Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A bite out of the moon


This morning was a lunar eclipse, unfortunately it was just as the sun was rising and the moon was setting below the ridge to the west of the house. But we got a few quick snaps which show the shadow of the earth on the face of the moon.


The weather was also a little misty so it wasn’t possible to get a good clean shot.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Meep and the Broom

Meep and the Broom

For some reason Meep has taken to attacking the broom. So every time that Helen tries to sweep the floor, from out of nowhere swoops Meep who then proceeds to try and eat the broom. We have also been running backwards and forwards to Santa Cruz to get both the cats vaccinated and checked out ready to go into the cattery while we go back to the UK at Christmas.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Now that Does Look Good

With all the roofs clean its time to paint them with waterproof paint. Not much to to say a bout doing it. But I do have one observation:  Once you have painted the roof you need to keep a good eye on it, as if any small holes appear then they need to be patched quickly as water can collect under the paint and WILL soak  through the roof.

But it does look nice when it is done, and the walls have been painted!

Entrance way and back of huts Kitchen end of roof, and entrance way

main foof painted Main roof all red

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Meep is here to stay

Well it looks like Meep is going to be staying around, she has now started to come inside and make her self at home.  We have been running backwards and forwards to the vets with both cats to make sure that they are vaccinated ready for a stay in the cattery over Christmas while we are in the UK. The one problem is that because she is white and when she was little she was outside and not being cared for she has lost the fur on here ears due to sunburn, so every morning we have to catch her and apply the factor 50.


Tabby and Meep, Tabby tolerates Meep a little but only if she stays a set distance away.


Meep discovers how to climb up into the vines.


Once she has the hang of it there is no stopping her.


And doesn’t she look good against the clear blue sky.


OK here she thinks she is a parrot but oh well!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Adding a bit of colour

OK now that Helen has finished off the rendering of the hiding the brickwork it’s time for me to splash a bit of paint over the top.


Now it may look like it’s easy with the roller on the long poll, but I can tell you it’s murder on the arms. Also on closer examination the roller doesn’t seem to get the paint into all the little pits that these walls are full of. So it may need another coat at some time.


There starting to look good, though in this picture the colour is a little washed out.


There a different angle shows the colour a bit better.


So that is the back wall of the house painted, only 3 more to go.

There´s a Hole in my Roof… Somewhere

When it rains hard the old kitchen roof leeks. But I am not sure where the hole or crack is, so it is time to do some remedial work on it.

The first job was to clean off all the old paint, there was not much of it, and any lose cement etc. Once that was done I put down some new mortar to fill in the holes.

Back of kitchen roof howing new patching Patching and cleaning done. Back of kitchen roof.

Patching of kitching roof, next to main roof And the other side.

Once this is dry I will wash it over with a cement and water mix to seal all the small cracks. Then after a week or so it can be painted.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Getting away…

Some time as much as we love La Palma it’s nice to get a change of scenery from time to time, and we are very fortunate to have a friend who lives in a large house on El Hierro. But I hear you cry; “why just go to another island, there all the same aren’t they?”. Well you’d be surprised all the 7 islands are amazingly different from each other and all have there own special places.

So at the end of a busy summer we took a weeks break in El Hierro. Partly it was a week because the ferry runs direct between La Palma and El Hierro once a week making a week break easier, and this time we decided to take our car as well, so that our friend could get on with her music recording while we went out exploring.

DSCF3487 View of Frontera and El Golfo looking East.


View of Frontera and El Golfo looking West.DSCF3500

Me at the viewpoint from where the photo above was taken.


The statue which sits in the small shrine just by the view point, if you look closely you can see all the money on the floor which is thrown into the chapel.

DSCF3498There are some places on El Hierro which look almost like parts of the north of England, with dry stone walls dividing up the plains.


This lighthouse stands at what was at one time the limit of the know world..


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hiding the Brickwork.

With the doorway bricked up its time to render to hole to make it all neat. I am not that good at rendering, I never seem to get it level or smooth but this time it seems to have gone well.

I used two coats, the first the standard sand and cement mortar (I would like to point out at this time, that the standard building sand on the canaries is black and made from crushed volcanic rock. So it is not very fine). The top coat was Morsec (premixed dry morter, tha comes in 25 kg bags. it comes in two types, that I know of, normal and white top coat. I like using the white one). This works very well in thin coats. The result on the door opening is shown below.

Now the wall can be painted.

Where did that door way go I think the final result was quit good.

With the last of the Morsec, I finished off the roofs of the solar power huts. That is all the structural work done on the huts now finally the walls can be painted.

back of huts after adding morsec Back of the huts, showing added white Morsec.

Funt of huts Front of huts.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

P.p.p.p.Pick a Pepper.

