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Latest posts by SMOKIN DONKEY

How did you get into gardening?

Posted: 13/08/2014 at 08:30


Ive never said anyone cant give as much info  as they like,

I just pointed out that a lot and i do mean a lot of people follow the jones and dont take that extra step in doing anything more,

the point ref SNOWDON was a question also, how many people say to hell with the weather im going for a good walk, im not going to do the same thing every day,

Try this and tell me you only spend the time you thought you would,

Go and find your old box of past photo's and look through them,

I'll bet your there looking remembering times and people gone by for a lot longer than you thought you'd be "just" looking???

That was you  "your past spent times" with friends, people you once spent time doing things with, but what was you doing in those photo's at those times and do you do any of those same things now "today"


My point is give your self that push if your in a rut and you'll be amazed at how much life has to offer without turning to crime, hanging around with the crowd

im sure if you we're to talk to a lot of people in prison for stupid things they'd done but will spend most of their lives there they'd tell you "IF" if only,

i had my time over again "if only"

Following like sheep !!!!!! A lot of people do this and never know their own true potential, always dreaming always looking at what others have,

Its good to have a dream it's even better to see that dream come true

thats what i was meaning.

How did you get into gardening?

Posted: 13/08/2014 at 08:12

One of the big sales here believe it or not in the french garndening outlets are "wait for it"

Plastic flowers, yes plastic, the french like them on graves as they last longer and look fresh,

Not my cup of tea but this is a fact evey street market has a plastic flower stall on it so they must sell well.

Whats happening?

Posted: 12/08/2014 at 22:16

Having read the replies to what i said ref what if one or there should die first has really helped some folk just think what if,

But a more important point i feel has been missed and thats live your life to enjoy as much as possible,

So many people get into this rat race and into such a debt crisis they can't breath lifes far to short to be this way and ust like fashion when your in your teenage years and later on in life you see those dreaded photo's of what you were wearing then,

Well half the time the same mistakes re-happen but on a much larger scale and it really effects peoples lives.

Keep it simple and really think before you get involved with any long term buys of anything,

Its advice i was given years ago and by a very wealthy person i became a friend of and she was so right,

People talk about stress, what about the older person who lived through the 2nd world war,

we never heard the word "Stress" used, they just got on with life and im sure respect was earned in those days and not thought of as comes with what you owned.

Ive been maried 40 years now and can honestly say it was the best thing that ever happend to me the day we met and it'll be a very hard time if her in doors should go before i do,

We've made a promise to each other that we'll always have at least one dog that needs looking after so when that dark day arrives we'll still have some little dog that needs looking after and a good reason not to give up.

Whats happening?

Posted: 12/08/2014 at 14:16

Hello Dordogne Damsel,

Welcome to france and i can honestly say this is the worst summer for years so your in for a nice  "shock" when the weather gets back to its norm,

The other point ref weather here is that we dont really have a long winter, its gets warmer than when we lived in mid-wales, it was rain a lot of the time and aprim/may the fire's we're still going,

As the norm here from mid may the fires are closed down mostly until late sept/mid october and even then it can be very warm (ask the midgee's)

We've met lots of ex-pats who have not planned well before coming here to stay,

ie they come for a summer holiday are made up with the weather and the french feel to the place ie window shutter,'s no carpets just wooden floor bourds, the open wood burning fires, the  peace, the long summers and the very low house prices,

Now for the real deal all ive said is true, "But' we do have winters here in france and snow,

And those fires burn wood that has to be bought or collected,

And the cheap houses can need up-grading "A lot of the older french folk" lived a very primitve life style and by this i mean the electric supply was a low load and the likes of washing machines, pc's / micro waves even tv's and freezers just did'nt come into their life style,

A lot of homes didnt have indoor loo's (just a thunder box lav down the garden)

Hot water was not always to supply baths and the like and any hot water was from back boilers only,

I could go on and on but what im trying to say even before we talk about earning a living  a house thats full of summer romace at an equal amount of lack of a good sound truthfull plan is the down fall of many ex-pats,

Ive known people come here buy a house thats needing alot of real building work to make it safe to live in and these people say Oh im going to do the roof myself, the plumbing myself this that and the other myself

When in fact when they we're back in the uk they'd never even changed a light bulb let alone do this sort of major building work, And the likes of Ladders, trailers, cement mixers etc they just didnt bring them or have the cash in the plan to buy them,

Yes the wines very good and you'll get some good prices ref buying such things

But these items dont repair homes and the lack of income soon eats away at the extra they got from the sale of the uk house.

