Tag Archives: 12 volt LED light bulbs

Thursday 17th January 2019 – WHAT DO I DO …

… now that I can’t find my passport anywhere?

This is really going to throw a spanner in the works, this is.

Last time that I physically remember having it, I had to produce it to a German ticket inspector on the train from Köln to Aachen to prove my entitlement to a reduced fare.

I must have had it here though because a form that I had to fill in last week, I had to enter my passport number on it.

It might have been at the bank when I was there on Thursday last week, but I phoned them to ask and they don’t have it.

It seems that these days I’m taking one step forward and two steps back.

The alarms went off as usual this morning, but I simply turned over and went back to sleep again. It was 08:10 when I finally crawled out of bed.

I’d been on my travels too although I don’t remember too much about them. There were two young girls, aged about 12 or so, in a café and one was carrying a very large baby doll. She went up to the counter, pretending that the doll that she was carrying was a real baby, and asked piteously if the café would buy her a cup of coffee because she was a single mother with no money. The waiter served her a coffee, and I was interested to see how she would share this out with her friend.

There was a quick morning routine followed by a quick shower and a whirl of the washing machine (I’m running low on clothes) and then off up town in the rain showers.

First port of call was the Post Office where I posted off the letter that I wrote yesterday. I wonder how long it will be before I receive a reply. And I hope that it’s positive news. As Ludicrus said in Up Pompeii , It’s been a long time since I’ve had any.

Second stop was LIDL. I didn’t buy all that much but it was still an expensive do. There were a couple of really decent notebooks that I need for a project. But there was also a clip-on LED lamp that works as a nice office light. Only 2.5 watts instead of the 60 watt bulb in the ceiling, but gives twice as much light. I was talking about getting something for quite a while.

Back home, I had a coffee, unpacked the shopping and installed the LED light. It works quite nicely and I’m quite pleased with it.

This afternoon after lunch I finished off the photos from December and then made a start on those from January.

But I was sidetracked. I received a Press Release from the French Government outlining the French plans for British nationals in the event of a Hard Brexit. It’s quite a comprehensive document with some useful information so I reckoned that it would be a good idea to print it out and keep it with my passport.

And now we started the circus.

Tea was a potato and lentil curry dating from January last year. And delicious it was too.

new tourist signpost pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceIt was quite windy outside. There were a few people walking around the headland after lunch.

And the mystery of what they were doing with that area of paving on the car park by the lighthouse is revealed. They were erecting a tourist information sign there.

There has been some talk about opening up the old bunkers of the Atlantic Wall so that tourists might visit. But they went through a great deal of effort and expended an enormous amount of manpower in putting up that simple sign.

fibre optic cable work granville manche normandy franceBut once again, not a soul – not even a cat – out there this evening. But I did notice that they are digging up the roads in the Medieval town just down the road.

There are signs all over the old town saying that the Fibre-Optic cabling is “ongoing”, and it looks as if it might be here any day now.

But when we are actually hooked up, that’s anyone’s guess.

And as I expected, I lost the internet connection half a dozen times today. So I might end up having to connect it with a cable after all.

Saturday 25th July 2015 – AND IF YOU THOUGHT …

… that working late on a Friday night was exceptional, how about working on a Saturday morning too? Yes, I reckon that I didn’t even have 12 hours off.

shelob shower room les guis virlet puy de dome franceAnd I wasn’t alone while I was working either. I had company – or, rather, an interested spectator.

I don’t know where Shelob came from, or where she went back to, but she was certainly there while I was sweating away. And to be honest, I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a spider quite like this one before. The photo makes it look huge, but nevertheless …

suspended ceiling fitted varnished recessed lights fitted les guis virlet puy de dome franceAnd I was there for a good couple of hours too this morning.

But now we have all three coats of varnish on the doors and on the shelves and it does look good in there. And all of the wiring is finished and the recessed LED lights are in place. And wasn’t it a good plan to buy that pile of recessed light fittings at Brico Depot? That works in spades, doesn’t it?

And you’ll see the LED striplight on the far wall. The bathroom mirror will be going under there when the tiling is finished. And that’s the next job, starting on Monday when I’ve done this car that I have to do.

Just as I was settling down, Lieneke came round for a chat and she stayed here for a good few hours. She was really impressed with the work on the house too – and so am I, it has to be said. It’s looking quite good so far.

