Monday, 21 March 2011

Making free fuel

I have been a rather busy bee recently, however I have had time to start on one of my mini frugal projects.

My plan is to have a multi-fuel burner and therefore there will be a requirement for fuel to feed said burner. A couple of Christmas' ago I was asked what I would like for a present, I asked for a briquette maker, which was duly provided. Anyway, we tried it out then and failed miserably at making fire briquettes as we didn't have the space to dry them properly.

So after a little research about how best to dry them and now having a suitable amount of space to make these fire briquettes and dry them en-mass. I've started the process again.

I've filled a red tub with shredded paper, which is a mix of newspaper, old bills, junk mail, envelops, old road maps and then poured some water out of the water butt over the top.

I've then left it for 4 days to soak and come back to soggy paper mess which I've loaded into my briquette maker and squeezed the water out (as much as possible back into the red tub to be used again.

The resulting briquettes are turned out onto the greenhouse worktops where they will be left to dry, as they become most stable I will begin to stack them and leave them to dry until winter, when hopefully
I will have my multi-fuel burner and lots of lovely briquettes to burn and keep us warm. Each briquette is supposed to take about 2 hours to burn through if dried properly.

Bring on the junk mail I now have a use for you!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

New House

Its been a while since my last post, things have been a little hectic. On the 4th February we received the keys to our new house. Finally!!!

We've spent the last month pulling up carpets, sanding down floorboards and varnishing them. I say we it is more the royal we as in the husband has been doing all that. ;) We've had the gas fire disconnected and removed, a new gas pipe routed into the kitchen for my beautiful and eagerly awaited Belling Classic Range. New white goods of economy "A/A+" ratings have been ordered and received.

On getting the keys we've discovered a case of damp, which the previous owners had denied existed. On inspection by a professional we are now due to have 3ft of plaster removed on the two outer walls in the kitchen, do a damp proof treatment and put fresh plaster on. This has meant that the kitchen sink has been removed. We're now posh camping in that we have a camping table and bowl sat under the tap in the kitchen so we can wash up.

We have a new bathroom suite ordered so we are looking forward to bathing in a clean sparkling white suite instead of the current mottled pink/burgundy one, which suites some peoples taste I'm sure, but not mine. I'm being a bathroom snob here, but I deserve to be.

I have also been a little busy in the greenhouse. I've got some seed potatoes chitting, planted some salad seeds, some courgettes, carrots and onions. I will soon sort out some pots for tomatoes and some fresh herbs. I bought a rhubarb plant along with a blackberry and raspberry cane, so will find a spot for them soon, when the frost has gone.

We just have big furniture to move out of the rented cottage now and the cat's run. Then we're done and life can resume in amongst decorating and becoming a little more self-sufficient. Now off to see if I can get an electric monitoring device. We're on prepayment for both gas and electric and while its more expensive it does make us think about our usage a lot more than we used to. Shocking really.