Latest posts by Obelixx

Things I don't get

Posted: 26/08/2016 at 23:41

I don't get golf.   Complete waste of time - except when I need OH gone for a few hours so I can get on with something with no interference..

British motorways - congested, poor services, people hogging lanes, undertaking, M20 a lorry park often as not.

News readers using the present tense to report what has happened and the plural form of verbs with single nouns like government, union, team.........

Wisteria vine thickness

Posted: 26/08/2016 at 17:09

Over the years, wisteria stems can get very thick at the base end.   If you're really worried, just cut those vines at the base and leave the ones that are not likely to cause damage.   After a few weeks, the cut branches will have wilted and be easier to pull and cut out without damaging the rest of the plant.

Train the remaining branches as horizontally as possible and away from gutters and pipes.  There's some really good info on the RHS website about how and when to prune wisteria to maximise flowering.


Things I don't get

Posted: 26/08/2016 at 16:10

Tea in winter warms your innards and in hot weather it makes you sweat which is a cooling mechanism.

Love coffee as long as it's simple, honest coffee and not all this latte/americano/whatever with an extra shot rubbish.   

Smoking just makes you smell dreadful, dulls your taste buds and encourages cellular mutation leading to nasty illnesses.   Exhaling does the same for people nearby.   The evidence is overwhelming.  Why keep on doing it to yourself and others?

I like gazpacho, occasionally, but not vichyssoise type cold soups.  Cold cream is for puds.

XXXL sports clothes?  You have to wear something when/if you decide to try and get fit and lose the blubber.

My bafflement is attics.   Why is ours so big and why did we let it get so full of stuff?   No more hoarding for me after this move.


Posted: 26/08/2016 at 13:55

Wine glasses on the continent have always been bigger but they don't fill them.  It's to let the wine breathe and give the drinker the benefit of the aroma too.   Some of our everyday ones are so tall that to fit the bowl and stem we had to lower the top rack on the dishwasher but then couldn't get the dinner plates in the bottom........     Turns out the dishwasher is clever and lets you do a diagonal top rack so problem solved.

Possum's having that set of plates for her apartment.   I shall be careful to buy smaller if I replace them.

Garden ideas

Posted: 26/08/2016 at 13:07

Divide it into zones using trellis panels or shrubs or trees to block the view so you want to explore to see what's beyond but also to define areas.    You can make 3 areas of the same size and use circles to make them seem larger so that would mean 3 circles of either paving, grass or gravel according to taste or budget and then plant up the beds left round the outsides.   Another option is to use straight diagonal paths to zig zag down the garden making large and small triangular beds/lawn. either side.   Diagonals make narrow gardens look wider too.

Veggies generally do best in full sun so think about making your sitting area at the end of the garden where you will have both sun and shade depending on the weather and views over the fields.  You can smarten up that shed with paint and baskets and troughs to make it attractive and grow aromatic herbs in pots in the sunnier bit.


Posted: 26/08/2016 at 10:06

My pleasure.  Love chili jam.   So much better than ketchup and good in sandwiches or with sausages and so much else.

Scorchio again here.  26C already in the shade.  Off up the attic to sort out old ornaments and kitchen ware we shifted upstairs when we had to have half the kitchen, hall and living room replastered after a CH flooding disaster and never brought down again.   Some chucky decisions to make  I think.

I have one whole removal man willing to come and quote on site on Sunday morning so have to get cracking.


Posted: 26/08/2016 at 09:43

Hosta - I have used these in the past.  All good.


http://gcl.dunster.nl/2011/10/15/asian-chilli-jam/ - very good and my favourite

Chili jam – Nigella Lawson - no tomatoes

150grams       long fresh red chilli peppers (deseeded and cut into 4 pieces)
150 grams      red peppers (cored, deseeded and cut into rough chunks)
1 kilogram      jam sugar
600 ml           cider vinegar

6 x 250ml       sealable jars, with vinegar-proof lids, such as Kilner jars or re-usable pickle jars, sterilised and cooled.

Put the cut-up chillies into a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add the chunks of red pepper and pulse again until you have a vibrantly red-flecked processor bowl.

Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a wide, medium-sized pan over a low heat without stirring.

Scrape the chilli-pepper mixture out of the bowl and add to the pan. Bring the pan to the boil, then leave it at a rollicking boil for 10 minutes.

Take the pan off the heat and allow it cool. The liquid will become more syrupy, then from syrup to viscous and from viscous to jelly-like as it cools.

After about 40 minutes, or once the red flecks are more or less evenly dispersed in the jelly (as the liquid firms up, the hints of chilli and pepper start being suspended in it rather than floating on it), ladle into your jars. If you want to stir gently at this stage, it will do no harm. Then seal tightly.


Posted: 26/08/2016 at 09:30

Especially if they're not used for 2 millenia!

Saw something on a report on obesity recently which says crockery sizes have changed and the average dinner plate is now much bigger than in the 50s.   That automatically leads to portion inflation and thus to excess calories.

It's even spreading to France now.  We went out for a fish supper on our last visit - OH hankering after fresh sardines - and Possum had steak and chips - huge steak and massive pile of frites.  Couldn't finish it.

Hiding a bare leylandi hedge

Posted: 26/08/2016 at 09:19

I agree.  Put up your own posts and trellis on your side of the fence and thus on your land.    Widen your border if you can but certainly improve the soil with loads and loads of well rotted manure/garden compost/soil improver - available in bags from good DIY stores - and then plant a new hedge of your choosing or maybe a mix of roses/clematis/honeysuckle for colour and perfume and attracting wildlife.

As Buttercup says, there are rules about hedge heights between neighbours so follow those links.

Good luck.


Posted: 25/08/2016 at 19:43

That camel clearly wants to impress his friend the donkey!

USA portions are ludicrous.  OH and I were in the Big Ben national park in Texas at and RV and motel pace in 1988 and booked for a 4 hour, start at dawn horse ride to see the Rio Grande and the hills to Mexico so needed fuel.   Being a fan of cowboy film and curious about "grits" I ordered the cooked breakfast.  Came on a huge oval plate about 18" wide and piled high with bacon, egg, sausages, beans, hash browns, mushrooms, tomatoes, grits (which are disgusting) and toast.     I ate a normal human portion - English breakfast size.   Chappy came to clear the plates and asked if I was ill.  No thanks, just full.

Stick with us a week or two and we'll soon sort you out, he said.   I don't think so.   Every other customer in there was grossly overweight and half were towing oxygen bottles and/or in wheelchairs.

I'm quite happy for nationally owned museums, libraries, galleries, railways, buses etc to give discounts to pensioners on the grounds that their taxes through their lifetime have funded them.   Don't see why private enterprises should do so.  

Do think that portions sizes should be a more frequent option in cafés, restaurants etc.   Do not understand crisps with sandwiches - or anything else come to think of it..    

Last edited: 25 August 2016 19:43:47

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