Latest posts by Obelixx

Native or Non Native ?

Posted: 20/10/2016 at 17:25

If you"re a purist, not a lot is really native, since every tribe that has invaded from the Celts to the Picts, Romans, Angles, Saxons and Normans have brought their own plants with them.  Before that there was land between us and continental Europe so all sorts travelled by wind and then bird and critter droppings.  

Last edited: 20 October 2016 17:26:08

HELLO FORKERS! October Edition

Posted: 20/10/2016 at 16:20

Like scones with an egg then.  Like the idea of splitting and cooking again.  Must be lovely with cheese and maybe a few herbs added.


Posted: 20/10/2016 at 16:18

Find yourselves a copy of the Dr Hessayon Vegetable expert as it explains basics such as crop rotation and describes the sowing and growing conditions for a wide variety of veggies;   Have a look at this thread - http://www.gardenersworld.com/forum/the-potting-shed/gardening-by-the-moon/229026.html started by Biofreak who gardens in Normandy.   The French often follow the lunar calendar because it works for them.

Go to your local commune (council) and ask about compost bins.  Ours in the Vendée sells good basic wooden flat packs for 30€ each and start composting all your raw kitchen waste and future garden waste;   We bought 3 so we will eventually have one filling, one "cooking" and one ready to spread on our beds;

Our veggie plot is currently a blank canvas full of weeds and an old chicken shed so we will be strimming up the nettles to go on the compost heap as they are full of nitrogen and then laying out raised beds for each different group of veggies plus permanent beds for things like strawberries, raspberries and other soft fruits.  Raised beds become "no dig" but you add fresh compost and fertilisers according to season and the next crop rotation and leave it for the worms to work in over winter.   

You can buy seeds very cheaply in most garden centres, plant and animal suppliers or online form the UK if you want something special. 

Have a look at the A4A website which is mostly veggie growers and has a poster called Tee Gee who has an excellent online almanac of what to do when - http://www.thegardenersalmanac.co.uk/Indexes/index.htm You'll need to adjust timings a bit as he's in Yorkshire so colder and later but he's a mine of info.

Agree about learning French asap.   The locals here are as helpful as anything and forgive our accents and grammar as long as we make an effort.  After 25 years in Belgium my French is fine but OH worked in English and Flemish so his French can be shocking but they love it.

HELLO FORKERS! October Edition

Posted: 20/10/2016 at 15:56

Well done on the weight loss chaps.  Impressive and must make you feel so much better.

Clari - seems incompetence is the name of the game for your colleagues.   Apply to become boss?

I have had an interesting pm - bank to collect cheques and cards and update insurance to include garden contents, water and sewage pipes and freezer contents.  The latter are not insured in case of a strike by EDF.  Makes you wonder if they have a bad habit at ED.   Thence to the PO where I was told I may not post a cylindrical object so my carefully made and labelled parcel of posters for Charlie has been transferred to another square one that used to hold PO posters.  Such lovely, helpful people.

Now to cope with a paddy from OH when I tell him I can't cope with the round table in the kitchen - wobbly leg and a bit small so two accidents during recent visit, one me and one her - and want to swap it for my proper, stable, oblong oak refectory table which is currently lurking in the unfinished room in the annex.  Plus which, haven't seen a round tablecloth I like!

Still dry here.  Hot and sunny expected tomorrow and Saturday but maybe some rain on Monday.  Good.  Lots of washing to dry.

HELLO FORKERS! October Edition

Posted: 20/10/2016 at 10:01

P'doc - amazing.  Well done and I do hope the good you've done for others will outweigh any consequences for you after what you've seen and experienced;

Bushman - hope you stay "up" and that the memories of your trip will be a source of pleasure to get you through any future downs.

Busy - sounds like you need to get stern with your GP or change to one who understands the importance of physio;   Being able to garden is so important to one's well being.

LP sounds like you're having ups and downs too.  Hugs.

DD - have a great time in Paris.   There'll be another parcel on its way to you tomorrow;

We had our Belgian neighbours come to visit on Tuesday and I persuaded them to stay an extra night so we coyuld all go to les Sables d'Olonne yesterday - stroll along the sea wall, fishy lunch and then a stroll round the yacht basin to the Vendée Globe village.  Loads of people but also loads of info so I got you a pack - magazines, booklet on the skippers, world map with the route, stickers of the boats so you can chart their progress, a woolly bonnet, a scarf and a baseball cap with a badge.   Posters in a separate parcel cos, of course, they don't fit.

