L's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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Frita
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: L's Journal

Post by Frita »

BookLoverL wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:13 am
Thanks for the chair link!

Part of the reason I switched to having a lot of pizza was because I was having trouble getting myself to cook, so if I could make my own pizza I imagine I could cook other things properly too. But I am getting supermarket pizza from a budget supermarket, so it's like... £1.25 per pizza or something.
Well, shoot, I was thinking of takeout pizza in the brown cardboard box. BTW Homemade pizza is one of the few items my spouse can make. His other dishes are pasta and grilling meat.

BookLoverL
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Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

My usual dishes when I do cook are of the meat or fish + steamed vegetables variety, myself. So, I can do the basics but not really anything fancy. I also learned how to bake bread in January, but I haven't been doing it because of low energy.

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Dream of Freedom
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Re: L's Journal

Post by Dream of Freedom »

You could cut off the top and use it as a tray when working with small delicate items so they don't get away.
You could unfold them to cover a tabletop or floor so that you don't get them messy during various tasks.
Make a sign.

BookLoverL
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Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Thanks for the ideas!

BookLoverL
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

So my vacuum broke at the weekend (it was pretty old) and my dad says he can't fix it, and today my mum gave me an old mechanical carpet sweeper that used to be used at a local venue she's involved with but hasn't been used for years. She found it right at the back of the storage cupboard and it was covered in dust. I am going to try to use this to clean my carpets instead of a vacuum, since I hate the noise of the vacuum, and this will save me having to source a new vacuum.

I cleaned it off and emptied the trays of dust, but there is something a bit manky in one of the trays, so I am going to clean this more thoroughly with a disposable cardboard scraper or stick that I can chuck in the bin after once it's daylight tomorrow, and wash it with some water from the water butt outside too. I also found that the mechanism is a bit jammed with hair and who knows what, so once I've cleaned the manky part I'm going to try and free up the mechanism a bit for better dust removal.

I'm also planning to try making a DIY cobweb duster, one of those things that is basically a fluffy brush on the end of a stick. I need to source a suitable stick from the woodland near my parents, or alternatively if I can't find one I will try slotting or taping together a bunch of strips of cardboard pizza box to make a long stick. This would need multiple layers of card as the card is pretty flimsy by itself. For the head I am thinking maybe to cut a junk mail "newspaper" that came into some sort of feather pattern, and then tie it to the top of the stick with twine or slot it in somehow, so it can be easily removed and binned if it gets too cobweb-y.

horsewoman
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Re: L's Journal

Post by horsewoman »

I don't know how much cobwebs you have to get rid of, but in our horse stable (lots ans lots of dusty and dirty cobwebs!) I use small tree branches with little twigs at the end to catch them. It looks like a disgusting version of spun sugar when I'm done.

BookLoverL
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Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Most of the actual cobwebs are fairly small and I *had* been happy to let them sit, but one of the spiders has now made a cobweb in the cupboard where I keep my drinking mugs and breakfast dish, so that's the main thing that's pushing me to make one. Spiders in the top corner of the room where they might eat any stray flies, fine, I kind of like having them around. Spiders within half a foot of where I have to put my hand every morning, not so happy with.

BookLoverL
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Great news: I finished cleaning up the carpet sweeper and it works beautifully! Very smooth, picks up plenty of dirt. I've now used it to sweep all of the carpets in my entire house, while using significantly less mental energy, because it's so much quieter than a vacuum cleaner - the noise of vacuum cleaners typically disturbs me a lot.

The only thing is that long hair does get easily wrapped around the roller, and with the amount of my long hair that is around on the floors in this house, I'm surprised I have hair left (and yet I still seem to have as much as ever). So I'm having to manually remove the hair from the roller periodically to ensure continued smooth operation. But that's easy to do, because I discovered the roller pops out and can be cleaned separately. The dustpans also pop out easily for convenient emptying into the bin.

So this is working great, really. The only place it didn't get all the dust from was the stairs, because each stair is a little narrower than the sweeper, so I'll have to look out for a small stiff brush or something for that.

BookLoverL
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

I went to my parents' yesterday to see if they had a suitable stick I could use to make a cobweb duster, and it turned out they actually had two cobweb dusters already the whole time!? Because the older one they had, the handle had broken in half at some point and they have a very tall ceiling at one part of the house. But the ceiling is lower here, so they were happy to give me the older one. I then mentioned I was on the lookout for buckets and my dad gave me a bucket because they had three, and I also now have this random large lightweight reflective bowl that my mum had. I plan to use these to enable me to handwash certain items that I don't want to put in the washing machine with everything else. So overall, success, I guess?

I do feel kind of sad that I have no more need to DIY a cobweb brush, because I was looking forward to testing my DIY skills. But the one they have given me does the job. I will have to think of something else to DIY at some point instead.

BookLoverL
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Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

After using the bucket to handwash a bandana/scarf that I like to wear that was well overdue for it, as well as a couple of cloths I used to clean surfaces, I'm now contemplating attempting a bucket-wash for myself as opposed to showering, since I actually have a bucket now.

Normally at the moment, since I'm only going out two or three times a week, I've mostly been showering twice a week. I'm not sure precisely how much water a shower uses, but I expect a bucket would use less. I could fill the bucket with water and stand next to it in the bathtub, wash, and wring the dirty water out down the bath drain. (I don't currently have a second bucket.) I'm not sure how exactly they calculate the water bill, but surely it will be cheaper if I use less, and the electricity the shower uses to heat the water I certainly have to pay for. Plus, less water use is better for the environment.

ertyu
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Re: L's Journal

Post by ertyu »

if it’s hot and you have a sunny area outside, fill the bucket in advance and leave it in the sun for 3-4 hours for the water to warm. If the weather is not nice, boil a kettlefull of water and pour into bucket already half full of tap water.

