Tag Archives: composting toilet

Tuesday 16th June 2015 – NOW THAT I’VE FINISHED …

beichstuhl composting toilet les guis virlet puy de dome france… working on the corner where the beichstuhl is, I can post a couple of photos of it so that you can see what I’ve been doing.

That’s the worktop that I’ve been building just there. The container for the composting toilet is where you might expect it to be, and at the side is the container where the sawdust and wood-ash is kept. There’s a ladle in there for dispensing the sawdust and wood-ash.

The three contents combined (sawdust, wood-ash and the contents of a composting toilet used by someone with a vegan diet) contain all of the elements for making a first-class compost if it’s left to stand for a year or so. That’s why I have two compost bins down at the bottom of the garden. One is “working” and the other one is “standing”.

As for the container, it’s one of these huge stainless steel jam-boilers, about 25 litres of it, and complete with stainless steel lid. It’s lined with a bio-degradable dustbin liner and then a thick layer of shredded paper (I use old telephone directories as the paper is super-absorbent) to soak up any liquids.

les guis virlet puy de dome franceAs for the upper part, you can see the two shelves that I have fitted in place. One shelf is for what I call the “bathroom books” and the upper shelf is for the supplies of toilet paper and the like.

Storage space is quite important around here, seeing as how there is so much stuff that I seem to have accumulated. I can never have too much of that.

I have to fit the suspended ceiling (which won’t be for quite a while yet) and then it will be ready for tiling.

So having done that, I toot out the worktop for the sink. That had been propped into position merely to give me a kind-of workbench. Once I had done that, I had to reposition the mounting rails.

You may remember that I was planning an inset sink, but the old worktop wouldn’t support the weight of the sink once I had cut the hole in it. Hence I’m going for the type of sink that sits on top of the worktop, and this means that the height of the worktop needs to be lowered by 150mm so that the sink is at the same height.

I’ve also been drilling out the rails in the stud wall between the shower and the sink worktop so that the water pipes will pass down there out of the way.

I would have done much more too, except that I had to spend an hour or so in the barn looking for wood to make the new rails. I need to spend some time tidying up in there, although I’m not sure whenever that might happen.

And what else?

We had another bad weather day today. A hanging cloud everywhere this morning, and this in mid-June too. All miserable, wet and depressing.

I’ve been working on the laptop too, and found another technical forum that looks quite helpful, so I’ve posted on there to ask whether anyone has any ideas about whether it might be possible to extract the data from this failed hard drive.

I doubt it, but it costs nothing to try.

Wednesday 15th April 2015 – I HAD AN UNEXPECTED …

rabbit les guis virlet puy de dome france… visitor at the front door this morning.

I’ve no idea what Bugs was doing there but he looked as if he was at home there all the same. Anyway he soon cleared off when I came to the front door and I was lucky to be able to squeeze off a slightly out-of-focus shpt as he scurried back up the drive.

So having been at one with the local wildlife, I carried on with work today.

First thing was to deal with the issue of the solar water heater. The temperature was 59°C in there this morning and at an average of 8°C per hour in the kind of weather that we have been having just now, then once the batteries are fully-charged, the water will boil up before the sun goes down tonight.

So what I did, and for the first time ever, was to drain 20 litres of water off it. Two buckets full, and I simply left it in the buckets to cool down. When the water started to heat up this afternoon, I simply tipped the buckets of lukewarm water into it. As a result, the water didn’t rise past 65°C, and that was fine.

philips les guis virlet puy de dome franceAnother thing that helped keep the water temperature down was to run the coffee machine for the first time this year.

850 watts at half an hour produced a nice pot of coffee as well as swallowing up some of the surplus energy, and I’ll have to do this more often. In any case, it saves on the gas here.

batten for fitting shelf for top of composting toilet les guis virlet puy de dome franceAs for the work, I carried on in the shower room today.

First thing, I fitted the second batten for the shelf that will form the top of the composting toilet. You can see it here, at right angles to the shelf that I fitted yesterday.

