Hi y'all
here's a seasonal Newsletter for anybody who cares to read it. Winter has arrived with a few flurries and, just this morning, a decent four inches of fairly wet snow. No wind to mention, so no real problems and no drifting. The electricity went off, as it tends to with wet snow, from this morning,  about mid-day I think, to about 4:15. I got some practice in starting the generator and wiring it up (it runs in the garage and powers the house from there).
The wood burning stove works well, too well really, I'm still working on getting the heat to mix through the house better. The cats love it, and lie as close as they can.
Just before the snow landed we had the drive monoblocked. The ground source heat pump had turned the drive into a trench warfare re-enactment site, so it was nice to get two birds with one stone. It took about four days and has produced a very nice effect, I specified the thicker type that drains rainwater quickly. We can get quite heavy rain which would run down the drive and out over the road if it got the chance.

Of course the snow immediately hid the smart new blocks, so I had to do a bit of shovelling to clear it.

But a bit of exercise is supposed to be good for you.

Next project is a bit of shed work. I'd like to put the caravan under cover, and finding somewhere to put the trailers would tidy up the yard a bit. With luck and a little maneuvering I should be able to sort out Fiona's garden shed at the same time, but it's rather full of stuff, I'll need to find some sheltered space for all the tools while I do it.
I had done some research into monoblocking, and thought I might be able to DIY it, however to get a good result you need quite a lot of expertise and a fair bit of heavy plant, if you don't want to take months you need a professional firm. After a few calls we found a business that would actually come out and look at the site. 
The blocking went in well and it was a pleasure finding a business that actually cared about doing the job properly. One of those small family businesses that I thought had died out with competition from the "two lads in a van" breed. I'll be happy to recommend them for any building work, they are based in Glasgow, but work throughout Scotland.
I had put a lot of the spoil on the back road aiming to fill the low lying muddy bits and was going to let it settle and then roll it, but several vans must have driven through it while it was uncompacted and still wet, carving up the surface a treat. I've put some cones out but it will have to wait till spring. So the Somme is still here, it's just round the back now.
The power is back on now, quite a relief, since while the snow lay there was a distinct feeling of deja-vu. The solar panels were off line and hidden from view by the snow, the ground source heat pump was off, (the generator will run most of the house but objects to anything drawing more than 1.5 kilowatts), and, being under the snow, the drive looked the same as our neighbours.
Anyway, if I don't write something else soon, I'll wish you all (or is it both?) a Happy Christmas, and a festive New Year.

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16th December 2011