, it doesn't seem to be nearly so severe in its effects as was once the case.  Perhaps those rabbits which survived it in the past developed some sort of immunity.  I think it more likely that the survivors were in fact those rabbits which were "outcasts" - in that they spent less time underground in a group than most did.  Their habits have certainly changed, in that years ago I never saw rabbits other than at dawn and dusk. Now I see them in my garden,  in the adjoining lanes,  & on my lawn throughout the day and have come to the conclusion that perhaps this is an inherited trait from those earlier survivors.  Nowadays they're somewhat smaller too - again maybe an inherited trait from the weaker "outcasts".  Perhaps one of the few times when the weakest - rather than the strongest - survived.

Discussions started by hypercharleyfarley

ID please!

looks like a cross between grass and foxglove 
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