Chest,Nuts Roasting by an open fire…

I can think of nothing more festive than a glittering tree, a sparkling open fire and a deep layer of brilliant-white snow covering everything outdoors; great-tits squabbling over the hanging coconuts and nuthatches protecting the seed-feeder from the blue-tits.  Of course, this perfect scene is flawed when it comes to building a house:  an open fire is in-conducive to progress!

I certainly made no mistake when it came to designing around a feature-fireplace; the stone flooring compliments the underfloor heating and ensure any red-hot flying ember from the fire lands harmlessly. The problem, of course, is that real fires are hypnotic; you build the fire and set light to it whilst thinking of the jobs ahead and yet, once flaming, that fire draws you in.  One may manage to walk away for a minute to recharge one’s glass, but the magnetism holds still.  Once again one finds oneself standing within bearable distance of the flames, wrapped in thoughts of nothingness whilst trying to remember other jobs on-hand.  A waste of time!  Even when reading a book, that magnificent distraction proves too much.

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No real snow to report though even these few inches is enough for me to change tack when it comes to planning jobs.  At least, as you can see, i can get the car out if I need to buy supplies!  It is enough, however, for delivery trucks to waver which in turn limits my potential projects.

I’m getting on with extra electrical socket installations and tomorrow I might even complete the circuit in the kitchen… if the fireplace allows!

 

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D-Day

That’s Door Day to you and me.  It’s been five or six weeks since I cut a huge hole in the wall (muscles still remember the workout!) and I’ve been rather restricted in my movements not wishing to leave the house unmanned for any lengthy period but here I am, secure again and as happy as the proverbial pig. Triple-glazed, with ‘vent’ option and, of course, their addition now allows me expedited access to the kitchen from the garden.  Not having to walk that extra  60m round-trip might prove detrimental to my stomach girth over time however, I doubt it 😉

 

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So, my next job is to construct the steps on the outside and to decide how to finish the inside.  I have plans, naturally.

So now that the house is safe again, I can drive off and spend the required amount of time in the DIY store to assess and procure the necessities to ready myself for winter in regard to pipe lagging and further insulation.

Some very recent investigation has led me to a canned solution for hanging my plasterboard.  That find has excited me as much as when I discovered WAGO electrical connectors; hanging plasterboard without any help is, I have found, almost impossible.

I’ll give it a whirl in one of the storage rooms and, if successful, run it through the house during the coming months.

Cheers!

Radiating Self-Satisfaction

Never one to wish the summer away, I am of course, aware that winter isn’t too far in front of us.  With this in mind I have completed the installation of four radiators upstairs.  I haven’t built-in any ceilings on the upper-floor as yet so the radiators will not exactly serve their purpose though what they will do is keep the severe chill out of the space.  The loft is heavily insulated but the roof area between the loft area and the external walls is somewhat exposed.
I survived last winter (lows of -28C) by simply laying the floor with insulation and closing the upper floor off.  The only problems I encountered was the cold water feed to the bathroom freezing (at the brass 3-way manifold) but that only happened a handful of times.  Again, learning from that experience, I have reconfigured the piping for the bathroom and now all pipes are situated in the warm zone.

Testing times!

We’ve all heard about the horror stories relating to one’s insurance policy and the ‘fine print’. You only know how good your policy if you have to test it! Why shouldn’t the logic apply to home appliances and systems?
Whilst installing my radiators I had to open the valve on the closed circuit heating system in order to maintain pressure (I have mine at 3 bar) however, getting side-tracked, I neglected to close the stop-cock.  I heard a huge and sudden explosion of water in the laundry/utility room and the boiler had performed beautifully…  a few litres of water were sprayed onto the floor as the boiler reduced its own pressure.  It works!

Again, relating to the aforementioned, having just finished a huge amount of electrical work – that’s to say that now every room on the lower floor has lighting and sockets – I wanted to test my electrical skills, or should I say, “what I remember from my physics lessons?” and so, entirely confident in the work I have done, I cut through a live cable.  The result?  Well, I’m here typing and my electrical work did its job!  Stupid?  Maybe, but I know that my systems do what they are supposed to do because I have tested them…  my insurance policy.

