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Gyn_Paul

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Everything posted by Gyn_Paul

  1. When we moved house I took cuttings from a weeping willow which  (mainly) took. these were temporarily (3 years) in pots and dried out occasionally and I discovered from this that willows will drop their leaves if sufficiently drought-stressed. It must be some sort of protection mechanism because - provided they aren't left entirely without moisture for too long - when rehydrated they produced new leaf. Perhaps this is what happened to yours? There's nothing to be lost by leaving the tree as it is even if it looks completely dead. Who knows, it might burst into life again.  I certainly wouldn't  bin anything  unless it was dry enough to snap! p
  2. Gyn_Paul

    Vines

    [quote]GPl No you should be OK, the normal method of pruning field vines is to take them back to the hard old wood leaving a couple of buds, but if you have trained vine it is more difficult to prune as it ...[/quote] You know what they say about the swamp and the crocodiles? My vine/jungle is a bit like that! However I shall try to sort it out as per you instruction when the leaves fall off. E121 - Yes. thank you SO much: VERY remiss of me not to have replied. Awaiting response from Newcastle. p
  3. Gyn_Paul

    Vines

    OK; I know. I'm new to this game. I've got a RAMPANT vine which we've allowed to run wild this year. It covers the front 20 metres of the house and - clearly - was trained along loops and wires by the previous owners. I've been out with the seceturs waging war on it in order to be able to actually get the barn door open and am making some headway. It currently has about a dozen good bunches of grapes (and a further dozen or so ruined by crossed shoots and leaves growing through them ). I've stripped off a ton of leaves to allow the sun to get at them and they will ripen and be decicious, I'm sure. However... I realise (belatedly) that all the bunches are growing on old wood and I've been merrily decimating the 10' and 15' shoots of this year's growth, back to the thick, woody stems. While it will be back under control, next year, am I doomed to a grapeless 2006? p
  4. TU - you're absolutely right; there's a GREAT difference between adding the salt at the table, and adding it during the cooking. (no matter what Paul Merritt (BBC1 monday nights) says) We, too have friends who don't salt their cooking and can vouch for the difference. I suspect that those of us used to (moderately) salted vegetables run the risk of ending up talking in MORE salt as their guests. Consider this: how much would you shake over - say - a plate of potatoes and carrots you knew to be unsalted? 1/4 tsp? 1/3 tsp? Spool back to the kitchen and add the salt to the pans of water. How much would you put in the pot? About the same? Twice as much? So you've cooked vegs for a family of 4 in pots that you added perhaps 3/4tsp of salt. Now you've finished cooking and drained the veg, is the water salt-free? of course not; most of it is still in solution in the water. I cannot, of course, speak for anyone but ourselves but I know we eat far less processed food here in France than we did in the UK, thus we are taking in less 'hidden' salt inadvertently, and would guess our lowered BP and cholesterol are due to (slightly) more exercise and a better standard of nutrition. p
  5. [quote]Hi Andrew, got your email and hope all goes well. The solar pond is just that, a shallow concrete trough painted black, I wish the paint would stay on for at least one season but that is another sto...[/quote] A cover on a swimming pool solar heater (either a panel or solar mass trough as in this case) does not generally increase the efficiency because the solar gain does not raise the temperature of the black body high enough for re-radiation to occure: certainly not to a level where the loss is greater than the attenuation which would be suffered from a cover.  Sounds counter-intuitive, I know, but it's a case of raising the temp of a large body of water, by a very small amount, rather than the other way round as would be the case if you were charging DHW for example.  Additionally, unlike with pipework, in John & Jackie's example any re-radiation which might theoretically occure is taking place back through the very water it's heating   p
  6. [quote]ban covers well water as well as mains water. Pools of ANY type cannot be filled with ANY water.[/quote] Well I wouldn't go as far as to say ANY water. We in 23 have the ban on using any potable water (mains or well) to fill a pool. But there is nothing about capturing water from the roof. We have just bought (in fact bought a while back but just had delivered) a 24' x 12' blow-up splash pool - I would hesitate to call it a swimming pool - and, after I've assembled it, I shall spend the day rummaging around for bits of piping, pumps, and my biggest tarps. According to the literature, it holds an astonishing 20,500 litres which means if we have 10 mm of rain I shall only need an area of tarpolin only slightly smaller than the entire comune and it will be full! I'm praying for a weekend of thunder-storms ! paul
  7. Gyn_Paul

    Almonds

    I have two Almond trees - at least I think they are almonds (they are either almonds or very green wizened apricots!)- I don't know if they are ornamental or edible. They are sitting in the front drive, so I suspect the former. The question is, when do I pick them? When they all fall off? When the branches touch the ground (not long now, if that's the case)? Then what? do I peel them or wait for the flesh to dry? I LOVE living in France: everyday is such a voyage of discovery ! paul   PS : I've just thrown my Mairie into confusion by asking if I can fill my little surface-mounted swimming pool from the well. The Secretary has gone back to ask, but since putting the question, I've read the various threads on here and decided it would be a thoroughly antisocial action, even if they say "yes". So I'm planning to surround it with miles of tarps and catch what little rain we do get and pump it in. It will be interesting to see how long it takes! p
  8. Coming from the west coast, where we routinely say < au revoir m'sseurs-dames > on leaving a shop, say; I was astonished to find that here in La Creuse, on dit  <Allez au revoir >. Is this something peculiar to the region, or a usage I've just somehow managed to miss ? p
  9. Gyn_Paul

