Saturday, 26 September 2015

The cabin arrives

I've been back doing some more canning using my new Ball blue book. It was James' favourite jam, raspberry, I've had a bumper crop this year and they're still coming thick and fast. I made it as usual but then put them in the water bath canner for 10 minutes to seal the jars, hopefully there'll be no spoilage this year.

The chillies have continued to ripen and we've got a good number now, we also harvested another couple of buckets of spuds today. Something has been eating them though, nothing new unfortunately. 

Last weekend James split our pile of oak that came down in the last storm. We've run out of room to store it at the moment in the wood seasoning shed. There's been a collapse so we need to sort it out to make more stacking space.

I feel toasty already

On Friday James had the day off work to receive our wooden cabin. It had been delayed a wee while but D-day came. I'm sure you can all predict what happened! It was due between 8am and 12pm and turned up at 3pm. The guy turns up opens the tailgate and says 'Oh no, it's slipped'. Bloody idiots hadn't strapped it down properly. One of the first pieces off the wagon was a base piece that you stack all the other pieces on. As soon as James saw it he was fuming. It was bowed, put on a flat surface there's a few inches of sunlight between the centre and the floor. It also had a note on to say, doors missing. Doors missing?! Who sends a cabin that can't be made watertight?!

The delivery guy went at a snails pace, unloading sooooo slowly, blocking our lane. Long story short, a phone call was made (we couldn't get anyone) and they're in for a rollocking on Monday.

Stacked and waiting for missing/damaged parts before building

I've been having a think on what to plant next year and at some later point I'll reflect on what's grown well and what's failed miserably.

I'm sure I was going to say more but I can't remember what, so I'll probably be back soon.

James is watching the Wales v England rugby tonight. I hope England win or he'll be unimpressed. If any of the home nations play anyone else we want them to win (go UK!!) but if England's playing it's got to be us. Fingers crossed. I've lit the fire for the first time this evening and I'm enjoying it, I'll read while the match is played, watching when it get's exciting.

Friday, 18 September 2015

A book in the post

Look what came today. A very kind person has shipped this to me (at exorbitant cost!) I can't stop thumbing through it to see what to make next. I've got lots of raspberries frozen so I may make some jam and then put them in a boiling water canner to seal them. I usually just put a lid on a hot jar and it seals, although occasionally a bit of mould may grow on it. There are some nice fruit butters and some salsa that I want to try too; I'm going to need more jars!!

Little man is also looking gorgeous. Daddy is really into rugby so requested I put him in his shirt in honour of the world cup starting today.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Ready at last

Just a quick one today, but look what's finally ripened...

I've brought the best plants into the kitchen to continue to ripen the fruit. There have been a few casualties as they fell of the side a few times and there are now a pile of green chillies sat on the windowsill to ripen off the plant.

Another minor celebration in our house, my photo's have finally finished uploading to google this evening, my poor computer will get a rest now. Apart from all the old one's on another disk but I'll start those later, I need to find some superfast broadband and half inch it!!

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Making the cabin base

This week we've got a few jobs done in the evenings. James lagged the water pipes that we had moved when we did the temporary boiler move. The only other thing we need to do with them is to box them in to give an extra level of protection from frost.

When we had the groundworks done a few weeks ago the digger driver made us a compact base all ready to pour the concrete for our cabin base onto. This week has been all about the prep work ready to concrete this weekend. We made a wooden frame out of 6 inch gravel boards. The base was pretty close but not exactly level so we had to sink the gravel boards slightly at one end. Next the ground was scraped back at the lower end to make sure we had an adequate thickness of concrete. 

James borrowed a wacker plate to compact the ground as we'd disturbed it. It worked to a fashion but soon cut out so he was back to using a sledge the old fashioned way. Next a damp proof membrane was laid.

A friend had kindly agreed to help James to mix and pour the concrete. We didn't get the chance yesterday as we had to go into town (on a bloody Saturday) and have a look at cars. My car is starting to skip a beat and we're considering getting a younger one that doesn't keep needing fixed. Anyway we've not made any decisions so we'll see about that at some later point.

Today dawned bright and quite warm and the boys worked very hard mixing and laying concrete. Wee man spent most of the day with them helping out and getting absolutely filthy. He was putting dirt and water into a bucket and making 'a recipe'. Bless him. You'd have laughed to see us scrapping the cement mixer out at the end. There wasn't even a spadeful of concrete left at the finish. Talk about cutting it fine.

I did some more canning with my tomatoes today whilst the boys were busy. Baby girl has a cold though so she let me know her displeasure the whole time.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Google Photos - amazing creation or plain creepy?

I've had my computer on constantly for the last few days, uploading, yawn. I've been looking at cloud storage for my vast quantity of photos. It all started when my Mac told me I was down to critically low storage, in fact too little to boot. I have a portable hard disk for storing pictures but I learnt the hard way with my last one that when they fail, there's nothing you can do to recover the data. My option is to keep two disks or to back it up online. As with all things I was looking for the most economical way to back them up to cloud storage when I discovered a free way!! If you let google back them up to their google photo storage so long as you select the smaller file size there is no limit on the number you can store. 

There are few down points, for starters unless you have super fast broadband this is going to take forever. Mine is at 0.5Mbps so it will take a while and secondly some people have paranoia about putting their photos into a huge company's database where they can do pretty much what they please with them. No doubt their legal team have stated you no longer have rights to your photos etc, etc, etc. As mine are just family snaps with no commercial value I'm not too worried. As I already use blogger I suspect google already owns my soul! Also I just can't see anyone being that interested in my pictures, I never took any incriminating photos with any of my murder victims anyhow.

Some plus points, they're available if my hard drive dies again and should live forever in the cloud for my kids to see. Plus they do some really cool stuff with them. They auto edit some for you, make panoramas out of suitable batches of photos and make animations which have given us no end of joy.

You may remember a while ago Kev wanted to see what everyone looked like. We tried to take a selfie with the kids and took a few to try and get everyone looking. Google put them into an animation and it brought back the fun we had trying to take the photo.

It also makes storyboards, grouping together holiday photos into an album. The amazing thing though is that it adds the location to the album, for example it made one for us entitled, 'A holiday to Malta'. My camera is old and it doesn't add location data, I didn't even have my mobile phone on me to enable GPS tracking, it seems to use recognition software to match locations. Scary? maybe a little but with nothing to hide it's also pretty phenomenal.

Anyway, it's up to us all how our data is stored and used, but if you don't mind, like us, it's a pretty cool way to store priceless pictures.