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Tuesday, 15 January 2019 Dereel Images for 15 January 2019
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Yvonne and Chris ride Carlotta and Vicente
Topic: animals Link here

Chris Bahlo and Margaret Swan along this morning with Vicente, Chris' new Andalusian gelding, whom Chris is planning to use for jousting:


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Chasing the Gmail video bug
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

So why does Gmail not want to play the videos that it displays? Back to take a look:


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Marvellous. What's that? I couldn't get rid of it; close the tab and start it again, and I still get the error. I had to clear cookies (why can't I do that on a per-site basis?) to get rid of the problem.

Further messing around. About all I could establish was that if I press the Download button, it downloads correctly.

 
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Browser issue? That wouldn't explain it happening on four different browsers. Peter Jeremy took an interest, but I didn't hear back.


Irrigation issues
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

My hellebores are looking even unhappier:


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Once this heat is over (yesterday and today we had a maximum of 40°), I should transplant them to the front of the house, where the soil is better and they have less sun—if there's anything left of the first one to transplant.

Later we saw a particularly unhappy looking Hebe in the driveway. Time to run the sprinkler again? Did so and discovered that the dripper for that plant, and a number of others, including the first hellebore, was clogged. Changed them and left it run for a while. Even apart from the clogged drippers, it seems that the plants need more water in this summer heat. Increased the automatic sprinkler time per circuit from 40 to 60 minutes.

Was that the only problem with the hellebores? No, the other one was getting water, but still looks unhappy.


Wednesday, 16 January 2019 Dereel Images for 16 January 2019
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Mayday!
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

Last night I went to bed wondering, as so many others, by what margin Theresa May's Brexit bill would be rejected by the House of Commons. 40 votes? Even 200 votes? That was the range that the commentators were expecting.

This morning I woke to find that their worst fears (if that's the word) had been exceeded: the bill was rejected by 230 votes (432 to 202, apparently the largest defeat for a sitting UK government in history).

And now? They're running out of time. Maybe it's time for the British to realize that they're no longer living in the times of Queen Victoria, that they no longer rule the waves, that they're just another country in Europe that happens to have the slight advantage of lingua franca. They'd be a whole lot better off accepting the fact, toeing the line and staying in the union. What would a second referendum bring? The first was only borderline in favour, and that was before anybody understood how difficult and expensive the whole thing would be.


Garden flowers in mid-summer
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

The middle of the month, time for my monthly flower photos.

One of the things that I discovered only slightly before these photos was that I wasn't watering the garden enough. I had a similar problem last year, but I didn't recognize the magnitude. I had had the sprinkler to run for 20 minutes per circuit, increasing to 30 in hot weather. But now I'm up to an hour per circuit, and though it isn't obvious from the photos, I think it's improving things.

Some things are just dead, though: the Acer negundo that we coddled this time last year, and one of the birches. The birch is trying to come back, but given that it died in early spring when it was neither too cold, too hot nor too dry, I don't have much hope. Even this time last year it was playing autumn:


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And now the surviving one is doing that same thing this year:


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That could be due to the watering, of course.

The Paulownia kawakamii, on the other hand, seems to be benefiting from the additional fertilizer, and it now growing a little (though still far from the 3-5 m that it should be by this time). Here last year and this year:


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Our second Buddleja x weyeriana is now growing well (though at a distance it looks as if it's drooping):


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But the ones to the left of the big one have all died. This time lack of water can't be the issue. They're in the overflow area from the tanks, so they may have been drowned. I don't see any point in replacing them.

Last month's Kniphofia flower has finished flowering and is in the process of maturing hundreds of seeds, but in its place no less than 5 new flowers have popped up. Here four of them:


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The Hibiscus rosa-sinensis that I got from my uncle Max, and of which I have cloned many times, is currently not flowering. It does that from time to time, and I'm not overly worried. The one that I planted outside two months ago has recovered from the shock and now looks about as good again as it did when I planted it. Then and now:


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The other one, the one with the erectile dysfunction, is flowering, but with very small flowers, though the style is at least erect:


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Maybe this is the size that it's intended to be, or maybe it, too, will benefit from more water.

The roses are also flowering, but I suspect that they're not getting enough water, like this « Monsieur Tillier »:


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I'll see how the added water helps.

Some of the flowers in the shade area are doing well. While we lost one of the fuchsias that we bought two months ago (proved not to be getting any water), the other one is looking quite happy, and compared to this time last year the tree fern is also doing well:


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Cooling down
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

While taking my garden flower photos, found Nikolai relaxing:


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One of the few cool places, I suppose.


Happy Birthday, Margaret Swan
Topic: general, food and drink, gardening Link here

An out of sequence dinner tonight: it was Margaret Swan's birthday, a significant one. So we had a birthday dinner for her, with gratin dauphinois, apparently one of her favourites. Also a cheese soufflée, this time with Parmesan cheese, not quite how we expected it to turn out, but after greasing the form it at least didn't stick. And for a birthday present, of course yet another Hibiscus rosa-sinensis clone.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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