I guess there really only is one topic to kick off the January post – Storms! Unlike some previous years although it’s been ridiculously wet, we haven’t had the savage gusts that topple trees. Luckily, we haven’t had to go anywhere so it didn’t really matter to us when they were faffing about with the 100 ton boulder at the R & B. Detoured. Who’d be a Roads’ Engineer in Argyll?
We started the New Year with our neighbours thinking of committing a murder. Thank you to the Montgomeries for hosting a most entertaining evening. Thinking back to this time last year, when we were jogging along the promenade at Mentone having dropped Johnny off at nursery, may have prompted a last minute search for some winter sun. Suse did a great job encouraging Emily, Richard, Caitlin and my sister Kathleen to join us and I think we are all looking forward to another trip to Lanzarote. Mr Manrique will be sick of the sight of us!
Here are some pictures from our last visit in February 2010.
Well the sun is shining this morning. We are generating electricity and our mysterious (to us) room thermostat says it’s too warm for the pellet boiler to have to do anything. Hurrah! On this point, the new boiler or rather its hopper has been misbehaving by not letting pellets get into the boiler. We looked up the problem on the internet and discovered it’s called “funnelling”. Having put up with the inconvenience of having to clear the system and not having had a proper response from Alvanorthern, we solved the problem by steepening the slope that pellets have to slide down. A bit of a poor do from Evoworld who designed the hopper in the first place and Alvanorthern for their lack of after sales service. Otherwise the system works beautifully and seems to be frugal in its use of pellets.
On a related note, there has been so much extra heat in our underfloor heating in the downstairs shower room that we decided to replace the merbau flooring with plywood and rubber sheeting like we did upstairs. We are currently “footering” about with a small leak from the wc cistern but there isn’t a great hurry beacause we don’t have the new cupboard for the wash hand basin nor the special paint for the clay plaster.
A chance meeting with the neighbours at a New Year party resulted in some work being done to the Glenreasdale turning in from the Arrivore Farm road. In 2006 (?) Joanna, Emily and I repaired about a third of the pipe under the turning after it was crushed by a delivery lorry. Since then, other sections had collapsed and in heavy rain the water was coming up on to the road and washing it away. We hope that having successfully completed this project we might be able to do some more improvements to other parts of the road but we’ll see.
We’ve also been beavering away in the poly tunnel and have built the raised beds. Some left over pipe has been cut into “planters” for fruit bushes which should do better if their roots aren’t permanently saturated. Well that’s the plan.
Finally, Storm Henry which doesn’t appear to have been as bad as some of the others finally caused us a bit of bother. During the storms our electricity would go off for say 20 seconds and, unlike before when it would stay off for a week, it came back on again, thanks, we think, to improvements to the system introduced after our snow event, four years ago. Well done Scottish Power or the Hydro Board or whoever it is that maintains our electricity supply. The only thing we found was that the battery in our uninterruptable power supply unit was goosed. I was well chuffed to find that you can still buy new ones even though the unit could be 20 years old! Not often this happens these days.