    Xyloproct

    Well... OK... Anton, but it does sound horibly like the stuff for killing weeds ! p
  10. Gyn_Paul

    Xyloproct

    My wife went to the Dr's the other day having finally exhausted her UK imported supplies of Xyloproct. "Ah yes," he said, "I know Xyloproct, no problem." and wrote it on the ordinance. At the phamacie, however, there was much shaking of heads. Much looking through books. Much searching on the internet. All to no positive end. Apparently France doesn't have such a thing. I do find this difficult to believe. Is there really no creme available for ahem, topical application containing lidocaine (previously lignocaine) or some other anesthetic? p  
  11. [quote]" The Brico LeClerc's gardening section seems to have (in addition to the usual packets of seeds) bags and small sacks of seeds for plants I've never heard of which look like they might be something l...[/quote] ".....Regarding you clay-like soil as has been mentioned clay soil is normally very fertile. If it is growing grass and weeds all on its own it must be pretty fertile! It sounds to me that you might have a hard pan of soil from contant running of tractor tyres. A you have discovered it will break down into a decent fine tilth - all it needs is some really hard work ...! Sounds like this is what has happened, Liz. I turned it all over with a fork, shook and bashed the soil off the biggest clumps of weeds (making, in the process, a pile of rubbish to compost much the size of a prefab) then left it for a couple of days (while my back recovered!) Then attacked it with the rotovator and planted it. After rotovating, leveling and raking the level rose by about 5 inches, but quickly compacts again wherever I walked, so your comment about the tractor compaction sound pretty much on the mark. paul
  12. I've reclaimed a corner of a field which has had nothing but grass and hefty weeds in it for - oh probably forever. Trouble is, the soil seems very heavy. Not exactly clay, in that if you pick up a sod and wizz it between you fingers it does break up into a reasonable tilth, but it seems very sort of... well dense and lifeless. No sign of any vegetable matter in it. It's having a hard time supporting veg this year and  - clearly - I'll have to do something to put a bit of life into it. I have TONS of hay and grass cuttings which I shall compost this year, but suspect this is still going to be missing something. Down the road from us is a farm with cattle kept in byers (sp?). They are out in the fields at the moment, but, when they are back in the sheds, I'm sure he'd be only too happy to let me have a load of manure to mix with it. Will it have composted down enough to put on the land by early in the NY? I also have another piece of land I want to plant next year which currently has grass on it at the moment. I intend to Glycosphate and then plough it in.   Is there anything I could be growing which would enrich the soil for next year?      The Brico LeClerc's gardening section seems to have (in addition to the usual packets of seeds) bags and small sacks of seeds for plants I've never heard of which look like they might be something like these (nitrogen fixers?). Anyone any experience of turning dead, monoculture soil into a vibrant, fertile growing medium? paul
  13. Gyn_Paul

    topsoil

    [quote]Don't know about topsoil - in fact I am interested to find out as we have the same problem. I am sure you already know how important it is to start composting as this will be your best source of food ...[/quote] Lisa, I was listening to GQT the other day and they were trialing using grass cutting as an alternative to earthing up potatoes, so - since grasscutting/straw is something I don't have any shortage of (!) - I thought I'd give it a go. Yesterday our Postman, Bruno, was busy telling me about this scarab which manges tout les patates, and insisted on seeing the plants so as to indulge in a little Gaelic doom-mongering and was quite gob-smacked when he saw the greenery peeking out from under a 20" duvet of grass and straw. I tried to explain that it was a test, but (he arrives with the letters rather too early for my sleepy brain to formulate much in the way of coherent French) fear he went off with all his pre-conceptions about the mad brits well and truely reinforced. paul
  14. Gyn_Paul

    topsoil

    Tinaw, I hope you bit of Haute Vienne is better than my corner of La Creuse or you'll find that the 'topsoil' is about 15cms thick and under that is rock and a sort of sandstoney clay. So digging a pond would probably only yield about 2 bruettes of usable soil.   paul
  15. As I walked past my PC it 'binged' to say there was an email which proved to be the notification of a new posting in this thread. I was actually on my way to the bathroom to find the creme for a wasp sting on my neck which I sustained while moving a plant into the trailer, and another one 5 minutes later (through my T-shirt) while I was sitting quietly on the garage floor sorting out bits of watering kit. Wasps seem to be to be the only things which will sting - totally without provocation - just because they are in a mean mood. For my money, the only good wasp is a poisoned/squashed/swatted/sprayed one. "....let nature take it's (sic) course" ?   Ha !  Not bloody likely ! paul
  16. Gyn_Paul

