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alp

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Yes, certainly nice to have a car, but as it is manual, it played up a bit and the screen has been too funky for my son to stop fiddling. A right nuisance. Too much information. Now he has ported his iphone to the screen and there's always a map to drive along with and a lot of noise which disguises as info.

Snacks have gone up in price. My cho has gone up to £4.50. Good excuse not to get them. Got 2 bags of Walkers Sensation Sweet Chilli - cheap because they are no longer crispy. But it's OK. £1 a bag for 6 packs. 1 Walker sour cream pringle style crisp. No Werthers as son said the sweet took off the enamel of his teeth! :sleep:.More to do with his eco drive not to drive pepsi with a straw! I also got a box of mince pies! Funny that he said he liked them! News to me! Need to get more, but even Asda have inflated the price.

Just how low can the price go? 10p for a tray of 6 pots of viola! Got 2 from B&M. Got some bulbs for £1 and some for 50p. Sad that all the exciting ones had gone. Thurrock gc had very limited choice. Basically only 2 types of tulips left. Dismal!

My fav gc only went half price, so no luck there.

Electrics tripped again! Too much moisture. I'm dreading it. We had the other panasonic breadmaker out in the lean to for the whole year and it ceased working. We tried and tried, but no light came on. Told son to get rid of it, together with a rubbish tool box picked up by a friend. Son tried to switch it on again, it miraculously came back to life o_O :cat: . I blamed the moisture in the lean up.

Going to plant up all my bargains today. Got some Thalia daff again! And some fragrant muti-headed daffs.

I don't think I'm sowing any seeds this month as I have pots left, right and centre and the electrics in the lean up are always tripping. I understand the urge though.

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This type of weather forecasts does bring out the empathy in me for all of you guys up north! I now sound like a boring broken record!
 
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I bought thalia daffs last year , I really liked them when they got round to flowering one of my favourites . I do tend to like white daffodils more than yellow ones but Tahiti a good double yellow, I bought some new variety's this year so I'll see how they do.
 
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Couldn't see Tahiti anywhere in the gc or store gc anywhere. There was another yellow ones in BM, but I decided against it. Buying it fun, parting with money is a bit painful and planting them is pure purgatory! If my fav gc reduced their prices, I might change my tone.

Yesterday, instead of food or plant bargain hunting, we went car hunting. 9am, girl from the repair shop phoned, saying that the network refused to repair it. She wanted the car back tomorrow before 11am. I phoned ahead and talked to several car dealers. Well, as I prefer my son to drive automatic, the availability was few and far between and they sold off very quickly. Went to Honda to check out some Jazz. The man said he could get the car on site if I were willing to pay a deposit so that it would be sold off straight away and the deposit would give him some incentive to transfer the car.

We then went to Ford and my son was keen on a sliding door B Max as his Colleague has one. The car had a sat nav facility, but no back sensor. I said to the salesman that Ford really had to get their designer act together as all the Japanese cars, Korean cars and even the Citroen we are driving have come equipped with front and back sensors, satnav, automatic folding mirrors. The B max came with no back sensor and any addition will require nearly £500 inclusive of VAT. Any way, I told him that we didn't want a black car and I phoned the Honda man. The following were the interesting bit:

Honda man told me that I needed to give him a deposit to transfer the car on site and that would be £500. Of course, I had already impressed upon him that I needed to buy a car within 2 days or a few more. Son has nearly 2 weeks' paid holidays off even though not on contract. But as Judge Judith said, when teenagers' mouths moved, they lied! Any way, I said I didn't want to read out my card number to people over the phone. He then reduced it to £250. Instantly, I took a dislike to him. Later, he called again when we were talking with the Ford man. He then said I didn't need to pay any deposit, but make sure I would be there 11am! Boy, what a con!

My insurance man said that he would get into contact with the repairer to update me. Obviously, these communication networks were not working.

Another interesting thing is that all the Hyundais are tiny. The i10 is suitable for a shrunk woman like me, but those sitting at the back will have leg cramps as there is very little room. The head room is not much more generous either. Same for i20. Was keen to get one, but apparently, their prices are quite competitive. Same for Toyota Aigo and Yaris. Very small. I really think these car designers should think about the markets they are aiming for. As the Embarrassing bodies man said, we are getting bigger and fatter, their designs should evolve with PEOPLE in other countries in their mind.

Today, another car hunting day. It's so difficult as there are competitively priced car in the back street, but they didn't come with full checks and you usually end up with something dodgy. Small honest car dealers don't have a lot in stock. The search continues..