BookLoverL
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Thanks, I'll try the thing with the kettle! The weather here is not sunny enough for leaving the bucket in the sun unless we happen to be having a heatwave at the time, I think.

BookLoverL
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Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

When I moved out of my parents to this rental in the first place I was thinking "I want to stay in the village" because aside from when I was at uni/studying, that's the main place I'm familiar with. But now I'm contemplating whether I should actually in the next year or two think about moving again, to a small "nice" town that's about half an hour's drive from here. It's small enough that it's walkable in its entirety, significantly less deprived areas compared to the nearest town to here, and has budget, midrange and premium supermarket, independent food shops of various types, a decent library, a park with a parkrun, a train station (though only one train comes to it), a bunch of charity shops, a market, and a castle. If I moved there then I would keep a car for work but if I stopped doing those types of work I could probably sell my car altogether. The cheapest rent is about £100 cheaper per month than the cheapest rent I saw here in the village, and the cheapest houses for sale start about £50k cheaper too. And the council tax is roughly the same.

I think moving somewhere like that would preserve enough of the "pretty scenery around, what a beautiful place I live in" feel while being close enough to where I grew up that it comes within the broader area I am emotionally attached to, while being actually potentially likely for me to make friends in their 20s or 30s in person rather than online, and having a broader range of activities in easy access. But I probably will wait a while before doing anything, because I would prefer to view houses in person. So I will probably wait until at least around the end of the year, and I can see how my income is looking by then too and whether I have managed to improve it.

BookLoverL
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Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

I've tried the bucket wash method now and I'm very satisfied with it, though I still need to figure out how to wash my hair that way - probably I need to use some sort of cup or pitcher to pour water over my head.

I looked up some figures afterwards for bucket vs. shower. The bucket, I forgot precisely but I estimate I used less than 1.5 gallons of water and it was definitely less than 2 by the markings on the inside. Of this, half a gallon was boiled using my electric kettle, rated 2200W, which took a couple of minutes, and the rest was cold tap water. In contrast, the shower here uses around 2 gallons per minute, and my showers have normally been around ten minutes. The shower is rated around 8000W (I wasn't able to determine the precise model and there was a little variation, but all were similar) and obviously heats all of the water the whole time during the shower. So this is a big difference in both the amount of water and electricity used. I'm not sure yet what the difference will be to my bottom line, but since the electricity is on a meter then there definitely should be a difference.

The water temperature was very comfortable, similar to what I would have used for a bath if I were having one. And I was surprised that I didn't get cold while standing around during the wash, even though I was only applying the water with a washcloth. I will definitely use this method again.

ertyu
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Re: L's Journal

Post by ertyu »

Yay! Go you!

As for hair, I find just bending over the sink goes a long way. Where I'm from you can just stick your head under the water but you guys have this weird system where your cold and hot water don't mix? And you need to pre-fill the sink? So, your british mileage may vary

let us know how it works out

BookLoverL
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Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

I do have a mixer tap on my sink here, but the sink basin is shallow enough that I'd be worried about banging my head, I think. So I'll probably try cups of water over the bath.

BookLoverL
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Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Ok, I tried the bucket washing method again today, this time trying to wash my hair as well. I selected an empty jam jar from the collection of around 20 empty jars that I have to use for pouring water over my head. It worked well for getting my hair wet and for washing the shampoo off, but I don't think it cleaned quite as deeply as when I clean my hair in the shower because I forgot to include a stage for working the dirt off my scalp quite as much. I think the next time, I might try doing my hair after the rest of me rather than before, so that I can potentially try dipping it in the bucket for the final rinse. Either that or I will try to spend longer on the shampoo-in-hair stage.

I used even less water than before, since I'd noticed that I had a lot of water left the first time. I used around half a gallon of tap water and half a gallon of boiled water. If I am washing my hair with the jam jar method I think I would not go much less than this, but if I was not washing my hair I could definitely use less water still.

ertyu
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Re: L's Journal

Post by ertyu »

even if you keep to a whole bucket, this is still way way way way less water than a shower.

A friend of mine has unscrewed the bottom of his bathroom sink and has all water from brushing teeth washing hands etc fall from the sink into a bucket instead of going down the drain. Then he uses water from that bucket to flush his toilet. You could extend this and keep more water in your shower bucket so the hair is adequately rinsed and then use the resulting soapy water for 1-2 toilet flushes.

BookLoverL
Posts: 237
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Ooh, that's a great idea for what to do with the remaining water! I'll definitely try that next time.

Since the house is a rental I won't mess with the sink at the moment, I think.

BookLoverL
Posts: 237
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

On the topic of my slightly terrible diet, I've realised that if all the vegetables are frozen or canned and don't need chopping or thinking about when they go off, I'm significantly more likely to be able to persuade myself to cook them in the steamer. So I think I will be able to move back to having beans and vegetables around three times a week, which is cheaper per meal than pizza or fish fingers. My average grocery bill recently was around £14 per week when I worked it out, so hopefully I can bring that down a little to closer to £12 or something if I can return to using canned beans, which are only around 30 pence a can. Plus I should get a few more varied vitamins from the different types of frozen and canned vegetables.

I'm also considering trying to make a haybox on a day when I have the energy for it. Most of my meals right now, when including cooker pre-heating times if necessary, mean that my electric cooker is turned on for around 20 minutes per day. With a haybox then especially for "beans with vegetables" meals I could reduce this time to boiling time only and then transfer the pan to the haybox. I have a lot of junk paper to shred, so I am thinking I would make the insulation out of this primarily.

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