This blog has been online since [boggle] 2002, which has come as a bit of a surprise to me, I can tell you – can’t believe I’ve been wibbling here, on and off for getting on for fifteen years!

I’m in the process of giving the site a makeover, so apologies if things don’t work very well on a temporary basis.

The header image is cropped from a photograph I took (with an iPhone!) at Spurn Head in January 2016. The full image is below. Spurn is one of my favourite places in the whole world. Except that Yorkshire Wildlife Trust are trying to wreck it with visitors’ areas, and car parks, and experiences, while painting double yellow lines down the only access road, which means that the residents of Kilnsea will have nowhere for themselves and their visitors to park. Ho hum.

Spurn Point January 2016

we *shall* have warmz

More firewood

And yet more wood. We bought a trailer load from someone via Gumtree during the summer for £100, and it’s mostly that which is in the log store to the right of the photo. He had a stack more to sell then, but we had nowhere to keep it; I gave him a ring a couple of weeks ago and he still had the rest, so we went over to see him yesterday and arranged to buy it from him. He brought a trailer load round, and there is still about half a trailer load to come, which he is prepared to store for us for now, and that lot cost us £150.

We had a handy gap between log store and bike shed, so we put a pallet on the ground, and stacked the new lot on that. Pete constructed a couple of stay bars across the gap, and we chopped most of it before it was stacked, then hurled a tarpaulin over it. So now we have loads and loads of wood to keep us warm, most of it ready seasoned, all of it paid for, and so the weather ghods can just bring it on this winter. If it gets really, really cold, we’ll just set up camp in the living room with laptops.

Now, of course, it’ll probably be the mildest winter on record for centuries, but the wood will keep 🙂

how much wood does a woodchuck chuck?

logs for the stove

Attentive readers (if there are any) will recall that we installed a woodburning stove last year – a thing of much joy, and much smaller gas bills (even more joy). We have been acquiring cheap wood all summer, and even scavenging from the tip, in preparation for the threatened freezing winter that awaits us, to the point that our little back yard was overrun with bits of timber waiting to be chopped up – but nowhere to store it.

We were keeping our bikes in a bike tent, which was not, shall we say, the most durable of shelters, and it died completely during the gales last month. So we measured up, and got the local shed place to quote us for building a bike store plus log store, to go all along one wall of the yard. £790, they quoth. So when we’d picked ourselves up, we googled a lot, and ordered a wooden bike shed off t’internet for £159, and a log store similar for £200. They arrived this week, and Pete manfully assembled them; the bicycles are now ensconced cosily in their new abode, with the bike trailer and various other bits and bobs, and the log store is now not quite where we planned, but in a more convenient place. This entailed trimming a bit off the kitchen window sill, and taking the log shed roof off and cutting it to shape, but this didn’t seem to phase ‘im indoors, and up it went.

So yesterday and today, between us, we have split pretty much all the logs we bought cheap a couple of months ago, and stacked them in the woodshed, and have chainsawed up all the other bits and bobs of salvaged wood, and we have space for another trailer load, which I have reserved for a hundred quid from the bloke we bought the last trailer load, and that will be enough to see us right through the winter, $deity willing.

There’s also about six bags’ worth of logs in the house, in the log station and stacked round the fire, and several bags of rubbishy (but very cheap, or free) bits and bobs that came from last year’s skipful, or salvage, or whatever. So at least the living room will be warm, even if we can’t afford to heat the rest of the house 😉

And the gas direct debit is now £21 per month, which is nice (although I bet it won’t stay there).

In other news, I have new glasses – my prescription had changed a huge amount, to the point where I needed less strong lenses (!), so I now have rimless ones for the first time ever, and I’m really pleased with them. And I can see properly, which is a bonus – no longer have to take my glasses off to read my phone! Also got a pair of photochromic ones in cool Gok Wan frames, and tempted to give up contacts all together for now, as they’ve been playing me up, but then of course that might be due to the script change, I guess.

I'm just popping out for a while …

Pearson Park

I had to go to the Sainsburys at the top of the road, as we had run out of mozzarella (that is, I know, hideously Boden and middle class, but there you go); P decided to accompany me.

The thermometer outside the back door said -5˚, so we wrapped up warm. I was wearing jeans, a long sleeved t-shirt, a thin fleece top, a down waistcoat, a down jacket, a scarf, a woolly hat with ear flaps, thermal gloves, socks and wellies. And I was still not really warm.

We got the mozzarella and a couple of other bits and bobs, and then wandered over to Pearson Park to see the ducks. There were hundreds of birds there, including some geese who must be passing through. All so pretty in the snow, although I have to say it’s losing its appeal now – I want my roof fixed!

Cold duck, anyone? Birds on a frozen pond Ducks and geese Frozen pond in Pearson Park Glacier on Park Avenue!

bored now

Westbourne Avenue fountain

We’re now on day #7 of this winter’s first snowpocalypse and, frankly, it can just bugger off. It has snowed every day since Friday 26th November, and there’s been at least 3″ on the ground ever since, and quite a lot more at the moment. I battled over to Newland Ave yesterday, and it was nearly up to the top of my wellies in places.

We’re lucky – we don’t have to commute; we have a freezer full of food, a pantry full of pulses, and a fridge full of fresh veg (we went out on Saturday and stocked up on the veg). I picked up more milk yesterday, although most of the shops had shut, and supplies in Jacksons Sainsburys were getting low. I’ve no idea if the car will ever start again – it’s buried. The cats are going stir crazy, the gas bill is going to be terrifying, and the roofer can’t fix the hole in the roof.

And for the next few days, they’re forcasting a big freeze – anything up to -6˚ even here on the coast. Enough, already!

Alas, poor bike tent ...

The bike tent has collapsed too, under the weight of snow.

it's a gorgeous day out there

lovely and sunny. I was good, and hung the laundry out at 9 a.m.

went out to check it a few moments ago, and it’s still as damp as when it went out, with the added bonus that it’s actually cold as well.

I hadn’t realised just how nippy it was until I noticed the birdbath – it still has a 1/2″ layer of ice in it, despite having been in the sun.

the laundry is now in the tumble dryer, and I’m back in the warm.