There’s a third shelf too, but that’s in the false wall that I’ve temporarily dismantled while I’m working. The fourth shelf will be the top of the front panel, but you’ll see this in due course as the work progresses.

batten for fitting worktop in shower room les guis virlet puy de dome franceI’ve also finished the rest of the battens in the bathroom (for now at least).

You’ll see on the left just underneath the window the batten which will support the worktop into which I’ll be fitting the sink. This is something that I’ll be tackling sooner than you might think.

As for the battens, I’ve finally found my mitre gauge and with setting it up to 13mm (the battens are 26mm) I can mark off the mitres with some kind of accuracy. And even with my slightly-bent mitre saw with a couple of teeth missing, and my 100 year-old wood chisel, the level of accuracy that I’ve been managing has certainly astounded me.

So I’m having a well-earned rest and I might even have an early night too.

Tuesday 14th April 2015 – THIS MAKES DEPRESSING VIEWING;

plasterboard taken off back wall in shower room les guis virlet puy de dome franceYes, if you look very carefully at the back wall of the shower room, you’ll see that the plasterboard has been taken down.

And that’s not all either, for half of the plasterboard on the side wall has gone too. And when all of that is sorted out, half on the other side wall will be coming off.

You may remember that I did the plasterboarding in a hurry in 2013 in between trips to belgium, and I really wish that I hadn’t, because firstly, it’s a total mess, and secondy, the studding is all wrong.

I have to fit a variety of shelves in here, and it would have been ohh so easy to have fitted them and then done the plasterboarding around it like I did with the stairs, but that’s far too simple an idea. When I was looking this morning at how to fit the shelving in, and not seeing a satisfactory solution, I thought “sod this for a game of soldiers”. It was quicker to take off the plasterboard and start again.

I don’t know how I’m going to find the space to cut it down to the new shape, by the way, but I’ll worry about that in due course.

shelving bracket for composting toilet shower room les guis virlet puy de dome franceThis is what I should have done before I fitted the plasterboarding.

Here’s the shelf mounting for the top of the composting toilet and it took me about an hour and a half to make it, including searching for the wood and changing a few light bulbs in the barn. However, it took about 5 hours altogether given all of the messing about. And that’s sad news. You can see what I mean about having done it first rather than last.

There needs to ne another shelf bracket fitted to the adjacent wall and I’ll finish that tomorrow – I’m well on my way to doing that already.

blossom on trees les guis virlet puy de dome franceIn other news, the blossom has finally arrived on the trees. 3 weeks later than usual, but it’s here nevertheless. And it does look pretty too – well worth the wait.

And you can see how nice the weather was – another beautiful blue sky all day long.

199.3 amp-hours of surplus solar energy (and wind energy too because we’ve had a nice windy day) went into the dump load – the home-made 12 volt immersion heater. The water temperature in the dump load was off the scale (over 70°C) by 15:00 and when I went to fetch hot water to do the washing up at 22:00, it was still not back on the scale again.

I’ve finally fixed the data logger too – the new one that I bought a few months ago. And this is what I call accuracy. I checked it tonight with a 1-watt bulb and it showed a discharge of … errrr …. 1 watt. I rigged up a few other low-powered items and the discharge was 9 watts. Switching everything off again went straight to 0.

I’m well impressed with this.

I was back in Crewe on my travels, with some people who figure more in my nocturnal adventures that they do in real life which is just as well as they aren’t people whose company I would appreciate for real.

We were in one house – a Victorian semi with waste land at the side that was a zone of special scientific interest – a marshy wetland. A car driven by a woman went past, did a U-turn across the marsh, went across the drive behind my car, and out across the lawn and back onto the Highway. This had caused a huge pile of light-grey gravel to be pushed into the marsh and had totally dried it up.

Then, I had to take one of these people to see his father, and he gave me directions. When we came to what he reckoned was the house number, it was an empty plot of land in Delamere Street where the little old school used to be. Now it’s been 23 years since I last lived in Crewe, and yet I could tell the difference between Delamere Street and Flag Lane, even when I’m deep in the arms of Morpheus.

