Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Goodbye Mrs

Our oldest hen, Mrs, died during the night.   She was 5 years old, and the last of our very first foray into hatching eggs.   She was the mother of Tilda, who died last week.

Mrs, wearing a saddle to protect her
Spitting image of her daughter, she was also a hybrid whose "breed" has been designed for  a short life.  

Because she had been handled so much from birth, she was a very friendly and amenable girl.  She was happy to be picked up, loved treats, and was never any trouble.

She stopped laying eggs a long time ago (although I thnk we did get a surprise one from her a few months ago). 

Mrs and Roo as chicks
We were surprised that she reached 3, as her odd shape and stumpy little legs got a little stiff, but she never looked unwell. 

We were even more surprised when she reached 4, last year,  and then were further amazed that she came through last winter still looking bright eyed and alert. 

We had assumed that this was likely to be her last year... but then I we thought that last year too. 

   She had a very long and, I think,  happy retirement.

Mrs, on the path outside the allotment having a nibble
Apart from her age and stiffness, there were no signs of illness, and I am once again grateful that she died quickly and peacefully.

She was a lovely Girl.


Feeder change

We heard that kazoo sound this morning, which means that one of the Boys is trying to crow.    It won't be long before all the boys are trying to crow,  and from there it's but  amon=ment to them all managing to do it.

I previous years, the kazooing has been the signakl to ship them off to the allotment.

Except we're not ready.

The Allotment is ready.  They coop there is ready,  the ground has been rested since Spring.   But we're a bit behind with training them touse the Grandpas feeders, they are still on the "partially open" step.   We rectified that this morning, so we're watching to see whether everyone can use them.

We have one chook who still insists on climbing inside the feeder. He's quite large, so it is a bit of a squash for him, but he still does it.  

I contacted Richard from Grandpas Feeders a few weeks ago.   I wanted him to have some pics of chicks happily using the GPs.   Richard mentioned that the GPs now come with a grille which prevents chooks from getting inside, and he offered to send me one to try.  Retrofitting would be a bit tricky, he said, but could be done.

The grille arrived.

It looked familiar.  "Are you sure we didn't get one of these with the last feeder we bought?"  I asked DH.

I looked online to see how they were fitted. The online instructions didn't mention anything about fitting them. I looked at the grille.  It must just slot in to a new feeder,

We were getting ready for our Allotment's annual summer barbeque.  DH went to get the coolbag down from the shelf in the utility room.  He came out with the coolbag, and a grille, and a bit of a grille.

I went out and checked the feeders in the Big Girls run.  One of them had fixings for a grille.  As did one of the feeders in with the Chicks.

So fitting the grilles took seconds.

And now we're waiting to see how long it takes the chicks to work out  the treadles.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Goodbye Tildy

Matilda, my house hen, died this morning. She was 4 years, 4 months old.

She was hybrid, designed for a life expectancy of less than 2 years. Originally bred as a table bird, she just had something about her. She was always interested in what we were doing and, right from when she was a chick, she was always happy to be picked up and petted.  She had a bit of a disability - her wing was slightly wrong. We became so attached to her, that we just couldn't cull her, so we kept her as a pet.

She died once before, December 2012.  I saw it happen, rushed out and brought her in. She revived, and we kept her in the kitchen so she could die peacefully and in her own time.

Instead of passing away peacefully, she rallied. Attempts over the next few weeks to put her back with the others failed. We didn't think she'd survive for long, so we carried on letting her live in the kitchen, with her own little pied a terre. She pottered around the kitchen during the day, taking herself to bed at night.  Sometimes she went out for a bit, but often just let herself back in again.

Baby Tilda
Tilda in her night time pied-a-terre
We adapted to having a house hen, she became one of the family, and we adjusted our lives to take into account her needs. As soon as we came in, we'd check on Tilda and say hello, and have a chat. She was always interested in whatever we were doing .

For the first 6 months, she showed no interest in going to live outside. She had free access to the outside, the door was open (except when it was raining), and she came and went as she pleased.  She always chose to come in.

In the Summer of 2013, she decided she wanted to try and live with her hatch mates again, despite their contribution to her earlier death.  They didn't want her, but she persisted.. It took several attempts by her (against our advice, after the first time ended in another collapse), but she was determined.   She managed to live outside with them until December 2013 when they turned on her again and she collapsed once more.

Tilda making herself at home

She came back into the house, and revived. She again lived in the kitchen (with free access to outside) since then.  I used to put her in the Other Girls run (with the Other Girls locked out) so she could dustbathe (see video).
Wandering around the garden

She "wasn't quite right" for the entire 19 months she lived indoors with is,  That's why the others turned on her in the first place. However, she ate and drank and chirruped and chatted,  and seemed quite happy.  Her tail was usually up, she was bright eyed.

