D4D

Hasta La Muerte, Motherfucker

Archive for the category “House Work”

Changing Plants

Over the weekend, I spent some time changing the plants and pots I’ve got in the yard of my house.

Some of the things from last year had died off, most having only been expected to live a year, a couple of others just needed to be changed and a one needed to be replaced as the poxy cat had decided that pot was a spare litter tray.  Additionally, I’d changed a bit on what I wanted to try out this year.

For example, last year I had a couple of small apple trees in patio pots. One had done OK, but ended the year overtaken by wooly aphid things that made it look like it was covered in frost/snow/cotton-wool, while the other hadn’t taken at all.  So they were candidates for going as well.

This time, I went to a proper garden centre, and got a bundle of new things – two types of raspberry, a blueberry bush, and a couple of flowering currants.  Once I’d got home, I emptied out the old pots, putting all the residue into garden sacks. Then all the new things got planted, and so far it’s all worked out pretty well.

The final stage was taking all the garden sacks to the local tip, and getting rid of them all in the garden waste.

So all told, quite the successful day – a near-complete change of the plants, and all the rubbish dealt with, leaving the place looking pretty much how it did before, just with new plants.  I class that as a success.

Doing Nothing

This weekend was the closest I’ve come in a long time to doing nothing – it’s something I am *really* bad at, which I’m coming to terms with.

I try and keep busy on weekends, go out and do stuff, get things done, and that suits me.  But I still get to the point (like recently) where I’ve been constantly busy and occupied for so damn long, it feels like I’m completely burned out and I need that down-time, a weekend or two where I don’t do much.

As has been observed before, I’ve been pretty much booked solid since about October, so I really needed a quiet time where I vegetated a bit, caught up on some of the more domestic things, and generally did a bit of recuperation. And that was the plan this weekend – I had some stuff I wanted to do (buying the trees, seeing a film, organising house stuff, ironing etc.) but the rest was meant to be downtime.

That plan was successful, I can’t deny. I did get all the planned stuff done, and I used a lot of downtime.

But it gets to now, 10pmish on Sunday, and I feel kind of guilty, kind of lazy. I know it’s been needed, and I mainly feel better for having not done much – but simultaneously, I feel like it’s been a bit of a waste.

It’s safe to say, I think, that I am phenomenally bad at doing nothing…

More New Greenery

Having sorted out some new pots and plants earlier this week, I’d been thinking about a couple of small trees to put in Big Pots, which should finish things off nicely.

Today, I got some – two ‘patio apple’ trees and pots for them to go in.  They’ve been outside all the time anyway, so they’re now planted out and situated where I want them to be.

I’m done for now with plants, I think. I do want to find a more comfortable table and chair(s) next, although that can wait a while ’til I see what there is that I like.  I’m not in a hurry – I’ve a chair that’s serviceable, but I do want to find something better. I just have to know it’s better before I buy it…

New Greenery

Last summer, I spent some time and money on my house, even though it’s a rented place. Nothing permanent, just some flooring/decking out in the back yard, repainting the wooden fences, and some plants in pots. It was a successful plan, and it looks much better now than it did before.

Over the winter, it’s all been a bit bare, and I’ve been thinking about what to do next with it all.

Today, I left work earlier than usual and went to get some new stuff, more planters and plants, that kind of thing.  Some summer and autumn bulbs, a climbing jasmine, clematis, and some other bits.

Once I got home, I got it all planted up and watered, so we’ll see how it all works out. I’m still planning to get some more bits, and repaint the wooden fences again (hopefully with less marks and blobs this time) so it looks better.

As before, it’s all movable – well, except for the painted woodwork, of course. Whether I do move it or not (as and when I move) is a different decision – the plants and pots could easily go, the yard tiling/decking is really only fit for the current yard, so it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other.

In the meantime, though, the aim – assuming a decent spring and summer – will be to have an open space that’s actually usable and comfortable. Hopefully the stuff I’ve now got there is the groundwork for having that this year.