Saturday 7th March 2015 – THE EXPERIMENT …

… of leaving the fridge running through the night worked just fine. The voltage in the batteries dropped to a minimum of 12.47 volts, which is quite acceptable and so it will have another run-out tonight.

As I said yesterday, leaving it running for 24 hours per day is something that I do from about mid-May to mid-October. I’ve never had it running 24 hours so early in the year.

It was nice to have freezing cold orange juice, soya milk and soya yoghurt for breakfast. That was well-worth waiting for. And after breakfast I cracked on with the scripts for Radio Anglais. I’ve ended up doing 5 weeks for our recording session at the end of the month because, believe it or not, my services as a long-term live-in carer for the sick might once more be in demand, if an e-mail that I’ve received recently is anything to go by.

I also found time to tidy up in here and on the ground floor a little, and to empty and clean out the beichstuhl. Such exciting jobs that I have to do these days.

Cecile rang up too. Apparently she’s coming back on Thursday for a couple of days, so on Thursday I’ll be spending the afternoon away from here warming up her house for her.

And the football season has restarted after the winter break. Pionsat’s 2nd XI were playing Charensat and ran out 4-1 winners. And that despite playing with just 10 men. Yann, who has been out injured for about three years and has just made two or three 10-minute cameo appearances during that time, played a full match. Clearly not yet match-fit, still nevertheless it was good to see him play the full 90 minutes.

There was a new player too. Almost as old as I am and … errr … somewhat larger than I am. I was told that he had played for the club years ago but had come out of retirement to have another run-round. And despite his lack of match-fitness, it was quite evident from some of his touches that he had played at a much higher level than the Puy-de-Dome league Division 4. He’ll be an asset to the club when he finds his feet again.

Monday 19th January 2015 – I HAD A LOVELY EARLY SUMMER’S DAY …

… working outside this morning. And I do mean early summer too because it was glorious.

First job was to empty the beichstuhl – such are the delights of my mode of living – clean it out and recharge it ready for use. Ohh the joys of low-impact living.

Next job, which took me right up to almost lunchtime was dealing with the water butts. You may recall that the tap on the front tank had cracked in the severe cold that we had the other day. Good job that I had fitted a series of isolation valves so that I can separate one tank from the other. I’ve been drawing the water off the front tank as it all slowly leaked away and by the end of last week it was finally empty.

When I was in Montlucon on Saturday, I bought everything that I needed, and so I set about dealing with the tap as well as giving the tank a good clean while I was at it. It’s a testament to the effectiveness of the system that I’ve designed and built here that aftera couple of years, the front tank wasn’t particularly dirty. It didn’t really need a clean but nevertheless I gave it a good going-over.

Then, I dealt with the tap. That was soon fitted, and not only do I have the tap but I now have an overflow as well as a depth gauge. Now I can see how much water there is in the tanks.

The tap has been insulated and I’ll need to insulate the clear plastic pipe that forms part of the depth gauge once I work out how to do this. I’ll have to give the matter some thought.

This afternoon I sanded down the floor in the bathroom, seeing as how we had plenty of sun. Tomorrow morning, I’ll vacuum up the dust, which will give me an opportunity to see how well this dust cleaner will perform, and then put the first layer of varnish on it so that it will go dry while I’m havine lunch. I’m out on Wednesday so I can put the second coat on before I leave, and the third coat as soon as I come back. I want to do this while I’m not doing any work, so that there’s no dust about to stick in the varnish.

So as well as sanding down the floor, I’ve been working on the floor on the landing. The first board is nailed in place, the trapdoor has been cut out, and the second board has been cut to shape and filed down to take the recessed hinges. If I can finish this on Thursday, then I can varnish this at the same time that I’ll be doing the stairs – namely on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

I’m really crcking on with this place now. If I’m not very careful, it will start to look as if someone is actually living here.


When I was outside last night taking the stats before going to bed, there was a beautiful, clear sky with millions of stars shining brightly – the portent to a beautiful morning. When I awoke though, we were having a hanging cloud and light drizzle. And it’s the end of July too. Summer is halfway over before it’s even begun.

