Sunday, 12 October 2014

The 'roller coaster' continues

Gawd. Well another plumbing problem has raised it's head and kicked me in the bum. I've got a handle on the problem over the last few days - it's taken some time though. Flooded shower/bathroom floors (and laundry) for 3 days in a row; first I thought it was an existing issue (toilet) that I had deferred dealing with. Switched off all the tap spigots and then thought it was a washing machine leak. Unscrew and pull out the laundry cabinets - well one of them - had a peek behind the machine to find it's dry.

This is how it is as I'm building it.

I now know the water is seeping through the wall. Had to pull out the small cabinet though to find that. Good timing - I think another few weeks and the cabinet would have started to break up at the bottom.

Had to pull out this old vanity to see what was behind. The night before I'd had a shower and came out to find the entire floor under water so overnight I knew I had to tackle the whole area. I knew the vanity it was on it's last legs but had also deferred improving this area for later. Never did like it from day one - can't understand how the previous owners could tolerate this room; it's the only shower in what was sold as a 5-bedroomed house and they had 2 young children. No heater no curtains and no towel rail. And every so often I'd find snails inside this cabinet. Yuk. However had deferred it. Once I'd removed it found that water when draining comes back out of the hole in the wall which must mean a broken pipe. I'm still staggered that anyone can just punch a hole in the wall and stick a waste pipe through it - and think that's acceptable. Now I've got over my upset I've recognised it has to be done now rather than ater

Charming isn't it? I find it disgusting to be frank but onwards and upwards. Made a call to a local plumber who hasn't replied but that's good: now I think I can do it myself so will save money. I'll cut the pipe and knock it out of the wall and have a look. Will wait for it all to dry then cement the floor and lay tiles to the wall (found some spare of the same) then repair all the edges, put new pipe in and cement all around. Looking for a second-hand vanity and will paint the wall first and seal whatever is necessary. Whilst shifting the sink unit outside the base collapsed which means there has been a leak there for some time.
OK. Now I'm a bit more relaxed think I might go ahead and paint the second guest bedroom that was on my agenda for next week. I'll buy the bits I need and see if I can fix sooner rather than later but will go ahead with the bedroom whilst it dries here and loses the damp smell.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

What I hope to be my pride and joy in a few years' time..Asparagus yumm

OK..3 to 4 years is what I read online. I started last year by sowing seed and this year I've planted out. Having nursed the seedlings like delicate little children I've come late to the knowledge that they are quite robust little sods, given the last few weeks of changing weather lol.

The first few months

Now I've transplanted them and they've withstood gales and temperatures that plunge one day to 8C only to climb to 20C the next; typical Spring where Winter fights to stay put. Now I know that as long as they get enough water it's just a matter letting them grown fatter and bigger and then chop!

The new bed
Small plastic collars from plastic bottles help against the wind

I've had a look at a neighbours and each fern is about 1 metre tall but nowhere near big enough to eat yet. So now I know.

I can see Winter's backside..ha!

Uff! An update is long overdue. I've been buried in rain and mud misery lol - we've had so much rain but to be honest I'm quite pleased. Last year at this time we'd had no rain and having bought some small rain tanks for the vegetable garden all I want them to do is fill up!

I have been determined to get ahead of the hot weather when it comes this time. Last year I sat on my bum not recognising how much it's necessary to keep on top of how things grow. Given the amount of rain I was aware of the mud...wherever anyone goes it's just mud! All the neighbours are the same but at least it prompted me never to face the awful task of weeding the pathways if possible. So, porous weedmat has been laid and I've used crushed rock to cover that - I tried a small test area before Winter and the weeds are easy to identify and remove and it's so much easier to walk on.

Ordered 3 tonnes and had it delivered; seemed like a huge amount but when it was tipped I was a bit in doubt. Pretty much I'll be able to cover all four pathways plus a bit more. Haven't finished it all quite yet mostly due to me wanting to see how it looks planted - this way I don't lose interest.

This is how it was..now I look at it and it's daunting..
Finally got into my stride. Every day bit by bit is the way and as I worked I could also determine what plants to put where.

 Got a bit side-tracked on the topic of companion planting whereby plants that attract bees or plants that deter insect pests and put throughout the vegetables. Really keen on this idea as it makes the area look less 'pragmatic'. along the fence I've put Rosemary and Lavender. The idea of bees taking pollen from non-sprayed plants is great. so many countries are losing their bee populations - unbelievable really.