But that diverted my attention and I’ve not done anything after that – just relaxed. Tomorrow, I need to press on with the radio programmes.

Monday 15th June 2015 – IN THE 20 HOURS …

… between my going out late last night to take the stats and going out this evening for something to drink, we’ve had a mere 48.5mm of rainfall. and it’s been raining ever since as well.

That makes about 120mm in the last four days and that’s an astonishing amount. We’ll all be washed away if it carries on like this.

This morning after breakfast I carried on with the internet stuff that I hadn’t finished yesterday. I’ve made a list of all of the bands that have impressed me at the Fredericton Jazz and Blues Festivals that I’ve attended, traced as many as I could on the internet, and sent them a mail to ask them if there was a live concert recorded that I could use on the radio. This is something that I’ve been meaning to do for quite a while, and I’ve finally made a start. And already, I’ve had two positive replies.

While I was rooting around with all of that paperwork on Saturday I came across a mirror. I nice bulls-eye mirror with a brass surround rather like a ship’s porthole. Someone gave it to me when I had my first house in Winsford and it’s followed me around Europe ever since. It’s finally found a permanent home on the first floor landing here and good luck to it.

I’ve also extended the light circuit here. On the ground floor where my workshop is, there’s only one light – a 4-watt LED and that’s by the front door. The rear part of the house is quite dark and it’s not so easy to see there when one is working, especially in the gloomy conditions of the last few days.

There was a light with a long lead that I used when I was working in the bedroom before I installed the permanent lights there. So today, I stripped off the plug and wired it into the lighting circuit downstairs. That’s given me much more useful light down there, even if it is just a 1-watt LED.

I’ve found a pine off-cut that’s fine for the upper shelf over the beichstuhl. I cut that to shape and varnished both sides. Tomorrow morning early I’ll put the second coat on the shelf and then that will be ready to fit.

This afternoon I’ve been cutting and fitting plasterboard for the beichstuhl corner. I’ve fitted what I can fit and I’ll do the rest when the shelf is in position. Then, I can take out the worktop where the sink will be, drill it for the sink waste-pipe and the taps and then varnish it. While it’s drying, I’ll fit the mounting rails in the correct place and then install the worktop correctly.

Then, I can start on fitting the door frame.

Tuesday 21st April 2015 – AT LAST …

furniture in bedroom les guis virlet puy de dome france… we finally have some furniture in the bedroom.

The chest of drawers is a couple of years old, the chair and cushion is from last year, but everything else, including the fluffy carpet that you can’t see, is from yesterday.

No mattress yet, but that will be up there tomorrow one way or another and that will mean that tomorrow night will be my first night sleeping down there. I have new bedding as you know, and I’ll have a good shower too so that I’m nice and clean for my nice new and clean bedroom.

I spent all morning installing the bed, and that was much longer than it ought to have taken. However, one of the sets of laths was 80cms, not 70cms – misfiled by someone at IKEA I reckon, and as I had no intention of driving back to Clermont Ferrand, out came the chop saw and that dealt with that.

After lunch, I emptied out the two chests of drawers, cleaned them, dismantled them, took them downstairs and reassembled them. So they are in place now. And that took me nicely up to 18:20 when I called it a day.

During my lunch break I did another load of washing seeing as how we had a nice day, and I emptied out the beichstuhl – such delightful jobs that I have to do around here. And I also fitted into the lights under the eaves of the house two of the new LED lightbulbs that I bought yesterday. 1.7 watts each, so that’s an equivalent of about 20 watts of incandescent light, they are much smaller and weigh less than half of the weight of the usual LED light bulbs. So with these, there’s not that much risk of them falling out of the bulb holders.

After having crashed out for an hour this evening, I made another mega kidney-bean and aubergine whatsit, and I remembered to put the olives and peanuts in it too, which is certainly progress. That will do me for the next 3 days too.

But I forgot to tell you yesterday – something that I saw that goes to prove just how far ahead of the times that I am. In IKEA yesterday there were a couple of proud notices – “all the water in the toilets comes from the rainwater that falls on the building” and “all the hot water in the toilets is heated by solar energy”.

