Sunday, 14 August 2011

What Happens When You go Away for 2 Weeks.....

You go off to Spain for a couple of weeks, spending much of your time open water swimming on the beautiful lake Negratin, and you come home..... find your self buried under a mountain of beans.....

....and with a new addition to the family, Daisy.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

A Milestone

Anyone who has seen this blog before may well recall that one of the major issues with this house has been low pressure on the hot water. We had to fit a noisy pump to the shower to achieve adequate flow. But now, Coleman Plumbing and Heating in Taunton are about to change our lives.

Unfortunately, this does involve some demolition in the bathroom to gain access to the hot water cylinder. I spent half of Saturday ripping out the stud walls Richard built around it.

Then yesterday, Stuart came to work and we drained all the water from the house including the central heating, before removing the old vented hot water cylinder.

This is the new stainless steel unvented, pressurized cylinder that will take its place.

Before installing the new cylinder, almost all of the old pipework was cut out and replaced. I particularly like this bit here with all the curves and angles.

It fits, just.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Hole in the Wall

The wall before I started. It might look solid at first glance, but the cap is completely falling to pieces and once you start poking a bit, so is much of the rest of it.

Here's a prime example. A bit of poking and the next thing you know there's a hole big enough to conceal a gang of outlaws. Here I've dug out the bit between the wall and the slabs I laid last year and pummeled some hardcore down as I'm going to fill the gap with render and stones.

Even with Richard's cement mixer this is chuffig hard work, without it I think I'd be dead by now.
Thanks Rich.

The render is 1:1:6 cement: lime: sand which makes a lovely sticky render that you can flick into all the corners and it just stays there. Working with stones you get through an amazing amount of render filling all the gaps.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Before and After

This shows the difference in flow before and after the cold main was replaced. Fantastic. Of course now, having never solved our issues with the pressure on the hot, that looks even more pathetic by comparison. Plans are, appropriately, in the pipeline.

For now, back to the wall.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Big Reveal

After another major drill bit stickage which took several more hours to extract, this blue pipe which is connected via a copper pipe to the plastic pipe upstairs, which in turn is connected to the cold water system in the airing cupboard, was inserted into the hole that took so much time, sweat and destroyed masonary bits to create...

emerging into this trench just outside the house (after another half hour of me smashing a large steel spike into the hole to yet further enlarge it)...

...which was dug this morning by these men, thus explaining the road closure! Our cold water main has today been replaced, ending almost a decade for us of low water pressure. Finally, I think we have found a plumber who knows his business. The old main was partly lead, partly very corroded galvanized steel. And best of all, the council had to pay for all this.

Friday, 20 May 2011


The hole needs to be at least 60cm deep, but Dan's drill bit got stuck at about 30cm and remained stuck for most of the day until after Dan had gone home, at which point I had a go at it and got it out in about 5 minutes. Dan is here now completing the hole, hopefully without further stuckages.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Plot Thickens

Today, Dan made a hole in the floor through the concrete in the corner of the lounge.

Yesterday, he had all the carpets up on the landing upstairs and put in a plastic pipe (as well as some copper ones). Yes, these two things are related, and may also be linked to the road closure scheduled for this Sunday. The first correct guess (from anyone who I haven't already told what's going on) as to what's happening will receive no prizes at all.


The wall at the back of the garden is falling down in places and needs to be fixed.

It has much wildlife and vegetation within its structure which will be either gently relocated (slow worms, spiders etc) or chucked in the garden waste recycling bin (ivy, dandelions, snails, bind weed etc). This has nothing whatever to do with the previous post.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Road Closure

All will be revealed....

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


I can hear the clattering of people falling off chairs across the globe at the shock of seeing a new post on this blog, the first since November. If we had planted asparagus three years ago, we'd be scoffing tons of it by now, but since I only planted it a week ago, we're not allowed to eat any at all this year.

The crowns went in thus, with lots of fresh home made compost which is extra lush due to the amount of chicken poo it contains!

Although we can't eat it, seeing the first spear emerge from mother earth was a great moment. We can eat one from each plant next year (according to Paula who is pretty hot on such things), but in 2013 we'll be feasting until we smell of it. Yummy!