Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Getting Ready for Winter Part I - Man Stuff !

Right! Time to roll our sleeves up to get ready for winter.
While we were travelling home from Cornwall on Sunday D. and I discussed what had been done an what was still needing to be done before winter sets in.
Some of our preparations may seem a little extreme, but as  power failures in winter are not unknown here we like to be prepared. A few years ago we were without electricity for four days and our youngest daughter was without water for six days. Many of you more mature frugellers will remember the 70s when we had the four day week and miners strikes when the electability was rationed. Some of you will have experienced more flooding of recent years and know the consequences of that. There is nothing more sure that it will be colder so, " be prepared" we say !
 I asked D to itemise the tasks he always set himself at this time of year. Here is his list,  given to me while he was driving, so he probably missed a few things.

  • Sweep the chimney
  • Clear out drains and guttering (keep checking, especially throughout the autumn as the leaves are falling and after a heavy rainfall)
  • keep collecting wood, splitting logs, cutting up pallets for burning and making kindling.
  • Ensure all wood is undercover with the greenest at the back.
  • Buy in a small reserve of coal (This is particularly useful if you are unwell and want an easy to maintain, hot fire)
  • Service the generator.
  • Buy in a couple if gallons of diesel for the generator and store in a safe place.
  • Check all equipment that uses batteries,  such as torches and buy in new supply of batteries.
  • Service the Tilly lamps, buy new mantles and a gallon of paraffin. (If you have a camping stove, ensure that it is where you can find it and that you have new gas cartridges)
  • Put torches at the side of beds and at least one downstairs ( a small one by the fuse box too is a good idea)
  • Gather anything needed for inside (i.e workshop) jobs. All the mending of tools, beehives, chicken runs etc.
  • Check the car over and put the winter "in case of" in the boot. You know the stuff, de-icer, scraper etc and  not forgetting the Kendle Mint cake!.
  •  There is also a HUGE list of gardening jobs, most involving oiling and greasing, creosoting, covering up and bonfires!

As you can see these are MAN jobs. Well, I'm quite happy with such an un-PC idea, as I have more than enough to do. (see following posts)
Do you remember Blogchick? D. peeled him/her out of a cold egg, revived it an then we stuck it under Manny Mummy, here is a picture to remind you.
 And here he/ she is today, walking with Manny Mummy, who, as you can see is a very proud and very ferocious mother. Blogchick gets first dibs at the grain and scraps, Manny Mummy sees to that.  Please note that the colour of a chick is not necessarily the colour of the chicken and baby black Blogchick is now half brown and half black.
Those chicken pictures are especially for Stu in Scotland, who apparently likes chicken pictures (Hmmm)
Until tomorrow Frugellers


  1. Do you think anyone REALLY likes kendal mint cake? I'd rather have an emergency supply of chocolate!! :-)

    1. The best way to eat kendal mint cake is in very thin slices and coated with chocolate. Oh no that's After Eights I'm thinking about ha ha.
      Couldn't agree with you more.

  2. I love chicken photos, too.

    We are whittling down our winter list, too. Although I don't think my winters are normally as harsh as yours.

    1. We are never quite sure how our winter will span out. Sometimes they are quite mild, though wind can sometimes cause the odd power cut. But then the next one might be bitterly cold, with very low temperatures and heavy snow, which tends to make the transport system unreliable too.
      Glad that you like chicken photos .More tomorrow!

  3. Gosh you are very organised - I may use some of your hubby's list for a starter for us to follow - Very thorough and well thought through xx

    1. Thanks for that. We haven't always been organised. We have learnt some very valuable lessons from experience!

  4. I have to have a 'chicken fix' every now and then too. That's until I get some of my own!
    I was 'dragged up' in Ilkeston but was born in Belper and every so often, my sis and I have to have a 'Derbyshire fix' too!

    1. Hee hee . Love your "dragged up" in Ilsen bit. I'm there tomorrow morning to pick up my sewing machine that's being serviced. I will give it your love!
      We only live 5 miles from Belper. Call in if you are up this way

  5. Hello! Like you we are preparing for winter and have done most of the things on your list. We still have the car to prepare, winter tyres and emergency bits like the snow shovel to put in the boot. A bag of cat litter came in very handy one year for getting off the ice when we were stuck!

    1. D' nearly put in the shovel bit, but it seemed a bit extreme as we only put one in when snow is forecast.
      Living in the Highlands you get a lot more weather than us I reckon!
      Love the cat litter idea. It reminded me that D. always gets buckets of sand and salt ready for the drive.
      Nice to hear from you