We don’t always have a lot of luck with our produce, this year the cucumbers haven’t done very well and the tomatoes are OK but we could do with more and the lettuces we either have to many at once and they go to seed or we don’t have anything but tiny titchy ones which are no good to eat. But as usual the pepper plants have been outstanding.


Here is one load that are about to be processed ready  for the freezer where they will keep for use in curries and stir fry's all winter long.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bye bye Door way, Hello oven

The last week we have been busy blocking up one of the door ways in to the old kitchen. Part of this is to strengthen the wall and to provide a eye level oven unit, though it may be a while before the oven will be fitted (although we have had it for a year or so. ) See the potos below for all the work.

First day: Get the base done with the power feed for the oven.

The sate of work inside. Inside

Outside at the end of the first day. outside.

Day two:  Build the oven unit up to the first level, this is ware the oven will sit. Below it will a set of veg racks.Second day up to the first shelf Work progresses, now we wait for the cement to set.

Day three: Build the next level, this is where the oven will go.

The door way almost blocked up View from inside.

Outside, door way almost blocked up. Outside.

Day four:  First job today is to remove the old door lintel, as this is made of wood, and close up the hole. on the inside the back of the top cupboard was added, this is not as deep as the rest of the unit to allow air to vent from the oven unit.

Top cupboard takes shape. Top cupboard of oven unit.

Finally no doorway.The final closure of the old doorway.

Day five: finish the oven unit by extending it up to the ceiling.

The top of the finished oven unit. The finished top cupboard.

All done The finished oven unit.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Meeeeep Meeeeep The arrival of Meep

We have noticed the last few weeks a new arrival in our neighbourhood. Living in our wood pile and eating the stale cat food that Tabby would refuse to eat is a tiny little white kitten. We think that she(We think its a she) has been abandoned by somebody and just happened to find the food the we would throw on the compost heap, she was very thing and wobbly when she first arrived but not she looks a little stronger. Over the weeks she would come closer and closer to us. So we started to put some food and water out for her and who knows maybe one day she will allow us to pick her up. We have named her meep after the noise she makes…..meeep.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Let There Be Power

After a months on and off work the new solar power system is finished. Below you can see the power control hut with the change controller and isolation boxes. The main battery Isolation box is open showing the wiring to the fuses, isolators and current monitors.

power controler hut Solar power Hut

The Current monitors are home made units based on a signal chip current measurement ic ( ACS754SCB-100-PFF ) . One of the units are shown below. It consists of the IC mounted on a peace of veroboard with the line contacts solders into two connecters that I removed from some fuse holders that we brought by mistake. (As normal on this island you can buy a car audio fuse holder that no one sells fuses for). All of this is mounted on a home made Perspex mounting panel.

DSCF3326 Home made current monitor unit.

The last thing that we  done is mount the current solar panels on our adjustable panel mounts and connected them to the power hut. DSCF3469 Panels mounted on adjustable mounts

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wiring starts

The solar power huts are now ready to except the components. It´s only taken 8 months to get things to this point after the make shift set up was washed out in the storm. The first parts to go in are the new (we have had it for 3 years) charge controller with the panel isolating switch and fuse box (see image below).

I will admit that as it is a 45 Amp controller and we only have 2 60W panels at the moment it is a bit like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, but once we have some more spare cash we can get a few more panels and not have to worry about the controller.

DSCF3445 The solar charge controller finally in its hut.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Rock & Hole

With the supply of available rocks diminishing rapidly work has slowed on the wall and ramp at the front of the house.DSCF3438

Tabby inspects the wall for quality control

We have robbed all the stones from the floor of what was the pig pen and will some day be the observatory.


No more rocks!!!

We should just have enough stones around to just about finish this some time but that may not be for a while as other things are beginning to take precedence.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Higher, and higher

As previously explained in  Raising Ground and The walls are rising we are levelling the ground at the front of the house. The photos bellow show how this is moving along

DSCF3417 As you can see here most of the ramp is complete

DSCF3419 More cement on the ramp as the new back all starts to take shape

DSCF3429 Digging away the existing edge for the new wall

DSCF3432 A few rocks in

DSCF3439 Almost there.

DSCF3443 And that will do for now. Just need to top off and tidy up a few bits.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

On the floor in the pig pen

In order to build the ramp and the walls out the front of the house we needed to find some extra rocks from somewhere, and one thing we wanted to do was look under the floor in the pig pen to see what was there as someday this will become the observatory and will need a very solid pier constructing to take the telescope. DSCF3434

Half the floor gone

As the floor of the pig pen was made of rocks  it made sense to pull them up so that they could be used in the wall and then we could look underneath.

DSCF3436All gone