February 2016                                                                                                                                                Back to January



Monday 1st

11 to 13 to 8°C. 3.06kWh 1.2kW max. Another sunny day but the strong wind made it feel cooler than the thermometer would suggest.


Pat started emptying the soil from the summer bedding pots of last year into crates in the polytunnel. We will need it soon to mix some fresh potting mixture for the onion sets and early potatoes. Hopefully by the time this needs to be done I will be mobile enough to help.


Tuesday 2nd

7 to 6 to 4°C. Mainly sunny with a few showers and a very cold wind.


Pat finished emptying the summer bedding pots and also moved the potato bags to dry out in tghe polytunnel.


Wednesday 3rd

2 to 7 to 3°C. 2.76kWh 700W max. Breezy with sunny intervals and a few sharp showers in the morning before clearing in the afternoon to a cool clear night.


Thursday 4th

5 to 12 to 11°C. 771Wh 200W max. Clouded over and warmed overnight back to mild and grey.


Friday 5th

9 to 10 to 7°C. 980Wh 200W max. A dull breezy day with a few light showers.


Saturday 6th

4 to 9 to 7°C. 624Wh 150W max. Damp and dreary.


Sunday 7th

3 to 7 to 5°C. 3.34kWh 1.4kW max. Very sunny morning but clouded over after lunch with some heavy rain by late afternoon and throughout the evening.


The Swift and Casablanca seed potatoes have sprouted so planted them in 2L pots in the polytunnel.


Monday 8th

5 to 8 to 6°C. 2.28kWh 1kW max.  Heavy rain and windy all night. clearing by late morning but still quite windy. This time the Winter storm, Imogen, passed south of us.


Tuesday 9th

1 to 6 to 1°C. 5.64kWh 1.5kW max. A really sunny day though rather cold.


Pat fenced off the raspberry canes inside the fruit cage and let the hens in to do some weeding. It would be nice if we could do the same on the other side of the cage to finish off the old brassicas but I fear they would dig up the strawberry plants.


Wednesday 10th

3 to 7 to 0°C. 3.12kWh 1.4kW max. Some rain during the night but cleared by dawn to a cold day with sunny intervals.


Planted the onion sets, Sturon, Centurion, Stuttgart and Hercules, in 12 cell trays to start them off in the polytunnel. Around 70 of each.


Started the Broad Bean Super Aquadulce by sowing between layers of wet kitchen towel.


Thursday 11th

-2 to 6 to 4°C. 4.45kWh 1.5kW max. Frosty start so clear sunshine most of the morning with white cloud and a few spots of rain in the afternoon.


One of the hens decided to hop over the 4ft mesh into the other part of the fruit cage so Pat decided to stop them going into the raspberry half.


Friday 12th

1 to 5 to 2°C. 1.73kWh 800W max. White cloud with some periods of drizzle.


Saturday 13th

1 to 5 to 2°C. 1.64kWh 600W max. Almost a repeat of yesterday,


Sowed early pea Douce Provence also between layers of wet kitchen towel. This is a new variety I haven't tried before; the Excellenz we usually have wasn't available.


Sunday 14th

-2 to 5 to 0°C. 5.46kWh 1.6kW max. A sunny day but with a very chilly wind.


It was much warmer in the polytunnel, 14°C in the afternoon, where I sowed the early brassicas, leeks and celery in trays to go in the propagator.


Monday 15th  Happy Birthday to Sarah!

-1 to 4 to 0°C. 6.65kWh 1.6kW max. Another sunny though chilly day.


Tuesday 16th

-5 to 6 to 5°C. 5.41kWh 1.7kW max. Cold frosty start with clear sunshine to late in the afternoon when it clouded over with some rain by late evening.


Went to the local community hospital today for an X-Ray of my hip. It is getting worse and my GP thinks it could be fractured. This didn't seem the case before but maybe there was originally a hairline fracture which got worse when I started to exercise my leg, thinking it was getting better?


The Aquadulce broad beans have germinated between the wet kitchen towels so planted these in 9 cell trays in the propagator in the polytunnel. It seems to be warming up again so maybe I won't need to actually need to heat them except overnight.


Wednesday 17th

5 to 6 to 2°C. 400Wh 150W max. Rained most of the night and morning with some showers in the afternoon before clearing in the evening.


Personally quite a busy day.

After my X-Ray yesterday my GP rang me this morning saying I had quite a serious fracture to my hip and it would need an operation. I could get this done for free on the NHS but there could be quite a delay and I might end up on an open ward with other patients which would not help my asthma. So we decided to book an appointment  to see an Orthopaedic surgeon at the private Nuffield hospital in Shrewsbury this afternoon.

The appointment was for 2:50pm and we left home before 2pm thinking we had plenty of time. The traffic south of the town was absolutely terrible and the road up to the hospital was closed with a long diversion which we missed one of the signs and ended up completely lost. I thought I knew my way round Shrewsbury but it has completely changed in the last 20 years with enormous housing estates where there used to be green fields. So Pat rang the hospital to say we would be late. We eventually  arrived at 3:25!! Fortunately the doctor was still there.