If like myself you worked for 45 years or more and you've a few incomes coming in no matter what plus the oap pension to look forward to later on And your able to do at least some building work to a good standard yourself, then your in with a chance,

Its just like gardening or anything you do, give it a lot of thought and have a plan thats two fold, ie some form of safe nett,

I remember seeing a sign in a restaurant window 'NO FREE MEALS"

I think it says it all.

The dream for us has and is still working but one other point anyone who is thinking of moving to france or any other place is this,

How would you feel if one or the other partner was to be left alone?

I know this may seem a bit harsh a thought but its one ive come across with a few ex-pats who have had to face this situation and one i feel should be talked over particualy if your of the age for your OAP pension.

Better to sort this sort of item out now rather than later.

Well afternoon tea and scones time (in other words im in need of the loo)




How did you get into gardening?

Posted: 12/08/2014 at 13:25


You all told a story without saying a word,

It's really nice to hear life has so much to offer if you just stop following other's like sheep,

I do read the uk news everyday and i see people doing some really bad things and i think to myself do these people never think how the likes of Eric clapton, Hank marvin,

And many more people got to learn what they do!!

It was'nt by committing crime for a hobby, trying to escape this world by taking drugs, and not by hanging around street corners,

I wonder how many people have ever climbed the safe paths up the likes of snowdon !

Gardening not only takes you time but its one of the hobbies that pays you something back in food,

And you can meet some really nice people from all walks of life.

The starting point is interesting as is the past of other gardeners,

I myself when i see the over sized kids of today who seem to think the world owes them everything they want and now,

Im glad i had the start in life i had,

I'd be the first to remember the street, the area and say yes it was a slum,

but i did have an outside play area "the street" and i did have  close friends to play with, and the family,

I even had an aunty who had a hobby!!!

"knitting" she knitted me my first swim/trunks complete with a snake buckle elastic belt,

the costume  or cossy as we called them was a deep blue colour and fitted perfect

"just under the belly button and nice and tight around the bum,

Oh yes aunt Loo Loo could really knit inspite of having really bad eye site,

The day i walked into the council swimming pool heads turned, i was proud, I was the kid to be seen,

I dived in the pool "feet firts" and thats about when things changed and i didn't want to be seen,

As i climbed out of the pool my cossy grew and grew and grew, it now fitted my nipples, and the tight bum fixture was very loose, my skin turned blue from the wool dye and my face a very bright red from my friends cheers and laughs.

But i had a full childhood and didnt expect tobe rewarded for everything i wanted,

I soon learnt some things you have to wait for until the times right,

Hence a good start to understanding gardening, some things need tobe germinated first.

Knitting !!! Well thank christ my wifes never asked me if i'd like her to knit me anything.

The only sign of any form of knitting "if you can call a spiders webb knitting is the only thing i look at in great orr, the fantastic work of art  these creatures produce on a fosty night for us all to admire on the frosty morn is something worth looking for.

Gardening is about thought, a plan for your plot and a little hope,

If you got it wrong the first time !!! thats when the otherside of gardening comes in "the finding out why it went wrong" the using of the time when outside work is a no no "freezing weather"

Nows the time for the books a nice drink and the fire blazing away "it's still gardening but at a different time scale" the learning time,

when your interested in something learning is a pleasure Its not like going to school

And the same can be said for gardening "It's not like work when you want to do it it's a pleasure because you like it & you'll find thoughts creep into your mind you never thought you'd think about all while your gardening away or as my wife calls it "POTTERING".

Whats happening?

