October 2013                                                                                                                                     Back to September


Tuesday 1st

10 to 15 to 14°C. 1.41kWh 450W max. A dull overcast day with occasional light rain and a cold breeze. I actually needed to wear gloves for my bicycle ride. Only two weeks ago I was wearing short sleeves and shorts!


Started stripping off some of the wallpaper in the living room and discovered some of the plaster was in very poor condition on some of the inner walls which I suspect don't have a damp proof course Looks like some remedial work will be necessary.


Wednesday 2nd

12 to 18 to 6°C. 1.20kWh 250W max. A dark windy wet day with several heavy thundery showers amounting to 18mm of rain in the last 24 hours. And there is more to come.

Started to wallpaper the better walls in the living room. Some of the walls will need either replastering or boarding before they can be papered. I am decidind what is the best strategy.


Thursday 3rd

14 to 17 to 16°C. 1.16kWh 400W max. Very dull and overcast apart from a short brighter interlude mid-morning, followed by heavy rain in the afternoon (12.6mm).

Finished wallpapering the sitting area part of the living room apart from one interior wall which needs repairing. Now we have stripped off the old wallpaper the interior walls appear to be drying out even at the bottom. So maybe the damp was just from penetrating moisture from the outside walls increasing the humidity in the room; this has now been cured by the exterior insulation and rendering; Certainly the de-humidifier now runs very infrequently; before the rendering it needed emptying every 3 or 4 days. I will try just repairing the plaster and see how it gets on for a few days before deciding what to do next.


Friday 4th

13 to 18 to 13°C. 2.91kWh 1.6kW max. Another dull day with a few brighter periods and occasional light drizzle.


Saturday 5th

12 to 17 to 9°C. 3.89kWh 1.4kW max. A slightly better day with some clearer skies by late afternoon and very clear starlit night.

Went for our annual 'flu vaccination in the morning; I have been getting it for years but it was the first time for Pat now she has turned 65. The GP surgery was very busy with many over 65s but thev appointment system was working to schedule so we were only there for a few minutes and I don't seem to have been affected; in any case older people don't drench themselves in cheap perfume like a lot of youngsters, though there is still the risk of artificial fragrances from their laundry products.

We decided to pick the ripe and damaged squashes from the polytunnel for storage in the house now that the temperature outside if falling. There are plenty of them and probably more to come. From left to right there are Sweet Dumpling, a summer squash which are good for stuffing (we have already picked and eaten quite a lot of these already), Autumn Crown which is a cross between Crown Prince and butternut squash, Crown Prince, butternut and patty pan which when sliced make a very good vegetable lasagne. There are at least 24 large squashes, particularly the Autumn Crown, and these are very heavy and enough for several meals in one week each, so they should last us at least the next six months. We also have plenty of celery, broccoli, brussel sprouts, leeks and parsnips coming so we shan't be short of vegetables this winter!


Sunday 6th

6 to 17 to 14°C. 8.19kWh 1.8kW max. Clear cold night flolowed by the sunniest day since early September but not feeling very warm in the strong southerly breeze.

Not feeling too well again so didn't do much today. Whether the cause is the 'flu vaccination or the detergent Pat used to wash the car I am not sure.


Monday 7th

12 to 18 to 14°C. 2.91kWh 800W max. Clear overnight but clouded over by 10am with only a few glimpses of the sun later in the day.

Still not very well but managed to do some patching of the damaged plaster in the living room so it can be repapered once it is set and dried out.



Tuesday 8th

13 to 20 to 12°C. 4.69kWh 1.8kW max. Variable cloud with sunny intervals but also dark clouds in between but only a few spots of rain in the late afternoon. The forecast is for much colder unsettled weather with bands of showers and stong winds.


Wednesday 9th

7 to 18 to 8°C. 2.82kWh 1kW max. Sunny intervals interspaced with short heavy showers. The temperature was at its highest at 10am and has fallen ever since as the NW wind increased.

