September 2019


Sunday 1st

 8 to 16 to 12°C. 7.66kWh 1.2kW max. Cold clear start clouding over to a windy day with some short showers Including one which caught me on my bike ride.

Despite the risk of showers I started preparing the outside walls of the house for a repaint. There were some cracks in the redering which needed filling.


Monday 2nd

9 to 17 to 14. 7.0kWh 1.2kW max. Almost a repeat of yesterday.


A good day to start turning the compost heaps.


Tuesday 3rd

13 to 19 to 17°C. 6.05kWh 1.5kW max. Another mainly cloudy day with a blustery northerly wind.


Next few days work: Pat removes the large weeds from the vegetable garden and orchard, I dig over the cleared land.


Wednesday 4tn

9 to 16 to 12°C. 8.58kWh 1.7kW max, 2mm of rain overnight then another blustery day with sunny intervals.


I am fed up with mice. Tney eat the growing tips of the brassicas, dig up the peas, take the strawberries and bury them and now they have eaten the tops off all the carrots. I am beginning to wonder wny we bother trying to grow some vegetables though doing without cabbage, broccoli, peas and sprouts is not something I want to do.


Thursday 5th

9 to 16 to 12°C. 8.55kWh 1.6kW max. Another blustery day with a few spots of rain.

Picked some more Laxton's and Russet apples.

Found a couple of articles which say mice do not like crushed mint leaves. We have plenty of mint. Maybe I will give it a try next year?


Friday 6th

10 to 15 to 12°C. 4.44kWh 600W max. Some light rain (1mm) in the morning, better in the afternoon but still cold if not sheltered from the wind.

Saturday 7th

 12 to 16 to 12°C. 6.57kWh 1.2kW max. Slightly less windy and the sun is still quite warm in sheltered spots.


Sunday 8th

6 to 18 to 12°C. 9.85kWh 1.8kW max. Quite cold overnight but some sunshine and very little breeze in the afternoon. Rain is forecast for tomorrow.



Monday 9th

 8 to 12 to 13°C. 1.88kWh. Started raining and continued all day mainly light with a few heavier showers, totalling 15mm.


Tuesday 10th

12 to 16 to 12°C. 6.84kWh. Mainly cloudy with a few brighter periods. Very little wind so felt warmer.


Picked the pears which have grown very well this hear. Apart from a few damsons, which don't bother with these days, and maybe another crateful of Russets, that is it for the top fruit this year.


Wednesday 11th

12 to 21 to 13°C. 6.64kWh 1.2kW max. Warm and humid with variable cloud.


Thursday 12th

12 to 20 to 13°C. 5.08kWh 1.2kW max. Very similar to yesterday.

A couple of weeks ago I planted some Abbot first early potatoes which had sprouted in storage into 1L pots. These have now grown so I moved them into 5L pots. With reasonably good weather we might have some fresh new potatoes in November or even December.


Friday 13th

7 to 18 to 9°C. 8.1kWh 1.5kW max. Cool misty after a clear night. Thin cloud with sunny intervals during the day

The field mice have struck again. This time with the Tundra late winter cabbage seedlings. Yesterday I transplanted these into 4in pots and left them in the soaking tray on the ground overnight. This morning every one of them had been bitten off the main stem leaving only the seed leaves still attached. The tops had been piled together at one end of the tray and the growing points eaten. Hopefully some of them will grow again but I doubt there will be many and they may have double crowns.

Saturday 14th

5 to 20 to 13°C. Another clear misty start but feeling warmer in a more southerly wind.


Sunday 15th

12 to 17 to 13°C. 2.56kWh 500W max. Cloudy and very humid. Eventually started to drizzle in the evening and continued into the night with very fine drizzle almost like wet mist.


Decided to paint some more of the outside wall. Unfortunately the drizzle came sooner than expected so I might need to touch it up where it has run.


Monday 16th

8 to 16 to 9°C. 3.2kWh 600W max. Continued with the fine drizzle most of the night, 3mm in total. Continued damp and dull for most of the day.


I have nearly finished potting on the Sweet William, Canterbury Bell and Siberian Wallflower into 12cm pots.


Tuesday 17th

 8 to 15 to 10°C. 5.24kWh 600W max. Mostly dull but stayed fine.

(I am actually writing this on Thursday but it refers to this day)

Since Sunday I have been very unwell with the usual symptoms of aching limbs, lethargy and asthma. In them mlddle of August I went for my annual asthma nurse checkup and she persuaded me to try adding Montelukast to my treatment.

I was, as usual, unwell for then next two days because of triggers, laundered clothes and artificial fragrances on other patients, in the waiting room; I wish they could interview me by telephone to prevent this but they don't seem to understand my reasoning. I started taking the Montelukast at the weekend after this and, after a few days my symptoms subsided and I was quite well for almost a week. I was beginning to think maybe this drug was working.

Trouble is I have often had several periods of up to 10 days without symptoms probably because of not being exposed to triggers. This was the case this time when I became unwell the next weekend. The aching and asthma were no less and the period they lasted was also no less. Nevertheless I continued taking this drug. It is an antagonist, blocking the release of leukotriene which is thought to exacerbate the symptoms of asthma, and therefore could take time to exert its full effect.