Well, regular readers of this rubbish will know that I have been doing this for almost 20 years. As I have said on many previous occasions … "and you’ll say it again and again" – ed … the world is slowly catching me up.

Wednesday 25th March 2015 – I DID WELL …

… to light a little fire up here last night. I awoke to a relatively balmy 16.2°C and yet outside we had 5cms of snow. So much for Spring, hey?

And I’d been on my travels during the night too. I had aroused the antipathy of the factory bully who ended up chasing me around the factory brandishing an enormous club. He was intercepted by a few of his colleagues who persuaded him to use a slightly smaller club. But it all ended happily ever after as I ended up walking across the park towards some buildings in the distance, hand in hand (and later, arm round the waist) of a girl who, over the past two or three weeks, has appeared out of nowhere to accompany me on several of my nocturnal adventures. I’ve absolutely no idea at all what has prompted the strange inclusion of this unexpected companion, no matter how sweet many of the people in the park described the pair of us last night.

After breakfast I used up the rest of the cheap varnish on the window and the shelves in the wardrobe, and then I varnished the floor with the first coat. After that, I went off to Montlucon as I predicted.

First stop was Pionsat to sort out the boulangère. Sophie, the regular Friday livreuse, is off sick and so they’ve been taking on anyone that they can get. That explains all of the confusion about the delivery of Friday’s bread, and I hope that we’ve managed to sort it out.

At the LIDL I witnessed a very disagreeable incident of a young guy verbally abusing the young female cashier over the price of an article (but he cleared off before I could have a word in his shell-like) and then at the Auchan I stocked up with the next month’s major supply of food.

At Brico-Depot I managed to forget the floor-join and the brush for the bedroom door but I managed to fix myself up with some tackle to make a couple of Heath-Robinson hanging rails for the wardrobe, as well as a couple more 4-watt LED light bulbs. I also bumped into Pete Marsh and his friend, who were stocking up on supplies for their next contract.

I was disappointed though – the cheap but good varnish is no longer carried. It seems that the supplier has closed down. So to be on the safe side, I bought another large tin of the expensive stuff just in case. If I don’t use it, it’ll come in handy for the ground floor.

Problem solved though over the road at mr Bricolage. They had big tins of cheap clear varnish on offer so I bought one,as well as the glass that I need to do the window over the door. I’ve managed to bring that home in one piece – it’ll be interesting to see if I can manage to get it into the doorframe without dropping it.

NOZ came up with nothing so I came home, crashed out for an hour and then made myself a Heath-Robinson meal of a handful of pasta, sone peas, carrots and green beans, and some olive oil and mustard sauce. Cooked on the oven because I’ve had the fire on again tonight. The left-over wood from last night-s fire and a floorboard offcut and that was sufficient. It’s amazing what you can do with a good fire.

Friday 30th January 2015 – NOW HERE’S A THING!

I was still working until after 20:00 this evening. And if that isn’t surprising enough, I’d already knocked off once and been down to Pionsat to do my shopping in the Intermarche, and then come back to carry pn working.

Mind you, this morning I thought that my muck was in. I was up quite early this morning and the sky was looking quite nice and blue. “At long last” I reckoned, “this would be the day where I could sand down the stairs, vacuum then and then varnish them”.

But it wasn’t to be.

I’d finished breakfast by 08:30 and so I set about doing a radio programme. By 10:00 I’d done the next month’s rock programme, including editing an hour-long live show. I must have been in a good mood.

However by this time, the weather had changed dramatically, and for the worse too. It was snowing quite heavily and all of the light had gone.

First thing that I did was to touch up the painting around the shelves. A bit of varnish had splashed here and there and I may as well have the place looking all shipshape.

recessed 12 volt LED light landing false ceiling les guis virlet puy de dome franceOnce I’d finished that, I set to on the end pieces for the plasterboard runs. And by 17:00 this evening every single piece was properly shaped, in position and nailed in place.

I’d even made the door frame for the bedroom, as you can see, and you’ll also notice the recessed light in the false ceiling on the landing.

Even though I say it myself, I’m really impressed with all of this, and no-one will ever notice that most of the end pieces and most of the door frame have been made from cut-down floorboard planks. It’s amazing what you can conjure up when you are driven by necessity.

There was still the filling to be done and so seeing that I was in such a good mood I pressed on. It was in the middle of all of this that I knocked off and went down to the Intermarché.

