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Category Archives: Hobby

Reflections 2020 w06

On Friday I finished the green house, it is ready for the growing season. Shelving made from the old greenhouse frames has been done, custom made for the square trays I bought for the job.

I just hope it needs no repairs after the storm that has come through last night and today. A neighbours roof has lost several tiles, they are not small ones at that, and after venturing out this morning one has seen a scattering of tiles, branches and twigs over most of the roads, the storm has left it’s mark. I hope that it has not left a trail of large destruction for others who had the brunt of it.

And why would one venture out in such weather???

Art supplies.

A new style of painting has started to be learnt, narrowboat/folk style, to be exact, and this requires new brushes and a new pad to be gessoe’d black. The brushes I have are either too soft or too stiff. To a non painter this must seem illogical, but other painters who do varying styles will know of the need. A carpenter dose not have one saw, nor does a mechanic have just one type of spanner, it works on the same principle for artist after the stroke left by the brush in hand.

Having said that…There is a slight hoarder aspect to the whole process, or rather a perfectionist quest for the perfect tool.

Some thing I think can be summed up quite well by the thought I had when overhearing a mother discussing her daughters selection of art supplies for purchasing…’You have all that?” “Yes, I am doing a large project.” “I understand that, but I don’t think you need all of that.” “Some of it is for general college use as well, I always use a lot of pads.” “I agree on the pads, and on the card for the project, but you can leave the pens behind – you have enough pens!” My mind raced to the question…

Yes, but are they the ‘right’ pens though?

I find out in a couple of days if the brushes are in fact my ‘right’ tools for the job.

Reflections 2020 w03

Am I the only one that thinks of something, presses the internet search shortcut, and completely forgets what it was I was going to look for?

It’s happened multiple times today, each time one has only had to hold the thought for a few seconds, but no, it disappears. Not even a hint of what it was remains. One hopes it is not important, or useful, or even something one was supposed to do, this has happened numerous times in the past.

There is the train of thought one must not worry, it will come. But how do you know that that was in fact the original thought unless the recurring thought jogs a memory recall? And how do you truly not think about trying to remember as the hours tick on past?

I think I need to get the desk pad out again, which sucks as one has the habit of curling the edges which then annoy me as I type. Also random stuff gets written down on it – which has no context or explanation, leading to great confusion later, as one tries to decide if it needs saving when it is time to tear off the top sheet.

Also, it is a waste of paper in another respect as you can only practically use one side, often desperately trying to come up with a practical disposable use for the blank side. Because you do not want to save the original side.

Aggghhh, brain rabbit hole.

On an unrelated note…This week I discovered you can dehydrate sausage, completely. One would have thought it was far too fatty to even attempt but the hash brown, sausage, veg and dehydrated egg Spanish omelet/bubble and squeak looks interesting. Experimenting will commence next month.

One also has to start experimenting with bannock bread and ghee.

A decision also has to be made on some camping equipment – do I sell it? Or do I keep it? The pros and cons for the two pieces are about even, and in my current state of mind one can either not be bothered or be in clear out mode, damn the consequences. There is one piece of ‘luxury’ equipment one would be happy to trade for, but as yet the second run of production has not been done.

I call it luxury, but is it? The item is a 5v camping wind generator. An item that will power up battery banks whilst I sleep, which then in turn power my camera/video camera/charge AA batteries for my GPS (which, as an old model, second hand, eats them, 8 hours per set of Duracell)/watch/phone/headlamp, and that is just off the top of my head. The power bank works for about 4-5 days (without the GPS) but I always watch the power consumption. And I would like to take more video footage on future trips.

True one could take extra power packs, but all electrical power banks reduce life in cold weather, and then you have to have somewhere that, usually charges too much, to recharge the device.

Solar is out, even if one was not walking in the day, you have to turn the device to get the best benefit. And rain and wind are more common on my camp trips than sun. Wind power makes more sense in the uk, and the peace of mind of being able to make electricity in the middle of nowhere has a comforting aspect to it.

The generator is also not limited to camping, I could use it at the allotment or out sea fishing as well. It is not a camping only item.

Here is the conundrum though…Few wind generators for camping get past the prototype stage, and fewer still are practical in use. This one is not the smallest generator size packed away, weight wise there is little difference between close rivals. So carrying has its issues. And will a second batch be completed for this item??? Or was the first crowd funded batch the first and last to be made? Do I get one if I can/there is a second run, or do I risk them disappearing into the void of things that were a good idea but…?

I hate my depressed mind, one used to be more carefree, adaptive, and sure of my decisions, even the wrong ones. Now…Now it’s just bloody hard work.

Reflections 2020 w01

One got to paint some of the shed today, the parts that were next to a fence in its old location, and boy did it soak it up. However, the preservative that is supposed to be red cedar – is definitely more… Orange.

The salad seedlings have sprouted and are looking good, nice and healthy in the greenhouse. Also the garlic and onions are looking well. The broad beans however have had something sitting in them – B’ cats.

I have to work out what I can do to keep them off the plot. If they are not pooping everywhere they are digging up and flattening. Somehow I think i would get into trouble if I located the owner and posted a photo of the cat and its poop through their door, but it is acceptable for their cat poop to get on my clothing, footwear and hands whilst I garden.