And I was on my travel again during the night. I’d come up from the south of the USA heading towards Canada and upon entering New York State I’d been stopped by a flying customs patrol who charged me $108 duty on the fuel in the tank of the car. I had to go to fetch some money, and that involved a bus trip of 20 minutes to the local Burtons clothes retailer. The cash point wasn’t in the shop but outside, but nevertheless I had a good look at the clothes in the sale that they were having and decided to buy a few, although I kept on telling myself that I don’t need any clothes like these.

Back at my car, I couldn’t find the customs officers and so I was tempted to drive away and forget it, but I was worried that all of my details would be in the computer and I’d be stopped by another patrol, or at the customs, or extradited from Canada and I would be in even more serious trouble.

So after breakfast and back on the website. But not for long. With the rain now falling heavier and heavier, I rather lost interest and went on to other things.

After lunch I stuck my head outside and the rain was falling quite heavily and so I decided to do something that I forgot to do on Sunday and Monday – to wit emptying the beichstuhl. And it needed it too.

But after that, the weather was such that I had no intention of working outside (so much for my fine words yesterday) and so worked inside. I took off a piece of badly-fitted plasterboard to find out why it wasn’t seating properly, and in the end I had to pack it out to the correct position.

Once that had been done, I did some work on the wiring. I’ve rerouted a couple of cables, something that involved cutting a few notches out of a few beams, and then threaded some cable through some conduit and then wired up the light in the cupboard at the back of the stairs.

That took me until about 19:10 and that was that.

Tonight, I made a green pepper and chick-pea curry – enough to last for several days. I don’t fancy cooking for the rest of the week.

Tuesday 24th June 2014 – IT DID CLEAR UP …

… even though it didn’t look much like it when we started. Damp, claggy and overcast.

Nevertheless I was at my task early and first job after brzakfast was to empty the beichstuhl as I was to be having visitors. I also steam-cleaned the kitchen in the verandah and unblocked the sink there – I need to have the place looking something like. I followed that by working on the web pages again – getting back into my normal routine.

After lunch, the weather picked up and it looked quite nice. Rosemary turned up as planned and we set about a couple of the raised beds. Rosemary weeded four and I weeded almost three and I do wonder about my technique because Rosemary’s weeding looks absolutly perfect whereas mine looks a total mess. I wish I knew what her secret was.

We had a long chat afterwards and at about 19.15 Rosemary went home and that was that.

Tomorrow I won’t be doing much as I’m off on the road tomorrow night.

Wednesday 11th June 2014 – THIS PLACE REALLY IS THE PITS

inspection pit les guis virlet puy de dome franceAnd it is too. This is the start of the inspection pit just outside here.metal

You can see how it’s being built. There’s the plastic lining and the breeze blocks that will be built up, with the reinforcing metalwork in the corners.

You’ll also notice the sink in the far corner. Anyone who has ever had an inspextion pit will tell you that even in the best circumstances an insection pit will be infiltrated by water and we were forever baling out the pit at Davenport Avenue in Crewe. This way, the water will sink into the sink and I can pump it out with one of those rotary pumps that you fit on an electric drill.

So Terry came round this morning and we went stright off to Montlucon and Brico Depot. A pallet of 70 breeze blocks went into the trailer, along with another 18 breeze blocks with the round corner-holes for fitting the reinforcing metalwork. 88 breeze blocks – cost €105. And isn’t that an improvement on €2.14 plus VAT of 20% per block?

Back here we unloaded the trailer. And I’ll tell you this – the Kubota is a marvellous tool for this. No messing about – we left the van and trailer at the top of the hill and ran a shuttle with the Kubota and Sankey trailer. Three trips and we had everything exactly where we wanted it. That’s better than carrying the blocks one at a time down the hill. It’s a superb little thing.

We lined the pit with the plastic and fitted the sink, and then Terry mixed the concrete while I was down in the pit tamping down the concrete and fitting the breeze blocks. And once more, the solar panels powered the little concrete mixer to perfection. It’s amazing what I can do here with my solar panels.