It’s now finished – or at least the first layer is, and i’ll sand it down at the first opportunity ready for the second layer.

For tea tonight I pushed the boat out and had oven chips, real baked beans and a veggie burger, all doused in proper malt vinegar.

And it was beautiful too.

Thursday 29th January 2015 – THIS DOOR HINGE ISSUE …

… still isn’t resolved, despite my best efforts this morning.

This morning, I was up quite early and I’d finished my breakfast by 08:30. Se seeing as I had to be in Marcillat for 10:30, a sudden idea entered into my head given the time available, and I shot straight off to Commentry and Bricomarche.

There are indeed right-handed and left-handed hinges, and all of the hinges were totally muddled up. I very carefully sorted out three right-handed hinges (as well as a hosepipe connection for the overflow on the water tank). However, the boxes were more mixed up than I thought, and I’ve ended up with 2 x 110×55 and 1 x 90×45.

Ahh well.

But at least I have the shape to use to cut the lets into the door and the doorframe.

At the radio, we recorded our Radio Anglais programmes for Radio Tartasse and then went for a coffee and a chat.

varnished shelf stairwell attic les guis virlet puy de dome franceBack here, first job that I did even before I took off my coat was to put the third and final coat of varnish onto the shelves in the stairwell up to the attic.

These shelves are now finished and that is really the first completed task of this phase of the work. These shelves mean that I can now start to empty the attic of all of the cooking stuff, the pots and pans and so on, and put them on the shelves outside, as soon as the varnish had hardened off.

This is definitely progress.

suspended false ceiling recessed light plasterboard landing les guis virlet puy de dome franceSecond job that I did, likewise before taking off my coat, was to fit the crown onto the LED light bulb and recess it into the hole in the false ceiling on the landing.

You can see the varnished ceiling and the plasterboard on both the walls but the light hasn’t come out well enough. I’ll take another photo of the ceiling when we have some daylight, but that wasn’t going to be today as so far we’ve had 35mm of rain and it’s still teeming down.

I’ve also cut the three lets into the hinge side of the doorframe so that I can fit the recessed hinges in due course and I’ve also cut down a floorboard to make the latch side of the doorframe.

Tomorrow I’ll finish off cutting down the floorboards for the rest of the door frame and for the head of the stairs, and if I’m lucky, I might even be able to put the first coat of filler on the screwheads and joins in the plasterboard.

Wednesday 28th January 2015 – THIS LANDING DEFINITELY …

… won’t be finished by the weekend now, that’s for sure.

I didn’t realise this at the time, but now I do, that the “drop-in” hinges that are quite common here and that I like to use are “handed”. I need three right-handed ones for the bedroom door and three right-handed ones for the shower room door, but I seem to have acquired six left-handed hinges.

I can’t believe this, because I’ve fitted three doors here, some right-handed and some left-handed, and I’ve always managed to find the xorrect hinges without even knowing about it. Talk about beginners’ luck. But now I’ll have to wait until I can go either to Montlucon or Commentry.

This morning though, I fitted the ceiling in the landing and cut out the hole for the recessed light that I’ll be fitting. All of this took a while but it’s finished now and doesn’t look too bad at all.

We had a flash of sunlight too for half an hour, so I sanded down and vacuumed the shelves over the stairs, and then put the first coat of varnish on them and also on the landing celling. That all took me until 14:20 – a good 20 minutes after my normal lunchtime pause,but I’m less interested in pausing than I am in doing the work on the place.

After lunch I went into the barn to find the doors for the bedroom and the shower room and then cut down one of the planks that I’ll be using for an end-piece for the stud wall. And it was here that I discovered the issue with the hinges.

Never mind though, there’s still plenty to do. I ended up finishing off the routing for the wiring on the first floor (although I’ve since remembered two things that I’ve missed) and then put the second coat of varnish on the shelves and ceiling.

Tomorrow I have to nip to Marcillat and record the Radio Tartasse radio sessions, and when I come back I’ll be putting the third coat of varnish on the shelves and fitting the recessed light on the landing.

And until I can sort out some hinges for the doors, I’ll be fitting as many end pieces as I can and then starting on the bedroom. No reason to stop working just because I’ve messed up these hinges.