I don’t hate the cats, I hate the law that says it’s ok for them to do it, but if Spot was to wander around pooping in the neighbours yards, that would be illegal because she’s a dog.

And yes the dog owners that do do that are equally disgusting…To the point I would create a new crime called A Dirty B*****d, complete with a national newspaper mug shot when convicted. Just so the paper can print Mr/Mrs XYZ today was found to be A Dirty B*****d is such and such court. For every pet found fouling without the owners picking it up and; I would like to stress this, BINNING it.

You may have worked out I ‘found’ some more today.

On good news I have purchased some Pork Floss, it will be trialed next week with my sister, who also wants to taste it. She does not however want to try the other snacks. In fact she definitely pulled her face at the fish sticks. I am giggling as I remember her look right now. Just wait until I get the item they did not have.

Here is the haul, my impressions will be forthwith upon consumption.

 

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Reflections 2019 w 45

Well, the plan for the leaf collecting went out of the window, we have had that much rain i would have had a swamp on the back of my car after just the one trip.

On the plus side my initial findings with the thermal battery in the greenhouse looks promising.

For those that have not heard of thermal batteries – they are just a way to collect some of the warmth the sun provides and then releases it over night time. Basically a hot water bottle…A BIG hot water bottle.

I have used an old garden wheelie bin for my storage. Simply filled with water. It took about a week before any change was to be seen on the min/max temperature, Mainly the min temp has been the focus, as one cannot theorise as to how intense the sun has been, the time available, nor the temperature variation of the outside. But one has been able to do a simple test…

What was the minimum temperature inside the greenhouse when the outside froze.

Without the thermal bank it has dropped to 2degC, with a high of 26degc.  With the thermal bank running for a week the max temp was reduced, as is expected because it partially goes to warming the water, down to around the 18-19degC. However, the Min temperature inside as the outside has froze did not drop any lower than 6degC.

This may not sound that brilliant, or that useful, and for the main part it is not. I am not likely to be growing tomatoes in it over winter. However I plan to grow winter salads, the varieties that grow outdoors over winter, indoors. My theory being that they should benefit from the extra warmth and protection, giving me a higher yield.

Well that the hypothesis anyhow…

Time will tell.

 

 

 

Reflections 2019 w45

It’s going to be another short blog again, eyes are closing and the room is swirling. Time for sleep one thinks.

The picture I have been doing for a friend is now done, though I will have to pass it onto her mum as she is not at group tomorrow. It is the plan B version of my idea, but I think she will like it.

As for the allotment, work continues at a winter slow pace, having to be off the plot at dusk means rain laden clouds can end work at 15:00hrs, not much time to play with in an afternoon.

However the leaf mould area has been extended and last years leaves are now in the Dalek bins for the final process. The open sided cage has done the job of exposing the leaves to the elements this year and 50 bin bags just fill one Dalek. This years leaves are having to be collected wet, as that is all the weather we are having at the moment, current count is at 40 bin bags. One should match last years amount, 50, by Wednesday, hopefully the weather will at least stay dry so more can be loaded into the car.

!00 bin bags was the target for this year. Will I do it? And will the weather stay dry enough to paint the shed?

I doubt it, that is why a tarp has been place over the first end to be painted to give it some cover. I will not be a great painting job, but it will help the shed over this winter. Bit by bit the plot is nearing the end of the building site era.

Reflections 2019 w44

The greenhouse is finished, and, after a lousy start, the replacement pains were cut.

Now anyone that has had the displeasure to have to cut used greenhouse glass will know, the normal technique that we are all taught on how to cut glass, has a high failure rate. that method being…Score, press down over a table edge where the score line is. You just end up hoping that the break is veered off to the waste side of the cut, so the glass can be nibbled away to the line.

This apparently is because the used glass has altered its structure over time, and now has micro cracks in it.

But this technique works..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvzvAaXR_oY&t=140s

I could tell you the technique, but I prefer that this chap gets the credit.

I went from 100% fail rate to 100% success on my first attempt of this method and techniques. Along with an oil filled glass cutter for £3.50.

If you ever need to cut second hand glass, give this video a  watch.

Reflections 2019 w43

It’s another allotment update this week.

The greenhouse has a new seals and a roof with one wall. One forgot how heavy glass gets when you move it around, especially overhead. So after finishing the roof, and numb arms, my lower back decided to join in the fun, one or both, of my lower back disc bulges have flared up, pinching a nerve or two.

I worked on a current art project whilst immobilised but I have to get the greenhouse finished before the winter weather halts play. So I went up today and did a side on it. One now knows about it. But it’s the wrong time of year to have a bad back. apart from the greenhouse.

Leaves have to be collected, lots of leaves. The aim for this year is a 100 bin bags worth. Last year I collected 50 and ran out a couple off months ago but have created much more space for them this year. I plan to be using free compost on all no dig beds next October.

On a plus note the onions are just starting to sprout, and a couple of garlic. The peas are being attacked by pigeons.

I’m working on that, but the greenhouse first.