Plastering and spawning.

17°C, light W, mostly sunny.

Ants’ nest

They are spawning, the ants. In this tussock they build a pyramid of soil and winged males and females are all over it. I didn’t realise what was going on at first and accidentally disturbed the structure. I side were eggs and more drones. The cone of soil seems quite fragile, I have not seen one before like this. I’m used to seeing spawning from paving slabs, but not this.

Last hole.

Today, I removed the dining room radiator ready for wallpapering. This is the third radiator that hides damaged plaster in this house. This time, the resulting hole is small, only he size of my hand. Newly plastered, it’s drying now. I hope to finish this room by Thursday.

Linseed Door

7°C, rain.

Got a cold so stayed in and worked on the house. This is the door to a cupboard which was panelled over, probably in the late 1970s. The panel cake off easily but the paint flaked and revealed its thickness. There were atm east 4 layers, the lower layers were even thicker and softened reluctantly under the heat gun. The yellow is rather shocking (probably 1980s) but the two colours beneath are interesting.

Those two lower paint coats needed more heat to soften and smelled different.

Now the door is finished and re-hung, the room smells of linseed oil. Is that the medium for old paints? I feel rather nostalgic about that smell, it reminds me of art college

Sleep fail

Why is this, I wake at 02.30, wide awake so get up for my usual night-time herb tea. Back to bed for more ceiling staring. I don’t get it, I’m not stressed, don’t have any worries and it’s been 12 hours since the last coffee. What’s going on?

Here is the plaster in the kitchen. And here it as was a week ago:

I suspect that the heat may have played a part it that plaster becoming detached. This is where the boiler used to be mounted and those pipes carry very hot water. I’ve not decided how to box in the pipes. Should they have insulation.

Is this a cold causing sleep disruption? the current cold has hung on a while just entering its third week. I’m so frustrated by this.


8°C, rain all day.

The old techniques are coming back. Since my skills are rather rusty, I decided to buy base coat plaster and then layer skim coat over another day. That skim needs to be smooth and that’s the difficult part.

Once finished, I ventured into the loft. There is the largest wasps’ nest I have ever seen.

It’s about the size of a full rucksack, so around 40 litres. However you look at it, it’s a fine and beautiful object. I see no reason to remove it.

Best days.

7°C, icy start and sun for the few daylight hours.
I am at my best on days like this. The sun and crisp air lift away the winter gloom. For hours, I chopped wood, clipped plants, fitted draught excluders, fixed bike, laundry, shopping and more. Now, there is reassurance seeing a basket with enough wood to take me through January.


Sunrise from a few days ago.!


12C, rain.
Rain did not stop for a minute during daylight hours. I shopped and finished the shelves. Traffic was light, did most stay in their houses?

Posted from a mobile.


Jobs done: it’s ironic that on a weekend at home, feeling ill, that I got more done than ever. Normally on a fine Autumn Sunday, I’d spend the day on the bike enjoying the landscape and sun.
Now, door-frame and gate post painted; patio cleared; curtains washed; garden cleared for winter and shopping done. An interesting job is coming up- part of a door frame is rotten, so I will cut out the bad bits and make new.
This headcold is past its worst, so I could be riding again later this week. A good result.

Posted on my phone.


Film: Argo, tense, but not that tense, likable characters, but not that likable. A film worth seeing but don’t go out of your way, there are other films available.
Despite rather an ill weekend, I have done stuff- the garden table is finished, with dry varnish this morning. On this weekend, with no travelling, my todo list is much shorter. The daytime routine is job then nap, then another job…


I spent money yesterday, some went on a cordless drill. The old one one is shagged out, though was never great to start with. Now I want to find something to fill with holes. If there are enough holes, might the thing cease to exist?

Posted on my phone.

Make table.

22C, sunny.
Today, I made a table. It’s made from a fork-lift pallet and a bed-headboard. So far it has cost nothing. All the wood and fixings I had hoarded already. There is four hours’ work in it so it so far. I had to stop at 7pm because, once hungry, I started making mistakes.
Now, it stands outside unvarnished and unprotected, but the forecast is good for tomorrow.


The idea is to use it for gardening tasks. It needs to be substantial and weather resistant. To finalise it, I need to add bracing to make it more rigid.
I will have to search out something to brace corners, there should be something in the shed I can use.

Posted by mobile phone.

Day one.

19°C, mostly cloudy, windy.
First job of the holiday is done. I used a palette out of the skip at work to make a new garden table.




After about 3 hours of wood working

The wood preservative is drying now so I can’t use the table until tomorrow.
How satisfying, I keep going out to look it over. Almost inevitably, I mind turns to other similar projects- I have another garden table that is slowly collapsing with rot.