Saturday, February 28, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
I took this picture in my kitchen today!
What is this masked creature you ask? Well, he's obviously not too dangerous as I lived to tell the tale.
The next picture explains it all. While we were being surveyed for a new gas boiler they found a small asbestos board stuck to the ceiling around the flue of the old boiler. We had to have it removed before they could work on the boiler.
So we've been invaded by men in hazmat suits. They came down the driveway in a very big van and towing a portable decontamination shower-unit. They just made it down and were able to separate van and trailer to get them turned around.
They sealed off the part of the kitchen where the asbestos is and joined that up to a polythene tunnel leading outside. They set up a negative air pressure in the house and air in the tunnel has to be filtered several times as it is drawn out.
The guy doing the work wore a red suit while working in the tent in the kitchen. Then he had to change into this blue one before coming out. The red one is in the bag and will be disposed of. He then walked about 10 feet to the portable decontamination unit where he showered and disposed of his blue suit.
All this for a board which was no more than a foot square!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Sunday, February 01, 2009
First I want to ask all of you to do me a favour. If you have time, please check out the Church Stretton Arts Festival Web Site at:
I want you to imagine that you're visiting Church Stretton and you want to know what's on. Tell me what you think of the web pages. Do they make you want to visit us? Do you find them exiting or interesting? Can you find all the information you need? Is there anything else I should include?
Please send me e-mail with your comments. Thanks.
So far it's been quite a cold winter. I'm not really complaining because it's really nowhere near as cold as it was in North America, and we need a cold spell to kill off the bugs and convince the plants that summer is coming. However, it's sad to see that some of the plants had already started to put out leaves. We're expecting it to be a very cold wind with cold air flowing into Britain from Siberia, so there will be freezing temperatures every night for the next few days.
In addition there are dire warnings of more (and possibly heavy) snow to come. Now over here that means anything over a few centimeters of snow so we may not be able to get our cross-country skis out!
Our snowdrops are out already. In fact, they've been out for over a week. Unfortunately, we managed to trample a few of them when we were working in the garden last week. There are big works going on in our garden. We're working with a real live garden designer to give it a makeover and make it more wildlife friendly. I've started a new blog for this, with pictures and descriptions of the work as it goes on. You can find that at the following address:
We've been working on the garden for the last three weeks, in spite of the low temperatures. I guess it's been between 2 and 8 C while we've been working (in the 30s for the Americans!), and some of the time it's been windy or drizzling. But we Brits don't let that stop us. If we did we'd never do anything outside!!!! Last week you would have been amused to see us serenely drinking coffee and eating cookies outside. We've even set up a table and comfy chairs so we can relax during our coffee breaks!
The picture shows us piling up the old fence sections to make a habitat pile. The thing that looks like a dead dog is in fact a soggy mess of old newsprint paper that we found behind the garage. We moved it out there after it got wet when the upper garage roof leaked on it. I had been keeping the paper to make into paper mache - yet another brilliant craft idea that never went anywhere! That's me behind the fence and in front is Mike Russell who is our designer. Mike specialises in Nature Gardens, so he's the perfect person to work with. He's not only designing the new garden, he's helping us to do the work.
One of the benefits of staying out all day is that we've seen some new wildlife in the garden. We've spotted a goldcrest several times (it's a close relative of the Golden Crowned Kinglet of the US) and we saw a tree-creeper one day too.
We've been a bit worried that we would disturb our badgers, but two of them showed up on the patio a couple of nights ago and today we saw our diurnal badger for the first time since before Christmas. He still seems to be doing well, even though he continues to make forays during the afternoon. Here's a nice picture of him that I took in December. You can really see those strong claws in this picture. No wonder they do so much digging about the place. Now that we've taken down our fence we'll be able to watch the badgers as they walk about on the bank to the south of us. Hopefully, we'll be able to see the babies playing when they first come up from underground.
Oh well ... I suppose I'd better get back to work .....