Mid Winter Bits and Bobs.

A place to chat about anything you like, including non-gardening related subjects. Just keep it clean, please!

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oldherbaceous
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Re: Mid Winter Bits and Bobs.

Postby oldherbaceous » Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:21 pm

Dear Primrose, me and Old Codger grow a lot of the cylindrical beetroot and they are very popular...my Mum likes them for pickling, as you get a lot more even rings, out of each beetroot.
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Primrose
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Re: Mid Winter Bits and Bobs.

Postby Primrose » Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:37 pm

Thanks OH. Yes that makes a lot of sense. cylindricals look much simpler for slicing when pickling. . Will definitely give them a try.
I do find the pickled ones slightly too vinegary and sharp though. Will need to experiment with either a more diluted vinegar or a slightly more sweetened one.

May try growing some in a container too. Imagine the cylindricals might take up slightly less space too - growing downwards rather than outwards ?
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Re: Mid Winter Bits and Bobs.

Postby Shallot Man » Tue Jan 26, 2021 4:38 pm

Primrose. How can closing branches down "Improve customer service" :roll:
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Re: Mid Winter Bits and Bobs.

Postby Clive. » Tue Jan 26, 2021 4:54 pm

I grew Cylindra beetroot in 2018 or 19?...and liked it, I seemed to think it was sweeter than the other regular one I had alongside it at the time. :)

C.
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Re: Mid Winter Bits and Bobs.

Postby Primrose » Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:00 pm

Shallot man. It,s amazing how many business executives can suffer from false delusions these days when the wallet is affected ! It's like the banks trying to force everybody to go cashless and use online banking. They have no idea how many poor people can only use cash because they can,t get a credit card or don,t have Internet and laptops to facilitate cashless banking, and have no access to appropriate to help them to understand how to do it either.
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Re: Mid Winter Bits and Bobs.

Postby oldherbaceous » Wed Jan 27, 2021 9:09 am

Dear Primrose, when Old Codger does pickled beetroot, he puts a sprinkling of sugar in between the layers of beetroot...just enough to take the sharpness of the vinegar away...it would probably pay to experiment a little, to see just how much sugar is needed for you tastes.
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Re: Mid Winter Bits and Bobs.

Postby Kayburton » Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:28 am

Primrose wrote:Shallot man. It,s amazing how many business executives can suffer from false delusions these days when the wallet is affected ! It's like the banks trying to force everybody to go cashless and use online banking. They have no idea how many poor people can only use cash because they can,t get a credit card or don,t have Internet and laptops to facilitate cashless banking, and have no access to appropriate to help them to understand how to do it either.


Well, you understand that the lion's share of capital is stored simply in electronic form? Therefore, everyone is encouraged to use electronic payments, because if you imagine a situation where all depositors want to cash out their deposits, then the existing banknotes will not be enough for payments. And if the country starts actively printing currency, then its rate will collapse sharply.
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Re: Mid Winter Bits and Bobs.

Postby Stravaig » Wed Jan 27, 2021 2:40 pm

About 100 years ago, I read a book by Frances Williams with the title Why the Poor Pay More. It's out of print now. But the message contained within has really stayed with me.

For example, the banks will only willingly lend to you if you have enough money to probably not really need the loan. If you're poor, they'll hammer you with overdraft fees, charge for sending you nasty letters, etc. Same as you can't get a mortgage and have to pay expensive rents to live, often in rotten accommodation. The bottom line is that poor people don't have access to cheap money or indeed everyday money-saving things. Maybe they don't have a car to go to the cheap supermarket and have to buy at the expensive corner shop. Maybe they can't afford to buy a larger packet of whatever and save money. Maybe they can't afford a six-pack of tinned beans. Or even the three-for-two.

I'm not sure that everyone wants to use banknotes these days anyway, regardless of the political/business reasons for pushing the idea. They're dirty. You have to get them from somewhere, eg an ATM. You have to make sure you get enough and carry them around. It's just so much more convenient (and clean) to hit your contactless card onto a machine.

Interestingly, one of the rare times we use cash these days is for our online grocery delivery. Some Ukrainian supermarkets are very sophisticated at online shopping/delivery. (We still got same-day delivery when people in the UK couldn't get anything for weeks ahead.) The reason we pay cash is that it's illegal for them to deliver any alcohol for anything other than cash - and we buy our wine along with our washing machine juice and all the other weekly necessities. There seems little point in buying 90% online and paying cash on delivery for a few bottles of wine. Therefore, we just pay COD for the entire bill.
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Re: Mid Winter Bits and Bobs.