I need a complete hip replacement to fix this with a titanium rod and ball going into a ceramic cup. This is booked for 10th March with a pre-op appointment on 25th February. It can be done with a spinal anaesthetic and, because I am otherwise fit and slim, I will only be in the hospital for 3 days and should be fully recovered by the end of June. My asthma could be a problem but they know about it and are aware of the possible reactions and their cause. The air seems a lot less full of antiseptics than the NHS hospital is and I won't have to suffer the chemicals coming from other patients and staff as much.

So that's my news. Believe it or not it sounds quite exciting!!


Thursday 18th

-2 to 6 to 1°C. 6.87kWh 1.6kW max. A very sunny day but quite chilly if you weren't in the sun. The polytunnel was 18°C in the afternoon.


Planted the Kestrel and King Edward seed potatoes in 2L pots in the polytunnel. Pat set up the pump to move around 1000L of water into the polytunnel from the storage tanks. They will soon fill up again at this time of year. She then helped me to make a start on pruning the roses but I didn't finish them as standing on one leg is very tiring.


Friday 19th

-2 to 7 to 10°C. 2.67kWh 1.5kW max. Sunny chilly start, clouding over by lunchtime to a warmer cloudy afternoon with a few light showers.


Saturday 20th

8 to 12 to 10°C. 600Wh 150W max. Mild damp and miserable. I think I prefer cold and sunny.


Now that I can fairly certain my leg will be back to normal by the end of June I ordered some summer flowering plants. Dahlias, begonias, gladioli and various other bulbs and geranium, petunia and bacopa plugs.


Sunday 21st

11 to 12 to 11°C. 4.73kWh 1.6kW max. Sunny morning but clouded over in the afternoon with a few spots of drizzle.


Transplanted the calabrese and Montgomery sprouts into 12 cell trays then planted the Sarpo Mira potatoes in 2L pots. That just leaves the maincrop potatoes which haven't sprouted yet. Planted the now sprouted Douce Provence peas into 12 cell trays, 2 to each cell. Set the second half of these peas and half of the Broad Bean Turbo so soak between kitchen towel. Finished pruning the roses.


Monday 22nd

5 to 7 to 3°C 5.76kWh 1.6kW max. Thin cloud with some sunny intervals but the northerly wind made it feel much colder.


Thansplanted the Pixie cabbages. Pat built the polycarbonate 'box' within the polytunnel . At the moment this is just for the potato pots but will soon be needed for the summer bulbs and bedding plants and eventually for the tomatoes, peppers and squashes until they are large enough to plant out.


Tuesday 23rd

2 to 7 to -2°C. 6.8kWh 1.6kW max. Very sunny most of the day but with a chilly northerly wind. We have already generated more electricity this month than the whole of December and January.


Transplanted the Golden Acre cabbages and Bronte sprouts. We actually had some sprouts of the same variety for our dinner today.


Wednesday 24th

-4 to 6 to -2°C. 6.73kWh 1.6kW max. Cold sunny start with some cloud and a few spots of drizzle over lunchtime before clearing again to another clear frosty night.


Pat went shopping so I couldn't really go outside today without her help.


Thursday 25th

-1 to 5 to 3°C. 5.82kWh 1.6kW max. Not as cold overnight but still clear and sunny till afternoon when it clouded over. Very little wind so felt warmer.


Went for my pre-operative assessment this afternoon. They were very thorough asking a lot of questions and doing an ECG and taking blood for testing. Also had a long talk with the physiotherapist who will be looking after me after the operation. They understand my allergies and hopefully this won't cause too many problems ,especially as I can take my own towels and bed linen.


Friday 26th  Happy Birthday to Kirstin!

2 to 6 to 3°C. 3.91kWh 1.6kW max. Cloudy start then sunny over lunchtime before clouding over again.


During my visit to the hospital I didn't have much trouble with my allergies but late in the evening I got a secondary but this also wasn't too bad after several doses of salbutamol. Another secondary today was much worse.


This is what worries me about my stay in hospital. The operation itself I am not troubled by as it will probably happen before I start reacting to the chemicals in the environment. Always in the past my exposure has been confined to just a few hours and yet I still get one or more secondary reactions many hours later. What will happen if I am still exposed to the triggers continuously for up to 4 days? Will a further primary reaction compound the continuing secondaries? Will I be able to convince them to discharge me to the safer home environment even though I am obviously ill and this could be post-operative rather than my usual problems with chemicals?


Saturday 27th

1 to 6 to 2°C. 3.02kWh 800W max. White cloud with a cold NE wind. Not that warm even in the polytunnel.


Still short of breath and aching but managed to plant the second half of the germinated Douce Provence peas in 12 cell trays, two to each cell. The Aquadulce broad beans and now mainly through so we moved these to the polycarbonate fleece box, and the first half of the peas are also beginning to emerge.


Sunday 28th

1 to 6 to 1°C. 5.01kWh 1.6kW max. Clear and sunny all morning but with a chilly NE wind. Some light cloud in the afternoon before clearing again after dusk.


My leg is beginning to hurt more than before. I will be glad when the operation day comes.


Monday 29th

-4 to 5 to 3°C. 2.21kWh 600W max. Cold frosty start with increasingly grey skies leading to showers in the late afternoon and steady rain after dark. The wind has moved to the south.


Kirstin came to visit for the day with some singly malt Irish Whiskey to cheer me up! Just her, Anna was at school, but that meant we could have a nice uninterrupted chat.