If she fancied  a snackerel, and whatever she fancied hadn't already been provided, she'd call us into the kitchen.

It was always easy to tell what she wanted.  When she ate yoghurt she ended up smacking her beak together.  When she wanted yoghurt, she just made the eating-yoghurt face and sounds, and I would put some fresh down for her.

Having a house chook long ago stopped seeming odd.

With summer approaching, we upgraded the spare/hospital Go so that Tilda could  stay outside at night if she chose to. It also meant that she could stay outside during the day, rather than having to come back into the kitchen if we were going out.   To our surprise, Tilda always chose to come back in to the kitchen at night
  She slowed down a lot over the last month, but was eating, drinking, and pooing  normally (normally for Tilda, anyway).

Yesterday when she came in, she wasn't right. She was very hot.  I treated her for heatstroke,  spent a lot of time getting water and cucumber in to her, gave her some Nutridrops.  She didn't fight the Nutridrops, and she wasn't interested in small pieces of grape,  so I had an inkling that this might be "It"  She has had a couple of episodes before  and she has recovered, so I hoped this would be like that - a drama followed by a recovery.

This morning, she wasn't interested in anything to eat, not even yoghurt. Not even a grape shard.   She took herself outside without waiting for the offer of a lift down the step (another rarity,) and sat under the shade of the strawberry planter. I put her food, water, yoghurt and cucumber out, but she didn't even look at it. I noticed that her comb was a little purple.It didn't bode well.
I came back a little while later, and sat on the ground with her while she had her death throes. It was over quickly.  I'm happy that she didn't suffer, wasting away over days. I know she had a good life, much longer than she should have.

She was much loved, and she will be sorely missed. The kitchen doesn't look right without her in it.
When she was still welcome in the flock.

My little girl.

(video of Tilda dustbathing)

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Hot hen

Matilda spends her days in the depths of the Pampas grass, where it is relatively cool.  She moves around in thre during the day, and several times a day I move her yoghurt pot and her drinker to be near her.  I also dunk her beak, which she hates, trying to make sure she drinks.

She's been coming to the back door quite late. On a couple of occasions, I've thought she's going to stay out. That's fine, but I would have moved her to the safety of the Go Up (but not "up") if she wanted to stay out. 

I gave her a quick bath today. Her undercarriage was a bit sniffy,  and I thought it would help her cool down. She seemed to appreciate it.

Today whem she came in, she looked a bit dehydrated. Her comb was a bit small (smaller than usual).  She wouldn't drink, she didn't want Pog (Yoghurt. Yoggy Pog. I know, it just happened!).  I found a couple of cucumber ends in the fridge.  Normally I get them out and cut them into small squares so she can bolt them down.  I bliized them today so they were very small pieces, and put them into a coop cup.  She ate lots of it.

I had to stand with a torch shining on the pot so she could find it.  Chickens don't see well in the dark, and Tilda is also selectively hard of seeing.  Believe me, if it was pitch black and I rolled a grape near her, she would see that and gobble it down.  Everything else, not so much.

I might leave the fan on for her tonight.

Is that a bit much?

Thermomix arrived

Well, my Thermomix arrived, was unpacked, washed, and I waited for DH to get back from seeing to the allotment chooks before I did anything.

I then spent several hours playing.

I'm stuffed to the eyeballs already, and I've only eaten vegetable salad (admittedly, there was a lot of it, and I did eat it all), a bit of coleslaw and a large smoothie. Plus munching on white cabbage as I went along. I love white cabbage.

Tonight we're going to try barramudi with coconut rice and steamed vegetables.

Fingers crossed.

I didn't/don't want to be come a Thermy bore, so I've started a separate blog to help me track my progress. 

I would definitely recommend going to a demo. Even if you would never think of buying one. 

I love DPD

We get lots of deliveries. 

Neither of us enjoys going shopping - too many people,  cars,  shops not having what we want - so we tend to shop online.  I sometimes use deliver-to-store where I can get to an out-of-town outlet with easy parking, but that only works (for me)  for a limited number of retailer.s

Everything else is delivered, and so we have experienced many, many couriers.

My favourite is DPD.

I like DPD because we get an email giving us a 1 hour timeslot.

That, on it's own, would be enough.  But they also tell us the delivery driver's name (and we usually get the same chap), and the tracking is great.

The tracking link tells us what delivery number we are, and what number our driver is currently delivering. It also estimates how long it will be before he gets to us, this further narrowing down the window.   And we can even see exactly where his vehicle is.

Most of the time we're not eagerly awaiting delivery. It's just stuff.

But today I'm getting my Thermomix.

And they use DPD.  Fantastic!

Sunday, 20 July 2014


The chicks are now just over 6 weeks old.  