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Wet Christmas?? Hope people don't paved up their front gardens or back gardens any more. Too many "ponds" of water everywhere and properties at risk. Hope the weather forecasts hold true ..
 
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alp

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It's raining now and my garden lawn is totally being submerged and going to feed my chickens is like wading through a continuous shallow pond. I reckon neighbour's pond has overflown. I'm worried about the roots of my plants. At this rate, I need to wear wellies.

Out hunting for a car and I have decided on a manual. Need to phone ahead to reserve the car. Sort of.

Went to Blue Diamond again and it was very pretty there. Bought a packet of Foremost early potatoes and hopefully change the diet to potatoes rather than rice which contains arsenic - mild dose I think. We all grow up on rice, and eating rice is more sustaining.

I have now kept some seeds for the lovely green squash which was delicious. I won't let my son go near the cutting bit of this monster though. I nearly killed myself/hurt myself trying to gain an entry point with my knife. In the end, I sort of sawed it.

Now I understand why Zenj said his pond was overflowing as there has been so much rain that my lawn is totally covered. Normally, it's slippery and the middle bit was under water. Now a sheet of water.

Have a dry day and if you're after reduced bulbs, better hurry up as there was none in Harlow Blue Diamond, except Asparagus. Some diy gc still asking for half price. Good luck.
 

alp

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Liverpool won the World Club first time in history! :cat: :cat: :cat:

Hopefully, Premiership is in the bag, too!

Set our heart on a B-max and it was lucky we didn't take the plunge as the auto version is beset with problems: juddering, gearbox.. Most of the buyers talking about getting rid of them...

There are like 100 channels on TV, but all repeats. Whilst channel surfing, stumbled upon Vienna Blood on iplayer (how desperate I have been and useless the tv programmes are!) Very watchable! If you're fed up with TV repeats, try watching these 3 90min episodes during Christmas.

Well, water receded a bit in the garden, but terribly slippery. Hellebore Stained Glass is teasing me. Lordy! I bought plants to make sure I have the names and now the names and flower labels are like displaced corpses, strewn all across the flower bed. There was massive pooh near a corner .. Sometimes, even the forever cheerful me suffer a dip!

Potted up 3 big pots of bulbs - Martinette, Silver Chimes, Flaming flags, Thalia, white allium called Ivory King. F Uva Vulpis (what a strange name), ... and on top the 2 x 10p violas (6 in a tray). Next thing I need to do is putting some strawberries in various pots. I got 10 x giant size plant pots whilst out freegling. Today, son is going to have a grand preparation for the ducks.
 
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alp

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Good morning to a dry day. Very early as I need to prepare the ducks. Now they are being blown dry to make sure the roasting will end with crispy skin. Washing machine on, dishwasher on, dehumidifier on and kettle will be on again and so will the central heating. We are so lucky with all these mod-cons.

Put 2 more bird feeders on my plum tree which just keeps reaching for the sky. No guarantee if there are fruits this year.

Took numerous photos of my Daphne Bholua and only one is successful
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Yes, lovely and fragrant. Very delightful addition to the bleak and wet winter. Another aureomarginata is blooming soon. Did some shopping and got some wonderful shiitake mushrooms and tender asparagus. Very happy. Just need a bit of top up and this will be a very satisfying foodie festive season!
 
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A bit of rain possible today. Weather was great yesterday!

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Daphne Bholua
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Got 3 bag of potatoes for future use.

Got to catch Economy 7, so

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
Would like to share my wonderfully blotched double hellebore!
SAM_1941.JPG




 

alp

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All my hoovering and drinking water boiled and now I'm waiting for my proper English breakfast being prepared - 2 sausages, 2 lashes of bacon and 2 eggs! Ah, bliss!

Will go down the road to grab some more ???

Saw this video and the man's bravery is awesome!
 

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The weather was lovely yesterday. Weeded a bit, and separate a clump of burgundy hellebores with tons of buds and some newly bought snowdrops.

As son was with dad, I had my sirloin beef steak medium, together with yummy Shiitake mushrooms and melt in the mouth Pak Choi! My son hates all of them - raw meat, soft mushrooms and Pak Choi leave him retching! Very happy, except that TV was dismal. Started watching Planet 2 Ocean in iplayer. The filming was stunning. Then watched Casey Anthony again, but a different make. Very sad for her daughter who had never asked to sign up to be born to such a callous "mother"! Then Amy Fisher. Was too tired for Mr Bobbit!