Thursday 22nd January 2015 – FIAT LUX!

12 volt lights bathroom les guis virlet puy de dome franceAnd we aren’t talking about Italian cars and washing … "you’ve said that bedore" – ed

Anyway, we now not only have a varnished and shiny floor (covered in cardboard while it hardens) in the shower room, but we also have lights. To fit these was so straightforward that I can’t uderstand how it is that I haven’t fitted them before this.

And I’ll tell you something else for nothing too – those push-in spring-loaded wire connectors really are the business and I’m glad that I discovered them.

In fact, all in all, what I’ve learnt since I’ve been doing up this house has made me wish that I could go back and do the attic all over again.

12 volt lights bedroom les guis virlet puy de dome franceFitting the lights in the bedroom was not quite so easy.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve not installed one of the cables that needs to connect up the main lightswitch to the pull switch that I wanted to install. It’s not possible to install it no and so I had to rewire it into a single way switch.

All the four lights, bulbs and bulb holders were fitted but wiring it all up was something of a struggle, particularly as I’d forgotten which wire went where (I hadn’t counted on a three-year lay-off from finishing it off) but I eventually worked it all out and wired it into the 12-volt wiring circuit, even though all together it took me most of the day.

The beichstuhl is now temporarily installed in the shower room and then to finished, I sanded down, shaped and installed the skirting board at the head of the stairs.

And if the evidence of the last couple of weeks is anything to go on, my regular working hours have now gone out of the window. I think that having the music certainly helps.

Monday 29th December 2014 – OUCH!!!

Yes, I fell down the stairs today.

I was at the top of the stairs fixing in a piece of wood into the corner at the back of the upper stairs and I had to reach right across the stairwell to screw it in. And then I forgot that I was reaching right across a void and put my foot down again. And that was that.

But that’s not the worst of the problem. I’m going to be having water issues here when the thaw sets in. It’s not so bad at minus 10.5°C such as we had during the night, but the severe temperature has cracked one of the taps on the water butt. The other two taps that control the flow into the front water butt are frozen solid so I can’t cut off the supply. That means that if the front water butt defrosts before the rear one, then I’ll lose all of the water in the containers.

That’s not the only issue that I’ve had with water either. I keep a 5-litre container of water in the bedroom for all kinds of different purposes, and I’ve managed to kick that all over the floor.

And that’s not all either. After varnishing the stair treads and risers that I cut the other day, I went to emulsion the wallpaper that I’d fitted in the stairwell. The first tub of white paint that I found had varnish in it. The secpnd one had lime mortar in it. And that was that.

Luckily I had some crepi left over from when I did the walls in the cupboard under the stairs, so I applied that to the wallpaper. And when I checked the job an hour or so later, the weight of the crepi had pulled the paper off the wall. In the end, I pulled the paper off the wall and put the crepi directly on the plasterboard. And if I had done that first instead of last, this job would have been finished three days ago.

I forgot to ention that Brico Depot on Saturday was having a sale of LED light bulbs – 4.2 watts at €3:99 each which is a bargain in anyone’s money. I bought all 14 that were left and this will complete the bilbs that I need for the barn with a couple left over.I tried a couple in the barn and I wasn’t half impressed.

As you know, I’m working in the bedroom and on the ground floor at the moment so I took out the 1.2 watt LED light bulbs in each room and put the extra 4.2 light bulbs in there. And the difference is phenomenal. I can actually see what I’m doing now in there at night and that makes a change.

This was something else that I should have done ages ago.

Wednesday 17th December 2014 – THE WORST DAY …

… that I can ever remember having since I’ve been here.

By the time I took the stats this evening, we’d had 32mm of rain. It’s rained non-stop throughout the day, the ground is totally waterlogged, there’s surface water on the mud outside and the run-off has come into the verandah and the floor of that looks like a swamp.

If that wasn’t enough to be going on with, when I went back outside after (a rather late, it has to be said) lunch, it was so dark that the outside lights had come on. In fact, had I not been awaiting a couple of parcels still, I would have thrown a suitcase into Caliburn and gone off to find some sun somewhere, even if it had been Italy or Greece. Things are that bad here.

As far as the work around here goes, it was another somwhat later start. Hearing the amount of rain that was cascading down onto the roof made me rather unwilling to leave the comfort and safety of my warm little bed.

