About 6 months ago a colleague forwarded an email from the Environmental Society at work, looking for people who were interested in purchasing a wormery.  I’ve had my eye on one for ages, so I leapt at the chance, looking forward to converting my kitchen waste into high powered vermicompost for the allotment.  The ordering process took a long time, but finally, just as the weather’s getting colder and the allotment’s about to slow down for the winter, I find myself in possession of both wormery and worms, much to the amusement (and shuddering) of my colleagues.

It’s not, to be honest, the greatest moment to be trying to get a wormery up and running.  After all, the worms don’t really like the cold and the nighttime termperatures are dropping fast.  With that in mind, I set it up in the shed, where it’s a little more protected, and I’m planning to add some additional insulation to try and keep the worms going.

I set up the wormery on top of the freezer, added some coir to the try and then came the moment of truth.  I opened up the bag, and peered inside.  Well, all I could see was dark soil.  So I picked up the bag, and turned it upside down.  Out fell a bundle of soil mixed with shredded papers and plenty of wriggly worms, who wasted no times in exploring their new habitat.  For all those who have been curious about the size of the worms…. well, they’re pretty standard worm size, which is to say 3-4 inches long.

Now to see if I can keep them alive though the winter.  I’m guessing that the post room at the office wasn’t overjoyed at receiving a couple kilos of worms!

New bad habits

The good news is that the new “Rupert-proof” bin is proving to be a success. After 5 days, I haven’t yet found it upturned, or the floor scattered with rubbish. Frustrated in his bin-raiding habits, though, Rupert does seem to be taking out his frustrations by raiding the cupboard shelves for chocolate biscuits, stock cubes, baking powder and anything else that looks like it might make a mess! Now let’s hope that he doesn’t teach the kittens how to use the pedal…

He’s long expressed an interest in the fridge, and unfortunately this week he’s also discovered that it’s actually not as a big a leap as he’d thought. The net result – if I don’t watch out, he jumps in the fridge like a flash when I open it! (See how in the short time it took me to take the photo, the little rascal had already jumped in and tried to make off with the end of a piece of cheese?)


Almost a year to the day since I moved into the house, and I finally got round to putting up some shelves in the attic this weekend. The biggest challenge was getting the shelves home from the Gamma – not to be recommended without a car, on a hot sunny afternoon. For the rest, the job went smoothly, apart from some difficulties with a small bulge in the wall, right where I wanted to screw in the bottom of one of the rails. After a couple calls to Dad for reassurance, it all worked out in the end.


After 10 months and 2 days I finally have a proper bed!

Eet smakelijk

Tonight I ate the first fruits, or in fact salad, of my labours. It turns out that a vegetable garden is very handy indeed when your fridge is empty and you can’t be bothered to go shopping. Despite losing a number of rucola/rocket plants to the cats’ overenthusiastic digging, enough remains for a few meals yet. As for the taste – definitely superior to that on offer at the supermarket (even Rasha seems to think so!)

Other vegetable news – the first signs of beans are appearing, and the fennel is also putting a look in, with the largest bulb being about 1.5 inches long. The potatoes are growing apace, and the onions and carrots are making good progress.


Finally, I managed to clear up the living room enough to take a photo of the new carpet!

Rupert-proofing the house

After weeks of barricading doors with chairs, I finally found time this evening to stop by the hardware store to pick up a) Rupert-proof door knobs, and b) a Rupert-proof hook for the cupboard door. You might think that finding door knobs would be a simple task, but in fact, after 10 minutes of puzzled searching only found me 50+ styles of door handle – completely useless when faced with a determined Rupert, I had to admit defeat and ask for the help of one of the assistants. He also looked confused for a minute, and then triumphantly moved a display rack to the side, revealing the one single model of door knob that was stocked. The question now is, how quickly will he realise that throwing himself at the door will no longer work? Guess I’ll find out when I wake up tomorrow morning.

Unfortunately, it seems that as soon as one part of my life is Rupert-proofed, a new breach in the defenses becomes apparent. Now that Rupert is going regularly outside, I’m pleased to see that he prefers to use the great outdoors, rather than the litter tray. The only problem is that his favourite toilet spots seem to be the vegetable patch and the potato growing pot. Looks like the next step is to Rupert-proof the garden…

Domestic Bliss

For all my plans to publish a triumphant blog entry on September 1st, announcing possession of my very own house, it’s taken over a month to find the time, and internet connection, necessary to do so.

There’s a loaf of bread, fresh out of the bread machine. The dishwasher (how I love the dishwasher) is gurgling away in the corner. The room is bathed with low-level lighting (the only sort I have at the moment, not helped by the fact that every IKEA lamp purchase involves me buying the wrong sort of light bulb).

Whilst the house is still looking a little minimalist, I have now taken possession of a few key domestic items – washing machine, dryer and vacuum cleaner, all of which I have been testing out today. Some of the more basic items – sofa, bed, etc are still near the bottom of the shopping list 🙂

Mum and Dad visited two weeks ago, and gave a hand with clearing the garden, some DIY and various painting jobs. In return, I cooked for them and served them food on paper plates. Possibly not a fair exchange.

Photos will follow eventually, but not until I manage to bring together the correct combination of computer, memory card and camera. A bit of challenge when most of your possessions are in boxes still.

Finally, a house!

After a couple years thinking about it, half a year actively (or semi-actively!) searching, I’ve finally done it. Yep, I’m buying a house in Delft.

The last week has been a crazy rush of appointments and mortgage calculations, all somehow squeezed in between work, Open University exams and travels to Scotland, France and Norway.