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Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Let's clean up the world.

Hello. An interesting article in the Guardian today. Eight months on, is the worlds most drastic plastic bag ban working? Kenya's ban comes with the worlds stiffest fines, and some businesses are struggling to find affordable alternatives, but in Nairobi's shanty towns the clean up is changing lives. Waterways are more clearer, the food chain is less contaminated with plastic - and there are fewer flying toilets.

It's going to be a long difficult haul towards a plastic free environment, but it has to be done. So keep making those cloth shopping bags everyone, and do your bit.

Read the article here.  The discussion in the comments is interesting.

Weather looking a bit better today, I have to go and check on Scruff, Barry has had to go out. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Reusing and recycling rubbish

Hello. I had second thoughts about going outside yesterday, it was windy and I didn't fancy doing  more painting, so I stayed in and made some flowers instead. You might remember I made some of these last year, using knitting needles for the spikes. This time I dismantled an old umbrella and salvaged the metal rods, they are 13 inches long. I had some plastic left, I always keep colourful plastic containers with a view to cutting them up eventually. First I make templates with cardboard, three different sizes of petals, and use nail scissors to cut the plastic. 
I make two holes in the centre of each one, thread a button on a short piece of flexible wire, and poke  it through to the back. The umbrella spokes have a small hole at one end where the fabric is attached to, so I push the wire through this, and twist it around the spoke. Then stick some tape over it to hold it in place.

Ready to stick in a flower pot, or anywhere in the garden. If you want to see more of these click on this post from a year ago. There is a video as well.

At last, I have two quarterly bills from Ebico, they arrived at the same time. I sent an email, then rang them, WHERE IS MY BILL? 

So, my bills cover the periods 12th October to 11th January, and 12th January to 11th April. Total payable £285.82 for six months, which is what I expected, as I have been using the heating a bit more than previous winters because it has been so cold. My £200 winter fuel allowance will pay for a large part of this.

There was a price increase in March which they told me about. Electricity went from 15.19 p/kWh to 16.10 p/kWh. Gas went from 4.73 p/kWh to 4.96 p/kWh. I am on Ebico Zero tariff, so no standing charge. I am also not locked into a contract so can leave at any time without having to pay an exit fee.  

I expect a lot less in my summer bills, the gas heating will not be turned on until the late Autumn, so it will only be for cooking and heating a tank of water once a week. My electricity consumption rises only a little bit in the winter because of the longer nights, more lights on. So, I have the money to pay this, I've been saving it as I knew it would come eventually. Not looking so good outside at the moment, a bit dull, a bit cold, I'll stay in till lunch time, then go and pay this bill. 

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Monday, 23 April 2018

Tarting up the summer house

Hello. I went to Crafty Club this morning at the Village Hall, as usual. The heating was on and we were all sweltering hot. It's a bit windy today but still dry. There was a fabulous rainbow last night as I was finishing my walk. Apparently there were thunderstorms somewhere close by but we didn't get any. 

I made a video yesterday while I was working in the summer house, and this morning I uploaded it to yoooootoooob. So here it is. 

So now I have had my lunch, one slice of bread, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and one egg. I'm off outside now, lots to do, I have a list, so I'll leave you to it. Well done the Duchess of Cambridge, a baby boy has been born.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Scruffy dusters

Hello. When I looked out of the window this morning, I saw that my feather dusters were looking a bit bald. How did that happen? It hasn't been particularly windy. Very strange. 
Five minutes later I had the answer. Just as I looked up a little bird was taking flight with a bundle of feathers in it's mouth. Aha, there is the culprit. I watched as it flew straight across the road and landed on the roof of the house opposite, and went underneath the eaves. Nest building, what a clever bird, finding this lovely soft material to make a comfy place to lay some eggs.

