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Latest posts by hypercharleyfarley

Slimey, mossy courtyard, help please!

Posted: 08/01/2013 at 13:44

I don't think gravel over tarmac would provide a safe surface - bound to be "skiddy" because the gravel wouldn't be able to settle/bed in.  You can, however, get moss killer-type stuff which has to be watered in!  There are areas of my garden (paved/some concrete surface) which have, this winter & for the first time ever, gone all greeen & slippy.  If & when the weather dries up a bit, I'm going to try washing/scrubbing over those areas with some bleach solution.  Thank goodness I don't have any wooden decking - the decking in gardens I've come across during the course of my work is positively lethal right now.

The real problem has been all the rain we've had this past year - hope it's not going to continue for 2013, but you never can tell! 

Best way to tidy areas outside of lawn, stop unwanted growth?

Posted: 02/01/2013 at 17:37

If you don't want to use bark,  you could try gravel (or slate chippings) instead.  Geofff's quite right when he says the birds will flick bark chippings all over the place.  I have used gravel on top of a black water-permeable membrane with great success.  It covers part of the area at the back of the house because I didn't want to have the whole of it paved.  I planted some stuff through it before putting the gravel down - 20 years later it still looks fine & there are no weeds at all.

Happy New Year

Posted: 01/01/2013 at 20:57

Happy New Year from me too - Am glad to see the back of 2012 -  few (if any) happy memories. 


DK - maybe I should get my chimney swept.................




Posted: 31/12/2012 at 18:43

I think you may mave misunderstood the bit about chicken wire - I think the poster who suggested its use meant that you should put the compost bin down on top of a piece of chicken wire rather than wrap the wire round the container.  You'd need to choose the smallest gauge mesh.

However, I've got a better idea (!) & this is what I've done with two plastic "dalek" type bins which I got from the local council.  Both bins sit directly on an area which was already covered by several small-size concrete paving slabs, with approx half-inch gaps between the slabs.  This way the worms can easily find their way up through the gaps and into the bins, and the gaps are far too small for anything much bigger to manage it.  If you're consistent and careful as to what you put in the bins, it's not very likely that rats would be interested anyway.  The most important thing to remember is No Cooked Food Items should ever go into the compost.  I put all sorts of stuff in my bins - tea bags/coffee grounds/vegetable & fruit peelings/the contents of my vacuum cleaner cylinder/shredded paper/some leaves/some prunings/some grass "mowings" etc etc - but never more than about a 3" thick layer of the latter at any one time.  As far as turning the contents of the bin's concerned, I have a special gadget which I bought specially for the purpose - if you have a look at "garden tools and equipment" or something like that on the internet, I expect you'll be able to find something similar.  Good Luck!

pets and why they are called what they are called

Posted: 25/10/2012 at 20:10

I can't really remember a time when I didn't have a dog or cat -  my first dog (I was about 5 I think when he was given to me) was a cross between a bearded collie & a sheepdog. He was called Tippy, because he had a white tip to his tail.  Had my first cat before that, a black one called Kitty - I remember her climbing up the kitchen curtains as a kitten & falling off into a bucket of soapy water. Next cat was called Snowy - though he was in fact black & white!  Quite a long gap then until the next cat - probably 20 years - and she was called Fitzpatrick.  Odd name, I know, but she had been found as a kitten in a monsoon drain outside Fitzpatrick's Supermarket on Orchard Road in Singapore and was "inherited" with the house where we lived  then.  She had a mutilated tail - I'm not sure why, but was told that there were local superstitions about not allowing a cat to be "perfect".  Next cats ( in the UK) were Smokey & Roly - two grey & white brothers who were rehomed from the RSPCA as adult outdoor cats.  They were really good at keeping the front garden here free from rabbits. Roly was killed on the main road - though it's quite a distance up the lane.  Smokey lived a further 4 years and died of natural causes two years ago.

