Saturday, 19 November 2011

What on earth do you want an allotment for?

"What on earth do you want an allotment for?"!!!!
We've got a big enough garden & don't have enough time for that.
But Di wants space to grow squashes & courgettes in the summer, & we need a decent patch for all the strawberry plants we have, and.....and.....
So when Eddie says "Who wants an allotment?", guess whose hand goes up first!

With bookings tailing off we have more time for 'home' projects - emptying gutters, weeding the polytunnel site (Yes, that too!)(Still in the planning stage), general maintainance to do,& so on. So last Saturday a group of us met at the allotment site to begin to prepare paths, make space for the shed & to start work on our new plots.. Lovely sunny day, thank goodness. And we will be looking forward to gleaning info off some of our gardening neighbours.

And so, this Saturday afternoon, John actually got down to work on our plot (another nice day - not bad for mid-November!)& found (despite weedkiller treatments a few months ago) nettle & willowherb roots & plenty of big stones in the first 4 or 5 feet of the plot. At the same rate it'll take another 8-10 hours to clear! And then there's the Orchard Group's plot, just opposite ours, which will need doing as well and....

But, no doubt, it'll all be worth it in the end & there'll be some wonderful produce to eat & share next year & make all those aching muscles seem a distant memory.........................?

Friday, 18 November 2011

Thermal Imaging

We took an opportunity presented at Clapham's Energy Day, organised by the Clapham Sustainablity group, to have our house checked with a thermal imaging camera.

The images have a temperature scale at their base (the air temperature at ground level was 10.5°C), so on the left, which shows the roof above the two B&B bedrooms, shows a roof surface temperature of around 5°C - well insulated & nice & cosy!

The photo on the right shows the road side of the roof & the stairs window. Despite showing red walls, the temperature scale still shows that this was at or below air temperature.

The temperature in the top left corner is that of the spot in the middle of the image.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Visit Britain Inspection

A busy week, but successful.

Old friends visited from Canada, Greece and the south in the same week as the overnight stay by the Visit Britain inspector. Di, not satisfied with our 4* silver award last year, wanted a 'Breakfast Award' as well, which meant an overnight stay, rather than a day visit.

The standards had been raised in the last year which had meant extra things to do, just to retain our existing award. So, new fittings and extra touches done, little touch ups of scratches and dents in plaster repaired & painted, winter hanging baskets planted, etc, etc...

Several experiments - smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, fruit muffins - meant an overfed husband(!); ideas from neighbours - marmelade muffins - (to die for! - Thanks Rachel!) resulted in success!

Needless to say - thrilled to have retained the 4* silver, and to have been given the Breakfast Award too!