Weekend of Quiet – the nPower farce

As I said earlier, the only scheduled thing for the weekend was a visit from Lowri Beck,  the clowns who are nPower’s third-party partner in the area – who needed to check my electricity meter.

Supposedly they legally *have* to do this once a year – and they allege they haven’t been inside my property in four years (i.e. before I even moved in), so it’s hardly a legal requirement in the first place. Saying they haven’t had access is utter bollocks, by the way,  as someone from the company was in there to check the gas one a month ago, and I’ve had people from the same company in to do readings before (except they then lost them, due to being useless cunts)

Anyway, the guy turned up, and in his most helpful manner said “Oooh, that’s not good. How long’s it been doing that?”. To which, of course, I said “Doing what?”, as I’m not a fucking mind-reader, and couldn’t tell you one end of a meter problem from the other.  “That” he says, and points at the meter.  “Go on, give me a clue.”

Turns out, there’s a flashing light that says “I need replacing”. It wasn’t there two weeks ago when I took my own meter reading, but now the clowns are here, we get the full circus lights. *sigh*

So – I now need to get a replacement meter.

But in a fit of truly inspired crap customer service, Lowri Beck’s installers only work Monday to Friday, 9-5. So to get a new meter, I’m going to have to take time off work, costing me money for something that’s entirely not my fault. And nPower won’t offer any alternatives, compensation, or understanding. (Which is no surprise whatsoever)

I’ve got it booked in, but it looks like it may just be time for yet another fight with the asshats at nPower.  Oh goody.

The Weekend of Quiet

As planned, last weekend was fairly quiet – and much needed.

The only booked thing I had in was to get someone from nPower’s third-party partner company in to look at my electricity meter. I’m going to write about that in a different post, because it gets long-winded, and slightly farcical. (As do all things nPower)

Other than that, I didn’t do much. The total of activities was

  • Visit the cinema (twice)
  • Keep up my walking targets, so I did wander round Milton Keynes etc.
  • A bit of shopping
  • Sorting out the back yard, including buying new pots and plants, and getting them installed/planted.
  • Other very small odds and sods.

So it was decent.  It would’ve been better if I’d actually been able to sleep well too, but there we go, that’d be pushing my luck too far.

Warm

Today is the UK’s hottest day of the year (so far) – which is quite surprising, as it’s right at the start of Wimbledon fortnight. Usually that would signify two weeks of grey/damp/wet weather, but this week so far seems to be clear,bright and – yes – warm.

Of course, I realise that people in Australia, America, and umpteen African nations (as well as a bundle of others) are laughing their socks off at us here thinking that 30° C is anything more than ‘slightly warmer than winter’, but lordy, we do like to complain about it.

The thing is, here in the UK we’re just not used to extreme weather – or even ‘more than mediocre’, really.  30°C isn’t extreme to most places, any more than -10°C is, but to us in the UK, those are extremes. Neither end is common enough for us to have created the infrastructure to deal with it – neither air-con in every building/facility, nor heating and anti-snow/ice stuff for the cold bits. Neither hits us for more than three or four weeks a year, really – and on average it’s probably even less than that.

So yes, we’re not good at dealing with weather – and some of that is just part of Being British™, I suppose. But there is also that side to be considered, that we just don’t have the equipment (whether in buildings/facilities/institutions, or just within our own bodies) to cope with it decently.

For myself, I don’t mind it.  I used to really dislike hot/warm weather, but I’m getting better at it. Today’s been spent ‘working’ at home, and it’s meant I’ve been out in the yard for most of it, now that it’s a decent place to be. Those two weekends of doing stuff here turns out to have been pretty much perfectly timed, so it’s a pleasant environment. And there’s been enough shade in general to have let me be out in the warmth without crisping myself in direct sunlight.

That’s a win all round in my book.

Post Navigation