Archive for March, 2011

Progress update

A few days late but I’ve been a bit busy with logos and ideal home shows and the like.

Sunday we finally got the battoning done in the “man cave” and installed the audio cables for the surround sound system.  I will soon be completely self sufficient when it comes to cinema requirements.  Not very green I know…

Similarly I had hired in a scout to do some wood chipping for me – but it does look like I’m just going to have to carry on burning…

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New Logo

I recently decided to give the site a bit of an uplift and used to find myself a graphic designer.  Due to the international side of the site I was able to get one at a fairly low cost.  I think the logo makes the site a bit more inviting – if you’ve got any views/comments please let me know 🙂

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Tree Felling and neighbourly neighbours

I promised an update and here it is!


About two weeks ago I arranged with my next door neighbour to have his sons round to do a bit of tree felling.  In the meantime I got chatting with the neighbour on the left who fancied some of the well established shrubs so I said the “dig ’em up and they’re yours, but they’ve got to go in the next two weeks or so”.

You can just about see him digging them up on one of the timelapse shots at about 9am!

This weekend was tree removal day – I was a bit nervous as I’d not spoken to the neighbour since, and my experience of people is you need to generally harass them to do anything (or maybe that’s just work…) but sure enough at about 10:30 they turned up and we got about stripping the lower branches to get the chainsaw in.

Several hours later (and a huge fire later!) and most of the greenery was gone.  The bonfire did however make me a little unpopular with some of the neighbours, but on the plus side I got to meet a few of them – though some were positive as one of my neighbours was shocked to find suddenly his garden bathed in light!

Another job (not one I’d planned for that weekend) was to get the pond backfilled – we even managed that!

On Sunday my friends Gary and Steve popped over to help me get the “man cave” (cinema room) ready for plaster boarding.  Unfortunately for Gary I’d also started on another project – refitting the old catflaps so that our new cats wouldn’t feel so nervous going through them.

After we’d finished that, we got started on the batons for the walls and I finished off leveling the rockery.

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Been busy…

I won’t say too much now, but we’ve been busy today sorting out the garden…

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Ginger Beer #2

The new Ginger Beer Plant arrived last week, liberally flattened by Royal Mail.

I set up a starter batch (just sugar and lemon juice) as soon as I could and when I returned from a weekend break it was bubbling merrily away.

I’ve just started the first brew from it, will let you know how I get on with it!

The first image is before I added the ginger, the 2nd is after!

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A little bit of concreting

To ensure the floor had enough time to dry before the forthcoming weekends activities, I had to mix up a bag of concrete and lay some damp proof membrane.  The floor should be dry in time for us to start putting in the battons for the plasterboard this weekend.  Then I need to get the sparky in to do some electrics and it’s just plasterboarding and flooring to go before I can take over my mancave!

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After our weekend break away, I got home enthused to fix stuff. When I got home the first thing I did was mix up a batch of concrete and level the floor in the forthcoming cinema room.

No, really.

After this my next job was to strip the garden of brambles – as the above picture shows, there was a lot of rubbish. I also discovered a large amount of metal which used to be the old fence. Now I’ve got to have a burnup before the weekend when the trees will be coming down!

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Lidl Fruit Trees & Landscaping

The whole point of my time-lapse camera is to take pics of the renovation of the garden.

Unfortunately due to the sheer amount of water this hasn’t been easy. Last night Helen put the fruit trees into the ground, but I spent my evening painting one of the many bedrooms.

This weekend I’m away, yet gardening is still scheduled to be happening… My neighbours are popping through the fence to remove some of the well established shrubs which don’t fit into my planting regime. They were going to be hacked down, so I appreciate that they’re going to a new home.

In a week and a half time however we’ll be taking down the conifers. Not my neighbours on the left this time but the neighbours on the right (he wants for wood) and I’ll be arranging delivery of a large amount of spent mushroom compost to revitalise the soil!

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Walls, cinemas and pizza ovens

When we saw the house had a recording studio attached, we knew it was mostly wasted space.  It was somewhat pointless to knock it down but because it was purpose built, it wasn’t going to be much of anything else either, except a heavily over engineered shed.

But it could be…

A ‘man’ room 🙂

The first three photos show what it looked like at the start with egg boxes on the walls and lots of shelving.  The room had 19 (yes 19!) plug sockets not including the eight multisocks which added many, many more.

We started by removing shelving, the ceiling and insulation which had rotted due to a previous leak and getting rid of the egg boxes.  Almost all of this material was reused by our neighbour.

My electrician friend came round and we isolated and ripped out the existing electrics.  We restrung a single run of lights and left one socket on for powertools.

Three weeks later my friends Ben and Steve popped round and without any PPE ripped down the wall.  You can see the difference it made opening the place right up.  Now I have a 15ft run of space between the back wall and the front and the room is now 10ft wide.  Perfectly suited for a 6ftx4ft cinema projection.

But what to do with the waste?

Where possible we scrounged wholish bricks and stacked them by our shed.  The rest of the rubble will be used as hardcore for a base for my new patio I’ll be laying as well as the new pizza oven.  We also dismantled the old lethal storage heater (when we dismantled it we found the wires insulation had burnt away leaving bare wires touching the metal sides) and took the bricks out.  Underneath was a layer of asbestos which was carefully double bagged in heavy bin liners ready for proper disposal.  The fire bricks will be used as the base of the pizza oven once I’ve cleaned them and will be the ones that retain the heat when the oven is fired.

The rest of the rubbish has now been bagged and is ready to go to the tip.

Here’s looking towards a recycled pizza oven… that’s proper reuse!

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Fruit trees #2

Six trees in total were purchased!

  • Morello Cherry
  • Conference Pear
  • Victoria Plum
  • Cox Apple
  • Peach (no idea of variety)
  • Elstar Apple

There were also rumours of fruit bushes 🙂

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