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Latest posts by Topbird


Posted: 05/01/2016 at 14:05

Afternoon all - cottage pie made, veg prepped, oranges, grapefruit and pineapple peeled and sliced and in bowls in the fridge for an easy healthy snack / dessert for when I feel tempted to have something sweet.

Not dieting but just trying to eat a bit healthier after the excesses of the festive season. I am also not doing 'dry January' (which masochist thought this dark, dreary, depressing month would be a good month to banish alcohol altogether?) but I am limiting my alcohol intake for the next few weeks. Might try to do a dry April or give it up for Lent when my spirits are somewhat lifted by the start of spring ..

Sorry to hear your holiday has got off to a bad start on several fronts Hosta - you'll be able to dine out on the tale for months though. Hope things pick up for you both. I have always found Russians to be charming / funny and rude / brusque in equal measure - often in the same person. Different traditions and upbringing I guess. Glad you are able to rise above their antiquated views and unnecessary comments 

I love Kizzy too - I'm really more of a moggy than a doggy person - but those eyes - who could resist? - she's just adorable 

My Perfumed Bristol Garden in 2016.

Posted: 04/01/2016 at 17:18

A very Happy New Year to you Marion - this sounds as though it is going to be another very interesting thread from you 

Had never heard of the SG club before today - I have a little Christmas money to spend so it's about to have a new member - thanks for the information 

Water Damaged Lawn

Posted: 03/01/2016 at 21:19

If it was my garden I would go along with Tetley's idea of a shingle centre and lots of shrubs / perennials in borders around that. Plants which do well in shade include ferns and hostas and there are plenty of evergreen shrubs for year round structure and colour.

The fact that you have a princess car in your garden, however, suggests you may have little ones to consider - in which case you might feel you need to have lawn there for a play area. Personally I don't like small lawns - I think they are a lot of work for little reward - but I don't have little ones to worry about.

Have a think about what you and your family need from the garden and then come back to see if we have some ideas to make life a bit easier for you in the future

Water Damaged Lawn

Posted: 03/01/2016 at 18:21

Hi James - how disheartening for you but (as Fairy said) you won't be alone with this problem.

First of all, I second the advice given above.

Second - I would also suggest that for now (if at all possible) you try to stay off the lawn area. If you can't do that - can you at least confine any traffic to a small area / path?

I see there is a gate on the back fence. Do you need to use that every day (to get to your car perhaps)?

If so, I would seriously consider putting in a path as part of your rejigging of the garden. It doesn't need to be expensive - some weed suppressant membrane with shingle on top and some edging to keep the shingle in place will do. That way you won't need to walk on the new lawn when it's wet or frozen in the future.

Hopefully everything will look a bit bonnier in a few weeks time 

Ash Tree Cut Down Technique

Posted: 03/01/2016 at 18:10

Not being funny but are the tree surgeons you've spoken to fully qualified arborculturalists?  Like Pansy - I wouldn't expect any tree surgeon to guarantee their work won't eventually affect your house - but you want to make sure the advice you're getting is from the best people out there.

I would also have a chat with your house insurers. They have an interest to get a job like this done properly and may be able to advise some good people to get in touch with - including specialist surveyors.



Posted: 03/01/2016 at 16:37

Verdun -  - Congratulations to you and your (very recently extended) family - lovely name.

Runny - sorry I missed your earlier question. No I'm not a January baby - I'm an October brat. Don't know much about horoscopes other than I'm a Libra (scales) and I take forever making the smallest decisions - always weighing up the pros and cons - can usually see both sides of an argument - and will always play devil's advocate in a discussion. That said - plodding perfectionist just about sums me up too. The number of times I say "That'll do" - stand back - and then have to go in for a final tweak - ironing, decorating, flower arranging, planting - everything.

Drive myself crazzzeeee sometimes 


Posted: 03/01/2016 at 14:17

KEF - I think teachers took courses in how to deliver stinging witticisms / back handed compliments / put downs to make you look like a right idiot in front of the whole class.

Some of the comments made to me still smart all this time later.

It took me a long time to realise that many teachers at my schools probably never ever left school. They went to school - went to college - came back to school & had no real experience outside those rarified environments. For some, their main pleasure in life seemed to be finding the meanest way to bring little people down to an even smaller size.

That said we also had some excellent and inspirational teachers - but they were all men who had probably seen a little of 'real' life and been in the forces etc.



Posted: 03/01/2016 at 13:43

Had a rummage through my old certs Runny - as expected no sign of the Cadbury's one - obvious not deemed important enough to keep at the time  I remember eating the chocolate & I think the tin became a pencil box or similar for while but that's long gone as well.

Was looking at some of my old school reports 'Diligent & careful' crops up a lot as does 'I wish she would speed up a little'. Think the same words would probably apply 50 years later - takes me ages to get things done - but when they're finished they're done properly. Noticeable how my exam results started to dwindle once the boys came to our school & became more interesting than history & geography 

Still managed a decent crop of O and A levels despite the distractions tho' 

Roast chicky sounds yum Dove - big fan of bread sauce. I'm having omelette... 

Will do better over the next few days when OH is here for dinner




Posted: 03/01/2016 at 12:12
Have you tried drinking a glass of water from the opposite side Lily P


Posted: 03/01/2016 at 11:45

Morning all - wet and grey here today - definitely not a day to venture outside.

Hi Runny - I won prizes in a Cadbury's comp at school as well when I was about 8. We had to write about the growing of cocoa & the making of chocolate. Was that the same competition as you? My entry was read out to the school - I was chuffed and mortified in equal measure 

Think my main prize was a tin box of Cadbury chocolates - had a selection of miniatures of all their products. I have no idea what happened to the tin or the certificate that probably came with it. My parents weren't sentimental - so I just have a few books from my childhood (mainly Famous Five) which I rescued from the bin.

I also have my teddy or - to be more correct - I have his head.  No ears, no eyes (well some buttons now), no body, no fur.... He came everywhere with me for many years and was chewed and cuddled literally to virtual death. My mother tried to bin him several times but each time I found him and rescued him with tears streaming down my face. He's tucked away in a cupboard now but I would never throw him out - even if he does have a slight mushroomy odour about him these days 

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