Friday, March 16, 2012

My hands are all tingling like heck

Yes, I've spent the afternoon pulling up stinging nettles. I'm actually quite immune to them and having lived with Nerina for many years plunging my hands into a bed of stinging nettles and pulling them up doesn't cause me much of a problem. But about 30 minutes later my hands start to tingle and then I notice it, I can tell you.

So being awoken by the alarm - for the first time for ages - I went a-computing for a couple of hours this morning. And then outside in the glorious sunshine, because it really was nice again today. The farmer was working in the field next to here and so I waited uintil he went, and then dropped a lighted match into the garden refuse that was on the site of where the greenhouse will be. That lot went up like Joan of Arc, with it being so dry, and within an hour it had all effectively burnt itself out. I've never had a garden fire go up as well as that one before.

Where I had the fire yesterday, I raked that out levelled it all off. That involved putting the big leftover peices into the brazier that I bought a while ago and much to my surprise, that all caught alight as well. I then moved the pieces of the greenhouse (the frame and the windows) down to there so that they are now close to where they are supposed to be, for me to assemble when I've dug over the plot where the greenhouse will be going.

After lunch, with the weather being so nice, I did another load of washing. Water at 68°C in the dump load as well - that ought to get it clean and just to be on the safe side I did the wash cycle for 30 minutes. It's not made any impression on the leftover dirty clothes from last time - these were all clothes that had accumulated in this last week.  But that little tabletop washing machine that I bought for €10 from a brocante over three years is worth its weight in gold. A full cycle of machine, if you can call it that because I have to do the filling and switching by hand, uses just 0.14 of a KwH of electricity and you can't knock that.

That was when I was pulling up stinging nettles. I had the bits for the greenhouse laid out bewteen the barn and the house and once they had been moved, I could see millions (and I mean millions) of stinging nettles and their tracks forming, ready to burst into life. Consequently I spend two hours pulling them up and piling them up ready for burning. I've even cleaned down the side of the house there opposite the barn. All in all, it's made quite a difference although there is still too much rubbish, as always.

Final thing was to check the solar-heated water in the black plastic tank. 31.5°C at 18:45, with it having reached 36°C at one time during the afternoon. But 5 litres of hot water out of the dump load brought the temperature back up to 36.5°C and I had another solar shower with it.

I'm all clean now and that makes me feel so much better as well. And with clean clothes too, I'm starting to become civilised once more. I hate the winter where having a shower and having clean clothes are something of a luxury, and I look forward to spring when things start to happen, such as solar hot water and washing and so on. And spring seems to be here with a vengeance right now, doesn't it?

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