Posted: 12/08/2014 at 08:37

Hi Salino,

Im pleased you enjoy england and hope you always will,

Ref being a foreiner, the countryside french people from my experience dont feel the brits are unwanted infact we've been made nothing but welcome from day one,

Oh yes the french like other people have their problems and one is that they're not over keen on the paris french, ive been told many times it's because the french goverment in the capital "Paris" make all the rules and take all the tax paid,

Another side of french ways im not keen on is the hunting scene,

Her in the country hunting is practiced through out the winter,

As an animal lover i dont like to see any animal hunted, but the uk has the very same problem.

Im no priminister but again france has some very good idea's ref what you pay and what you dont such as road tax, we dont have vehicle road tax here and the B road are well looked after ref the motorways, if you use them you pay But they are in very good state of repair, can you say the same for your uk motorways !!!!!

What happens to all that road tax money the uk drivers pay???

we dont have

many asylum seekers wanting to hang around france because the french wont give handout after handout to anyone who arrives on the doorstep,

I payed uk tax's etc all my working life and never claimed a penny in any handouts but should i have tried im sure i wouldnt have got or known as much as those who have arrived and paid not a penny ever into the system.

The uk is becoming less and less british and the crime rate is growing by the day,

As ive said here in the countryside you'll not find a lot of work even the local kids have to look further afield if they dont want to work the land etc,

Dont get me wrong there are jobs here, but its slow in some area's of trade.

Learning the lanuage is as you say a problem, but the last time i was in the uk i noticed english in London city centre was not the main language,

I was stopped by the police due to the make of car and my french number plate, when the police found out i was english speaking they were surprised,

one of them told me they'd pulled over verious cars that morning with english plates and most drivers did not speake english or have a valid licence.

We left the uk for a better sized garden and house that we could afford and better weather,

We got all these,

We made a point of introducing ourselves to all the local nieghbours and as i say we got a very warm welcome and to this day have always got on with them,

We've been invited to meals, weddings and dare i say it 6 funnerals todate,

its a sign that your a friend should you share the grief as well as the good times.

When it comes to the likes of health and hospital!!!!!

We dont have a waiting list as such, i had my hip replaced two years ago and it was all done inside two weeks from seeing my own doctor to being oppted on and home again,

Most of the nurses could speak english and we had a laugh compering what things in french would mean in english,

You do pay a top-up fee for this medical treatment but at least you get treatment

so who's better off.

There is good and the not so good in both the uk and france, but for me ive found the worms/slugs etc all talk the same lanuage and thats the same for the dogs

so im happy,

for us the grass here is greener and everytime i see the floods and the latest life lost I count my blessings im here safe in our own owned home and able to afford to live a nice life style.

How did you get into gardening?

Posted: 11/08/2014 at 23:34

I wasn't a born into gardening person, I was born in 1949 so it wasn't that long after the war ended and because i lived in the dock area of liverpool i could see plenty of the signs of "Hitlers" calling cards,

bombed buildings to play in, lots of second hand shops and street after street of terrace houses,

Smoke pouring out of the chimney pot's, cobbled streets, rag & bone men giving gold fish for a bungle of rags, (many a kid gave his mums washing away for a gold fish.

Most houses we're rented and the area was a slum area

But it was home and to us kids it didnt matter anyway.

out side loo's and the dreaded lead water pipes that burst every winter,

no upstair electrics and no central heating,

A concrete back yard and a block of 5 toilets to be shared by 12 houses

(bring your own loo paper some had izel wrote on them and some had the street comics offering    ie "please use bothsides" added in pencil

The only grass was at the end of our street on the old railway banks,

It was a common thing to hear the mums telling their kids to go and play on the railway,

Not that they wanted the kids to get runover by a train but more of it's a safe place to play and all us kids did play for hours there,

But we we're very lucky "so my dad said"

because we lived in the only semi d'tached house with pink outside wall paper on the outside walls and all this was thanks to Hitlers bombs missing the docks and hitting our street instead,

Hence the gap between us and next door.

So how the hell did i become so interested in gardening !!!!

