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Latest posts by Topbird


Posted: 27/12/2014 at 18:24

Hi Gran

I can see you're getting some assistance with the flash / shockwave issue elsewhere. Hope you get sorted out soon. How are you accessing the internet if your main phone is down? 

If you're relying on a mobile signal that would certainly explain slow & dropped connections (at home I can't use my mobile signal for anything beyond emails really).

If you continue to have problems you might want to think about whether you need a new router (I've assumed you have  a home network) - we had lots of problems with our connection until we bit the bullet & got a new one - they do 'wear out' like any sort of electronic kit & we look to replace ours about every 4 -5 years. 


Posted: 27/12/2014 at 11:44

Hi Gran

Sorry to hear you're having problems. I don't think it's a problem with the site which has been working fine for me over the period you mention.

Can I suggest you try the following: Completely power down your router followed by all your devices and computers which access the internet (ie turn them all off - not send them to sleep).

Wait 5 mins then turn them all back on - I would do the router first followed by desktop computer followed by portable devices.

Does that make a difference?

If things are still go-slow check what other members of the household are up to on the internet - if several of you are doing 'heavy duty' tasks (e.g. downloading films / gaming) at the same time that will slow you down.

Finally ask your neighbours - are they having problems? If so - might be a problem at the exchange / cabinet & your ISP or line provider might be able to help.

Let us know how you get on. Good luck - these days it's a bit isolating when t'internet is playing up 

Sowing Seeds in January

Posted: 26/12/2014 at 16:27


No advice to add re sowing chilli seeds but I do have a heated propagator. It's not quite the same as the model you have there (mine has a variable thermostat to control the temp) but it is a Stewart one. 

I have had it for years and found it a good robust piece of kit. Hope that helps.

Verbena Bonensiaris

Posted: 26/12/2014 at 13:04

I have never tried them from cuttings but why not give it a go with a couple of the highest shoots? As Lyn says - you definitely shouldn't cut them hard back now - but a few shoots won't hurt. Give them a bit of bottom heat & a really light spot & it might work. If not try again in spring when you tidy the plants up.

If there are still flower / seed heads on I would also gather some of those (on a dryish day) and try them in a seed tray. It's not the best time of year for collecting them but they germinate so easily it's probably worth a try.

VB's are not usually long lasting plants. They survive a certain degree of  cold but they don't like cold & wet - especially heavy soils. I also find they can get a bit scruffy after a couple of years so usually have some babies on the go somewhere over winter to replace casualties (heavy clay soil ) & old plants.


Posted: 26/12/2014 at 09:48

Chicky - you snuck in there! - Happy Boxing Day to you too. 

Re the mouse deterrent - we rented a house which had one of those fitted. Somebody accidentally switched it off & the mice came in - switched it back on & they disappeared - I think they work and a nice, easy, humane solution if RM hasn't got too much of problem 


Posted: 26/12/2014 at 09:43

SGL & KEF - Thanks - we've got our fingers crossed for today as well!

Lyn - sounds as though you were working as hard yesterday as you do the rest of the year. But I'm glad you had a nice day - lovely to have the family with you - maybe you'll be able to put your feet up for a couple of hours today?

Looks like it's going to be a lovely (if rather chilly) day here - white over with frost but nice and still. Wonder if we'll get some snow later on as per the weather warnings? - always very pretty here in the depths of the country when we get some.

Enjoy your day folks - whether it's family, friends, down the pub or feet up with a good book & a mug of coffee in front of the fire - enjoy 

PS Hope nobody's mad enough to be contemplating the Sales!! 

Advent calendar prize draw...

Posted: 26/12/2014 at 09:30

Go on Steve - do tell .....

I think I entered about 10 of the draws - really fancied the chainsaw - could have done some serious damage with that!!! 

Great gardening weather

Posted: 25/12/2014 at 15:06

It's been a beautiful day here too Philippa, Nut & Hosta - the cat & I enjoyed a tour of the estate this morning (well OK then - a walk round our little garden...) - that always involves a little tweaking here & there.

Had the potting shed open again for a few hours as I don't want it to get all damp and mouldy like it did last year and also remembered to isolate all the outdoor taps as it sounds as though we might be in for a couple of frosty nights.

Nice sunset coming up I think - enjoy the rest of your day 

Advent calendar prize draw...

Posted: 25/12/2014 at 13:13

YAY - I won a year's subscription to GW magazine - lovely email from Daniel to say I'd won & then 1st magazine arrived on Tuesday - really nice early Christmas present - I shall enjoy it all year!


Posted: 25/12/2014 at 13:09

Hi All & a Merry Christmas to everyone!

Feeling much better than I was last night! OH has been 'On Call' for work from 6am to 11am this morning. If he'd been called out he would have been away from first thing this morning till Saturday night. So we've been unable to plan anything for Christmas & there was a strong possibility that I would be on my own over the festive period & he would be away at work  (has also made food planning a little difficult!). Was feeling quite down about it yesterday - especially as we have to go through this every other year.

But he's here !  - we had Christmas dinner last night and I've just made an extra special fish pie for this evening. Fire is lit & about to pour 1st G&T of the day - then we can see what Santa has brought!

Hope everybody has a lovely day!!

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