Friday, 31 July 2009

Cone and Wormwood

Today was sunny and fine so I decided to have a walk down to Newgate Street co-op and get some shopping delivered.
The wormwood on Barrack Road is reaching its flowering peak at the moment.

When it starts to dry off the whole area starts to stink of wormwood. I can smell it on a warm day if I keep the windows open.
Here are a few bushes of it, with a discarded traffic cone, in what I call "the hedgerow". That narrow area of wooded land between Barrack Road and Castle Leazes.
There is another plant there with small dark leaves, which looks a bit like Yew?

Update on kitchen DIY

We have made a bit progress on the kitchen.
Vix from upstairs did some magic behind the radiator and the boiler and got the paper off from the hard to reach places.
Alan from Time Exchange and his South Walian pal arrived with rolls of sandpaper and sanded the walls.
On Sunday we have to move the fridge so the landlord's damp man can look at the rising damp.
Then, once he has dealt with that, we can wash the walls with sugar soap, apply a coat of ECOS stabilising solution (this stops old plaster deteriorating and breaking up when you paint it and allows the paint to go on smoothly, its a bit like a clear undercoat),
then 2 coats of paint will finish the job!
Here's what it looks like now...

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Lower Shaw Farm

Earlier this week I picked up an email from a mailing list I am on run by
In it they mentioned Lower Shaw Farm.
Here is what I wrote back:

"Thanks for reminding me about lower shaw farm.
I went on a fungus foray course there in the mid 1980s!
I remember the event and that it was in Swindon, but had completely forgotten the name of the farm until I read your newsletter!
I've had a look round their website and see they have expanded what they do.
I wonder if the same people are running it? If so you can ask them if they remember 2 teenaged girls,, one with short punk style hair and one with long dark hippy style hair, on one of the fungus forays, I think it would have been around 1984? We would have probably been the youngest there at the time."

more recycling in NE4

I have recently been informed that we have a new recycling point near where I live.

The recycling point is at Ozanam house at the bottom of Dunholme Road near the junction with Clifton Road. It also takes other stuff like glass, paper, cardboard, cans etc.
This is within walking distance so I will be using it next time I have some recycling, if we get a fine day sometime soon.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Update on Ventilation systems

Interesting comment from Will about Envirovent , the old unit which broke down a few years ago was an Envirovent, it could not be repaired.
I looked at their website, seems quite a good company to work with.
Here,the landlord decides which product to use so I didn't have any say in it. In fact I had been chasing them up for a a whole year to get the replacement put in. The landlord has certain contractors who they deal with, again, the tenants don't have any say in it. At least we don't have to pay any separate charges for such expensive repairs, it all comes out of our rent money!
The contractors, Warrens,who are based in 'Boro, did a really nice neat job and the vent is already making the place seem fresher.
Keep windows open as much as possible, try not to dry clothes indoors, keep bathroom and kitchen doors closed when doing anything steamy.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Anti condensation unit Flatmaster 5+ nuaire

This morning I had my replacement anti condensation unit replaced. I had been waiting for this for over a year as the old one had broken down and could not be repaired.
The new one will need the filter changing or cleaning in 1 to 2 years.
Apparently the new unit ensures a constant supply of fresh air, and "the result is improved indoor air quality and an environment in which condensation dampness cannot exist."Let's hope it works!

Monday, 20 July 2009

Step by Step DIY in Kitchen.

To sucessfully complete my DIY project I need to complete 8 or 9 steps.
1. Remove all paper.
2. Call landlord's maintenance service about mould, rising damp and plaster which has broken up beside boiler pipe.
Structural repairs and rising damp are the landlord's legal responsibility.
3. Fill holes with filler, where larger holes exist pack with dead matches first then apply filler.
4. Sand walls and lightly sand glosswork on wooden boxing in of pipework.
5. Wash walls and all wooodwork with solution of sugar soap.
6.Phone ECOS paints for delivery of a tin of non toxic paint.
7. Check all repair work has been completed by landlord's maintenance service man.
8. He may wish to treat the green mould himself, if he doesn't do that I have some Polycell Mould Killer which will need to be painted on to the mould.
9. Apply paint!

External wall of kitchen

This wall seems to be free from damp and mould, as it is an external wall the damp proof course is probably correctly installed and intact.
We have finished stripping the paper from this wall and I will start filling some of the small holes and cracks with filler.

Damp in the Kitchen

I noticed a while back that the paper was coming loose in the kitchen. As it has been on about 9 years I decided to take it off and paint.
Unfortunately there appears to be some rising damp in the corner where the fridge was.
I phoned the landlord's (who shall remain anonymous for now) repair line and they are sending someone out to look at it on August 3.

There is an internal wall (shown with ladders resting against it) where we can see a lot of green mould and some rising damp near the skirting board.So far we have managed to take off the majority of the paper. There are a lot of drill and nail holes in the wall which will need filling.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Our Holiday in Norfolk

We had a week in North Norfolk in May, staying at a holiday cottage in Swanton Abbott.
Visited Norwich for the first time, had a really tasty vegan Meal at Pulse Cafe Bar, The Old Fire Station.
We also visited Wroxham, a curious little town, and went on one of the Norfork Broads river cruises, which I highly recommend too. Please visit there for latest news from Herbwormwood