That took us up to 18:00 and so Terry went home and I tidied up, and emptied the beihstuhl. We’ll put some more concrete in tomorrow and then build up the walls.

However, that depends on the weather. We’re having a thunderstorm right now.

Thursday 22nd May 2014 – I’VE BEEN OUTSIDE …

… in the garden again today.

Despite another late night, I was up at the usual time this morning and it was once more difficult to concentrate on what I was supposed to be doing. I must do something about this and learn to discipline myself better, especially as I can no longer afford that woman in Soho …

Outside though, first job was to empty the beichstuhl. And it needed doing too. That’s all in the compost now, quietly festering away, and there’s a nice, clean beichstuhl ready for the morning. That will be a delight.

Afterwards I went in search of scrap wood. I needed some old laths, of which there are plenty around – it’s just a case of finding them and that took me hours as well.

During the lunch break, the weather broke and we had another torrential rainstorm. After my butty, I ended up in the lean-to doing a little tidying up and then did some concreting in the living room. Years ago I dug out a hole in the floor so as to take the batteries that I use. Once I’d done that, all nicely made-to-measure, they discontinued the model that I’ve bee using and so I have some larger ones. And so I need a larger battery box, hence the concreting.

The rain eventually stopped and so I went back outside. And with the old laths that I had gathered and some fencing that I had bought, I made two bean frames. They are now planted in the garden and all of the peas have been sown, as well as the very first double-row of beans.

I’ll be making some more bean frames tomorrow and sowing another load of beans. They seem to do fine in my garden so I need to encourage them.

Tuesday 8th April 2014 – WHAT A WAY TO START THE DAY

Downstairs nice and early for a change, and … no gas. It must have run out just as I finished cooking last night and I didn’t notice.

Good job I’d bought that cylinder the other week. First job this morning was to couple that up so that I could have a coffee.

After the website, second job was to empty the beichstuhl. Such delightful jobs I have here. And just to prove that it never rains but it pours, the shredder packed up. And why a shredder? The answer is that you need something to absorb liquids in a composting toilet and the best thing ever designed for that is old telephone directory pages. Works like a charm when it’s shredded and I wonder what I’m going to do now.

les guis virlet puy de dome franceNext thing was to check the state of affairs with the plants that I sowed the other week. I told you yesterday that a courgette plant was raising its pretty little head. So here’s a photo of it and its brother too, because we now have two courgette plants springing to life.

Still nothing doing in the carrots, parsnips and radish bed, but before lunch I sowed another row each, together with the beetroot seeds that I had soaking overnight

Talking of soaking overnight, I put pile of pea seeds in damp paper in a plastic bag. They’ll be okay in there for a while to help them germinate.

plastic greenhouse shelf unit seed traysles guis virlet puy de dome franceAfter lunch I carried on sowing and theres another pile of seeds now in the little plastic greenhouse helf thingy that I bought the other day.

It does occur to me that you haven’t seen it yet and so here it is in all its glory. You can see the bushes that I bought a couple of weeks ago, and all of the seeds that I’ve sown. In the plastic bag are the peas.

So what did I sow today?

  • Gherkins
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet corn – but I’m not going to be optimistic about that. I found a packet with an expiry date of 2009 so if I was going to throw them away, I might as well throw them in the soil and see what happens

Thee was also quite a mixture of seeds floating around in the bottom of the box in which I keep the seed packets. Seeing as there’s an empty bed that won’t be used for a while, they all went in there and we’ll see.

herb bins les guis virlet puy de dome franceAfter all of that I started tidying up outside, seeing as there was still some time to go. You can now see the herb bins in their pristine glory before they are all overwhelmed again.

It doesn’t look much like I’ve done any tidying up, but there’s a lot to do as you might expect. I can see the difference, but I doubt if anyone else could.

I’ve also cleaned the old “Westwood” ride-on mower. An ex-friend of mine found this for me and I never ever had it running because there are some bits missing. It’s sat here and not mooved wince 2002. Anyway, some time next week, it’s going. Someone is coming to pick it up. And you won’t believe the story behind this – you’ll just have to wait.