The rest of the day was spent looking for a car - want a Ford as it is easier to get it repaired. Got boggled down with 1.0 ecoboost, ecosport, 1.25 ... powershift .. Newer cars cost an arm and a leg and older cars sound like a lump of greedy metals. 1.0 seems to be lacking in powerful and automatic full of problems. To think I nearly bought a B-max! Oh, dear! My neighbour had a Merc or BMW after his Ford. He told us last week that he had an accident months ago - a van drove right into him and the car was a write-off. He spent tons of time cleaning the car, tarting it up - alloy wheels .. His 2nd amour! So sad! He got the money back for his car but obviously lost a lot sprucing the lovely car up. He has bought a Dodge for £850 to run around on facebook marketplace.

It's going to rain today, will soak all the indoor plants and tidy up the lean to. Have a lovely Boxing Day!
 

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Christmas is lovely until you have to finish the big turkey or in my case, ducks! We had had 2 ducks in the past 4 days. So yesterday was a left over day! How dreary it felt. It rained from the get go yesterday, but stopped about 11am. Was googling at cars and I am still no wiser as newer cars are too dear and private sellers ask for quite a bit and some cars are really old.

Tomorrow, we will go round to do some test drive. Soaked nearly all my house plants and gave them a weak feed. Nothing done in the garden. Watched African Queen, again!
 
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Well xmas is over and done with not that it makes much difference to me it just another day like the rest. Santa doesn't bring me gifts like he used to do :unsure:

I have done a bit in the garden over the week its not rained as much up here as down south , planted out my wallflowers and some forget me nots , Also plonked in the Digitalis F Gigantea and I didn't chop any bulbs up :)

Quite a bit of post this morning seeds catalogues / greenhouses and my seeds I ordered on Monday I think have arrived , mostly bedding plants other annuals I will start sowing some seeds at the beginning of January , but first I need to clean out my little pots / trays I use for seedling. Going to order the more unusual seeds from Plant world seeds and I need to get my hands on some Petunia Red velour seeds possible from dobbies , I have saved last years plants so I may get some cutting off them.
 
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Thought you said you didn't want any presents, Perki .. Yes, we've got all your usual rainfall. Some of the photos are just terrifying - car submerged totally showing only the roof! I feel so sorry for people trapped in a flooded house with sewage floating around and furniture wet. Very, very sad!

Sunshine for a very short period of time and I repotted all my hoyas. I forgot they need orchid compost and so had to remove the bit I did earlier. Any way, Glad that they rooted so readily, but they have never once smiled at me .. no flowers! Tons of boring leaves, angry air roots staring at me!

Tomorrow, we'll need to look for a car. Getting dark already. Winter is just so miserable. Sat watching TV and kept feeling cold. I prefer my storage heater, pumping out so much warm air. Here, the thermostat at 21.5c and I was freezing. Working out in the garden has one major benefit : come in the living room and I feel warm. Friend's only way to keep his heating bill down.

I need to do some sowing, but I am not looking forward to have pots and trays everywhere. I spent nearly £5.40 buying another pot of galanthus. Whilst out in the garden, saw 2 with buds on the ground. Very strange as I thought they were buried deep. Soon, I will be photographing snowdrops. Can't wait.

I think I'm going to order some dahlias from Peter N and replace some with some from Wilko. Tomorrow plants bargain hunting.. I'm already suffering from serious withdrawal symptom.
 
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I've stopped buying dahlias from PNyssen I didn't think they were upto scratch but if you want a certain one its hard to avoid PN unless I just got a bad bunch. I am after one called Waltzing Matilda. I like buying them in person I'll take them all of the variety of the rack and pick the largest tuber . The shortest day has passed so hopefully in a few weeks time we might notice a difference .
 

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I want this one

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Some peachy pompon and perhaps spider woman again. I will join the Chelmsford Dahlia society to see if can find anything exciting. Teesbrooke Audry is on my radar, again!

I do the same in Wilko. Ask my son to hold on to some potential bigger tubers and then ask for his opinion .. on which one is bigger. Very pleased that I count the number of buds in my snowdrops as there are now 7 to 8 buds. They are reducing the number of bulbs and some are not throwing up flowers. So I count and look for white and bulging bits inside the leaves. Very pleased with this buy, but they had only 2 types. The others might be a bit late. 4pm and it's so dark.. I hope my Manhattan Island comes good. Bought it very late and I should have dug it up early. Normally, I don't bother, but this year has been so wet!
 

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Woke up very early. Had no idea that it was only 4am.
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Looks look a neat day and a neat dry week to come. The weather is wreaking havoc in Australia .. practically like an oven over there with fires raging whilst we are being flooded and so is the continent. I live along a gentle rising gradient, so apart from garden being flooded every time it rains seriously, which is rare, I'm generally fine. 15c in Scotland! Amazing! Who would have thought!?

