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Posts from the ‘Home Maintenance’ Category

Colourful Garden Bed

It’s quite amazing that we have, all of a sudden, a colourful garden bed near our house. This area has been a bit of a disaster area for the past few years as we’ve had major renovations to the house, had a new patio and paths put in and only had the garden beds bordered with bricks a year ago. These garden beds were really like a war zone with labourers, brickies, scaffolders and decorators working all around them (and over them!) for such a long time. 

After the brick borders were put in last year, I got into the beds and did the first attempt to clear the weeds and I gave everything a pretty good prune. Also, in the autumn, I put a lot of the fallen leaves in the beds as mulch. It’s really pleasing to see today just what a nice colourful garden bed we have. It’s putting on a nice show (as my father would have said). Read more

Pooltester kit – avoiding Bromine Hot Tub nightmares

When I bought a hot tub back in 2017, I decided to go with bromine instead of chlorine because I read that it was softer/milder and worked better in warm water. Well, it all started off as a bit of a nightmare. For a couple of months, I couldn’t get the water looking good and it kept going opaque and green. I was following the instructions given by the manufacturers (Hydropool) but these were inadequate and, in many cases, not good advice. After lots of frustration, I asked a friend who had a hot tub and he said he started off with bromine but switched to chlorine because of similar problems. This didn’t sound good, but I didn’t want to give up and wanted to get my bromine hot tub working properly. I did a lot of research and have sorted out all the problems now and have a crystal clear bromine hot tub. And it’s true that bromine feels less harsh than chlorine. One of the keys to sorting this out was getting a serious pooltester kit.

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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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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