Monday, 19 December 2011

Boiler Breakdown

"All things, earth, trees, wooden posts, bricks, stones become buddhas once this refuge is taken."

On Saturday morning I was woken up by the Baxi Solo 2 central heating boiler which is in the kitchen on the other side of the wall near where I sleep. It was making a howling screaming noise.
We are at the moment in a Level 3 Cold weather alert (temperatures 2 C or lower for 48 hours or more).
Later on that morning I noticed the boiler had not ignited even though it was on, and just making a low humming noise and the temperature was really dropping.
I phoned the landlord's heating and hot water contractor, Robert Heath, and the receptionist told me someone would be out later that day.
So I settled down with a hot drink, woolly hat and and extra warm clothes to wait for the engineer.
A young man arrived who looked like he should still be at school. Straight away after I had explained the problem he diagnosed a faulty fan. Off to his van he went to get a replacement and quickly repaired the boiler, it is now working very well and purring rather than screaming.
So thanks to heating engineer, thanks to Robert Heath and landlord, and thanks to dear old Baxi Solo 2 central heating boiler for warmth during the freezing winter.

"All things, earth, trees, wooden posts, bricks, stones become buddhas once this refuge is taken."
Partly about gratitude, also noticing the interconnectedness of all things.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Job ref for gutter

I called today to see if I could get a job reference for the work to be done on the overflowing downpipe or blocked gutter. At first I was told there was nothing on the system but when I explained what it was for I was told it had been put out for the Roofing contractors so would take more time than usual. The reference number is 30514811

Lots about food

I got a large bulk buy from
Suma today which should last a few months.
Food Co-ops can get the trade prices.
Some of these items don't seem to be available in any shops around here.

3 KG "Rice - basmati, brown OrGanic Fair Trade"
1 KG bicarbonate of soda (use with vinegar to unblock drains)
6 x 100g cacao nibs
8 x 15 bags yogi choco tea
6 x 270g organic tahini
6 x 1.5 L ecoleaf laundry
5 L ecoleaf washing up
6 X 120G Vegideli Beanfeast Pate
1 kg organic raisins
1 kg organic brown lentils
1 kg red split lentils organic
6 X 125G Yeast Flakes
12 X 400G organic chopped toms
1 kg organic figs
1 kg organic almonds
12 X 125G LOOSE organic tea leaves
1 kg organic fair trade beans
1 X 60 tea lights
24 x 1 suma handmade soap

On Wednesday the meditation group went for curry at
They have an extensive vegetarian menu with plenty of vegan options. I had biriani.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Vegan menu

People often ask what do vegans eat? I eat a lot of different foods, today I am having mushroom, almond and cauliflower biriani made with brown rice.
For lunch I had miso soup and rice cakes with caramelised onion hummus.
Breakfast was a pot of tea with soya milk and 2 home made fig and orange slices (similar to fig roll).
Being vegan I do have to spend a lot more time planning what to eat and cooking as most processed foods isn't suitable.
The biriani and the fig rolls came from linda majzlik "Vegan Taste Of..." recipe books.

This image seemed to capture the stillness and quiet of the peaceful December day.

Dark clouds and winter trees reflected in the river.
The parallel lines above the tree are power lines. Notice how they seem to be in a different place in the reflected image in the river.

Tyne reflections at Newburn

Pylons reflected in the still river.

More pylons and some driftwood which had been washed up on the landing slip during the storm earlier in the week.

Jeff and I went to Newburn Riverside on Sunday and the Tyne was like a mill pond with fantastic reflections of the winter countryside.
Here is the Carlisle or Hexham train passing on the south side of the river.

Gutters and downpipe (again)

If you have been reading my blog for some time you will recall all the bother we have had with the landlord not maintaining the gutters.
Since the contractor finished patching up the broken gutters which fell down last winter I have noticed when there is heavy rainfall the water cascading off the corner of the gutter instead of going down the drainpipe.
As the exact same symptom happened before and in 2010 contractors found the down pipe to be completely blocked and items such as tennis balls in it, I suspect a blockage has re-occurred. I spoke to Katie today at the contractor's office and she said they would look into it. Please visit there for latest news from Herbwormwood