    Cover up

    [quote]Hey Paul - just read your profile. See you are a retired broadcasting type. Can you say where? I worked 12 years in the TV industry in the States. Do you miss it? Have to say I do...Lori[/quote] Sorry just noticed the later posting....   Yes, my wife and I both worked for the BBC for several lifetimes (30 years in my case) and, 'no' I think I'm now completely cured, I certainly don't miss the industry it now is. The corporation I joined in the late '60s was so different to the current one (thank you John Burt) that I had relatively few withdrawl symptoms when I finally left. That's not to say you don't find me yelling common abuse at the TV and the radio and complaining about standards from time to time: ludicrous, waving, dodgy-cams in reality shows, reporters doing walking shots for no apparent reason, reporters doing stand-ups in the rain as if the umbrella had yet to be invented. And I have been known to ruin other people's enjoyment of a drama by shouting, "..cut... cut... for the love of God, will you CUT!". People who are let loose in front of a microphone who are incapable of constructing a coherent English sentence.... Oh look what you've done now... you've started me off now !!# paul What did you do in the states ?
  17. Gyn_Paul

    Cover up

    Lori, thanks for that; I've printed it out and after I've done a lot of watering (since there was - and is - no sign of the thunderstorm which Meteo France promised for department 23) I'll take m'sself off to the Pharmacie. cheers paul
  18. I've found several of these on the inside of the shutters of our seaside house over the years; since we open and close the shutters to keep the sun off the room if it's hot, I wasn't prepared to leave them be. I found attacking them early in the morning (cool and sleepy - them not me, that is) with a can of flyspray was quite sufficient to see them all off. p
  19. Gyn_Paul

    Cover up

    Have to agree. I strimmed  a mound of nettles earlier in the year wearing gloves, face mask, a T-shirt, shorts and boots and got the inevitable nettle mush on my shins which vaguely irritated while I worked in the blistering sun, but when I finished, went indoors and showered it off (or tried to) it was HELL! Lori, Can you see the ingredients on the packet? Does it still contain formaldyhide? I had an idea it ws no longer available. p
  20. Cary Sorry if this sounds like a stupid question but are you sure there are 14 +7? and not 21+7? The Mycrogynon ED version contains (according to the NetDoctor web site) 21 active tablet and 7 inactive ones so that the patient doesn't  have to remember which day she stopped on. I wonder, perhaps, if this is the same sort of thing? Can you decifer the active ingredients on the patient literature leaflet of the Adepal? p
  21. Yes, Will, I take your point. But what exactly defines quality? My neighbour has cut his much smaller (but no less bumpy) field with a petrol mower: the sort with a large single blade, 4 wheels and you walk behind it. This finally gave up the ghost this Spring and he splashed out on a sit & ride. The difference in the cut is astonishing: suddenly it looks like real lawn rather than a scalped field! So certainly a longer wheelbase looks like it does a better job, but how do I know from quality? A Briggs & Stratton or a Koesler (?) motor souinds like a safe bet but anything else is just a wet finger in the air, I reckon. I think I'll go for the Yellow monster 17CH with the three blades. At least I'll be easy to find in the prairie. paul
  22. I'm  just about to buy an Auto-portee; sit&ride mower and am stuck between choices:  We have just over 2 hectaires in 2 fields, front and back, both on a bit of a slope. Everyone I talk to seems to have a different opinion (of course!) but the general consensus seem to be " go for the biggest cut you can afford and the largest engine. So I've researched our local outlets and for about 3kE I can get :  a 105cm 3-blade mower inc bac with a 17 CH engine, or A 105cm 2-blade mower  inc bac with a 23CH engine. The ground gets boggy when wet, and at the moment there are probably several pigmy nations residing in the back field where the elephants are getting corn in their eyes. Is a 23CH engine likely to be substantially heavier than a 17? would I notice the difference in power? (re- slopes) Is a 3- blader better with long grass or worse than a 2?  All experiences welcomed! paul
  23. Gyn_Paul

    Colofac

    Anybody know what Colofac (Mebeverine Hydrochloride) is called in France? Better yet, is there a french medical website which you can put the chemical names into a database and it gives you the trade name. Save me asking damn-fool questions all the time. I've hunted around and can't find anything in French which is the equiv of Netdoctor.co.uk. p
  24. Gyn_Paul

    Opticians

    thanks to all for the replies: Teamedup : Yes, I would have had them made up in the UK had we had the time. I went to the opticians and had the eye test, and arranged to follow it up with a c/lens test and then choose some frames. The price being dependent on whether I needed to buy different strength c/lenses or not. However family affairs interviened (sp?) and I had to cancel, so came back here with the job half-done. p
  25. Gyn_Paul

    Opticians

    Does anyone know if a French optician will accept a (recent) UK prescription to make up a new pair of glasses ? p
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