Latest posts by Topbird

HELLO FORKERS! October Edition

Posted: 04/10/2016 at 18:23

Hello Everybody - long time no see.

Nearly 3 weeks without t'interweb at home ( I just love BT Openreach ) then hols (very little internet) for a couple of weeks then lots to do etc etc.

But I missed all of you  Have popped in when cafe's and other hotspots have allowed so I know DD is settling into her new house / life & I think WW has got a new job and Obelixx is moving. So many congratulations to all of you.

I saw BL's sad news (our beloved pets leave such a void) so huge hugs for you.

I also see that Runny's made a few posts - hooray - we really missed you. All that Poldark talk was clearly too much to resist 

As for the rest of you - you all seem to have been busy and chatty as per. Have only been able to skim read back (6 weeks is an eternity on Forkers  ) so apologies for all the other major events I've missed.

We had a lovely couple of weeks in the Lakes, Northumberland and Durham. The weather was exceptionally good for the time of year - even had to do some washing because we'd taken lots of jumpers etc but really only needed T-shirts most of the time. Did lots of heritage and history stuff so really enjoyed it.

Everything has suddenly gone autumnal since we got home - everyone's planting bulbs and I have a cupboard full of jam and chutneys. Had to light the log burner on Sunday.

But I quite like this time of year - a feeling of stocking up, building the nest, getting ready to snuggle down for the winter and good excuses to start eating rich casseroles and proper puds. 

Time for a G&T now and then catching up with Victoria on the TV.

SYL folks.


Posted: 26/08/2016 at 15:24


Problems with broadband / phones ongoing. Seems there may be a problem with an underground cable 100m up the road. That means digging up the road - which is always good fun on our single track, dead end lane. Bu$$ers everybody up - 18 houses and nobody can get in or out....  

No idea when it will get sorted. BT and Openreach have to do the work and they are in my Top 10 of most useless companies. One positive is that our phone and broadband supplier are very good at keeping on top of problems like these. It's why we pay a little extra.

Hope you find the recipe for the relish Hosta - I understand it's very good. My tomato plants are producing lots of fruit now so I might be looking for ways to use them up before long. Unable to read back so hope everyone else is ok.

Getting lots done without t'internet to distract us - although there's a fair bit of holding down sun loungers going on too. Suffolk was the hottest place on Tuesday (34C) and it's been in the very high 20's every day. Leaves on lots of trees now yellow, brown and crispy.


Posted: 24/08/2016 at 08:18

Hello Fairy 

slow internet is the biggest killer of punchlines 


Posted: 24/08/2016 at 08:16

Hmm - posted part way through...

Unable to read back but congrats to all that deserve them, special congrats to DD 

I only have 4 canes of polka rasberries but they have already produced abt 3 kilos of fruit. Have made 3 jars of jam and a big tub of sorbet from them as well as just enjoying the fresh berries nearly every day for last 2 weeks.

Hope to be able to chat properly after tomorrow. A little bit of work now then trying to keep cool for the rest of the day (car thermometer got up to 32C yesterday - hotter today).

Safe journey to BL for getting to UK - can't remember exactly when.



Posted: 24/08/2016 at 08:03


Sorry I've been AWOL for a couple of days - have been having problems with t'interweb since Sunday. Much techie talk with provider and invested in a new router and filters yesterday and now have a stable connection - but wth a speed of just 0.5mbps - so unusable for most tasks. Man coming tomorrow to sort it out hopefully.

Last edited: 24 August 2016 08:05:38


Posted: 20/08/2016 at 13:08


Lucky nobody was injured. Hope they don't find any other major structural problems when they start poking around. Also hope no important pieces were damaged when it happened.

The wind today won't be helping - wouldn't fancy trying to put up scaffolding and tarpaulin or plastic to keep it all weather tight.


Posted: 20/08/2016 at 09:55

Morning - blustery day out there. I am quite pleased that some of the planting I did in the back garden has made quite a good shelter belt so things are not being damaged by the wind. Wish I could say the same about the front garden / woodland border..... There's not much I can do about it but maybe some of the shrubs in there which are still small will eventually be big enough to do some good.

Time to sort out the caravan ready for our jollies in a couple of weeks. Need to pack the essentials first - gin, tonic, wine, beer...

Managed to buy a 2nd hand copy of the first series of the Danish version of The Killing off t'interweb this week. We didn't watch it when it was on TV but since then have really got into the Scandi-noirs.

20 episodes - 1 hour each - so that's our evening entertainment sorted out for the whole of the jollies

Good price too - £1.84 + £1.60 pp - we lead an extravagant life style! 

Last edited: 20 August 2016 09:55:38


Posted: 18/08/2016 at 20:10

Fabulous picture Fairy 

I wonder if that super-bright moon was the reason I was tossing and turning into the wee small hours last night? Often seems to coincide. Maybe I was a werewolf in a previous life 

Forgot  to say congratulations to Chicklet - and Get Well Soon to Chicklet.

Description of the cane fire sounds scary Lantana.


Posted: 18/08/2016 at 19:11

Evening - shed is finished  apart from washing the windows and getting some odd splats of paint off the glass - but that will have to wait until the paint has cured a bit. Even managed a little tidy up and sweep out.

Have enjoyed raspberries everyday for the last 10 days but I'm ready for a break from them now - so I've just potted up 3 jars of raspberry & blackcurrant jam. Will freeze the next couple of days pickings and then I'll be ready to start munching again. Tomatoes have really started getting into their stride now as well so lots of tomato salad on the menu for the next few days and I'm running out of ideas of things to do with chard (stir fry, curried, frittata, etc etc) Love picking and eating

I love a good bonnie too - but also struggle to find the right site for it. Have to restrict myself to an incinerator arrangement usually and only do it when conditions are perfect.

Somebody down the road was doing some burning yesterday which was either very brave or very stupid. Everything round here is now brown and crispy and the grass is the colour of straw. Lots and lots of trees and meadows full of dry grass....

Time for G&T as a reward for working hard today...

Raspberry first timer

Posted: 18/08/2016 at 14:15

Hi Emma

I grow "Polka" raspberries which - despite being 'autumn fruiting' - have actually been producing small amounts of fruit for 2 or 3 weeks already and are now starting to fruit heavily - I can pick a small bowlful every day. They will continue producing fruit until the first frosts.

When they've finished fruiting all canes are simply cut to the ground - no worrying about which to cut and which to tie in for next year. The birds leave the raspberries alone (lots of other things for them at this time of year) - so no need for netting - and the stems only need to be contained when they start getting a bit floppy. Summer fruiters need a much sturdier permanent support system.

I would therefore recommend autumn fruiting raspberries over summer fruiters every time. You'll have lots of strawberries earlier in the summer anyway.

I have 4 canes  which were planted last spring. They have already filled a space 1m x 3.5m. They will produce more than enough berries for my OH and me to enjoy fresh, as puree, as jam and stored in the freezer. 10 canes are almost certainly too many unless you have a big plot. My 4 canes are already starting to put out runners that are popping up a few feet away from the parent plant.

Clari is right that you could try to grow different varieties to stagger fruiting but you should not plant summer fruiters within 2m of autumn fruiters. The 2 types have different pruning regimes - and if you end up with a forest of new canes it can be difficult to tell which ones belong to which plant and which pruning regime to follow.

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