But whatever did happen to Paul? He was the best friend I ever had and he would do anything for me any time without question, something for which I was eternally grateful (and it goes without saying that I returned the compliment). But then he had his accident and he was put on medication, and that changed him considerably.

Finally, they changed his medication for another and I just couldn’t cope at all with the new personality. We were in Birmingham once, trying to make out which way to turn when a car (not unsurprisingly) blew its horn. He was straight out of the car going to thump the other driver and it was at that moment that I realised that I couldn’t keep this up.

I have enough problems dealing with my own issues without thinking about dealing with anyone else’s.

What a shame.

Friday 21st March 2014 – LAST NIGHT WAS THE FIRST NIGHT …

… that I had left the fridge running right through the night.

Consequently today was the first day for fifteen days that we had heavy overcast skies and rain. It’s par for the course, isn’t it?

And normal service resumed with a vengeance too. I can’t remember what it was that I was doing – it was certainly nothing of any importance – but I happened to glance at the clock and it was after 03:00. Sleep issues are back again.

I can’t think why, though. I should have been exhausted after what I was up to during the night.

I’d been away from home for a while and when I returned my partner told me that she had bought a house down in the South-West of France to let as a holiday home. Even though it was late Saturday afternoon we got into the car and drove off to see it. The house next door to it was really two units but they shared a very big kitchen. There was work going on in there and I asked the owner about it – whether he was going to divide up the kitchen and make two bathrooms so that these two units would be self-contained but he didn’t give a coherent answer

My partner asked me what I thought of her house and I told her that she had done exactly the right thing. Investing money in property was never wasted if one took the long-term view.

We went out for a walk around the town in the evening and there was the wreck of an LDV minibus at the side of the road so we had a good look at it. But back at our hotel I had a memory stick and this kept on flashing to say that it was receiving mesages – and an icon of a man was flashing on it. So I plugged the memory stick into the computer and it showed me a couple of Youtube films sent to me unsolicited, one of which was looking down the slope from the town centre of where we wee to the cross on the edge of the town and the other showing the accident that had involved this LDV minibus- It had overtaken someone on the inside by going over the verge and on the grass.

We went outside to check on all of this but it was clear from the light and the position of the shadows that the action in the film had taken place a few hours earlier than the current time.

On the way back to our hotel we were stopped by the passengers of yet another LDV minibus – a couple of adults and a load of children all dressed in a bizarre but uniform way – jackets with red white and blue tassels that kind of thing – and they were looking for a camp of some kind. I had an idea where it might be – an old abandoned hotel where things went on in the grounds – but wasn’t sure so I told them to go to out hotel, because I knew that it was still open – and ask. The hotel was called the Lion d’Or of course. “Round to the left on the Rocade, rejoin the main road and it’s there on the left”. They repeated the directions a few times, with plenty of hand movements, to make sure.

Some way further on we passed a huge hotel on the right. Someone with a Landrover crew cab and dog cage on the back was leaving and they were lowering thos huge dog – a St Bernard – from their hotel window on the 7th floor by means of a rope and harness. They had cats on leads, several other dogs and I remember saying that I was glad I wasn’t going to have that hotel room after them.

This was another one of those occasions where the dream was so absorbing that although I had to get up in the middle of all this to go for a gypsy’s, I got back into bed and stepped right back into the dream more-or-less where I had left off.

After breakfast and the traditional couple of hours on the website I started work. And such exciting jobs that I had around here – I emptied the composting toilet. Lovely, isn’t it?

having cleared a bed for the onions yesterday, I planted out the onion bulbs into the bed. 75 went in – probably about 3 will come out if I’m lucky. And after that, I planted some courgette seeds into pots. For some reason that no-one knows, courgettes grow like stink here and everyone always has far too many. That means of course that I shan’t get a one this year now, having said that.

After lunch, I went off to Cécile’s to let this other estate agent view her house. This one didn’t stay long and didn’t seem to be half as professional as the one from the other day.

Back here I tidied out some (but not much) of the veranda so that I can create a space on the shelving to put my courgette pots, and finished off the day by attacking another raised bed – one that will take the shallots, garlic and leeks. That’s not finished yet – it needs abother hour or two so I’m sorely tempted to have a go at it tomorrow.

