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Shrinking Violet


Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

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wild damsons and apples

Posted: 01/09/2015 at 16:32

Well - I've always understood the bullace to be more rounded, and my Kentish Great, great aunt was quite specific!  Doesn't mean she was right, of course!  But there is confusion, I agree, not least because of cross-pollination.  One thing the experts  seem to agree on is that the sloe is smaller and is the fruit of the blackthorn - which has sharp thorns (and I have had many a scratch to prove it) whereas the bullace doesn't, and fruits are more clustered.

Whatever - they both make pretty decent spirit liqueurs - and I have a couple of bottles that I have patiently waited to mature from last autumn!

wild damsons and apples

Posted: 31/08/2015 at 19:10

If the wild fruit are oblong and purple - they are probably sloes which, incidentally, given the wretched weather this "summer" are a month ahead of normal ripening.  So pick soon (next few weeks) freeze, as already advised, and look forward to sloe gin at Christmas.  (There!  I've said the C word already.  Sorry )

If the fruits are more rounded, they are bullaces - and can be treated as damsons.  Damson gin is almost (hic) as good as sloe gin - pick now and do the necessary, and you'll have the lovely deep purple liqueur by ummmm January!

Or make jam.  Trouble is, I have never found enough of the stones float to the top.  So I use a cherry stoner to pop out the stones.  Tedious - but worth it for the lovely, deep flavour.

BBC -entertainment or education?

Posted: 30/08/2015 at 16:22

Those of a certain age may remember the Potter's Wheel

BBC -entertainment or education?

Posted: 30/08/2015 at 14:40

Liriodendron - you mean acetic acid and sodium chloride are chemicals?  Well - who'd a thunk it .  And how right you are - like E numbers in food, people assume that they are all a hairbreadth away from poison - conveniently forgetting that all sorts of foods have E numbers applied to them.

And other thing I could do without (not thus far on GW, but give it time . . . . ) - presenter does piece to camera while all the background shots are speeded up.  Don't know why on earth they've started doing this - it adds nothing to the visual screening of the subject.

(Come to think of it, apart from shots of Nigel, of course, some of the wandering along paths pushing a wheelbarrow on GW could usefully have that treatment applied - more time for proper gardening?) 

compost heap discoveries

Posted: 30/08/2015 at 12:54

Rats!  Sorted the problem, but have found slow worms nesting (the eggs are fascinating), voles, ants.

Also sympathise re the seedlings:  years and years ago a "friend" gave me some seeds: Nicandra.  At the end of the season, I composted the plants with what I thought were unripe seedheads.  I am still finding the plants popping up, over a decade later!

BBC -entertainment or education?

Posted: 30/08/2015 at 12:49

Pansy I think you make a very good point.  I remember many years ago Geoffrey Smith's two series:  "Mr. Smith's Fruit Garden" and "Mr. Smith's Vegetable Garden".  Both were informative and educational - I learnt lots from those series, because it set out to inform rather than entertain, and there was no fancy camera work etc.

There would be more than enough time for programmed schedulers to allow similar series, or plant speciality programmes - after all, they would only have to cut out an antiques programme or three (likewise those "Escape to . . ." ones) all of which seem to be on permanent repeat loops.

And in these times when there are fewer chemicals available/recommended, and more and more of us choose not to use them anyway, greater information about natural remedies or alternative ways of doing things would be helpful to all.

How much....

Posted: 29/08/2015 at 21:43

When I'm driving I don't look at the rear  which is pretty ugly imo.  What possessed the designers to make the rear window so - - -  square and out of keeping with the rest of it, I have no idea.  Not as bad now as the original, thank goodness!  (It was OH's choice, btw)

How much....

Posted: 29/08/2015 at 20:45

David - after the Vauxhall rustbuckets, the Leyland rubbish and the other problems, I have to confess (and it goes against the grain!) that with French cars you get a lot of car for your money, and a lot of reliability, too.  (I hesitate to say that, of course - our Megane has been pretty good thus far . . . ). 

How much....

Posted: 29/08/2015 at 19:54

David - thanks for he Utube link - fascinating!  Needless to say, I knew nothing of all those problems - and I sounds like it would have been a perfect case study for my Business Studies Degree LOL.  But I guess I was lucky - the car OH had and then the one I bought were both pretty good, and I just loved mine.  The opening rear window was, as the Utube clip indicated, a fore-runner to the hatch back, and when we married in 1977 (first house:  1930's semi £17,500) I was able to transport a lot of stuff from the house I shared with brother - several journeys! - saving a fortune on removal firm fees!

Aaah!  It brings it all back!  Happy days!

How much....

Posted: 28/08/2015 at 19:50

David - I think the Imp was really good when it was good - and a disaster if you got one of the Friday models!  OH used to rally his Imp (the one I borrowed to get to college) and it had some real acceleration - which pi......  off ummmm annoyed a lot of drivers that I sat alongside at traffic lights on the North Circular and pulled away and left them standing! 

1 to 10 of 583

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