Latest posts by Obelixx

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

What to use to protect the inside of a raised bed (part brick part wood)?

Posted: 25/08/2016 at 19:20

Can't help with the bricks but would have thought it was more a case of stopping stuff from the bricks leaching into the soil as well as stopping moisture from the soil staining the bricks.

When we had part of our land levelled and terraced to make veggie and fruit plots we used old railway timbers lined with ordinary black plastic sheeting to protect them from moisture in the soil.   20 years later they are still going strong.


Posted: 25/08/2016 at 17:32

The earthquake news is certainly very sad - shocking for all the people and animals involved losing each other and their homes and security and, in some cases, livelihoods.   Let's hope they get help to re-build their lives.

It is scorchio here.  Got home form patchwork at 6pm - shade thermometer says 34C which is hotter than yesterday but it isn't humid so I can cope.  However, tomorrow and Saturday we are on attic sorting ready for one loan removal man who is prepared to come and do an estimate on site.   That won't be so comfy but needs must.

Banks now expect people to do all their banking online and remotely so seem surprised when you actually want some good old fashioned customer service.    

What is your weather like?

Posted: 25/08/2016 at 17:21

Have just got home form my Patchwork day and, at 6pm, it's 34C in the shade on the north wall trellis post where the sun never shines after 9am.   Not humid tho so OK.

Set to stay this way for the weekend but maybe get a bit cooler.   OH is late home after telling me he doubted they'd play all 18 hole sin this heat.   Hope he' s not stuck at the 19th!

We have no gardening plans but really do need to get on and sort the attics out - lovely job in this heat but we do have a deadline.

Please help with my jungle!

Posted: 25/08/2016 at 17:17

I did think about suggesting paving slabs and freecycle earlier but they are very unforgiving on small knees and elbows and heads when they fall.

Grass is honestly the kindest surface for play.   No point putting membrane under turf or seed.   If you can get some help with the rest of the clearing and then get the soil that's behind left forked over and raked level you can sow seed in September.   it really isn't that hard to keep it cut - think of it as hoovering floors - and it's easy then to add a paddling pool when she's big enough or make a den under that tree as budget, needs and materials allow.

A wee Flymo or similar isn't that expensive and there may be one going on Freecycle/Ebay/local ads.   You can hang it on a wall so it doesn't take up space.

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