Outside though, I was in the barn working. More tidying up and repairing things that needed fixing. And I have also found, at long last, one of the 12-volt DC cables for the charger for the rechargeable batteries – something for which I have been looking for years. It just goes to show you what a bit of tidying up can do. And it was a nice change doing it all to music.It made me feel so much better just having the music playing in the barn again.

temporary connecting board les guis virlet puy de dome franceI’ve also made a temporary connecting board. I quite often have to quickly connect something to the DC ciruit to see if it works or to see if there’s a polarity issue (these IKEA LED striplights do have a polarity issue and the cables aren’t marked) and on the old power board I could touch the wires of any appliance to the connecting points of the terminals. Of course, with this new power board, the connecting points are behind the front panel and sheathed in pattresses, so I can’t reach them. I’ve therefore made up a wooden board with two wires connected to a plug that I can plug into a 12-volt DC socket. The other ends of the wires are connected to two bolts in the wooden board. One bolt is marked red (for positive) and the other one black (for negative) and there’s a warning light to tell me that there’s current at the terminals. This will do what I need to do.

After lunch, I carried out another long-term issue – namely replacing the final 12-volt flourescent light with one of the IKEA 12-volt strip lights. I do have to say that they are nothing like as good as the LIDL 12-volt striplights, but drawing 1.2 watts instead of the 7 watts of the flourescent light is a huge improvement.

I wasn’t in too much of a rush to knock off so it was 18:20 when I finished. And a little later I had to go to Pionsat to meet up with Liz and to give her the Christmas presents for them both.

And the rain is still cascading down. Since I’ve been back from Canada on 8th October, there’s been just one whole day when there has been no rain, and the weather forecast for the next 10 days is “more of the same”. I’m sick to the eyeballs of all of this.

Thursday 7th August 2014 – FIAT LUX

And we aren’t talking about Italian cars and washing powder either.

This morning, I was wide awake early, a good while before the alarm, but there was a reason for that. It was absolutely teeming down with rain. So much so that I couldn’t go back to sleep and so I was up pretty quickly for breakfast.

After breakfast I was on the website for a good few hours. The main part of my trip around the Saguenay is finished but there’s a lot of rewriting and editing to do and that’s probably going to take as long as writing it.

By 12:00 I would normally have gone outside to work but it was totally pointless so I rearranged my little office space here. Things are so much better now I’m here in my little corner on the new chair that I bought a year ago. That’s why I’ve moved all of the computer stuff over here. And Rosemary rang up too for a chat, which was nice.

After lunch, it was still teeming down and so I started on emptying out the wardrobe space in the bedroom ready to paint the walls of it. I chucked the stuff downstairs ready to file it away, but now it’s all heaped up at the bottom of the stairs, even worse than it was before.

That’s because I was sidetracked after having done about half of it.

There’s the plan to run some cable through the side of the wardrobe so that there will be some power and light there. That was what started me off on my little journey off the beaten track.

Once that was done and I had the wiring equipment out, I wired up the light in the cupboard at the back of the stairs. Finally, I fitted the light on the landing on the first floor. Final task was to run a negative wire from across from the other wall at the head of the stairs.

12 volt LED light bulb 1st floor les guis virlet puy de dome franceI fitted a 12-volt LED light in each of the sockets and, much to my surprise, it all worked perfectly, as you can see.

Now I have light in the cupboard at the back of the stairs, and there’s also a light on the landing at the top of the stairs. It’s all ever so impressive.

And what was even more impressive was that the sun actually came out later in the afternoon but seeing as I was well on the way to finishing the wiring, I carried on regardless.

It was even finished by 19:20 which was a surprise too.

If the weather is fine tomorrow, I’ll be back on the scaffolding. Otherwise I’l be carrying on with the bedroom.

Thursday 10th July 2014 – WHAT THE …?

Yes, I’ve spent ages this afternoon looking for a black jump lead. I save all the old ones as they come in useful as a cheap source of heavy duty cable, and I can find no fewer than 5 red ones, but there’s not a black one anywhere to be seen. I just don’t understand this.

