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Latest posts by hypercharleyfarley

Wartime Farm

Posted: 14/09/2012 at 13:16

(In case Frank & DK think I've not seen any of the programmes!)  -   I finally got around to watching Episode 1 on i-player last night, after I'd seen the second episode.  As Frank says, it looks as though they've done a bit more research this time - though (to me at least) there are  still mistakes which make me want to throw something at the TV - part of the script last night seemed (I thought) to infer that barley had been more commonly used for bread-making than wheat.  I don't think that's the case.  The sileage-making attempt was dire..........people would have been much more likely to try to line a pit/clamp with the corrugated iron rather than stand it on top of the ground - and as for how they pitchforked the greenstuff into it - about passing the furniture in through a window whilst the front door's open.......................  I see that Ruth still can't find the nailbrush - and she hasn't looked at any of the ample film footage of the war years in order to learn how to tie & wear what we called "a turban".  I agree with Frank when he says that the kitchen range wouldn't have gone out, so there'd have been no need for the paraffin stove in a farm kitchen.  Portable paraffin room heaters for elsewhere in the house maybe....

I suppose they had fun trying to make that mole plough - but I'd like to have seen what the blacksmith's own version would have been.  Without some sort of brace + a whole lot more weight it was never going to work, was it?  Considering this was supposed to be the early part of the war and farmers wouldn't yet have got used to having The Land Army around (and therefore seeing women doing things on the farm that were always hitherto considered "Men's Work") I was surprised to see Ruth driving the tractor at this stage of the series. 

I suppose I'd have to say "improved, but could do better" if you asked me how I thought the two programmes so far compare with the previous series - but it does irritate me when I see things in the background that I know weren't around then - that coach-built pram was much later than 1940 I reckon, ditto the sort of hay-bale I saw one chap carrying. 

Frank's version of how things really were is, as always, well worth reading.  Thanks, Frank!

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 19/08/2012 at 23:04

Hi Frank!  Whenever I hear a weather forecast, I'm reminded of my ex (and now late) OH's versions of what we might expect .  As an airline pilot (ex R.A.F.) he used to say that the Met Office bods boasted that their forecasts were 40% accurate. .....................

I realise that that a simple 180 deg. version of that is too simple a formula  (in which case they'd be 60% accurate!)  but sometimes I think that I'd be better relying on a fircone/bunch of seaweed/achey bunion etc etc.................  Cheers!    Ma.

What a great series!

Posted: 19/08/2012 at 22:50

Norty DK!

Gardens for Dogs

Posted: 06/08/2012 at 18:37

Lovely photos!  Thanks for sharing.  


Gardens for Dogs

Posted: 06/08/2012 at 17:53

Hello again - so nice to hear about Rasta & Bonzo!  HCF was the only whippet I've ever had who liked water - most will tippy-toe round even the shallowest puddle, whereas HCF would run to & fro splashing like mad & loving it!  I still miss him dreadfully................

Gardens for Dogs

Posted: 06/08/2012 at 16:07

Hi again Obs - New dog (Pie) was just over 12 months old when I got him & had been an "only" dog so it took a while for him to adjust not only to a new home but also  having a "senior" dog too.  T.A. had become a bit clingy during the weeks after HCF died, so having a companion to run round with has been a good thing.  The pecking order has been established!  They get on really well but don't seem especially fond of each other - both vying for my attention I guess - so I'm wondering how long it will be until I see them curled up together on the sofa or squashed up on one dog bed.  So far they haven't done that, except when travelling in the back of the car.  No arguments whatsoever though, which I'm really pleased about.

Gardens for Dogs

Posted: 06/08/2012 at 13:04

Hi Obs - how are you these days?  Good to hear that Rasta's playmate has settled in so well. 


As far as choosing  a breed of dog goes, I reckon there are so many "fashions" these days that it's a pity people don't think first before they buy - e.g. if you don't have the sort of lifestyle that suits what was bred to be a working dog, you're probably asking for trouble if you can't give the dog the amount of exercise/work/entertainment it needs.  Ongoing maintenance is something people don't often think about much as well - I dread to think what it costs to have a dog's coat professionally trimmed, for example.  Have just paid over £70 this morning for booster jabs for The Accomplice - and, being a whippet, care of his coat etc is minimal! The late Charleyfarley's successor (whippet - of course!) is doing fine - he's a bit whiney sometimes, and I can't always "read" him the way I've been able to with all my previous whippets. He's quite like HCF in terms of wanting to be outdoors a lot, and not nearly so much of a couch potato as T.A. is.  Just goes to show that even dogs of the same breed can be quite different in terms of character.

Wysteria in a windy environment

Posted: 25/07/2012 at 14:30

I don't think you'd have any particular problems with planting wisteria on a south-facing wall - after all, we don't get much in the way of strong southerly winds in the UK - mostly north-westerly here, and I'm not far from NW Wales.  I think problems usually arise with those plants which have foliage all year round, & a south-facing wall might mean that any plant there would get damaged by winter sunlight on frosty leaves, which wouldn't be the case with wisteria - or roses, come to that!


Posted: 21/07/2012 at 21:35

I think it's more likely to be a mole or a vole than a rat or mouse. I don't think rats or mice would tunnel underground quite like that.  Mole tunnels are surprisingly narrow and the mole can squeeze through narrower gaps in paving etc than you might think.  In any case, I don't think a chocolate-baited mousetrap would do!  Moles are solitary creatures - they only get together to mate, apparently - so you've probably only got the one - if indeed it is a mole. 

I'm not sure how to get rid of voles, but one way to deter moles is to annoy them by creating something which would conduct noise and/or vibrations down into the tunnel.  They like peace & quiet!  I'd suggest this cheap way of trying to disturb the mole:  cut the bottom off a plastic bottle and push the bottle upside down a few inches into the top of the disturbed ground.  The wind noise transmitted through the plastic often does the trick.  You could even tie some old CDs or something to a short stick and see if that would work.  Another way is to get a child's plastic windmill & push the stick down into the hole.  None of these things cost much - if anything - and you've nothing to lose by trying!


Posted: 20/07/2012 at 19:57

'cos that's what they all do!  seriously, though, the flowers (the whole stem is called a raceme, I think) don't seem to last all that long.  This year my wisterias weren't doing their best - due I suppose to the amount of rain we had when the flowers first began to open.  Those at the top of the racemes were well past their best & starting to die off before the whole had flowered.  What's usually left after flowering is a rather tough central "stem" which stays put even over the winter months, giving the plant a bit of a whiskery look sometimes.  I just snip them off - takes hours as the wisterias cover most of the front of my house!  If  any of them set seed, the pod looks a bit like a tough hairy runner bean pod and this will stay on the vine for months if you let it.   I don't think may people attempt to grow wisterias from seed - I believe they're mostly propagated using cuttings.  In any case, they take years to grow & be mature enough to flower, so if you're considering buying another one any time I'd suggest you get one which is in flower at the time of purchase.

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