Solar Thermal

We have had our solar panels heating our hot water for over a year now. I have been keeping a log of how much heat they have harvested. Total since I started recording = 2321 KWh, highest weekly total = 91KWh.

Energy collected by solar panels over the year

You can access the data here

[edit:changed the graph to an image rather than a direct link to google docs]

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Apple Day

We spent the day at Acorn Bank (nation trust property near Temple Sowerby) for Apple Day (A perfect way to spend an Autumn Sunday Apple identification, advice surgeries, pruning demonstrations, apple tasting and grafted trees for sale. Entertainment for all the family with archery, Punch and Judy, childrens craft workshops, treasure hunt and apple games. Live music . Cookery demonstrations. Local food producers market , craft demonstrations and stalls..). We were there for the Wool Clip with their yurt (or ger as its known in mongolia). There were some very cuddly owls.

I’ll upload some pictures later…

The barn owl was a part of a display of rescued owls, 1 barn, 2 tawnie, and 1 little, and they just loved to be cuddled.

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A door

This weekend I was hanging a door, and rehanging a door until I got it right. And this door weighs a ton!

Door to the boiler room

However now its done, I think it looks rather nice! It wasn’t helped by the builders making the gap for the door slightly too small for a standard door, so I had to chop 1cm off one side.

Other things we have completed since the last post – plastering completed down stairs, most of the lights working – except in the work room/living room where we still have to decide what fittings to get ( 5 wall lights and a centre ceiling light ).

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Tiling – how to cut tiles, and other ways to fail

This week I’ve been doing a bit of tiling. First room is the cold store; it needed a floor. I’ve been picking up cheep tiles on offer at the DIY store, and thought I had enough to do a nice checker pattern. Two nice tiles: one a grey blue, the other an off-white. First thing – check the tiles are the same size. Oddly enough the white ones are 5mm bigger than the blue ones. Second – check you have enough of both colours. It was a small room, I could have just laid them out on the floor to check….So I got half way through and realised I was short of 1 while tile.
check floor tile pattern

So after a quick trip into town I got the floor finished. They are ceramic so don’t cut using the scoring / snap method. I used a diamond blade in a 4″ angle grinder.  If you don’t want chips along the edge of the cut, best to put masking tape along the line of the cut, and cut through the tape. Turned out quite well, and the size difference in the tiles doesn’t look too bad!

Next I had a window sill in the boiler room to do, I had some odd sample tiles lying around so thought I would try to alternate them in a random pattern. Thought I would save time by scoring and snapping – bad move! I ended up going for the crazy paving look, and dropping the tiles on the floor the get more pieces.

Window Sill with crazy paving!

I’m quite pleased with the effect, even though it wasn’t how I’d planned it!

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Spare Room

I spent the weekend putting up the plasterboard in the new spare room. I’m trying to get a room completed so guests don’t have to sleep on the living room floor.

I’ve got the ceiling, and most of 3 walls done. The only wall left is the window, which makes it a bit harder.

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Work and the Prince

Prince Charles has paid a visit to Cumbria to see how things are recovering after the floods. He spent time on Cockermouth high street ( which has only just reopened to traffic), and at Wordworth House. He also visited my place of work  (James Walkers – biggest employer in Cockermouth) to see how well we were getting on.

It was all recorded for local news Cumbria starts at about 10 mins in, with the Walkers visit at 11mins.

I was working at home so I didn’t get to meet him :-(

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Flood at Work Update

My work was badly flooded, haven’t heard the full extent of it yet.  One of my colleagues took the following picture.

Flood at James Walkers the day after (c) Shalana Lambert
Flood at James Walkers the day after (c) Shalana Lambert

Officially closed on Monday, except for key staff. I’m working from home for the until further notice.

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Cumbrian Floods

We are all OK here in Johnby. Doing a lot better than Cockermouth and Keswick.

river dewent floods into memorial gardens
river dewent floods into memorial gardens

This is the river in Cockermouth at lunch time on Thursday.  Six hours later it was at least 8 foot higher.

The Riverside Restaurant Cockermouth
The Riverside Restaurant Cockermouth

This is a balcony over the river cocker, which is usually 2m down.

I went home before the worst of it happened; I can’t imagine how much water there must have been to get 8 foot flowing down main street.

A flooded bookshop in Cockermouth: the town is home to many small businesses (c) skynews
A flooded bookshop in Cockermouth: the town is home to many small businesses (c) skynews

Work wise my company was flooded, not sure exactly how badly yet. Reports vary from 6″ to 4 foot. Looking at the local news showed some aerial video of part of the factory, showing part of the carpark underwater. There were abandoned cars of which you could only see their roofs. The site is shutdown without power and I’m going to be working from home over the next week.

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