Friday, 28 May 2010

Bubbleglazing update

Well the bubbleglazing is working a treat, especially in the bathroom. It is noticeably warmer in there first thing in the morning, I'd say by a few degrees - and that is the only thing we've changed. The bedroom is also staying much warmer, which we suspect has as much to do with plugging the small gap as the bubblewrap. Then again, given the bathroom results I'm sure that the bubblewrap is helping, even though it isn't on all the windows. You can really feel the difference just by comparing the feel of the window vs the feel of the bubbleglazed window

In fact the other morning Jerry and I work up and said to ourselves that it was almost too warm, the difference is so apparent!

In answer to your question Nelly we used double sided tape to stick the bubblewrap, but Jerry's found a few sites like this one that say you just spray water on the window and stick, so we're going to try that with the other windows we're planning to do. Will let you know how that goes.

Sunday, 23 May 2010


Sorry for the long time between posts people. I've started a new job (so now I have 2) so suddenly I'm a lot busier - particularly as the new one is out of the home. I've also been having trouble with my migraine so I try to keep computer time for when I really need it (for work). Jerry and I did some bubbleglazing in the bedroom and the bathroom to try and keep out some of the cold that seeps through our very thin single-glazed windows. We also discovered bubble-wrap is quite handy for filling in the drafty gaps between timber and mud-brick!

As you can see we haven't bubble-glazed the top sections for the windows as we're quite partial to sitting in bed with a cuppa on weekend mornings and admiring the view. This will reduce the effectiveness, of course, but we think we can live with it. We will see how it is after a few days. As I've said before, the great thing about the bubbleglazing is it's a LOT cheaper than replacing windows, and it still lets in loads of light compared to having the curtains drawn all day.

In the garden, I harvested the giant russian sunflower - I saved some seed for next year and the rest went to the chickens. I also saved a lovely batch of scarlet runner bean seeds - they are purple and brown - very pretty. The first batch of  broccoli / collards/ kale I planted are doing well too. We're still picking raspberries and a couple of the Tommy Toe tomatoes are hanging in there and still producing. I have seen a few mighty fine looking turnips which I will pick for braising later in the week.

To round off the day I spent some time making lotions and potions:

  • another batch of liquid castile body wash - this time with lemon essential oil (I bought the liquid castile)
  • replenished my supply of lip balm - this time it's beeswax, jojoba, cocoa butter and calendula oil with vanilla essential oil and a dash of honey (local chestnut honey).
  • made a new batch of facial cleanser (90ml liquid castille, 10ml apricot kernel oil, 6 drops rose otto and 6 drops lavender essential oil)
  • attempted to make an oat body cream but once again my emulsion didn't set. VERY ANNOYING. I think James Wong's emulsion liquid levels are just dodgy as I always have trouble with his cream recipes. Although I love love love the shows and the books and have no problems with a range of other things I've made from them. In fact I also picked some wormwood, sage and rosemary today to dry and use to make moth repellent (from book 2)
A nice long oat bath (cup of porridge oats in fine cheesecloth in the bath - give it a few good squeezes to release the oaty goodness) with a glass of white and a good book (Heal your Headache, which has provided a lot of food for thought) restored my humour!

Tonight's dinner will be pork spare ribs (thanks E!) Chinese style with rice and peas and Dr Who. Sadly the Matt Smith Dr Who not the David Tennant Dr Who (or even the Chris Eccleston Dr Who). Even the guiding hand and scripts of Stephen Moffat (the genius that wrote Blink, the Library and that devil episode) can't make up for the fact that (IMHO) Matt Smith was the wrong choice. He's just not working for me as the Doctor - although I do like Amy Pond as a companion. Oh well, at least I have the others all on DVD (thanks Mumma Jerry!!)

I hope you all had or are having (depending on your timezones) a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

NOW we're ready for the rain

The great tank project moved a giant step forward today when 3 men and 2 machines arrived to trench, dig and lay the pipes from the gutters to the tank.

James arrived with his groovy 'toys' - as you can see a trenching attachment on a small digger is a LOT faster than hand digging!
 Needless to say we hit a few water pipes - 6 in all - but not the shed electrics which is a bonus! As the house was a self build we're never quite sure where everything is... we did find one water pipe heading off to the edge of the property where there is no tap so it's a mystery why it was there. All the pipes were easy to fix - thanks Jim!
We added a manual valve so we can flush the roof / gutter water straight into the overflow pipe after long dry spells - you can see the earthworks on the left. The overflow pipe then leads into a small "pond-to-be" (or should that be dog swimming hole?!) - thanks to Colin for the great idea.
Filling in the trenches has left the garden looking a bit like a giant gopher has been for a visit!  And finally there is the connected tank in all it's glory. The bit of short pipe sticking up houses the manual "flush" valve.
There is just a small bit of extra pipe work to do to plumb in the downpipe from the other side of the house, but that should be finished this week, weather depending. However if it rains tonight then half the roof water will go into the tank.
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