Latest posts by Obelixx

Hello Forkers - February 2017 Edition

Posted: 28/02/2017 at 17:35

When we had workmen in Belgium they would refuse to come and snack or take a break in our kitchen so I would set them up with a table and plastic garden chairs in the garage or barn, depending, and provide a coffee machine and fresh baked muffins or biscuits or a cake each day.  They loved it and were always happy to come back.

Can't do that here as the oven is a no-no and, in any case, they take a 2 hour lunch break off site.   Won't even accept coffee.

Good news about your plasterer Clari.    

Hello Forkers - February 2017 Edition

Posted: 28/02/2017 at 17:13

Been a busy day here.   Spent the morning emptying the annex for chappies to come and do insulation then a small raid on the local supermarket for doings for a hot and sour chicken soup to clear Possum's sinuses and then getting her packed up for the train back to Namur.  Then the electrician turned up, Bonzo got out and barked at everyone, Rasta ate the windfall birdy fat balls and has now been sick on the kitchen floor.  Nice.

TB - ask a bee specialist about having a natural hive where you don't harvest the honey.  Wild bees need homes and seem to manage without anyone harvesting their honey.

Clari - I dare say the museum wouldn't be colder than home so why not take in a sleeping bag and a camp bed?   Snooze as and when you can.

What was the exhibition Dove?

Starting a garden from scratch

Posted: 28/02/2017 at 15:46

He needs to measure it and draw it to scale and then note north, south, east and west.  he also needs to work out what kind of soil he has - sandy, lomay, gritty, clay, acid, alkaline, neutral, well-drained, boggy.....

Then he needs to think about what he wants in the garden and also how much money he has to spend on materials and how much time he will realistically spend on maintenance each week to keep it weeded and trimmed and mowed as needed.  Otherwise it's no better than having a perfect kitchen installed and then never washing the dishes or wiping the surfaces and cleaning the floor.

Shallow ponds tend to be high maintenance as they easily fill up with weeds as the water warms faster than deeper ponds and even evaporates.  To protect any fish and aquatic plants from freezing in winter it needs to have a central depth of minimum 60cms plus a shallow beach end to allow wildlife to escape and not drown - frogs, toads, hedgehogs etc.

Some well placed shrubs will add interest and be low maintenance if well chosen but the choice will depend on what kind of soil he has and which way the beds face.   Easy perennial flowering plants will add colour and interest thru the seasons but again the choice depends on his garden conditions.

I suggest you send him to the local library to borrow a copy of Alan Titchmarsh' How to Be a Gardener in book and DVD form or buy one on the internet.  

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 28/02/2017 at 15:28

Chaps are in today - sheltering from outside work and weather - doing the insulation for the ceilings in the annex.  Then will come the remaining wall boards and the ceiling and finally floor tiles.  I shall take photos as work progresses and post a link when it's done.

Problems using the website

Posted: 28/02/2017 at 15:20

No probs here apart from the wind affecting phone lines so connections a bit iffy at times today and yesterday.  Council chappy came past trimming hedgerows and has left some cut branches hanging on phone and power lines so we're a bit blinky at the mo.

Have you got an ad block running?  That might help.  

Hello Forkers - February 2017 Edition

Posted: 28/02/2017 at 09:15

It's windy and wet again here today.  We've now chalked up 8cm of rain since the 20th of Jan when we started recording.    Chappy came round early this morning to ask if his men could start on insulating the annex ready for a ceiling to go in because it isn't nice working outside.  We have thus spent the morning emptying things out of the way - to the outside sheds and ruin so a bit wet for OH or the dining room for me which is noisy because Rasta barks at the wind whistling in the chimney.

I would love some bee hives here when we get our veg garden growing but we don't consume very much honey so I'll have to rely on solitary bees and wild honey bees for whom I will provide shelter.  

Possum goes back to Namur this afternoon so we'll have an early lunch and take the dogs to explore Angers before we put her on her train.   Turns out she's only brought the teeny case so no room for her sweet potatoes and the new jeans.   Dilemma.

Have recorded the Mary Berry programme.  Not sure why they make people cook outside for these progs.    All Keith Floyd's fault.

Have a safe and cosy day everyone.