Continued with the decorating, finishing the plaster repairs and then painting the dining area ceiling.


Thursday 10th

4 to 10 to 6°C. 6.29kWh 1.7kW max. A mainly sunny day but the strong northerly wind made it feel very much colder.

Continued with the decorating, hanging wallpaper on the walls of the dining area which haven't needed repair.

The ash trees have decided autumn has arrived and started dropping their leaves and poplar leaves are turning their usual beautiful red colour before they drop off and cover the lawn..


Friday 11th

5 to 15 to 10°C. 1.62kWh 1.2kW max.  A very dull damp windy day with just one short sunny period in the mid-afternoon.


Saturday 12th

10 to 14 to 10°C. 634Wh 120W max. Like yesterday but without the sunny period in the aftenoon.



Sunday 13th

9 to 11 to 9°C. 667kWh 150W max. Like yesterday but with more rain.


Monday 14th

7 to 13 to 7°C. 1.62kWh 400W max. Still very dull with short heavy showers but improved a little in the afternoon and the rain finally stopped in the evening.


Tuesday 15th

4 to 13 to 7°C. 5.69kWh 1.6kW max. Cold clear start with some sunny periods, especially  in the morning, and less wind making it a much better day than recently.


Wednesday 16th

6 to 13 to 9°C. 867Wh 1.0kWh max. Rained most of the day apart from a short sunny period just after lunch. A total of 22.5mm in the last 24 hours and 38.7mm in the last week. Finally cleared in the late afternoon to a clear still evening.

I have finally finished the wallpapering. Just some final painting and tidying up to do.


Thursday 17th

6 to 16 to 10°C. 5.45kWh 1.8kW max. A much better day with light winds, long periods of hazy sunshine and only a few very light showers. Clouded over in the evening and rain is forecast again for tomorrow.


The Aquadulce broad beans I transplanted into 6 cell trays some time ago are now big enough to move to 12cm pots. I will keep them going in the polytunnel till early next Spring when they can be planted out for an early crop. I am trying this rather than planting out right away because the last two years the frost knocked them back so badly they didn'y flower any earlier than the Karmazyn beans.


Friday 18th

7 to 15 to 12°C. 755Wh 200W max. A really dull miserable day with very light drizzle most of the time which finally turned into heavy rain by late evening.


Saturday 19th

7 to 18 to 10°C. 2.99kWh 1.2kW max. Variable cloud with a few sunny intervals but also some heavy thundery showers.


Visited Kirstin Mak and Anna for the day.


Sunday 20th

9 to 14 to 12°C. 2.36kWh 1.6kW max. Overcast with heavy rain showers and a few sunny intervals. Feeling very mild


Monday 21st

9 to 17 to 15°C. 902Wh 250W max. Very heavy rain most of the morning; 15.9mm. Cleared somewhat in the afternoon but still wet with fine drizzle most of the time. Started raining hard again late in the evening.

Started to clear the polytunnel starting with squash plants which are now dying back. Found quite a few more fruits while doing this. Was going to clear the courgettes as well but this warm weather has encouraged them to start flowering again though I doubt any bees will find them and even if they do the fruits will grow large enough before the weather comes cold again


Tuesday 22nd

12 to 18 to 13°C. 2.27kWh 1.2kW max. Overcast with some light drizzle in the morning. Cleared for a short while in the afternoon then clouded over again but no rain. Still feeling very mild for the time of year.

Finished clearing out the squash plants then took the frame down. It takes a lot less time to take it down than build it.


Wednesday 23rd

11 to 16 to 4°C. 3.59kWh 1.6kW max. Cloudy start but soon cleared to a mainly sunny day but feeling a lot colder than of late. After dusk the wind dropped and sky completely cleared. Looks like we may have a frost by the morning.

Continued to clear out the poytunnel where the squashes and cucumbers were growing. Tomorrow I will start to move chrysanthemums inside. It is a shame they got damaged by the heavy rain but they will soon recover once they are under the plastic.


