Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Strictly is back!

Posted: 14/10/2016 at 19:27

The reason why I sometimes hesitate to post in general and this thread in particular is because it is so easy for feelings to run high, and be expressed in a way that seems to disrespect others.

I am saddened that Will Young has left Strictly; I thought that his Bollywood fusion Salsa was spectacular.  I looked forward to seeing more of his talents, but sadly it is not to be.

I don't read the "redtops" and don't make assumptions.  I just think/hope that we, the audience, can move on.

Personally I thought that Singin' in the Rain was wonderful.  I thought nearly all the dances were beyond expectation at so early a stage in the competition.  I really cannot remember an evening watching the TV that has engaged me so much.

I suggest that we move beyond the personal interpretations (others may very well not agree with me, for example, and that's fair enough) and raise our standards above personal invective.  We love Strictly.  This year's competition seems better than any that have gone before (and I've avidly watched them all)

So - Saturday beckons.  Pick up your popcorn/pizza/canapés/Prosecco/plonk-in-a-box*

Enjoy the dances and keep smiling!!!

*Delete whichever is not applicable

Rust on runner and french beans

Posted: 11/10/2016 at 20:55

For the very first time in many years of growing, I had rust on the Runner beans, too.  Not on the climbing French beans, but exclusively on the Runners.

Here in the West Country (Devon) we have not had the hot weather that many other parts of the country have enjoyed;  it has been wet/damp/drizzly on many an occasion, with low light levels.  I suspect that this contributed significantly to the problem (also found rust on chives, euphorbia and a few other flowering plants, too.  Since rust is plant-specific, I have to conclude that it is weather-related).

All the bean plants have now been disposed of.  I have dug the soil over, having tried to removed all the leaves etc and the soil has had a light drench of Armillatox to try to ensure the spores are killed off.

Who's visiting your bird feeders?

Posted: 11/10/2016 at 20:35

Lots of them were on the ground, busily hoovering up the spilt seed from their over-enthusiastic peer group!  They haven't returned in such numbers:  perhaps they were just trying our café out for size, and have found another provider


New GW...??

Posted: 11/10/2016 at 19:23

I'm pleased so many people are liking the one-hour format.  What, for me, was once a "must watch" has become a "watch if I feel in the mood".  Obviously that puts me in a minority, but at least there is a reasonable spot for gardening, and I think it helps lots of people whose experience is limited, or who are entertained by the various elements.

I listened to Monty on Classic FM on Sunday when he was interviewed by Charlotte Green.  Now that, imo, was interesting, and far too short!

Truly, one man's  meat etc etc.

Who's visiting your bird feeders?

Posted: 11/10/2016 at 19:15

Relatives in Winnepeg head for warmer climes in the worst of their winter - which makes the occasional snow shower we have totally insignificant!

Re the bird feeders:  a veritable Charm of Goldfinches the other day:  I counted 38!  We know that a couple of broods have been raised (they descend on the Niger Seed feeder and the Sunflower hearts mob handed) but I have never, ever counted so many at any one time!  Naturally, they all shy away when the RSPB are doing their bird count.

A neighbour complained that he doesn't see too many birds in his back garden;  that would be because we are providing all the delicacies that they want, I assume.  Costs a fortune.  But worth every penny!

Strictly is back!

Posted: 09/10/2016 at 22:29

I wondered about that, too, Frank.  I suppose it will become clearer tomorrow as we are given more information in "It Takes Two". 

Shame - I rather like Tameka, and although she was unlikely finalist material, she has brought a lot of humour and energy to proceedings. 

I suppose we have to get used to a few weeks of Widdi-Balls as the public votes in a rather perverse way.  Fortunately, there are plenty of good dancers out there, any one of whom would make a worthy Glitter Ball champion (on current performances).

Strictly is back!

Posted: 09/10/2016 at 14:02

Good idea DR - these performances will be warming the cockles of my heart (!) for many a long year.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 09/10/2016 at 13:47

I just loved the whole programme.  Week 3?  It felt like a semi-final with some of the superb performances.

I tried to vote on-line but the site wouldn't let me, so I hope that it was a temporary glitch and won't have made a difference to the outcome - not that I'm implying that my votes would have made the difference, but that, if it was a universal problem, then it could have had an impact.

I thought that the Singin' in the Rain number was fantastic - a true homage to the original film.

I look forward to future Strictly programmes with the young Franks taking centre stage!  What a lovely result for them - and what a future they may have if they so choose. 


Posted: 06/10/2016 at 19:55

I think that history is vital on so many levels.  We all learnt at school about the Tudors and Stuarts, the Romans, the Victorians etc - but all from the perspective of the well-documented accounts.  Of far greater value are the accounts of every day lives - the minutiae of daily living and working, of life and death and of various practices of the times.

I have found the programmes on the TV by Ruth Goodman - the Victorian Farm and the like - to be truly fascinating, since it looks at just those "small" events - the food, farming methods, medical knowledge etc in a way that is overlooked in the history books of political history, treaties signed, wars conducted and the like.

How often have we wished that we had quizzed our parents, grandparents and other family members about the way they lived, their own memories etc?  So now we have the opportunity to pass on our memories, sometimes by village project or sometimes by personal family trees, and we are also enriched by the knowledge that is there at the touch of a few keys on the computer.

Even in the field of relatively recent gardening is history writ large.  The chemicals that were taken for granted (for every pest there was a spray!) are - well, history.  And we have learned the better ways of gardening with nature rather than against it, rather than trying to tame it to our wants and needs.

Todays fads will fade.  New imperatives will come to the fore.  We may well be indulging in Mediterranean styles of gardening by the end of the century.  Or not.  But the process of learning and developing are part and parcel of history.

Geranium cuttings

Posted: 23/09/2016 at 17:42

Interesting variations on over-wintering geraniums.  Many moons ago, my mother always overwintered hers by lifting the plants, wrapping them in newspaper and storing them in our cellar for the winter.  They were kept totally in the dark without any water.  Each spring, they were resurrected, pruned and re-planted, and produced lovely, healthy plants.

I have never done it this way - not least because I don't have a cellar under the house.  But I guess the constant cool temperature played a part in keeping the plants. I'm not sure that I'd be brave enough to try this, though.

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