Postby Stephen » Wed Jan 27, 2021 7:28 pm

Monika wrote:Our electricity has just come on after cutting out at 5pm last night. Northern Power Grid were on the spot very quickly and discovered that the main cable along our road had smouldered for a while and melted the gas main next to it! Over night a big hole was dug in front of our house to repair the gas first, then the electricity, but by this morning still no 'juice'. So back they came, found another leak, another repair and NOW we are luxuriating next to the hot radiators! Luckily, the sun shone all day and provided some warmth on this otherwise very cold day .....

No leccie nor gas! Poor you Monika.
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Primrose
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Re: Mid Winter Bits and Bobs.

Postby Primrose » Wed Jan 27, 2021 8:16 pm

They,re digging up a lot of roads in our neck of the woods to install more fibre broadband which seems to be leading to a lot of local power cuts. Trying to keep a torch in several rooms as heavy rain and flooding also causing power cut issues. We also bought a few battery powered candles for Christmas decorations which I'm leaving out for emergency use. Thankful to be a dual fuel home. It,s hard if you're all electric and can't even boil a kettle for a hot drink. Those little one burner portable picnic gas canister hobs in their own carrying case are really useful for those kinds of emergencies.
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Re: Mid Winter Bits and Bobs.

Postby Primrose » Thu Jan 28, 2021 10:31 am

An odd query. The other day I was given a bunch of mixed chrysanthemums including some pretty pale blue ones. Now I'm pretty sure I've never seen a genuine blue chrysanthemum in my life !

How do they get them that colour - does anybody know?
Do they water the young plants with blue dye or something? I used to remember as a child my mum had a "dolly bag" of a hard blue rocklike substance she used to dunk in the white washing to try and keep our white school blouses looking white. (And in those days of 1960's yellow smog before the clean air act, when everybody had a coal fire, shirts got very grey indeed ! But I've occasionally seen blue flowers in florists which don,t appear to be a natural colour and wonder how it's achieved.
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Re: Mid Winter Bits and Bobs.

Postby Monika » Thu Jan 28, 2021 10:47 am

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No leccie nor gas! Poor you Monika.


Thank you for your concern, Stephen, but we do cook with gas, so could continue to do so and also get SOME warmth from leaving the gas rings on!
The whole procedure was very well managed: on Monday they found more damage on the gas pipe (all repaired without turning the gas off!), yesterday the long trench was filled in, this morning everything was tarmacced and the traffic lights taken away and now we are back to normal! Throughout the works, Northern Electricity Grid kept us informed by telephone how the work was progressing. Can't fault the operation and management.
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Re: Mid Winter Bits and Bobs.

Postby robo » Thu Jan 28, 2021 12:05 pm

With the bird watch over the next two days all the ones in our garden have decided to go on holiday, we don’t get a lot of different species we normally have sparrows by the bucket full blackbirds a couple of magpies same with robins and bluetits and dunnocks that’s it really , two days ago we had a hawk diving into the bushes were the birds perch it could have been a sparrow hawk but looked a bit big and to much plumage anyway it’s put paid to the bird count , how do you count around 40 sparrows that keep flying off then returning
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Primrose
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Re: Mid Winter Bits and Bobs.

Postby Primrose » Thu Jan 28, 2021 1:21 pm

Many of our smaller birds have disappeared since we had to stop using the bird feeders because of a growing rat problem.
This winter we just have our two daily resident crows, our injured wood pideon who comes to our patio door daily to be fed and an an increasing number of nuisance ferral pigeons.

but we always noticed in previous Bird Watch weekends that our normal bird population seem to diminish. We put it down to the fact that maybe a lot of people were having "one off" bird feeding weekends to participate in the study and the birds had a wider choice.
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Stravaig
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Re: Mid Winter Bits and Bobs.

Postby Stravaig » Thu Jan 28, 2021 2:57 pm

I didn't know about the Bird Watch weekend, but I doubt if our place would have been of interest anyway. The most common bird to see here in the city centre is pigeons (arial rats). We get plenty of them. And some people in the main city centre squares still do a Mary-Poppins-style "feed the birds" thing where tourists pay for bird food and to have their photos taken with the birds. Yuk!

Magpies aren't uncommon, and I've very occasionally seen sparrows. Our bird "watching" these days mostly consist of looking to see what footprints are in the snow on the balcony at the back of the house (it's in a quiet courtyard). There's never anything on the one at the front, which is above a busy road. Even so, when I put some plants out at the front last year so they could enjoy the sun some darned creatures devoured the lot in the space of a few hours.

We lived in Greater London for a while a few years ago, and I was very excited to see a couple of green parakeets. We were very used to these in Delhi. I thought they were maybe pets who'd escaped and wondered if we should phone anyone about them. Then I realised that large flocks of them had emigated to the south of England and had become a pest for the local bird population.
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