18/10/2015

Unfortunately the Aged Aunt passed away last Saturday. The funeral was on Wednesday; these things are dealt with pretty quickly here in France.

The cider I mentioned in the last post has now been bottled. We have a grand total of 44 bottles:cider
Also in the last post I mentioned the shower tray. In the next photo you can see the wooden wedges I made in order to get the floor sloping correctly. I just glued them in place temporarily; once the lime cement had been poured I removed them and filled in the gaps. You can also see the first lot of travertine tiles in place. The circular plastic thing on the right of the photo is the cover for the non-return valve for the shower waste pipe.
shower floor
The weather has certainly become colder recently, but fortunately all the tiling has now been done – for this year, anyway! I still need to grout the tiles, and according to the weather forecast I should be able to do this on Wednesday next week. We’ll see. Here’s what they look like – they have been sealed with a breathable sealer:
tiles
I’ve also insulated the bathroom roof. Not that it’s made much of a difference when having a bath though; after all there aren’t any walls yet – and the wind whistles through the gaps in the wooden barn door! Never mind, the situation will improve shortly…
insulation
A brief interval to show a photo of today’s breakfast:
breakfastThe only thing not locally produced was the baked beans…

One of the Aged FIL’s myriad of little electric heaters has given up the ghost, so there’s something else which has been added to my To-Do list; installing two wall-mounted panel heaters in his house. His current heaters were not really designed to be on 24 hours out of every 24 – I’m surprised they’ve lasted this long. Anyway, at the time his household electricity was being upgraded after the fire, LSS had the foresight to ask the electrician to install two heavy-duty plugs for wall-mounted panel heaters. Of course the Aged FIL was very cross about this. “I DON’T NEED ANY HEATERS!” Fortunately we didn’t listen. Now he’s complaining he’s cold. The National Grid shareholders are rubbing their hands together in anticipation, as the company will soon be able to afford cases of champagne for their meetings.

One final thing – I used an ordinary car battery for our reedbed solar-panel-supplied sump pump. It’s lasted a year and a half, but has now unfortunately given up. I now know why you shouldn’t use a car battery for this sort of installation; the lead plates in its construction are too thin, and cannot withstand the slow charge and discharge of a solar panel system. We’ve thus ordered a replacement 80Ah Deep Cycle AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery. These have much thicker lead plates, and are better suited to the job. Just thought you’d like to know.

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