Thursday 24th

4 to 16 to 11°C. 5.81kWh 1.7kW max. Cold start but soon warmed to a sunny day with very little cloud and only a light breeze.

Moved all the taller chrysanthemums into the polytunnel, cleaned and trained them. They seem to be lot of work earlier in the year but it is now that you realise it is worth it. They start flowering when everything else is coming to an end and last late into December most years, they are one of the best cut flowers and last a long time when they are cut, they have a wonderful perfume both in the polytunnel and indoors, they vary so much in size and colour, and they are so easy to propagate.

Later I started to pot on the winter/spring bedding which I pricked out earlier into 12 cell trays, starting with the violas. These I had left in a nursery bed surrounded by rabbit netting and I assumed were safe. I was wrong! the rabbits had burrowed under the netting and had been eating the flowers off the violas and pansies, damaging other plants as they clombed over them to get there. Fortunately they had only just discovered they could do this but even so they had disturbed many of the wild flower trays as well; these should be OK once I straighten them out again.


The netting is now surrounded by, and weighted down with, bricks. Hopefully this will keep the rabbits out. The repotted plants need to go back there till they are big enough to replace the summer bedding in front of the house.


Friday 25th

11 to 18 to 11°C.  4.04kWh 1.5kW max. Some light rain overnight (6mm) but cleared by 10am to another breezy day with sunny intervals and a few spots of rain.

Autumn is here and the poplar has shed its leaves over that lawn so raked them up; more than 4 barrow-loads. Also gathered 2 barrowloads of ash leaves and they have hardly started.They will make some good compost. The oaks are dropping an enormous number of acorns which probably means lots of saplings to dig up next year if I don't pick them up. Then back to potting on more violas.


Saturday 26th

11 to 15 to 9°C. 1.67kWh 0.8kW max. Overcast and breezy with light drizzle from time to time. Cleared in the evening.

The Arran Pilot potatoes grown from some which sprouted in September are now too big for their 12cm pots so moved them into 7.5L pots and moved them to the warmest part of the polytunnel. Noticed that they already have some small tubers so, given some sunny weather November-December, they should produce some tasty new potatoes for Christmas. Then back to potting on the winter flowering violas and pansies


Heavy rain and strong winds are forecast for tomorrow night so I must make sure the polytunnel is secure.



Sunday 27th

7 to 17 to 10°C. 3.49kWh 1.3kW max. Sunny intervals, strong winds and heavy showers most of the day but became quieter after dark. The forecast is still for stormy weather later in the night. It has already arrived further south and west but nothing here yet.


Monday 28th

5 to 14 to 6°C. 3.49kWh 1.4kW max. The storm never got this far north. There was hardly any wind and only very light rain all night (9mm in total) and it had cleared by mid-morning to a cooler day with a few sunnier intervals. Further south there was havoc with 60mph winds and gusts up to 90mph, trees uprooted, trains and planes delayed and power lines blown down.

Finally finished all the little touches to the decorating; putting up curtain and towel rails and rehanging pictures and a new clock for the living room.


Tuesday 29th

4 to 12 to 5°C. 5.92kWh 1.6kW max. A mainly sunny day but with a cold NE breeze.

Decided to let the hens into parts of the vegetable garden now that all but the leeks are finished. They had a fine time scratching up worms and eating the weed seedlings.

Continued to pot on the winter flowers. There may be a frost tonight which may finish off the summer bedding.


Wednesday 30th

1 to 12 to 6°C. 3.49kWh 1.4kW max. Cold clear night followed by a sunny morning but clouded over by lunchtime with a few spots of drizzle in the afternoon before clearing in the evening again but not as cold since the wind has moved south again.

There was a grass frost but only for a short while just before dawn and it doesn't appear to affected anything yet.


Thursday 31st

6 to 11 to 6°C. 2.25kWh 1.5kW max. Mainly cloudy and drizzle with a few short sunny intervals.

Continued to pot on the winter flowers.