Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Back to normal

The water problem is resolved.... for now! The blockage is further down the waste pipe than the u-bend so I can't reach it without ripping all the boxing out and removing a load of pipes... and even then I may not find it. However things are back to how they were before, the sink still drains very slowly but there is no water leaking out. I have a friend coming to stay this weekend so I will sort the plumbing out another time. My plumbing skills are extremely limited so I'm hoping Dad might help me out....??

This weekend my friend and her 5 year old son are coming to stay and we're going to visit London. They live about 4 hours away so her son has never been to London. We were going to go at Christmas and see the lights, but the weather was too bad for her to travel up here so we had to postpone. I'm so excited... but have got a huge amount of housework to do before then! Still, I have booked Friday off work so will do most of it then I expect.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010


Today I got up to find I had a water leak. The sink in the WC has been draining very slowly for quite a while, and I accidentally left the tap dribbling last night. I guess the water was going into the sink faster than it could drain, due to the blockage. Anyway, it hadn't overflowed, but the floor in the hall and in the airing cupboard was wet.

The previous occupant of the house, in his wisdom, decided that it was a really good idea to box in all the pipes, seal the boxing up and tile right up to it and on top of some of it (to make a shelf). It looks nice, but the pipes are totally inaccessable. He also sealed the lino down so I can't lift it to dry the floor.

I managed to get some of the boxing off without wrecking it, and got the u-bend off. The joints around the u-bend were all quite damp but I couldn't tell if that's where the leak was coming from or not. I was hoping it would be as simple as a blocked u-bent, but no. Nothing in my life could ever be as simple as a blocked u-bend.

The u-bend was quite mucky but I've cleaned it all out and put it back on and the sink is still not draining properly. This means that the blockage is further down the pipes, which means removing more of the boxing....

However, the floor is drying nicely (had to lift the carpet up) and I've switched the mains back on (didn't think it was a mains problem but better be safe than sorry!) and so far all seems well.

I think that further investigations can wait until Dad gets back from holiday!!

And why is it, that when I had just spent half an hour ripping the boxing off and removing the u-bend, I then completely forgot what I'd just done and turned the tap on to wash my hands!!!!

(luckily I'd put a bucket under the open pipe....)

Saturday, 12 June 2010


How hard can it be to find a campsite? You wouldn't believe it!! We have a list of criteria and are struggling to find a site that meets most, let alone all of them!!
  • Suitable for a family group of between 8 and 14 people
  • 3 or 4 tents pitched together
  • Suitable for children aged from 18 months to 17 years
  • Allows dogs
  • Easy access to a beach (probably south coast)
  • Shop on site or easy walking distance
  • Nice walks from the site
  • Something in the area to do if the weather is not good
  • Not too commercial but not too basic either
  • Space between pitches (nothing worse than being kept awake by some bloke next door snoring!!)
  • Camp fires allowed
  • Within 2 hours drive.... 3 max if the site is special enough.
Are we asking too much?

Let me know if you know anywhere!!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Weight loss.... it's easy...!!

Well, it is when you're a dog!! You just eat less and exercise more, and when all that is regulated for you then the weight just falls off!

Tarka has been on a diet. When she had bladder surgery back in January she went from lots of exercise to nothing, literally overnight. Then as she recovered from her surgery Pippa was going downhill and was taking up a lot of my time, and Tark'a exercise levels suffered for it. Then, after Pippa died I over-compensated for the previous lack and as Tark was by then quite unfit, I over did things and ended up having to rest her again due to stiffness and lameness. And, add to all that the fact that I had to change her diet because of the bladder problem and hey presto, she'd put on an extra 2kg just like that!

So, she's been on a diet and has gone from 18.8kg to 16.7kg in about 8 weeks. She's also looking really fit and well, although she does go a little bit stiff after longer walks (2+ hrs). Mind you, she is ten years old now so I suppose a touch of arthritis is only to be expected.

Shame I can't seem to regulate my own food and exercise quite as sucessfully eh?? 2kg weight loss in 8 weeks would be just perfect....

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Wildlife week

It's been a week for wildlife this week.

On Tuesday I saw a Red Kite flying over the field behind where I work. Red Kites are becoming quite a common sight in the area but it's the first time I've seen one in this particular location. Also on Tuesday I saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker in our grounds at work. Again, they're not an uncommon bird but it's the first time I've seen one at work. We get lots of Green Woodpeckers though.

On Wednesday I saw a Slow Worm in the woods behind work, and I rescued a fledgeling Bluetit who launched out of a tree and crash landed at my feet. Luckily both dogs were on leads! I just moved Bluetit to the wall at the side of the foot path in case he got stepped on.

Saturday night at my brothers house there were loads of Stag Beetles. I'm not a huge fan of Stag Beetles and prefer not to get too close, but they are amazing creatures to watch. We also caught a newt from their pond, I think it's a Smooth Newt but not 100%....

Today on my dog walk I rescued a Lime Hawkmoth from a pond. He'd fallen in and was desperately trying to get out but wasn't going to do it alone. I fished him out on a stick and left him resting and drying out. Hopefully he survived! He was exhausted and sitting very still, so I was able to take quite a clear photo.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Is it wrong.... find it hilariously funny, watching small children falling off donkeys?

Bank Holiday Monday was the local donkey derby and as usual, the donkeys ran the show. They know the game, they ditch their riders as soon as they can and wander off to eat grass....

No serious injuries were sustained by the kids, just a few bumps and bruises.... mainly to their pride I think!!