Hello Forkers - February 2017 Edition

Posted: 27/02/2017 at 18:29

When we moved to Belgium it took me ages to get used to shops closing for lunch.  I'd get up, do a couple of hours unpacking and sorting, get showered and dressed and arrive in time for midday closing.   Fewer and fewer shops do it there now so we've had a period of adjustment here too.  One DIY shuts for 2 and a half hours but does stay open till 7:30.

It was a wild and woolly drive up to Nantes today but teh sun came out as we arrived so Possum got some good filming done around the chateau of the dukes of Brittany which is a lovely, cuddly castle with a defensive moat and all - not a big, imposing, threatening sort of castle like Edward built to tame the Welsh.

Turned a bit wet and windy while we were exploring the cathedral so we adjourned for lunch and then explored the Place Royale and the theatre via a lovely cast iron and glass covered gallery.   Somehow, Possum acquired 4 new pairs of jeans and a tailored jacket. for when sje needs to look professional.

Home now and thinking of something light for dinner.

Sussex Trugs in France

Posted: 27/02/2017 at 18:12

If you google "magazine+jardin+France" you will get quite a list of magazines.

I don't buy any regularly but I picked up a copy of Jardiner Facile last month because it had a lunar calendar I can pin on my garden shed wall.   You could also try Living Magazine which is in English and targeted at the Englsih speaking community in the Dordogne, Charente and Vendée regions.

Wire fencing + post and rail fencing

Posted: 27/02/2017 at 09:18

I don't think chicken wire is sturdy enough for a bouncy dog and nothing will deter cats other than the presence of a dog and maybe a water scarecrow which is a weapon you can google.

I'd go for rolls of the proper green mesh, plastic covered wire mesh at whatever weight you can afford.  You'll then need the vertical supports and tensioners and you'll need wire cutters to cut it to size for stepping down your slope.   

Last edited: 27 February 2017 09:18:52

Hello Forkers - February 2017 Edition

Posted: 27/02/2017 at 08:59

I remember being in Texas in '88 and supermarkets were open 24/7, even in a bible belt.  At the same time there were people driving round in pickups with shotguns and rifles attached to the cab.   I am a devout atheist too but am happy for people to observe their own religious or other beliefs as long as they don't ram them down my throat or disrespect other people's beliefs or lack of them.

Good fun at the Oscars but coverage definitely OTT.   

TB - when I got a big thorn in my thumb and it got badly infected, the doc removed what he saw (a teeny speck) and then told me to soak it 3 times a day in a solution of iodine/bétamine antiseptic and squeeze out any remaining infection.  3 days later, out popped a 13mm splinter.........   Felt a lot better after that.   Good luck with yours.

Discussions started by Obelixx


Erection and siting 
Replies: 4    Views: 239
Last Post: 18/02/2017 at 17:32

Cutting garden

Tips please 
Replies: 18    Views: 927
Last Post: 24/01/2017 at 11:07


What to do with them 
Replies: 11    Views: 513
Last Post: 14/11/2016 at 21:06

Weather station

Recommendations please 
Replies: 2    Views: 287
Last Post: 08/11/2016 at 14:53

Clematis varieties

New varieties (to me). Anyone grow them? 
Replies: 21    Views: 914
Last Post: 30/10/2016 at 21:45

Non fruiting fig

How to prod it into fruiting mode? 
Replies: 5    Views: 371
Last Post: 18/09/2016 at 12:30

Another ID please

Replies: 6    Views: 367
Last Post: 20/07/2016 at 12:46

Shrub ID please

Replies: 4    Views: 480
Last Post: 05/06/2016 at 20:00

Beechgrove has started

Replies: 39    Views: 2740
Last Post: 03/04/2016 at 11:22


Horticultural Retail Therapy 
Replies: 2    Views: 746
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 15:29


Horticultural Retail Therapy 
Replies: 0    Views: 921
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 13:04

Phuopsis stylosa aka Crosswort

Replies: 8    Views: 987
Last Post: 02/10/2015 at 10:01

Lawn care after moles

Replies: 4    Views: 704
Last Post: 05/08/2015 at 23:00

Plant id for Obxx

Who knows what this is please? 
Replies: 8    Views: 1074
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 12:49

GW 2015

Programme content discussion 
Replies: 46    Views: 3312
Last Post: 16/03/2015 at 18:44
1 to 15 of 25 threads