Will go to the allotment to hunt for some flowering plants and might share some photos here!
 
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It was a roller coaster day. Saw online a White Fiesta 1.25 66 or 16 reg with 17K mileage. Phoned ahead to see if it's available. It was. It was reduced from £8999 to £8000. I asked if there was any movement on that figure. It's a hell of a lot of money. The man said no. Within 5 minutes, another man phoned and said £7800 and asked me if I would like to read out my bank card for a deposit as it would go very soon. I said no, but would go there later.

Went to another dealership for a 3rd time and his asking price for a 2015 reg was £8600. He said he might make it £8000. He said he couldn't match the first white one I saw online.

Went to see the first white one and phoned in advance so as not to make a wasted journey. And yes! The car was still there. Took us 45 minutes plus to get there. A man came out with a test drive number plate and said, "The car was sold 2 minutes ago!" Well, my smiley face dropped. Then he said he was joking! A huge sign of relief as it was a long journey. He told me that the car would have 1 year warranty and another one from Ford as it is still under warranty. We had a test drive and I asked to see the service history book. 2016 5 miles, 2017 another service history and then later 2019 another stamp. That meant 2018 service history was not there. Son found out that the back windows were not electric! I asked you 2016 reg Ford cars with no electric windows?! I then realised that all these Ford Zetec were cheap and they just didn't have electric windows at the back. Son didn't like it and of course, I sent him to break the bad news. Son told me someone bought it for £8K over the phone. Well, the man might be joking again.

We went to a big dealership down south and I asked to see Fiesta 1.25 manual around £7.800 mark. The young girl pointed out to a £7300 price tag. 66 reg and 30k miles 5dr and is a maroon redI asked if she could do £7000. She said it would be difficult and then she came back with a printed form and told me that I could pay £5K for deposit and then 36 x £161.63 monthly instalments. I told her no. I'd rather just pay for £7k and go home with the car. Then the manager came along and said the instalments would enable us to enjoy any repairs, and something called GAP insurance. I refused to understand the malarkey. Then son googled the term which said it was always used by pushy salespersons ... It was a good google! LOL!

Any way, I added up that if I bought this gap insurance and benefit package, I would be effectively paying £3K more than £7K. This gap insurance would pay out the difference if the car was a write off (I wonder if this was inside the 3 years' window?? I never asked as I refused to buy this nonsense!) I explained to the girl that shops always encouraged customers to buy extended warranty as soon as they bought an electrical item. I would never do it as the item should have come with first year free warranty.2nd year, I might consider it. Any way, it's a used car and she said it came with a 3 months' warranty. We were on the point of leaving and the manager quickly came out and said he was not pressurising us to buy the package, but had to tell us just in case.... I asked if the girl would like a deposit so that the car wouldn't be sold until we could go back on Tuesday. We couldn't test drive the car as the door lock was having trouble. One door finally opened and we couldn't open anything else. The girl didn't understand how desperate I was for the car. Then on the way back, the manager phoned me and asked for £2, then a pause £350 for deposit. I told him that he initially said 2. In the end, £250 for deposit which was OK. I was fed up with looking at all these impossible figures and greedy hire and purchase plans. I now realise that a lot of people are running their lovely cars on loans .. Debts everywhere! If I paid £3K more, I effectively would pay for the gap insurance MYSELF! Also, with all these plans, there are always small prints which benefit the dealership .. parts not included ... all those tricks which require a lawyer to decipher the real BENEFITS! Call me cynical!

My allotment had to take a back seat! Might go there it today.

Enjoy a lovely dry day! Seems to be for the whole of UK! Marvellous!
 
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alp

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Googled what grey tits were .. Ooops! Not a bird in sight but tons of exposed heaving b ... whilst I meant this.. Long tail tits - birds!
 
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Morning all a nice dry pleasant day ,alp the joys of car hunting ,lost count of the different cars I have had over the years,some of them company cars ,the last one I bought which I have now is a Ford Focus diesel 53mpg I get,I have been very pleased with it a nice drive and fords have a good gearbox,it’s not too small and not big the other half does not like driving large cars.
 
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Your better half can drive a Focus! Good for her. I just can't drive any car. Too small and had to push the seat very near the steering wheel, by that time my visual field is limited! LOL! Son would not let me go near the car! I was so taken with Mazda 2 but it was very small and if there's anything wrong, it costs an arm and a leg! Difficult to find parts.

A very pleasant day indeed! Went to the allotment and saw quite a few people. Dug up some hellebores so that I can enjoy them. As it is, I have to go there to enjoy them. So pleased that the car hunting is more or less finished.
 

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