During the night I was in Calveley with my father and a few other people, visiting the farm that belonged to my father’s parents. All of the outbuildings were still there but the farmhouse was a prefabricated type of bungalow. It seems that the farmhouse had burnt down and my grandfather had erected a kind of mobile home to replace it, with no planning permission. The uproar that this had caused led to a variety of court cases against my grandfather, all of which he lost, and the farm had to be sold to pay the legal expenses and grandfather went bankrupt. My father was in tears when whoever it was told this story.

So when I woke up and after breakfast I carried on with the website for the customary couple of hours, and then as the driving rain was preventing any outside work, I started to tidy up the bedroom.

This led to a couple of discoveries, one of which was a halogen table light. After lunch (I had to go into Pionsat to buy some bread) I rewired it and fitted a LED bulb in it, and that’s now illuminating my new comfy chair.

I also found a multiple cigarette-lighter socket with USB socket and so I rewired that and fitted it on the control board downstairs.

While I was there, having been told that the bad weather is to contine, I emptied the 12-volt immersion heater and ripped the wiring out. When I made it, I had forgotten to insulate the terminals and that’s not been helping the circuit, and the cables are scorched as I suspected. This led to a couple of design modifications, and then the search for heavier cables, such as old jump leads.

At about 19:15 that up until tomorrow and knocked off work. Rosemary rang up for a chat for about an hour, and then I had tea.

I’ll continue the search for the cable tomorrow.

Saturday 3rd May 2014 – I’VE BEEN A LITTLE PREMATURE …

… about these batteries, so it seems. The problem has been that it’s not been quite dark when I’ve taken the readings and when I’ve been out the next morning to check, the sun has been up for an hour or two, so the voltage reading is being distorted by the amount of energy being received.

However, it’s possible to program the charge controller to show Minimum Volts, and that’s what I’ve done. And that reading isn’t anything like what I was hoping it to be. But the barn is lit by a few of these 1-watt LED lighting strips and they are plenty bright enough even with a lower-than-expected voltage so no harm is being done. The batteries are certainly good enough to power them and I don’t need anthing more than that for the time being.

So apart from that, what else?

I had a late night last night and so it was a struggle to crawl out of bed this morning. But I did, and at a reasonably-respectable time too.

And I worked on the web site too and uploaded a pile of pages – the effort of the last couple of weeks on the North Shore of the St Lawrence River. If you go to this page and follow all of the links, you’ll see the … gulp … 18 pages that I’ve uploaded.

And I’m nowhere near the end quite yet either.

This afternoon I’ve been tidying up a little. That’s right – only a little. As you know, I’m off on my travels on Sunday night as I have a few things to attend to in Brussels. And for that I need to find a few papers and a Bank Card – hence the urgency.

Anyway, much of the stuff has been found and I can now head off tomorrow night in reasonable peace, once I’ve cleaned out Caliburn. The back of the van is in a desoerate state after having had all of that mess inside it.

So apart from that, not much else to tell you about. I haven’t done too much else.

What is a real shame though is that my little attic doesn’t look very much different after my tidying-up session, despite the two bags of rubbish that I took out. All of this is very depressing.

And the glorious, clear skies that the weathermen promised us today. Ptah!! That’s very depressing too!

Tuesday 18th February 2014 – I HAD AN AFTERNOON OUT …

… this afternoon. This involved moving a pile of stuff with Caliburn and so first job this morning was to empty Caliburn and then to put away everything that I had been storing in him. And that took a while, I can tell you.

I then swept him out too, and repaired one or two electrical bits and pieces that needed fixing. So at least he’s now clean and tidy in the back.

Next on the list was hanging out the washing, and then to clear out a space at the side of the existing compost bin and put there the one that I bought last year in this Government composting scheme. ONce I had done that, I could empty the beichstuhl, such pleasant jobs that I have around here.

So I picked up Marianne and then we went round to Bill’s to load up Caliburn and then went off to Montlucon and the salerooms. On the way we called at LIDL as they were having another LED light sale. This time it was the 1-watt lights that I use, and at €2:99 each now. They had 6 in stock, and now they have none at all.

We went to Brico Depot too where I bought some more wood and some heavy duty varnish for the stairs. You can tell that this is now becoming really serious.

Anyway, we ended up in the cafe at Leclerc having a coffee and a chat and then it was back home via the fresh veg shop. And I had to take in the washing as by now it had started to rain.

Yes, it’s all happening here now.