A while ago, I put a child sized garden bench into their paddock. They didn't pay much attention to it initially.  Lately they've all been busy trying to get up on things (the feeders, the waterers, the wheels on the Cube,  the electric hen (which has been turned off for ages, but they like to stand on it).

In the last few days they've started using the bench. 

There were 5 of them on the back of the bench when I went to get my camera, but only three when I got back.

Welcome Back!

Poppy is back!

She appeared yesterday, as she does everyday for her feed-poo-legstretch-and-dustbathe.  However, she didn't seem to go back to the nestbox.

And this morning, she was out with the others from first thing.

Thank goodness for that!

She's been broody since the middle of May, which hasn't been good for her or for everyone else.  She's been preventing anyone else using the nestboxes (even the one next door); the Oldies don't lay very often, which is probably just as well from a nest-box point of view.  I put a separate nestbox elsewhere in the run for Lotti to use.

I'm so happy to have her back.

I wasn't quite so happy at 5.30 this morning when she was attempting to crow under the bedroom window....

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Monty Python

My Aussie DIL absolutely loves Monty Python.  For her birthday, her lovely husband (my DSS1) managed to get tickets to see the team perform at the O2.

And they very kindly invited us to join them!

How lucky was that?!

We decided to drive to the O2. We usually get a train and either the tube or boat.  It was too hot for standing around waiting for trains and tubes (and would be worse on the way home). Besides, we have prevuously found it difficult to get back to Waterloo in time to get the last train home.

Overall, driving wasn't much longer (door to door), and we had the benefit of air-con all the time.

Some people had dressed up for the occasion, they looked great but must have been sweltering. I particularly admired the couple dressed as cardinals from one of my favourite sketches.

The show was marvellous.

Everything was "brilliant!".

The staging was great, everything was really well designed.  We had excellent seats, but even if we hadn't, the screens would have meant we were able to see.

The chaps looked like they were really enjoying themselves. Terry Gilliam's graphics were cleverly interwoven, as were recordings of sketches involving Graham Chapman.

Absolutely fab.


Well, I've done it.

I  have finally ordered a Thermomix.

I've been considering a Thermie for 18 months or so now. I read up about it, watched lots of YouTube videos,  looked at sites where people hadn't got on with it, and I started saving up.  My Quidco cashback,  Ebay sales, voucher sales...  I even sold my Vitamix in anticipation of switching to a Thermie, and that gave me the extra cash I needed.

I managed without the Vitamix, and began to question whether I should bother buying a Thermie at all.

I wondered about whether a new model would be introduced and how I'd feel if I'd just bought an "old" one. 

I finally booked a demo.  I had chicken pox and had to cancel.

I tried to reschedule, but it was proving difficult to get a date and time that suited me.   I eventually booked a date in August.

Then Thermomix had an offer on their cookbooks, valid throughout July until the 25th.   I wasn't happy.   Was this stock clearing ready for something bigger, better?    

I rescheduled my demo to the 18th July anyway, at my house,  and invited a couple of people I thought might be interested.  My brother and my aunt both own Vitamixes and, whilst I didn't think they would particularly want to buy a Thermy, I was interested in what they thought of it.  I invited my neighbour - she already knew about Thermies because one of her friends owns one.   It was important to me that DH was there too. He never used the VItamix, and I didn't want the same thing to happen if we bought a Thermie.

By the time we got to the morning of the demo, I had pretty much decided I wasn't going to buy one yet. I'd heard rumours (which have been circulating for some years) that a new model was imminent.  

The demo was really really good.    I was more impressed than I expected to be.  It knocked the spots off a Vitamix.
I decided I'd buy one.  If a newer, better model comes out, I'll worry about that at the time.

I hope I like it.  I hope DH uses it.

I guess we'll see....

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Bamboo floor

When we converted a bedroom into a bathroom, some 16 or so years ago, we chose bamboo flooring.  This was very new back then, I don't even remember how I found out about it (the Internet back then wasn't what it is today) and we had to travel some way to find it.

When I told people we had bamboo flooring, I could see by the looks on their faces that they were imagining bamboo canes next to each other.  I still think that myself sometimes.

Anyway.  The floor, and it's shiny finish, has been very hard wearing.  In the last few years, it's started to look a bit in need of TLC in places.    We plan to replace it with Karndean at some point,  but as the bamboo is quite thick and the Karndean is very thin,  it's not such a simple job.  We keep putting it off.

Pleased with the success of my efforts refreshing the living room floor, I started to investigate whether it was possible to do something with the bamboo.   It's a very different finish to Karndean, so I didn't think those products would work.  I went through my files and found the original information sheet about the floor.  The product, and the company, don't seem to be available now.

