January 2019


Tuesday 1st

 3 to 6 to 2°C. 218Wh. The wind has moved to the north so feeling much colder. Grey clouds till late in the afternoon when it finally cleared just before dusk.

Spent the afternoon clearing the ivy and smaller branches off the holly tree I cut down yesterday.

Wednesday 2nd


-2 to 5 to 1°C. 1.98kWh 1kW max. Frosty sunny start, clouding over for a while in the afternoon before clearing again. The temperature fell below 0 for a time in the evening but started rising as it clouded over.


Sawed up the holly tree I cut down on Monday.Also did some more painting indoors.

Thursday 3rd

 0 to 4 to -2 to 0°C. 834Wh. Mainly cloudy. Cleared after dusk causing the temperature to drop below zero but it rose again when it clouded over.


Fixed a couple of small jobs indoors; the kitchen hot tap needed attention to get a better flow and needed to fit a new smoke alarm. The smoke alarm needing replacing had a date of 2001 so it has done well to last this long.

In the afternoon did some digging to keep warm.

Friday 4th

 -1 to 3 to 0 to 2°C. 661Wh. Another cold cloudy day but with very little breeze so felt slightly warmer.

Continued to paint the woodwork in the hall staircase and landing.

Saturday 5th

 1 to 7 to 5°C. 225Wh. Another dull day, typical of a winter anticyclone.


Went to Kirstin's for the annual family get-together.

Sunday 6th

 4 to 8 to 4°C. 218Wh. An even duller day.


Continued digging over the ground near the woodsheds.

Monday 7th

 8 to 11 to 8°C. 445Wh. Another mild grey day but breezy. After dusk it cleared but the temperature did not drop.

Continued turning over the area near the woodsheds. There were a lot of old stumps and roots to remove so this has been quite a big job but I have nearly finished. I intend to go further where there are a whole row of old stumps covered with a tangle of ivy.

Tuesday 8th

8 to 7 to 5°C. 1.96kWh 1.1kW max. Sunny morning followed by a cloudier afternoon. The north westerly wond made it feel quite chilly.

Wednesday 9th

 -1 to 4 to -1°C. 3.46kWh 1.2kW max. A very sunny day but with a chill northerly wind.


The next part I am digging is an overgrown shrubbery which I want to completely clear as it is full of ivy and brambles and shrubs which have not been regularly pruned back. Took 12 cuttings of each of the shrubs in the the first part which will hopefully take and can be replanted after it is thoroughly cleared.

Thursday 10th

 -1 to 8 to 6°C. 228Wh. Milder but grey and drizzly for most of the day, clearing a little after dark.


Back to painting inside.

Friday 11th

 6 to 7 to 6°C. 311Wh. Another grey drizzly day.

Saturday 12th

 8 to 10 to 8°C. Another very mild day for January but with dark clouds and a little drizzle in the afternoon.


Unfortunately I am suffering from a heavy cold so didn't do much today.

Sunday 13th

 8 to 12 to 7°C. 1.28kWh 800W max. Mild and cloudy with some sunshine early in the afternoon but some sporadic rain later.


The cold didn't last long but left me with a very sore throat and gravelly voice. Pat has also got runny eyes and sneezing but isn't coughing. Spent most of the afternoon moving plants around, especially from the bed behind the conservatory where the daffodils and bluebells are coming through under the woven polythene.

Monday 14th

 7 to 9 to 5°C. 965Wh. Sunny for a time in the morning. Sporadic rain in the afternoon. Feeling colderr.


Despite my runny nose I did manage to fork over part of the flower bed near the Bramley, cover it with woven polythene and start to move the rest of the polyanthus and primula pots onto it. Some of the primulas are just starting to flower.

Tuesday 15th

 5 to 9 to 7°C. 1.31kWh 1.2kW max. Briefly sunny in the morning, dull the rest of the day.


My cold has got worse so did very little today except work my way through a large box of tissues and several doses of paracetamol.

Wednesday 16th

 8 to 6 to 3°C. 443Wh. Colder with some light rain especially in the morning (4mm)


Still not very well.