Other News …

My wild flowerbeds are proving successful; I’ve only had to pick out a few weeds from among the honeysuckle, poppies and a dozen other species of flowers that I don’t know the names of!  I don’t care but they really do look great and are very pleasing on the eye at six in the morning when I walk the estate with a freshly-brewed coffee before breakfast.
My French-windows should be ready anytime soon and so my next post will be upon their installation.

My son has just returned from a trip to the UK and he fetched one of my old cricket bats.  Bless him.  Now I’ll have to build a net so we can play properly!

Until then..  Cheers.

Networking…

Of course, it will never be evident, but that hidden danger called electricity is now coursing around my house to an extent that I no longer have need for 25 and 30m extension cables to be cluttering the floor.  The wiring is far from finished but I have reached the point whereby I no longer have to concentrate on potential trip wires.

I have three more rooms to feed electrics to on the ground floor but everything is in place to provide that power – the main junction boxes are wired into the CU (‘fuse box’ for the older generation) so I simply need to drop the fuse switch, make the extension and then flick the switch back on.

I’m chuffed to bits that after all this electrical work I’m still here and able to type a new blog!

I recently read a report that the EU are banning another kind of light-bulb and making the millions buy LED bulbs.  The report went on to say how expensive they are; I buy LED bulbs for about 1GBP and they are quite brilliant.  My electricity bill during the summer months averages about 9 GBP per month and that includes everything.

As people around me build their prisons, I maintain an open-garden and I benefit with visits from amazing creatures.  The Hoopoe above have taken to my place almost out of necessity and they seem extremely content in the environment I provide.  Likewise, this year’s grouse visit every day, spending the hot hours of the day in my overgrown veggie area nibbling away at the grass seeds and whatnot.  Osprey, falcons, kestrels and white storks are always evident but almost impossible to capture on camera.  I have them caught on my home security cameras but I can’t get a ‘still’ good enough to show here.

Talking of the veggie patch…  Well, I was sold a right pile of shit (if was cow shit I bought); I was told it was ‘aged and clean’…  I will have a lot of ground-clearing to do later this year to eradicate the grass from my otherwise fertile soil.
I’m presently enjoying a daily helping of Roma tomato soup and there’s more to come.

I am going to make a few changes to the water system in the house once the electrics are to my satisfaction.

Cheers.

 

Bless me, Father, for I have….

not blogged in FOUR months!  Four bloody months of not hearing from you?  Not a word or a ‘phone call to say you were alive?  Nothing!

Now, you may be thinking it’s simply because I’ve done nothing or that I’ve given up on the project.  Not true, although someone did accuse me of the latter. Well, the truth be told, it’s simply because I didn’t have access to a proper computer and so updating the blog without one would drive a man to drink!

For my sins I’ve been flat-out tiling floors and continuing the electrical wiring of late.  Prior to that it was a firm case of ‘making hay whilst the sun shone’.  Unlike last Spring, this was perfect; everything budded, sprouted and bloomed as nature intended and, as lovely as that all sounds it found me in the garden or the teplitsa during every spare hour.

And here we are, a few months later enjoying the soup (tomato) of my labour!  My Brouts are flourishing and I will look forward to plenty of winter evening devouring those little cabbages.

And so we’re back to the present in which, as I mentioned, electrics is the main focus.  I have, however, made a huge renovation, that being the removal of a window  in the ‘dining room’ and the wall below that window.  I have ordered French Windows to fill the hole and they’ll arrive at the end of August (I hope!)

So, here I am with a 2 x 1.2m hole in the wall.  Now, I know that most people would be rather concerned leaving a gaping hole in the side of their house for a month…  Not I.  I have a security camera ‘covering’ the hole and I live in the middle of the middle of Howufinddisplace so I’m not overly concerned.  the 12-bore, side-by-side in a cabinet next to my bed is just for the grouse, you understand 😉

And so, I’ll leave this blog with a message to all my friends all-over the world…  HELLO again!  To my friends in Spain, especially, I trust who have overcome the heat?

The next two months will be action-packed with huge changes and updates so, stay tuned.  Once again, I apologise for my ‘absence’.

Jonathan

 

Big 'ouse, Rob, big 'ouse!