So - dogs (in chronological order):-

Tippy - as above

Carlo - black & white sheepdog

Simon - black & tan standard dachshund

Miggy - black & tan miniature dachshund

Daisy - fawn Italian Greyhound

Rosie - blue-cream whippet

Lily - grey-brindle & white whippet

Freddy - fawn & white whippet

Charlie - grey-brindle & white whippet

Harry - fawn & white whippet

Frankie - red brindle whippet

Piper (aka Pie) - fawn & white whippet.

The last two are here as I type this  - and (you've probably guessed) my nickname Hypercharleyfarley is because of Charlie, who fitted that description so well in so many ways.  I still miss him so much. - but loved them all.



Is there anything I can't compost?

Posted: 18/10/2012 at 12:25

Hi Figrat - thanks for the links/info.

Is there anything I can't compost?

Posted: 17/10/2012 at 18:28

Hi Figrat - that's a super gadget!  where can I get one?  I sieve the compost which comes from my black "Dalek" type bins and that would make things so much simpler.  Like you, I put what won't go through the sieve back into one of the bins - I usually find that the only things which don't decompose first time round are avocado skins - why is that?

Wartime Farm

Posted: 13/10/2012 at 18:38

Hi Chris - I don't think you're being too picky at all!   As you'll have read, my own comments are usually somewhat derogatory - it annoys me so much when the programme makers say and do things which I know are incorrect, because I think it's utterly wrong to make "historical" programmes with so many errors and then try to pass them off as a factual re-creation.

I thought I'd send off for the booklet which accompanies the series - I have a small collection of books about farming - but found that the Open University/BBC website doesn't seem to work when you try to place your order.  I got no further than being able to entering my postcode - then.....................nothing.   Must admit I wasn't too surprised - just a bit disappointed - as it's yet another let-down, which is what this series has turned out to be for me.  Whilst looking at the website I saw some comments which were along the same or similar lines to Frank's & mine, so I decided to watch the last episode again on i-player to see whether or not I still felt the same. I do! 



Wartime Farm

Posted: 12/10/2012 at 18:31

Hi Frank - I was wondering what you thought about last night's "offering".  As always you've told it like it REALLY was!   I thought the programme made a mess of trying to involve the children - gathering herbs etc maybe, but certainly not children using  pichforks (we call them pikels)  to rake the cut grass in that graveyard.  Even the "presenter" used one -   aaarrgh! - haven't they ever seen or heard of a wooden hay-rake?   We would set traps for rats too.  After the winter months - when the dairy cows were turned out to grass for the first time - a terrier or two (or sometimes a clonk with a shovel) was the way to get rid of those odd few rats which had managed to overwinter in the shippons.  There was always some hay & stuff which got left in that space in front of the actual stalls - we call it "the byng" - and when that was cleaned out the rats would emerge. I was really cross when they said that rats don't have a bladder.  WRONG.  They do - and they can climb.

They did get it right with Ruth's hairdo, however - my Ma was called Ruth and she had her hair done like that.  I remember those funny hair-clips, which were still in Ma's dressing-table drawer years after the war ended. Yes, they should by this stage have talked about the POWs who worked on farms.  It was mostly Germans who worked for us - the food they brought to work from their camp canteens was really awful, so my Ma and Aunt would give them whatever extra stuff was available from our own kitchen.   I can clearly remember two of them - one was called Walter and the other's name was Hans.  They were probably in their late 30s and - according to my Pa's reminiscences in later years - were thoroughly nice chaps who didn't seem at all "pro Nazi", as were the younger men.  They made toys and little presents for us - I remember one wooden toy which looked like a table tennis bat. Perched on the flat round surface were little carved & painted chickens which  nodded/pecked when you moved the bat in a sort of horizontal/gyratory fashion - the chickens's heads were connected by fine string to a weight beneath the bat.  Walter made a lovely wooden jewellery box for my Aunt - I still have that, and it still has the dedication/inscription  (inc. photo of a rather handsome man in uniform) inside the lid.

Wartime Farm

Posted: 28/09/2012 at 20:32

What was the problem with the cow, other than what looked like damaged udder ligaments?  If it was merely that, and not an infectious illness, I'd have thought that the slaughterhouse would have passed the carcase as suitable for human consumption - in the same way that they would have done if she'd broken a leg.

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