Thursday 17th

-2 to 3 to -2°C. 3.78kWh 1.2kW max. Very sunny but with a cold wind.


Friday 18th

-2 to 4 to 2°C. 648Wh. Frosty start followed by showers of snow sleet and rain with a cold wind.


Saturday 19th

 2 to 4 to 3°C. 238Wh. Cold, damp and dreary.


Started feeling better during the morning and manage to continued painting hall and staircase.


Sunday 20th

1 to 5 to 2°C. 209Wh. Another grey day.


Back to the usual winter task of digging over the vegetable plots.

Last summer as an experiment I tried planting trenching celery in the soil from the early potato bags in even larger 30L poly bags. We moved these into the polytunnel in the autumn. The celery outside is now limp from the cold damp weather so Pat tried pulling one from the these bags. They are still in good condition though not very big because they were planted rather late. So I will try again this time planting directly into the potato bag when these have been removed.


Monday 21st

0 to 5 to 4°C. 1.81kWh 600W max. Mainly cloudy but with a few sunnier periods.


This is supposed to be 'Blue Monday'. It is supposed to be a depressing day in the middle of winter but there was some blue sky and I am happy because my cold has gone, the snowdrops and aconites are just starting to flower and there was a robin singing nearby as I was digging over the garden.


Tuesday 22nd

0 to 3 to 0°C. 1.83kWh 600W max. Cold grey and damp with a few brighter intervals between the drizzle.


Continued painting the woodwork inside. One more afternoon should finish it.


Wednesday 23rd

-1 to 2 to 0°C. 748Wh. 5mm snow overnight which thawed on the paths but not on the garden.


Thursday 24th

-1 to 3 to 5°C. 490Wh. Light rain and drizzle for most of the day (4mm including the snow melt from yesterday). Slowly warming up.


Finished the painting and rubbed down the landing bookcase with 000 steel wool in preparation for re-oiling.


Friday 25th

6 to 11 to 7°C. 773Wh. Cloudy but feeling quite warm for January.


When I went out this morning to let the hens out if felt very mild. A thrush was singing in the poplar tree and and robin was also singing his territorial song rather than the soft one he sings, almost to himself, in winter. I could also hear a couple of wrens, several blue tits, sparrows and chaffinches. Obviously they think Spring is here. Snow is forecast next week!


Saturday 26th

 7 to 11 to 5°C. 548Wh. Very cloudy with light rain, becoming heavy for a time in the afternoon. (4mm)


I was going to oil the bookcase but the oil had gone solid so I varnished instead. Then put another coat of paint on the bathroom walls.


Sunday 27th

3 to 6 to 3°C. 642Wh. 4mm of rain overnight. Very windy for most the day making it feel very cold.


Some touching up on the paintwork in the morning. In the afternoon started to put the books back on the shelves. Not helped by the years of dust which had settled on them and needed to be removed.


Monday 28th

-1 to 4 to -1°C. 3.43kWh. Sunny but with a cold northerly wind.

Dug over another part of the vegetable garden. This was a part which the hens have access to in winter so they had great fun catching the worms I exposed.


 Tuesday 29th

-2 to 2 to -2°C. 247Wh. Very cold northerly wind with 5mm of light rain and sleet throughout the day.


Not a day for being outside. The seed potatoes and onion sets came a couple of days ago and spent part of the morning laying the potatoes in cell trays to chit and the onions in ordinary seed trays to sprout in the back bedroom next to the radiator as usual.


Wednesday 30th

-2 to 3 to -4°C. 3.27kWh 1.1kW max. Some light snow overnight and into the morning then cold and sunny.for the rest of the day and a very clear evening.


The sun warmed up the polytunnel to 8°C in the afternoon so mixed some more JI3 compost. I will be needing a lot of this in the next few weeks.


Thursday 31st

-5 to 2 to -1°C. 1.95kWh. Cold sunny morning and a cloudy afternoon and evening.


Compared with some parts of North America this was quite warm. -30 with a windchill down to -50 in Chicago. Nevertheless I decided to stay indoors.