Monday, 31 August 2020

Winter Wood + End of August Ins, Outs and Frugal Bits

When Brother-in-Law Andrew comes to cut wood for me I know I'm in for a day of hard work with a wheelbarrow. On Saturday he brought the log splitter and chainsaw and was determined to get as much as possible cut. When Col and I used to cut wood we would do an hour or two and then stop for a coffee..........Andrew hardly stops at all.......probably because he knows that if he stops he'll seize up and won't be able to get started again.............. the results of spending 40+ years repairing machinery on the concrete floor of cold farm reason he's packing up the job before the end of the year.
 Anyway I'm always grateful he's willing to come and get me ready for winter -  but Sunday morning I could hardly move! It's a good thing it was raining so I didn't go to the car-boot sale, I'd have hobbled round like a much older woman.

A shed full of free heat!

Now the Finances....................

 Looking back at what I said about August on the last day of July post

"How will August pan out? Well, in theory I don't need to buy any more books now the library van will be round each month  and they've let people reserve books again - at last,  BUT the Furrowed Middlebrow NEW SELECTION of reprints is out on the 3rd August and I might be tempted.
The half year water bill is due - that might be a bit more than usual. Sometimes the electric bill comes right at the end of August and it looks as if one of the cooker gas cylinders will run out  during the month too and I've just emptied the last of the petrol into the mower so that will need refilling.
Other than that it should be a lowish spend month..........I hope."

The up to date list of what 'one old woman' can produce from a garden..................

All these are finished now
  • Lettuces (I tried to get some going but they just ran to seed - too hot I think)
  • Rocket and small beetroot leaves as salad leaves
  • A few asparagus spears -
  • lots of rhubarb-
  • A surprising amount of strawberries from 6 new plants and a few from the old bed.
  • 3lb of gooseberries
  • Lots of raspberries and 3lb put in the freezer
  • 2lb Redcurrants
  • Few mange-tout peas  - put in the freezer
  • Green beans  - some put in the freezer
  • 2 small Calabrese heads.
  • 2 small cauliflowers 
  • Figs
 Still eating
  • last Courgettes.
  • A few potatoes left
  • Lots of tomatoes from greenhouse
  • Just a few aubergines left
  • The last cucumber is now in the fridge
  • A few runner beans - but not doing very well due to wind damage again 
  • Beetroot
  • Onions 
New for August
  • Huge peppers
  • Plums
  • Apples
  • Pears

Looking at September...............
I guess the electric bill will arrive eventually. They keep pestering me by email and letter to get a smart meter - I'm ignoring until it's forced upon me.
The cooker gas cylinder ran out over the weekend and I need to decide what to do about bird feeding this winter. I gave up in early spring because it was only attracting magpies.

Back Tomorrow


  1. Ditto for me re the smart meter. You don't HAVE to have one and when my meter needed changing earlier this year they put in a non-smart one at my request.

    That wood pile is a heart-warming sight - not to mention finger and toe warming. It sounded extremely hard work and I hope you're feeling a little less stiff today.
    As for the garden produce - less of the 'one old woman' and more of the 'gifted, motivated and energetic country woman'!

  2. I love reading at the end of the month what you write. My bills are mostly the same each month, except this time I went shopping with my daughter and brought several different things and some plants and I paid for the meal (5 of us) last Sunday but my savings are still good.
    I have not but the heating on yet but did have a hot water bottle on my back for a few hours 1. It was cold and 2. My back was aching.

    Have a nice time with Rachel, my D and GD are coming to day.
    Hazel c uk 🌈🌈🌈

    1. I've clicked the heating on a few evenings - much too chilly for August but not cold enough to want to light a fire

  3. Most excellent on all fronts, especially the wood. I have to do the hard wheelbarrow work whilst DB stacks but this year, hoorah, we have enough logs to not bother.

  4. 'One old woman' is an organised, not letting grass grow under her feet one, getting things ready for an easier winter.

    There was a time when my finger was firmly on the button regarding household things but not any more, so I don't know the first thing about smart meters. I shall leave that to my husband who loves technology.

  5. Resist the smart meter at all costs... I am very impressed with your frugality, self sufficiency eat your heart out. Good for you Sue. I am yearning going back to my simple life living off the land, mind you I was thirty at the time so not such a doable dream now!?!


  6. They keep pestering me to get a smart meter too, and I am also holding out. My heating is coming on most mornings now, but I leave it to take the chill off then over ride it by 8:00 a.m. Lovely to have the security of your wood pile ready to go.

  7. The wood pile looks amazing,its such a good feeling to know that you will be warm isn't it?

  8. It's good to get the woodpile sorted isn't it, knowing you have a good few months of free heat ... we won't count all those aching muscles and the chopping and lugging it all around will we ;-)

    We had no problem with getting a smart meter once they had the right technology to go with our solar panel system, it's helping us to work out how to make savings and has been a bit of an eye-opener ... I now know I wouldn't own a electric Aga again without having LOTS of solar panels for instance!!

  9. Out of interest, why do some people not want smart meters?


    1. So many people have problems with their electric bills once a smart meter is fitted and I'm quite capable of reading the meter myself!

  10. Went this morning to our best local garden centre Sue and saw they had pots of salad leaves for sale - what a good idea - on a window sill they will cut and come again for ages.

    1. Supermarkets used to have trays of living salads but I haven't seen any for ages. What ever I do I never get good lettuces so just buy a bag now and again.

  11. We gor a good deal with our s art meter installation - free Sunday electrcity a for a year. Guess which day all the cooking for a week, laundry, extra drying (if any needed after the line), ironing and vacuuming got done. Great saving.

  12. How nice to have your heating wood sorted out for the winter. I love your end of month posts. You are indeed a very organized and wise person at planning ahead. I hope you have a lovely week!

  13. I'm impressed with your moderation in spending.

  14. As you know as well as I do, smart meters are not compulsorily. ANybody with a brain knows what electicity they are using, I write mine down by in a notebook if I really need to, but don't need to. Common sense tells me when to turn something off.

  15. How lovely to have a good supply of firewood. Not sure about "one old lady" between 60 and 70 is not old.

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