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since 01 January 2008

So much happened this year at the farm that I've divided up the photos into four instalments - namely
    the first half of the year
    up on the roof
    inside the attic
    winter

All in all, 2009 was the most exciting year so far down here. And things can only get better.

USEFUL PURCHASES

branch cutter LIDL mai may 2009 copyright free photo royalty free photo

I'm keeping a list of interesting purchases that have made my life easier while I live down here. And there is very little easier than this machine.

From LIDL as you might expect, and it is in fact a branch cutter. And I don't mean thin twigs and the like - this will easily cut branches of 5cms diameter without a great deal of effort. Where the ordinary lopper won't go, this thing will and when I've been cutting up branches for firewood this has saved me a great deal of effort with a bow saw.


greenhouse LIDL eric hall les guis virlet pionsat combrailles puy de dome auvergne france fevrier february 2009 copyright free photo royalty free photo

LIDL is rapidly establishing itself as one of my favourite shops. Especially as there is one now open in St Eloy-les-Mines. Many of my useful purchases have come from there.

This is my LIDL greenhouse, all €49.95 of it, and a bargain at half the price. Last year I grew all of my seeds in the verandah but I had to plant everything outside and many of my more delicate crops suffered accordingly. I'm going to grow the seed in here and also plant things like tomatoes, courgettes, peppers and the like in the ground inside.

And you can see what kind of day it was for late February. Bright sunshine and a load of washing hanging out.


cable connection crimper avril april 2009 copyright free photo royalty free photo

I have to admit that my soldering is total rubbish and with the new lead-free solder it's even worse. Making battery cables is a nightmare, so much so that if I do anything for anyone on a formal basis, I buy them in ready-made.

But while I was on my travels around the UK in March 2009 I picked up a proper cable crimper and ends. I've seen better crimpers, that's for sure, but it makes a good connection all the same and with insulation tape wrapped tightly around (I can't wait to get all properly installed so that I can use the heat gun) the job isn't so bad.


kwikstage quickstage scaffolding delivered from england mai may 2009 copyright free photo royalty free photo

As you know, I have the roof of my house and barn to do, and my friend Terry has part of his barn roof to do as well. And the price of hiring scaffolding is astronomical to say the least. I'm told that its as much as €9 per square metre per week.

That kind of price is ridiculous and there's no way that I'm paying that. Neither is Terry and so seeing that he is a keen fan of eBay I set him a task to prove that he was worthy. And didn't he just come up trumps.

Heaven alone knows how many square metres of scaffolding there is here, but it's fairly modern "Kwikstage" stuff and this entire load cost just £1100, or $1500, or €1300. And delivery all the way from the UK was just £300, which was probably even more impressive.

les guis virlet puy de dome france stand alone renewable energy farm solar panels wind turbines copyright free photo royalty free photo

LIDL is full of useful purchases as I'm sure you are all aware by now. One day in late August featured the sale of LED lightbulbs at an incredible €4:47 each. Mains ones with GU10 fittings and 12-volt ones with MR16 fittings. $, £, € About 1 volt each and the luminescence value of these is much more than even halogens. So no more halogen lights for me - if this sample purchase works fine I'll be changing over to very-low-wattage LEDs and that will be progress.



You can keep up-to-date with my antics on a more-or-less daily basis by reading my blog


photos for 2010

photos for 2008

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