The next week I was unwell for another couple of days with the usual symptoms. I also started feeling pins and needles increasing to numbness in my feet, ankles and later my hands started tingling as well. The numbness in my feet, especially the right foot and ankle got to a point where I could hardly feel them at all, making it impossible to ride my bicycle and causing me to stumble when walking, several times turning my ankle to a point where I could have injured it.

Looking up the drug this is a possible side-effect so I decided to stop taking it. This was the middle of last week. Two days later I started feeling really unwell, with aching limbs and lethargy and asthma which I could only just keep under control with 4 puffs of salbutamol every hour or so. I was also waking up at night with severe asthma symptoms.

Usually these 'attacks' only last at the most for 48 hours but this continued through to today. I was due for a follow-up with the asthma nurse this afternoon but there was no way I could go when I was feeling so bad. So Pat tried ringing to cancel the appointment. They rang back a few minutes later and I answered the telephone.  I was so short of breath that I couldn't manage full sentences which convinced them I was so bad that I needed emergency treatment, insisting I ring 999 for an ambulance. The last thing I want is to be in an A&E waiting area where the whole environment is full of the chemicals which trigger my symptoms, so I refused. This led to the doctor wanting me to visit the surgery immediately which I also refused to do. This is a new doctor who has replaced my usual one who has retired; he understood my problems and would never have acted like this.

Eventually Pat took over the call and persuaded them that she was quite capable of looking after me, which he eventually agreed to.


Wednesday 18th

6 to 17 to 13°C. 5.6kWh. Another dull day.

Continued feeling unwell. I wonder if my symptoms have been exacerbated by stopping taking the Montelukast; perhaps a rebound release of leukpotriene now that it is not being blocked. At least I am getting feeling back in my feet; there was no way I could continue taking it even if it was working which it obviously was not.

Thursday 19th

 8 to 18 to 11°C. 9.25kWh 1.9kW max.

A very sunny day with only a light breeze.

Feeling better though my peak flow readings are only 30% and my right foot stil has very little feeling.


Friday 20th

4 to 18 to 13°C. 9.43kWh 1.9kW max. Quite cold overnight with  a clear sky and some grass frost in the surrounding fields then another very sunny day.

Finally I seem to be recovering both from the asthma and the side-effects of the montelukast.

Saturday 21st

 10 to 24 to 17°C. 9.16kWh 1.9kW max. Another very sunny day. This is probably the last; a cold front is approaching from the west.


We went for our influenza vaccination this morning. Straight in and out if the surgery in less than 5 minutes so hopefully I will not react to the environment just as I am getting better from last time.

Starting giving the privet hedge its final trim of the year but gave up as it was too warm ro such strenuous work. It must be done soon so it can recover with new shoots before winter sets in.

Sunday 22nd

12 to 17 to 15°C. 3.01kWh 400W max. A thunderstorm in the middle of the night dropped 8mm of rain and it remained dull, very humid and showery during the day but only another 1mm.

Monday 23rd

12 to 17 to 15°C. 4.16kWh 800W max. Rather dull but feeling quite warm for the Autumn Equinox. 4mm of rain from several heavy showers but didn't stop me continuing to cut back hedges and shrubs in the dry periods.


Tuesday 24th

15 to 18 to 13°C. 1.47kWh 300W max. Some heavy rain in the night through to the morning. More heavy showers later in the morning and then heavy rain again in the afternoon and early evening, a total of 25mm.

Wednesday 25th

 14 to 18 to 15°C 3.52kWh 1.5kW max. A very dull day with some drizzly showers apart from a short period in the afternoon when it came quite sunny before the grey clouds returned.

Cooler days mean I can started digging up the old shrubbery near the lawn which is completely out of control. Some of the shrubs have layered themselves so some of these will go into pots till I can plant them again later.


Thursday 26th

12 to 15 to 13°C. 4.64kWh 600W max. Heavy showers overnight and most of the day amounting to 7mm of rain.

Friday 27th

10 to 14 to 12°C.3.06kWh. Dull with frequent showers giving 8mm of rain.

Picked the squashes. A very good crop of mainly buttenut and Autumn Crown. Some of these weigh over 5kg and they will easliy last us until this time next year, in fact we still have three from last year still in good condition. I wonder if anyone has investigated what stops squashes from rotting, not only when still intact but even several days after they have been cut open. The liquid which oozes out and seals the cuts must have antibacterial properties?

Saturday 28th

12 to 17 to 12°C. 5.08kWh. Another dull day but only a few showers till late in the evening when it poured down with 15mm of rain between 11 and 12pm.

Sunday 29th

Another 6mm rain overnight and continued showery all day and very windy in the aftenoon. Eventually cleared in the evening.

I have run out of jobs to do in the polytunnel . I have emptied a lot of pots of dying  back summer annuals and mixed over 700L of JI3 compost and run out of containers to put it in. It is too wet and soggy to do anything in the garden, some of which is very waterlogged, especially down the bottom of the drive.

Monday 30th

 8 to 16 to 13°C. 4.62kWh 1.2kW max. Clear cool night followed by some sunshine in the morning. By lunchtime it was cloudy with some light rain in the afternoon and then heavy rain till early evening. A total of 16mm rain which ended a very wet 117mm September.