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Latest posts by Topbird

Fishy's 'pleasant reminders of schooldays. Not !!!

Posted: 03/04/2015 at 10:39

My friends husband has just spent a not-insignificant amount of money converting their son's bedroom into a model railway layout. There is track all round the walls with a swing bridge type arrangement across the door. There are turntables and all sorts for the locos & he is planning on making lots of model 'features'. 

Amazingly (for somebody who always declared himself useless at useful DIY) he has managed to build all the staging (sturdy and level) and do the quite complicated electrics himself. Friend is not impressed!

My own 'better' half took up go-karting again at the age of 50 & now does semi-serious racing when he can.He has just bought a tiny tent, sleeping bag and camping stove to recreate his scouting days. He finds 'toilet' jokes very funny.

IMO most men seem to get to the age of 16 & decide 'that's quite old enough, thank you!'

(Wouldn't be without him though )


Posted: 03/04/2015 at 10:24

Gemma - somebody once told me that you rarely regret the luxuries you indulge in through life. She was right - mum's usually are... 

Happy Easter everybody - enjoy whatever you're up to. Damp & murky here so H/W & S/M for me - clear the decks for the weekend.


Posted: 02/04/2015 at 18:48

RUNNYBEAK - glad you have a gleaming oven. Just a note of caution about oven liners. If your oven has a bottom heating element they don't usually recommend using the liners. There are certainly cases where cheaper liners have melted / fused to the oven floor & ruined the oven. 

My oven does have a floor heating element but I have used the Lakeland very heavy duty liners without any problems. They can flake a bit & discolour after a few months (which they don't if the oven only has side elements) but at least they don't melt into the oven itself. They save a lot of time & make cleaning the oven floor very easy. 


Fishy's 'pleasant reminders of schooldays. Not !!!

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 18:33

Did anybody else have a plastic garden? There were mini fences and walls and different shapes of border with little holes in. You 'planted' (ie pushed) plastic plants into the holes with a little dibber like tool. I think there were also miniature flower pots with similar holes.

The plants were all flat but 'folded' upright when you pushed on the centre of them to put them in the holes. There were bushes & trees as well as flowers. I obviously got the gardening bug early on.

Fishy's 'pleasant reminders of schooldays. Not !!!

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 12:57

So many memories here  I'd completely forgotten about the toy Post Office (I absolutely loved mine) and the Bunty dressing up page - hours of fun!

I had a John Bull printing set which I used to make rubber stamps to print my Dad's name & address on all his business stationery which saved him a lot of writing. I felt very important sat at his desk & printing away.

I also had a Lino-Cut (?) - you carved a picture back to front on a piece of lino & then rolled ink over it to make prints. I seem to remember that the cutters were very sharp but that didn't stop anybody thinking it was a suitable toy for a 7 year old - I still have all my fingers but I learned early on to respect sharp blades!

Fishy's 'pleasant reminders of schooldays. Not !!!

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 09:39

Help yourself Primrose! 

I used to love getting Easter eggs and taking a half a big one and just taking a big bite out of the shell. You have to get your nose right inside the shell to do it & the smell of chocolate is just sensational . No breaking it into prissy, tidy little pieces for me!

When I was small my brother & I would occasionally be given a shilling each to go to the shop to buy as many small sweets as we could for the money. We would then come home and play 'shops' in the garden. To make it work you needed lots of 'stock'. I seem to remember getting an awful lot of mojos, fruit salads, candy shrimps, flying saucers, tiny bars of chocolate and tiny tubes of sweets for the money. It was a game which lasted all day & taught us to add and subtract and, no doubt, kept us hyper active for days..

Also remember picking the flowers off the runner beans to eat and picking off rose heads to make 'perfume'. I would hate to have a baby me in the garden 

Low inflation I think not

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 08:39
Same with bars of chocolate AWB

Fishy's 'pleasant reminders of schooldays. Not !!!

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 07:57
RB - Were Bluebirds the same as 'Dairy Maids' ? DMs had a picture of a Swiss (?) girl on the wrapper.
Loved those - super creamy toffee in the middle.
I loved Sherbet Dabs too - still love sherbet now - have packet of fruit sherbets by my side right now

Contrast or clash; complement and safe

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 07:36
I am really, really poor at designing planting schemes with flowering plants - it rarely turns out as I had pictured. I'm better with shrubs & trees - but that's probably because they are expensive & difficult to move once established - so I spend weeks agonising over what to buy & exactly where to plant.
My most successful planting combos are usually by chance. For example leaving several pots of french lavendar partially sunk in the soil (reduces watering) while on holiday. When I came home a load of bright orange & some ivory escholtzia (spelling?) had started flowering behind the lavendar - it looked adsolutely stunning so I left it there all summer.

Same sort of thing with a lime green coloured cotinus (impulse buy). Sunk the pot in the soil in front of Sambucus Black Lace while I decided where to plant it - the foliage contrast was lovely - decision made!
I think, on the whole, I like informal mixed random cottage planting tamed by a surround of dwarf hedging & neatly edged lawn. I cannot explain why I cannot resist magenta coloured flowers - constantly drawn to those plus soft blues, softest creamy yellow, white and burnt orange.
An interesting palette to work with!

So Annoyed!

Posted: 01/04/2015 at 21:16
We had a real problem with muntjac deer destroying emerging plants and (especially) rosebuds - quite soul destroying when you've spent hours creating a pretty space.
Fortunately our garden had high boundaries except one weak spot. We put 5 bar gates across which solved the problem. The deer could easily clear the gates if they wanted - but they are lazy creatures (like me) & there are easier pickings without needing to clear any jumps
Now, if anybody can solve the problem of voles in my veg beds......?

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