OH is so impressed with it he wants to go back and get one and also have a closer look at the outdoor clothing on sale at 50 and 70% off........

Guests have now gone, heading to friends near Saumur.   We have enjoyed our day off but now it's back to sorting and an appointment at the bank this pm to sign for our new bank cards and cheques.  Haven't had cheques in Belgium for 20 years so a bit odd.

Gorgeous sunny day so off for walkies and then potting up my front door display of tulips and pansies.

I hope all are well and having a good day;

HELLO FORKERS! October Edition

Posted: 18/10/2016 at 14:08

Busy - agree about planting being the best bit, seconded by the popping of seedlings after careful sowing.   Rasta doggy has arthritis in her right shoulder - much diminished since we arrived here where the climate is drier so I hope it does the same for me.  Anyway, the Belgian vet prescribed one month on and one month off of daily glucosamine sulphamate and it works for humans and horses too so see if you can find some.   Sounds like you also need some good massages form a decent physio/kine so see if you can get your GP to prescribe some sessions.

I love baking but have never tried all the fancy icing and other bells and whistles of the bake-off and, cos I can't afford the calories, only do it for group activities or guests.   However, my new oven is gas so I'm not risking it today.  Need to get to know it first.

Dove - there was dry martini but only in huge bottles, too tall for my cupboard next to the cooker.   I'm hoping the herbs in the Bianco will counteract sweetness.  If not, a drop of vinegar or lemon juice should do the trick.  

GWRS - the vanilla cream terrine is from Delia's Summer book and the spiced plums are as follows:-

Spiced Plums

The plums need to be firm.  If they are too ripe they will start to disintegrate and go mushy.  They will still taste great but not be so pretty.  

12                    plums
275ml              red wine
275g                sugar
3                      star anise
6                      cloves 
1                      cinnamon stick 

Boil the wine, sugar and spices till the sugar is dissolved and it starts to become syrupy.  Wash, halve and stone the plums and simmer them for 2 minutes.  Allow to cool and leave for 48 hours to mature.   Serve cold.

HELLO FORKERS! October Edition

Posted: 18/10/2016 at 09:28

No.  They'd already left to visit other friends near Saumur when I thought about it.   Found some Oloroso yesterday at La Roche-sur-Yon but too sweet for what I need and also very pricey. I'm going to experiment with Cinzano Bianco.

HELLO FORKERS! October Edition

Posted: 18/10/2016 at 08:47

Gorgeous morning!  Horizontal sun and lots of silvery mist.  Blue skies above.

We had a double rainbow just before sunset as we drove down the motorway the day we moved.  I took it as a good omen.

Clari - I am not much nearer planting my bulbs either but did buy two new pots for them yesterday because I can't see me being ready to empty the two I had intended to use.   Need some proper rain before their contents can be planted out.

Busy - I hope your X-ray reveals a fixable problem or gets you some physio to heal it.

Best crack on - lamb shoulder is now marinating.  Vanilla cream terrine and spiced plums all done.  Just need to clean house and make beds before first guests arrive at 2ish - our former neighbours in Belgium.

Have a great day everyone.

HELLO FORKERS! October Edition

Posted: 17/10/2016 at 13:11

Hugs from me too Busy.  Hope you have a good spot for him.

Clari - definitely should have stayed home.  I hope you keep a formal note of all these calamities that stop you doing your job properly.

Dove - sounds like you hand a great day out.

This morning started cold and grey after another night time rainfall.   decided to stay in and do more sorting and cleaning till it warmed up.  Now to get cleaned up myself and go and try a new SM and DIY store.   Need some light fittings and what we've seen so far doesn't answer.   Sun coming out so dogs will enjoy walkies when we get back.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 17/10/2016 at 13:01

What difference does it make which university she went to.  She has brains and is attractive and fit which all helps with the dancing but may be lacking a few people skills which doesn't matter on the dance floor.

I much preferred her Charleston performance to Anastasia's rumba but have no personal experience of Charleston - except as a line dance - so can't see why the judges preferred the rumba.   Still, no real damage done as no serious contenders have gone yet.

I did enjoy Madness' performance too.  

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