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Distilled Water – making it at home

Distilled water is pretty cheap to buy, but it comes in plastic bottles. I’m trying to avoid plastic as much as possible (see use10percentless.com) so I scoured around for simple ways to make distilled water at home, using just things already available at home. In this case, I’m using the distilled water as a base for car windscreen washer fluid which also usually comes in plastic bottles (and with a bunch of chemicals). So I’m avoiding two sets of plastic bottles.

Here’s how I make distilled water at home.

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Ear Wax – gross, but good solution

I had recent issue with ear wax, that was quite painful, but the solution ended up being simple and easy. Even though the story might be a little gross, I thought I’d share it here in case the simple solution was of use to anybody else. Read more

Garden Diversity and Slugs

While Kim was visiting us in the UK, I planted some cabbages and pumpkin vines in my new, fledgling garden, but they were attacked very quickly by slugs. Hmm. How annoying. I’m trying to keep the garden as close to organic as possible, so I don’t want to use any chemicals to kill the slugs. I started to look into garden diversity as an option and investigated which plants slugs don’t like, then went out and bought some lavender, rosemary, mint and garlic plants to spread around. Guess what? The slugs stopped eating my cabbages and pumpkin almost immediately. Wow!

Here’s a photo of the cabbages and pumpkins that I bought from a local horticultural market. This is how they were before planting. Two pumpkins and about eight to ten cabbages.
garden diversity

When I planted these in the garden, they were quickly attacked by slugs. One of the pumpkins was obliterated completely and the other was badly damaged – I couldn’t see how it could survive. All the cabbages were munched at severely and it looked like only 4-5 had any chance of surviving. Read more

A Slow Worm! A What?

Ever since I’ve moved to England I’ve learnt a lot of interesting (and weird) things. The people here think Australia is weird, but the UK has lots of weird things for an Aussie like me, and the latest one is a “Slow Worm”.

Some of you will know that I do scything in my garden to cut the grass. Ok, I know you think that’s weird but it’s good exercise, interesting and a very effective way to keep the grass under control without needing any engines, fuel, smelly fumes and all that stuff.

On Saturday, I was picking up some of the grass that I’d cut to put in my compost piles and I saw something that surprised me. It looked like a huge worm. Read more

Don’t ever use Chronopost

chronopostDon’t ever use Chronopost

Chronopost is a French courier and mail company (part of the DPD Group) and I’ve had two terrible situations with them. This is just a warning for anyone searching for information on Chronopost – don’t ever use them!

The first problem

A couple of years ago, when I was living in France, I had to send an urgent document to my daughter in Brisbane. Because it was urgent, I decided to pay extra money (it was about 50 euros) to send it by courier. At the French post office, they recommended Chronopost. That was a bad idea. Read more