It was thanks to my grand dad, he worked in the local flour mills and these mills had allotments for those who wanted to garden and so after working shift hours all week and in very dusty conditions my grand dad's escape was to go to his allotment and try to clear his lungs and enjoy some fresh air and grow veg,

I would go with him on a saturday and before the men started gardening they would have a cuppa and a bacon toasty and tell jokes,

I loved the feel of the place the nice people (all men in those days, No lady allotment gardeners)

And i started to learn how to grow things and that carrots didnt just come in tins but they could be grown in the ground.

The bug had hit me without me really knowing it,

Now i live in an old farmhouse, have land and grow a lot of my own food,

A very much different life to my grand dad, But the skills he showed me are still used to this day and i still enjoy the verious jobs around the garden,

Every now & then I'll get a flash back when i least expect it to those day's as a child and the semi my dad was so proud of,

like last winter when the inside of my shed window iced up and i remembered drawing ice faces on the bedroom inside window way back in that old house in Liverpool,

It's a wonderful thing a memory and the thoughts of times long gone,

Times and thoughts of the garden, the muched loved pets special spot "the grave"

The bench you bought and placed in the garden to just chill out on,

It really dont matter how or when you first started gardening but it will one day be the thoughts you made that will matter and you'll relive many happy times while sitting there on that bench just remembering.

From a concrete slum area to a countryside garden "no sounds of trains passing by just the sound of silence and peace perfect peace,

Ive said it before and i'll say it again it's so quiet of an early summers evening here i swear you could hear a mouse fart.

Now lets hear how you started gardening

Whats happening?

Posted: 11/08/2014 at 22:26

Well if you really want to nkow what lifes like here and some of the funny things and the more serious ones i'd be only to pleased to write about them,

Many thanls for your comments ref how i write, "the spelling not the best in the world but the writing is from the heart.

Whats happening?

Posted: 11/08/2014 at 09:41

If you like the old way of life ie seeing ladies driving horse pulled carts,

cross over pinnies (hope ive spelt that right)

head scarves, nest to no fashion to speak of,

no litter, a lot like going back 40 years, in the 9 years we've lived here we not heard of any theft /crime,

Land is cheap hence most people have a good size garden,

And if like us we're lucky if we see or hear more than two tractors and half adozen cars a day down our track off the beaten road, and you live with deer looking over the distant field towards your garden, and you like peace perfec peace?

Then nows the time to buy property in this area. prices are still good as the market is still slower than the uk.

But we dont have night clubs, gangs on every corner infact from 9pm the village is dead, the pubs (tabacs) dont stay open very late as the locals tend to drink at home on the patio for their entertainment with family and kids running about the lawns playing kids games and being kids as they should be;

Its a very slow life style but its a good one for us, I garden nearly all day every day

or as my wife says "potter" he's out there some place just pottering in the garden,

Its a place you really do feel safe of an evening if you do happen to be coming home late,

A few weeks ago i was cycling through the village having been to a bbq with friends

at about 2am  when a deer ran across the village car-park add to that two baby fox cubs playing while their mother tried her luck in the waste bin,

they didnt seemed that concerned about me huffing &puffing,

Now if thats not peace perfect peace then i dont know what is,

I rode 3 miles to the track that leads to out house and i didnt see one car,

(my wife said nobody would be so daft as to be out at that time of the night and if anyone did see you they'd think you we're the dregs from last years tour de france anyway) "she didnt want me to go to the bbq on me bike anyway she drove home"

One other point ref living here, no waiting time if you need an operation,

Ive had an hip done i didnt know i needed, 12 days after the opp and ive never looked back ref pain or trying to walk long walks.

You only live once so why not make the most of it.


Posted: 11/08/2014 at 09:09

It's pure murder this thread,

All those lovely cakes just asking tobe eaten, the cream wanting tobe licked and here's the likes of me who can't look at a cake without putting on pounds,

what are you cake makers trying to do to us ex terry woggan weight watchers,

I can hear the scales calling me "you've been a naughty boy again & again

You've been looking at those big creamy cakes again!!!!!!!!!! and again.

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