The Great Gardening Project


Whilst nowhere near as ambitious as J.D. and Kris’ project here I have decided to do some work in the garden this year. I’m a few weeks behind writing up my progress so I’ll try and summarise after the break.

Continue reading The Great Gardening Project

Uncluttering My Office

Bags A Rubbish Shot !

I have been widening the range of sites that I keep an eye on through Google Reader; my reading list is here if you are interested.

One of the recent additions to my daily reading list has been a site that does what it says on the tin!

Continue reading Uncluttering My Office

Burn Baby Burn!

Burn Baby Burn

Since we had our extension built we have had continual problems with the isolator switch for the shower becoming really hot. It’s been replaced a few times. At the weekend, the whole hose was plunged into darkness and there was a puff of smike in Emma’s bedroom. One of the carers burned her hand switching the shower off. We were out of options until I read Larry Adkin’s guide, then I realized I needed professional help.

A call to a friendly electrician revealed the source of the problem above.

Today the electricians from the builders arrived and completely re-wired the shower and replaced the main breaker.

Speedy service !

September Weekend Holiday

I have just realised that it has been ages since I have posted here.

It has been a fairly uneventful holiday so far. Did some decorating:

  • Connor’s bedroom ceiling (he has not chosen main colours yet)
  • Main bathroom
  • Upstairs Hall
  • Stairs
  • Downstairs Hall
  • Downstairs Bathroom.

All painted.

Time for a day off now.

Tomorrow, myself Connor and Sarah are off to meet Patrick McGlinchey he is the main instructor at the Backwoods Survival School.

I’ll update here with all of the things we cover.


What a difference a week makes !


What a difference.

Yet again I’m blown away by how quickly the extension is progressing:

This was taken yesterday


As I type, the roofers are crawling over the top and the electrician is crawling under the floor !

Watch this space !

Building Work About To Start !

After lots of discussion, the plans are in, been to planning and passed.

I spoke to the builder, Colin Scott of Scott Builders (who also did the bathroom conversion), this morning so he could arrange access. So, it’s full steam ahead !

In preparation, I read many reviews of the best water softeners and I took the obligatory “before” photos:


As you can almost just see I have filled in the swimming pool that was under the window.

As the build progresses I’ll be recording the details. See my Flickr Set here.

Home Improvements

With Emma being in a wheelchair now there are certain modifications that are required around the house. These range from the simple; ramp to the front door and safety rails to grab onto; to the major, adding an extension to add a bedroom on to the ground floor and convert an existing room into a wetroom/bathroom. Now all of this is being done by the local social work department, and, after speaking with others in a similar situation I know that we are actually getting things done quite quickly !

All of the “simple” items, such as the ramp to the front door and getting a chairlift were done in a matter of weeks of asking, however the major items seem to be stuck in a morass of paperwork and processes within the social work department.

I don’t intent for this to turn into a name and shame session, or alternatively a blatant advertisement but if I see an extreme of behaviour, especially when it comes from an unexpected source I’m going to give plaudits.

Initially we were told in August that the work, a bathroom conversion and a small extension could be done in 3 months start to finish. Of course we were sceptical but this is what they do for a living so who am I to question them. There was an initial flurry of activity; architects came out, we reviewed the plans, we asked for a few amendments, all seemed fine. Then time passed. The official line was that the funding required to carry out the work was not in place.
Luckily, my mother in law has lots of contact with our local councillor Jackie Burns through her work with the community, who promptly told us in no uncertain terms that the funding was indeed in place.

One quick meeting later in order to try and get something done, they agree to split the work into two phases: the bathroom conversion, which only needs a building warrant; and the extension, which needs planning permission.

Then the builders arrive.

Normally this is the most stressful part of the project. However two factors come into play here:
1. We were on holiday
2. Elaine knows the builder

Work starts on the Monday and by the following Wednesday the work is completed and the bathroom is in use. Exactly on schedule. Strangely enough, it was the builder that was putting pressure on us, we were in the shop choosing the tiles and he had the van en-route to collect them. I cannot recommend Scott Building Services highly enough
Only the extension to go. Apparently the plans will be submitted for approval in January but they have yet to come out and inspect the foundations so who knows what will happen.

Watch this space.