Always provided that it soesn’t snow, of course.

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.

Wednesday 15th January 2014 – I TURNED DOWN …

… a trip to Brico Depot this morning. You can see that I’m not feeling myself at all right now, which is just as well etc. etc.

Anyway last night I was playing bass with The Groundhogs on a revitalisation tour. Of course TS McPhee didn’t make it, and if that was me on bass, that only left the drummer as an original member.

A little later on, I was sent to work in Stockport and that cheered mr up because I could leave a whole pile of difficult post tobe dealt with by my successor, but on the other hand I was worried as I was bound to meet up with Nerina again.

Like I have said before … "and you’ll say again" – ed … I only with that my real life was half as exciting as my dreams

Meanwhile, back in the land of the living, by lunchtime absolutely everything that has no business being in the living room was elsewhere, and I had moved the old table to righht underneath the window.

This afternoon, I moved most of the tools downstairs and dismantled the temporary work bench. I also built a quick toilet room out of a piece of OSB and a piece of furniture out of an old caravan that I scrapped in 2007. There’s even light in there – of a sort.

I had Marianne on the phone too, but it’s soooo difficult trying to talk when I’m in this condition.

For tea I made a mega-lentil and mushroom curry – all cooked on the woodstove. It wasn’t half impressive

And there’s some left for tomorrow and Friday too.

Monday 6th January 2014 – GOD IT WAS HARD THIS MORNING …

… to get out of bed. Even though I had had an early night and was wide awake when the alarm went off, it was still a struggle.

And the first thing that I noticed was that in my haste I had forgotten to do the washing up last night, and there is very little that I hate more than waking up to a pile of dirty washing-up.

First job this morning was to empty the composting toilet. Such lovely jobs that I have to do here of course. And after that I had to sort out some wood. I’m running low on kindling but there’s a big bin of it that was thoroughly soaked in a downpour. I had to drain that out and, seeing as it was (for a change) a fine day, I laid it all out to dry.

To get there though I had to attack my pile of old windows – some that I had picked up from the dechetterie for the glass, the fittings and, of course, the wood to burn. So while I was there, I dismantled a few of those.

This then led to the woodshed. I hadn’t quite finished it off as there was a curtain, made from a tarpaulin, to hang across the front. While I was busy adding wood to the woodshed I took 20 minutes to sort that out, and now that’s finished.

Next job was to start moving the stones. And some of them were flaming heavy too – I’ve no idea how I got them into there in the first place. Most of them I could lift out but a few I had to roll.

This afternoon when the big stones were out of the way I started to tidy up some of the rubbish. And there was a pile of that too, but once that was out of the way I could look at the rest of the rubble.

To move that, I needed to clear the space where I had been tipping the rubble before. A year or two’s worth of weeds, nettles and brambles needed cutting down and removing so that took a while, and before I knew it, we were in the dark.

Still, with all of the donkey work having been done, the rest should be straightforward tomorrow.

No fire up here tonight and it’s 16.8°C up here. This weather is astonishing. I even ended up cooking downstairs tonight – far too warm here for a fire.

But guess who put a tin of lentils instead of a tin of kidney beans into his aubergine and kidney bean casserole?

Tuesday 17th December 2013 – I’M CRACKING ON …

pointing stone wall les guis virlet puy de dome france… with this wall as you can see. There’s only about another 6 feet to finish but that’s going to take a while as the wall needs to be properly rebuilt. It’s not beyond my capacities of course – it just takes time to do.

What’s annoying is that I ought to have finished it today. However I lost an hour this morning due to having to attend to the beichstuhl needing emptying, and I lost another half-hour with having to nip to the Post Office.

After it went dark I rigged up a light upstairs in the lean-to and started the pointing that need to be done up there before I can start on the shelving. I can’t understand why I haven’t done that before.

And what else? Ahh yes. The sun went in this afternoon and we had clouds. First time i’ve seen clouds in a week and a half. We might even have some winter next.