scribbles tagged ‘woodburner’

recycling confidentiality

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011 | tags: , , , ,  |

In my valiant steps to curb my consumerism, mend my waywardness, I partake of old-fashioned passtimes such as darning socks and spurious knitwear. Mumsie taught me how to darn. Darning wasn’t a syllabus item on the compulsory (for females) Home Economics course provided by Chipping Sodbury Comprehensive school. A lot of useful home economics were omitted from my Home Economics education. It wasn’t comprehensive by any stretch of the imagination.

Recently I’ve added ‘Brickette’ making to my many economic home skills. Here’s the recipe

  1. Borrow a brickette maker (I failed at this first step – I bought one)
  2. Use a large (not plastic) bag to collect the shreddings from the confidential document shredder at work.
  3. Empty the shreddings into a large waterpoof container (Bucket!)
  4. fill the bucket with wate
  5. Leave the shreddings to soak for 3 days
  6. Scoop the soggy shredded paper from the bucket into the bricket maker and squish into a brickette
  7. Leave the soggy brickette in the sun tor dry-out. I’ve placed my first brick in my log-store

Three days to make one brick. I only have one bucket. I wonder how many bricks I’ll be able to make this summer? I wonder how well they’ll work as fuel on the woodburner. Apparantly it is possible to make brickettes from tea bags…

soaking shredded confidential papers Brickette squished from soaked paper

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hotty botty

Saturday, December 18th, 2010 | tags: ,  |

Hotty Bottyblack rubber hot water bottle

nestling in a faux snow-leopard fur jacket

filled with water heated in a kettle

from my woodburning stove

Purrrrrfec’ !

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hatching the bottle

Friday, December 3rd, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

Mirror above fireplaceSampo has developed an outstanding new skill. It’s as if she wants my hot water bottle to hatch. Even when it is hidden beneath a duvet and wooly blanket combination Sampo can find the bottle and lie on it. When I wake in the morning the bottle is still warm because Sampo has been incubating it all night.

Here we see Sampo trying to hatch a cushion infront of the Wendy House woodburning stove.

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fast wood

Sunday, November 28th, 2010 | tags: ,  |

It’s the little things that keep me entertained on the short frosty winter days.

I am learning about my woodburners rate of log consumption. Approximately 1 cubic metre of wood per cold autumn, £60. I’m still using Simon’s July delivery, but it could run out if the Northern snowfalls flurry down to Reading and linger this week. Another, sturdier, purpose-built flat-pack log-store is being screwed together under the low white sky hinting at snow. As my fingers turned blue, I left the store half finished and called Simon.

Simon: Have you ordered before?

wendy: Yes, in July, I live in Reading

Simon: Oh yes, I remember you, near cemetery junction, does 9am tomorrow suit you?

wendy: YES.  That’s FAST, I wont even have put the new log-store together by then…

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I wood

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

Matrix watches the drive as Simon pulls-up.

 is all that for me?

Yes, where do you want it dropped?

Oh, thank you!  I dont have a wheelbarrow, here by the shed its going in would be good

It wont fit in that shed

Stacking the rest out doors should be ok?


I didnt tell him about the wasps, he didn’t notice.

While unloading Simon chatted to my neighbours.  He visited at least one of them before leaving.  Simon is a bit of a charmer.   Who wood have guessed that would delivery and stacking could be this much fun?

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something in the woodshed

Monday, April 12th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

 There are times when wandering out to the Wendy House woodshed for an evening’s supply of  logs causes me to pause,  even hesitate

The Divine Comedy sang ‘something for the weekend’

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Thursday, March 18th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

The new stovetop kettle on the verge of a  full blown  boil while the two mechanical clocks tick-tock and two organic kitties stretch-snore

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hi disco

Monday, March 8th, 2010 | tags: ,  |

Since the arrival of a woodburner in the wendy house,  things have started to get

  • high temperature,
  • high tempo,
  • hi disco.  

Disco inferno is the current tune of choice

The Trammps sang Disco Inferno

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modern chimney

Sunday, March 7th, 2010 | tags: ,  |

Terry: this chimney was added after the house was built

wendy: what makes you think that?

Terry: none of the chimney brickes are meshed with the outside walls

He then whacks another brick out of the bottom of the chimney and dust motes swirl through the sunshine.

The Wendy House was originally a coach house for one of the larger houses nearby.   The large house is now two large family homes and the wendy house sits behind them.   It always seemed a bit odd that a coach storage room would have a chimney.   The Coach house became a garage and the garage was converted into a home in the late 1960’s.   It’s likely that the chimney was added at this time.

11Stove put together liner down chimney         matching paints with the walls

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sourcing logs

Saturday, March 6th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |


Or rather, for £15, Thomas gathered 0.4 cubic metres of mixed wood types from Nettlebed Sawmill and shuttled them to the Wendy House woodshed. It was like stepping into the Waltons, the nearby saw operator smirked charmingly as I loaded Thomas…

wood load full load! Near-full woodshed

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more tools than me

Friday, March 5th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

Fabulously orange brick dust swirls around the wendy house and out the open windows and doors.

The builder wears a facemask as he powerhammers through the brickwork to widen the fireplace enough to to fit the woodburner.   He lends his oversized hammer to  the gasman removing the supply to the fireplace.