I was thinking about chopping the top off a very tall conifer which is at the bottom of my garden. It leans over the boundary into my neighbours garden and I don't want it to grow any taller. I should have done it ages ago but kept putting it off because it means climbing it with a saw in one hand and holding on with the other hand. I mentioned this to the neighbour yesterday and she said there is a wood pigeon nest in it, so I will have to wait a bit longer before I can take action.

I tackled the Forget me nots yesterday, pulled quite a lot up. Put some in a big tub, transplanted a bunch to fill a gap, and left a few where they were. Trouble is that now I have some bare soil in the beds and the cats see this as a toilet. I have spread some plastic trellis over it to hopefully keep them off. Now I need to buy some plants to fill the gaps. I am going to a plant sale next Saturday at Aunties, so I will get something there.

The home made wooden tree is coming along nicely. All painted, now I need to put the leaves on. I'm going to get some bird feeders for it.

Another sunny morning so I'm going to get off this computer and go outside. Some painting to do in the summer house. Luckily someone gave me some free paint so I have enough to freshen it up.

Thanks for popping in. Make the most of the sunshine and go out, that's if you are in the UK, those knee deep in snow stay warm indoors. We'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip.

Friday, 20 April 2018

The cost of shopping

Hello. I think summer is here to stay, another nice day. This morning I did a Bailey poodle walk, then I went to see Scruff, Barry's dog, as Barry is out for the day. Scruff had his dinner, then we went for a little walk. He is a very laid back dog, just mooches around, it's just a case of follow him. He didn't want to go far, so I sat out in the sun reading Barry's newspaper, while Scruff laid in the shade next to the hedge. 
After I had my lunch I couldn't decide whether to go to town or not. I have a bill to pay at the bank, and I need some food so Aldi would be convenient. On the other hand the bill could wait till next week and I could do the yellow sticker dash tonight. I thought, yes, that's what I'll do, so I'll get on with some gardening now. 
Then I changed my mind. The garden needs sorting out, these plants have taken over and some of them need digging up and replanting, but I haven't got any compost. Oh bother. Change of plan, I'll go to the bank, go to Aldi, and see if they have any compost. If they haven't got any I will have to go to Home Bargains on the retail park. 
I don't know what these are, or where they came from. I remember scattering a lot of seeds last year, but there was no sign of these then. Anyone any ideas what they are, should I dig them all out, they seems to be taking over and choking everything else up. They are quite pretty but I don't want so many of them. If the bees like them I would rather transplant them in other parts of the garden.

Aldi did have some compost. I thought this was a good buy so I bought four bags. When I checked the receipt they had gone through the till at 99p each. Not sure why, there was no sign to say they were cheaper than the marked price.

If anyone from overseas is interested in the prices we pay, here is a breakdown.
Pack of four cans of pear cider. £1.99
Australian Chardonnay £3.99
1 pint of milk 49p
Tinned spaghetti hoops 14p
Tortelloni 300 gr £1.15
Baked beans 23p
Apple and orange juice 1 ltr carton 55p
Banana milk shake 1 ltr carton 85p
Greek style yogurt 500 grm 68p
Wafer thin chicken 400 grm £1.49
Frozen raspberries, and blue berries, 300 grm £1.29
Six pack of mini pears 79p
Chopped iceberg lettuce 48p
Avocado four pack £1.58
2.5 kg white potatoes £1.15
Farmhouse seeded batch loaf 79p
Packet pasta sauce Macaroni 37p
Broccoli 46p
Salad leaves 47p
Porridge oats 1kg 75p
Cream crackers large pack 40p
6 Large free range eggs 90p
Carrots 500 grm 26p
Cheddar slices 250 grm £1.49
Flavoured cheese 5 slices £1.29
Cauliflower 72p
Bananas 13p each, cheaper than buying a bag

I often buy two or three or more of something if it doesn't have a short date on it. Most of these things I buy on a regular basis. So there you have it. This will last me a week or more.

I'm starting to yawn, so I'll sign off. Have a nice weekend. We'll catch up soon,
Toodle pip.