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Fixing lights

As I was about to turn on the lamp by the door, I noticed something wasn't quite right.
Is that the live side or the neutral side?
Is that the live side or the neutral side?

The caption is a rhetorical question, as the plug can go in either way up.
So, in the fading light I rummaged around to cut off the plug, then take a piece of wire from the lead to use between the switch and the plug, and wire it all up. Easy, but fiddly. Several tiny screws and did I mention the sun had already set?

As I was on a roll, I shut down my server and then hit the Big Switch to turn off all of the power. I then took the ceiling light apart. One of the fittings... there are two spring loaded contacts that press against the pads on the bottom of the (bayonet style) light bulb. One of them was no longer springy, so that bulb didn't light up.
A few moments with a pair of pliers demonstrated that the springy thing was unrecoverable. So, having completely dismounted and taken apart the ceramic bulb holder, I had two bare wires in search of a working bulb holder.
Which I just happened to have... having ordered a pack of three cheap plastic ones from Amazon just prior.
They're not strong, but on the other hand it's an LED bulb so the thing won't have to deal with heat.
I wired that into place, and put the light fitting back together, and...

Living room light
Living room light.

Now it's twice as bright in the living room. And still, only drawing maybe 15W?

The fitting was the one in here when we bought the house. I'm not sure I like it, but on the other hand I haven't come across anything to replace it with, so... it is, at least, functional. More so now. ☺

That is, also, most of the house lights replaced by LED bulbs. At least, the lights I use anyway.


Bye bye Wawa

Wawa has been evicted.

When I was at mom's grave last week, I asked for some guidance on what to do with Wawa. She spent most of her time locked up in the back kitchen. She didn't want to come out, preferring to run out, look around, and then run back. We couldn't let her wander around the house because, well, she's not clean. She never really was.
But being back there... that's no kind of life.
So I asked mom's ghost for a little bit of guidance.

And what should turn up in the post? A letter from Veolia saying that they have been chosen as the partner to perform the audit for drainage and waste disposal of properties not connected to mains drainsage. Or, in French, assainissement non collectif.
He will be hoping for a nice sort of septic-tank treatment system. What he is going to find is a thing called a sanibroyeur that basically grinds up waste and spits it out into the stream out back.

I get that proper waste treatment is a good idea, but given that I live downstream from a big pig farm that, in the big rain storm of June 2018, as the flood water started to subside, it was replaced by rancid brown water that stung. It was nasty. So much so that once I'd finished what I was doing digging out around the pond, I went and stood in the bath fully clothed to wash all that stuff off of me.
That stuff, basically, being what should have been in the pig farm's waste treatment tanks, and instead basically washed across the land from over half a kilometre away.
It wasn't until last summer that the water brought up from the pump finally started to run clear again. So, yeah, two years of unpleasant water in the well and pig shit all over the place. And they're going to be worried about my effluent?

Well, of course. Because we home owners don't have a powerful lobby behind us.

Still, for the moment (according to a woman at work) it is not obligatory. So if I can't play the €10K to have a system installed, then simply don't. It is only necessary that it must be done before major house renovation work or when selling the house (at most, within a year of purchase).

The last time this was done, possibly 10 or 15 years ago, the man turned up. Looked unhappy about the situation. And then drew up a nice plan of what we need to have done. Conveniently locating the waste disposal system in a neighbour's field, and completely ignoring the stream (which would mess up his plans because things have to be a certain distance from waterways and... well... that's damned near impossible here).
For that utter waste of time, we were charged about eighty euros.

And so, in the middle of next month, the non-existant treatment will be checked. He will make recommendations and probably give them to the Mayor like last time, and I'll be billed €86 for the privilege. Double that, actually, as I'll have to take a day off work for this hour long assessment.
Will it stick the stuff in somebody else's field? Will it conveniently omit the stream?
Well, I don't have a lot of hope given that they have clearly indicated the house number in the address. The wrong house number.

With all of this in mind, I needed to move the furball and clean up back there. Fix up the grinder while I'm at it. The level detection is very erratic, I might solder a cable in there and wire up a push button. At least, until I can spring for a replacement from Amazon. I think they start at about €150 or so?

Today's job was the moving part. Where Anna lives is actually a double stable. So I swept out the one on the right, laid down some straw, and walked Wawa down. I didn't feed her in the morning, so taking her down meant waving some food (reindeer and wild boar!) under her nose, and just walking and... waiting... a lot. Cats are easily distracted.

Still, she's there now. That'll be her new home. It's bigger. There's fresh air. There's sunlight. And she and Anna mew at each other and plot overthrowing humanity. At least, until they realise that whole annoying lack of opposable thumbs. Or the fact that no humans means no cat food and no cat food means they'd have to go and hunt for dinner. But, overthrow the humans! Worry about the consequences later! Brexit means Brexit!


A spot of calm weekend gardening

Since sending Wawa to Coventry took less time than I expected, I planned to have an easy day enjoying the sun. Only, somebody had other ideas...
My chair
My chair.

So, I left Anna out to occupy herself (failing to catch lizards, mostly) and went and fired up the rotovator, to turn again the patch of land that I turned last Autumn.

This will be the potato patch. I had the potatoes out in the sun to tempt them to start to sprout, and later on in the week, Thursday or Friday, I'll start planting them.

Then I prepared some plants. A pink Saxifrage (I think it's called).

Pink Saxifrage
Pink Saxifrage.

Then the ones I got on Mom's birthday.

Three flowers
Three flowers.
On the left, an Iceland Poppy (Papaver nudicaule). Centre, a Carnation (Dianthus). And on the right, a small Iris (Iris Germanica).

I've sown a little thingy with some carrot seeds. It'll be out in the day, and brought in at night.

I think they are called Parisian Carrots. Small round ones. I have prepared a long planter (former flower pot) for them, when they're ready.

Then I warmed up the rotovator again. Having cut down the unwanted trees along the western end of the house, there was a barren patch of land that didn't look so nice in between the grass and the place where the trees were. So I turned the ground. In a few weeks, I will sow seeds for butterfly friendly flowers. I'd do that in the whole area, but tree roots...

More rotovating
More rotovating.

And since my shoulders hurt from reaching up a lot at work on Friday, I decided the smart thing to do (asides from rotovating!) would be... to wield a pickaxe!
And so I did. The plan was to level out the lump of land out front and plant a small shrub. Well, the lump of land was an abandoned ant hill that was built over top of the roots of the tree that fell a decade ago. The roots needed some work to level down, pine is a pretty solid wood.
I had to put the shrug, a California Lilac (Ceanothus) a little further back than planned. Because... big root still in place. Damn thing will probably be there when I'm dead, buried, and recycled by worms.

California Lilac
California Lilac.


Now I'm worn out, looking forward to a hot chocolate and maybe something on Netflix if I don't fall asleep first...

...tomorrow I'll rest. ☺


One final thing, I don't think I posted the video of cutting the tree down... did I? Well, here you go. It's a stop-motion. One frame every five seconds, and the animation running at 10 frames per second. And, remember, all done by hand. No chainsaw.



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