Gasman “The conservatory wasn’t here when I last came round, how long have you been here?”

wendy “2 years”

Gasman “Did you buy the place from Claudia?”

wendy “Yes, she added the conservatory around 5 years ago”

It feels like all the service providers that come to my home have been here before and remember the previous owners.   Very homely local feel.   The gas man took a while to sit with me on the K2 snowboard garden bench, enjoy the spring sunshine in the garden, talk about what a lovely secret spot it is and how the kitchen skylight has transformed the kitchen.

I like that people like the wendy house, so far that seems to be everyone who visits. NICE!

1-Fireplace before being opened      4-Matrix and partially opened Fireplace       7 - Awaiting Liner, Hearth, Stove and Mantle

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snow crash

Monday, February 22nd, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

During the recent snow, cars moved very, very slowly and often moved into unintended places with slow, steady momentum.

It’s difficult to forget the world while shivering.  Its worth a try.  Getting a good wood burning stove is also worth a try

snow patrol sang chasing cars

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Sunday, February 7th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

Spoilt for choice in a local antiques shop

Picking a plain wrought iron poker for the to-be-installed over-hyphenated wood-burning stove

Breathing-in was required to walk between the goodies.    The tiny antiques shop brimmed with lovely practical gadgets. It was like walking through a museum store room. There were leather straps for sharpening razors, there were  copper kettles and iron flat irons. I was lucky to get out of the shop having bought only a poker

My self-control can be utterly astounding

stove accessories

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Saturday, February 6th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

Paul from warm interiors popped round to look at the Wendy House’s wooden roof  beams.   When the fireplace is opened-up to install the woodburning stove Paul  will be making a fireplace opening lintel from oak to match the roof beams.  The lintel will have bolts and hooks like the original (circa 1845) beams.   Excitement levels are on their way up in the Wendy House.

Wendy Home ceiling beams

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a girl and her gimlet

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

asphaltIt’s beautiful

This weekend my gimlet helped me get dozens of flush screws in the woodshed

What was once  a flat pack is now a full 3 dimenisonal experience with an asphalt roof.   No avatar necessary,   just a black and decker power drill, tape measure, tacks, hammer and the essential gimet

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in the garden

Monday, January 25th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

Recovering from an intensive weekend de-savaging  the wendy house garden:  

  • woodshed shopping
  • leaf brushing
  • weed plucking
  • bush pruning
  • snowdrop shoot admiring

Savage garden sang I want you

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reading at Reading

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

Ashley F Harrold Lesley Saunders reading her work
Ashley F Harrold and guest  Lesley Saunders reading at Reading’s poetry cafe.  

In May one of my most-favourite poets, if I am  allowed more than one favourite, Brian Patten, will be the guest.     That’s as exciting as the delivery of dry chopped wood to a house heated by a wood-burner during a cold-snap when the current supply of wood has run-out.

There appears to be an ongoing controversey about the  labelling and meaning of the sections. These sections, bits,  stages,  modes, are referred to as ‘halves’ by the young bearded Mr. Harrold.   This controversey is revisited at the begining of each cafe meeting to ensure the audience is not suprised by the unexpected onset of an interval or ‘half’.

Many locals take part in open Mic’ sections.   That’s not open micky-taking it’s open-microphone in trendy shorthand.    I’m beginning to recognise some of the open mic  regulars,   especially those who’s work I like.  

In 2004 Ashley  said:

Most of the open mic poets we have are pretty good, I think they must put something in the water in Reading as we always have a decent quality, compared with other open mics elsewhere in the country, which is heartening and inexplicable.”


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local store for local people

Sunday, January 17th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

wood burning stoveCas:   hello Dr. Wendy

Wendy: Wow, I’m impressed that you remembered me and that I’m a Dr!

Cas explained the differences between multifuel and wood burning stoves as she pulled together a costing for converting my fireplace (gas fire).  

Paul:  you’ve over-estimated the cost of the chimney liner, knock 20 feet of the height, Wendy lives in the cottage

 Wendy: you even remember where I live!

Paul: and we put the fireplace in there about  7 years ago for the last owner.   We’ve done most of the fireplaces round here, we’ve been here for 20 years.

Cas handed me lots of manufacturers brochures to help me choose a stove and I bounced out into the wet snowless winter weather.

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from 09 to 10

Thursday, December 31st, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

List-i-ness abounds.

Highlights of 09:

Lowlights of 09:

  • Just a bit  Brrrrrr in the house on cold days
  • Some of  my guests have to sit on stools at parties…
  • Someone broke into the Wendy House!
  • Matrix starting to get extreme  old-cat wobbliness
  • Sampo’s new nickname is ‘the pumpkin’
  • Never got around to blogging on the books I’d read

New year resolutions for 2010:

  • replace the wendy house front room  gas fire with  a wood (pellet) burning stove  that will reduce my carbon footprint and increase the wendy house warmth and energy efficiency
  • buy a Lloyd Loom sofa
  • arrange a diet for Sampo
  • do more  health related  non-profit work

These are possibilities rather than commitments…

  • replace wendy house original 1840’s slate roof with felt-lined, insulated slate roof
  • tile the kitchen and refit the kitchen worksurfaces
  • design a garden mosaic based on the tree of life
  • enroll as a student on a counselling course
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