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The fun and the unfun

Posted by on Friday 27 August 2010 in admin | 0 comments

I had a couple of days off this week – to do some fun stuff and some less than fun stuff.

First off, one with a picture illustration (even if it is just a quick phone camera snap), I added a quick-and-easy new perch to the chicken run and Blue took to it immediately.

I had my second day of smoking on Wednesday! More details soon but in the smoker this time was more cheese but more excitingly, eggs and chillis!

While that was brewing away, we carried about 1.5tonnes of wood chips down to replenish the chicken run. We carried it a dustbin full at a time, down 3.5 flights of steps – an exhausting 90mins! It was already breaking down so surprisingly warm and fragrant – the chickens were most perturbed by all the activity but seem to like it now (the pic above is before adding the woodchip, the ground is now covered to about the second rung of the ramp). That was one of the unfun things; the other unfun thing was spending all Thursday decorating our old house in our ongoing attempts to sell it. Unfun because I’d rather spend my decorating energy on our new house and I know that when someone does buy it, they’ll probably immediately paint over all our handiwork anyway. I did find an old signature under the wallpaper though – I think it says “P Joyce 1st November 1966” – pretty cool!

We finally went blackberrying on Tuesday evening – got 2.7kg before having to return home for dinner. I definitely need to make a foraging bag – even if it’s just the genius idea of a modified milk bottle on a belt. Two handed foraging would be far faster.

Said blackberries were supposed to become a jam on Tuesday evening but something came up and I can’t remember what. Then they were supposed to become a jam on Wednesday evening but I was too tired after the woodchipathon, and a friend came around for dinner anyway. So the blackberries are now in the freezer. I’ll have a jam/chutney day next week.

The next batch of blackberries we collect, probably this weekend, will be for a wine. John’s plum wine is bubbling away nicely.

Finally, not particularly a frugal thing but we had some of our double glazed windows replaced earlier today. Most of the units in the kitchen, study and bathroom had misted up over the years and generally made the place look scruffier than it was. At first I wasn’t bothered about having them replaced – since they still functioned as double-glazing for insulation if not actually as windows – but it’s only now we’ve had them replaced that we’ve realised quite how obscured they’d become and how much light they were blocking — they’re freakishly clear now! The guys that did it were great – and no nonsense. At the quote stage, I gave them the opportunity to upsell and they refused to take the bait, dismissing the more expensive glass as a gimmick. They were also nearly 50% cheaper than the first company’s initial quote. Anyway, I’m mentioning this because 1) just in case people don’t know it’s CONSIDERABLY cheaper and less wasteful to get just the glass units replaced rather than than the full (uPVC) frames etc and 2) I asked to keep all the smaller old units. They’re mostly misted up but will still be good for one project or another!

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