Thursday, 4 September 2008


It's been a long time since I last blogged - the combination of the children on summer holiday and our literal washout of a summer conspired to tie me 'to the kitchen sink'.

AAAAAAHHHH, it's jolly good to be back!

Speaking of water (there were no hosepipe bans this summer!!!) we had an interesting afternoon recently...

When we finally get round to refurbing this horrible pile, we are going to heat it with an open loop ground source heat pump. Smart Americans have been using these for yonks, but they are just beginning to become popular here.

In order to see if our site is suitable for an open loop bore hole we recently had a visit from a water diviner to check our ground! 

A rotund chap, he bore an uncanny resemblance to Jim Royle, which didn't do a great deal to quell my misgivings about whether divining is 'for real' or whether it's really a case of the Emperors new clothes....with us in the lead role of naked monarchs!

'Jim' marched around our garden with his bits of bent coat hanger, I have to confess I was having to try very hard to keep a straight face. This English upper lip was far from stiff!

I might have been able to have believed in 'it', had it not been for stage two of the divining process.

Once 'Jim' had selected his most favoured spot, under a tree (!) he proceeded to do further 'tests'...

Please don't pee yourself, but I will try to describe his antics...

'Jim' stood clasping one coathanger to his barrel chest, then bent over and touched his toes, exposing a vast area of wobbly white back crack. He straightened up, a Yogic like movement then followed, raising his free hand over his head and expelling air while he lowered his hand past his face, neck and then chest. 
"Ah, yes" he murmered "Yes, the water is   240' down."

He repeated his 'Yoga' move again....and declared "Yes!... and I would say you have about 58 gallons per minute there!"

The Husband and I exchanged micro expressions, which included covert raised eyebrows.

How much faith would you have in Jim Royle standing in your back garden making such outlandish claims?  Sorry 'Jimbo' I was struggling to believe in something which looked so comical.

After we had parted with 200 quid.....(was that worth the performance art?) he drove off to another wannabe naked monarch.

And the proof of the pudding......will be in the drilling, though given the amount of blasted water which has fallen out of the sky this summer....maybe we don't need to drill a hole after all?

For those of you who don't know Jim...this was my favourite clip - ever!

Update - we are so absorbed in this house project....we've forgotten that everyone else might not have read all those green building here's a little explanation! 
A ground source heat pump is a way of using heat from the ground to heat your home, it can be done in a few different ways, one of which is a 'slinky' buried under football pitch sized piece of garden, which uses viscous glycol in it's tubes - hard to pump and can cause cooling to the ground over time. 
The other way is open loop - a very deep narrow 'well'  from which you pump up the ground  water, take out the heat and put the water back in the ground. True greenies don't like GSHP's because they use an electric pump for a few hours a day....sadly modern demands make living 'off grid' pretty impossible for most families....and having a hot bath once a week won't work for me!!