Another sleeper wall

Well, the Groovy Pad is nearly finished – should be this week. Just as bloody well, the Responsible Adult and I are freezing in La Studio. I accused her of keeping the red plonk in the fridge today it was so bloody cold. Will have to get out the old mulled wine recipe out tomorrow. Anyway with the joys of living on a sloping paddock comes the added joy of retaining walls. So I just had a bucket load of sleepers delivered in readiness to construct a wall. Good mate has lent me his trailer so I can go and get cement mix and I should be in business by the weekend (unless we are moving in). The good news this time is that the truck was able to get very close to where the action will be, so I don’t have to shift a couple of tons of timber. The posts have been cut, so I guess next step will be the extremely fun job of digging holes.
If you want to drop in and do some digging, feel free.

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The cheap and cheerful Chinese shower

Well we’re having a terrific time in La Studio while the Groovy Pad is being built. It is all a bit primitive but we are loving it. So, it came time to work out what to do about a shower. I had a look on line and found that the Chinese are manufacturing small instant hot water systems powered by electricity. The costs varied, but most were around the $100 mark. I paid about $120 but it is red and I work on the theory that red ones must be hotter. So I started off by concreting in some posts. Then I ran a water line from our old recycled water pump to a garden tap. Hooked it up to the shower and off we almost went. These things suck a lot of power so it knocked out a couple of power boards until I plugged in directly to a power point and we were right. It needs a heavy duty extension cord – I’m using a 10 amp lead. The heat selection is turned to full on. It takes about 10 seconds to heat up and then it is a bit hit an miss for the temperature. It depends on the flow rate and with a water pump, you can’t get a steady flow. But the minimum is about 32 degrees Celsius and it can get to over 50 degrees, which is a bit warm for my delicate paddock worker skin. Anyway, it is working out just fine and so long as the easterly breeze isn’t too strong, it is all good.
Here’s what it looks like:

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Fixing the Dunny

Back to the reality of home and maintenance. Our house sitter left a note with a few things that had gone wrong while we were away. One of these was a leaking dunny. The seal between the cistern and the pan had gotten old, brittle and was leaking at every flush. So I bought a new one for $2.40 and proceeded to fix the problem. Here’s how in case you ever need to do it.

Step 1. Turn off the water and flush the dunny. Undo the two nuts delivering water into the cistern and water out of the cistern. Like in the pic:


2. Loosen the screws that hold the cistern on the wall. That will allow you raise it a bit and jiggle it around so the pipe comes out. The old stuffed seal will just come away. If you compare your new seal to the old one, you may not believe they are the same size. The old one will have stretched a fair bit and look a lot bigger. Don’t panic. Stop and have a cup of tea if you need to.


3. Put your new seal onto the pipe first. A bit of vaseline will help, or you could put your new seal into hot water first. Make sure you push it back as far as the old one sat. Once it is on the pipe, turn it inside out. Like this:


4. Now you need to put everything back in place. The new seal is the hard bit to get on but if you do it last, you have the other bits holding it in place for you. Jiggle the cistern to fit the pipes back in. Do up the nuts and finally, pull back the new seal so it fits around the inlet on the pan. Phew – good on you.


5. Now you just need to give everything a good clean and you have earned big bonus points with your Responsible Adult. Have a sit down and a nice Shiraz – you earned it.





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