I found a company which specialises in bamboo floors (http://www.bambooflooringcompany.com/).  The products they sell didn't seem particularly like ours, but then I imagine flooring  technology has moved on somewhat.  I looked at their accessories page, and couldn't work out whether the products they offered would be OK on my floor.

I emailed them for help,  explaining what flooring we had and giving them the description of the finish from the brochure.  To my surprise, they responded. And almost straight away. 

I bit the bullet and ordered some of the routine cleaner and the Refresher that they recommended.   I managed to find a spare piece of bamboo flooring in the loft, so this morning I tried out the Refresher on that.  It looked OK. 

So, I bit another bullet, and decided to do the whole floor.   DH was out for the day, which was a shame as the money plant is a monster and definitely a two person job.   In the end, the floor was clear, and I vacuumed and swiffered it. Then I cleaned the skirting boards, and used a tiny brush to clean out under the skirtings and all the other nooks and crannies.   Then I washed it with the routine cleaner.  Then I swiffed it again.

And then I had a go with the Refresh. Experience has taught me to plan these things so I don't, literally, paint myself into a corner.

It looked OK when I shut the bathroom door.    I have to wait a couple of hours for it to dry.

Fingers crossed that the money plant doesn't decide to shed any leaves on to the sticky floor.

Fiddlers Elbow

It's been a sunshine and showers day so far.

When the sun is out it is really hot.  Then the clouds creep over, it goes a little cooler, and then it rains.

I love rain  when it's like this, it's so refreshing.

However, when you have naive baby chickens,  it's a bit of a pain.   It takes them a little while to realise that it's wet. This is made even more difficult because of course they don't really understand what "wet" is.

When I see rain spots, I rush outside.  Some of the babies will already be back in the dryness of the Cube's covered run.  Some of them will even have grabbed an early spot on the top of the Electric Hen.

There are also one or two little chaps who just don't understand.   

We have a cherry tree behind the Cube, which is impassable (on the inside of the netting) by humans.  It's perfectly passable by small chickens.    I walk round the Cube run, effectively chasing the reluctant baby towards the run door.  When I get to the cherry tree, I can go no further.   And of course if I go round the other way,  the same thing happens.

There is a little door at the back of the run..but if I open it, I know some of the nosier babies will just have to come outside and see what's happening.

I think I might put my pedometer back on and see how many steps it actually takes me.  Twice this morning so far.

Ot I might just find something to block up the littlun's escape route. Why didn't I think of that before?

Outside Chicks

The baby chooks have now spent their second night outside in the Cube.  They aren't ready to be comletely off-heat for another week, so the  larger Electric Hen was in the back of the Cube with them, and on, of course.   

 When they were in the shed brooder at night they had both the small electric hen and the brooder lamp on. The brooder lamp was on very low power (only about 10-20%),  but it still gave them a bit of light which means that they hadn't learnt to sleep overnight. This means they have no concept, yet, of bed time.

Last night we waited until nearly 9pm. It was still quite warm, but the light was about to fade, so we popped them in through the egg port.   We'll probably be egg porting them for another day or two, as trying to shuffle chicks up ladders is like trying to herd cats.  If they don't start going of their own accord, we will do it.

I noticed this morning (by the location of the poo) that they aren't sleeping under or near the hen.  It hasn't been that cold at night.   I think we probably have had them out a week earlier in the past, but the weather this year has just been too variable.

This morning it was raining, so we let them out into the covered Cube run, bit didn't open the door to the wider world until much later.    I also moved the Hen on to the grass for them, as I'm not convinced they'd think of going upstairs if they got chilly.

Yesterday they started bosom-bumping,  and today there are lots of little square-off matches going on.  This means that they will get the pecking order sorted out without too much trouble.  

There's not much chance of them needing to go back in the shed brooder, so I dismantled the mesh sides, finished sweeeping it out, and took up the floor.  It's currently laid out on the grass as rain is likely, and that will be a start to getting it clean.  I'll pressure wash and disinfect it later this afternoon.

Here's a quick pic of Big Bird and friend,  eyeing up something in the grass.

Thursday, 10 July 2014


The chicks have been managing to break out of their netted enclosure.   I've lost count of the number of times one or other or both of us have been out trying to catch slippery little chickens to pop them back in.

We couldn't see any obvious gaps in the netting. DH weighted the middles down with bricks, just to make sure.  3 escape attempts later,  he found a hole in the netting. No idea how we missed it, but we did.

It's repaired now and we've had no successful escapes since.

This morning when I got them out of the shed to put them in the garden, I realised that they have become tiny chickens instead of large chicks.   They are 5 weeks old now, so it shouldn't be a surprise... but it is.  I'm sure that just yesterday they looked like gangly overgrown chicks. 

Feather Growth spurt overnight, I think.

They are, as always, such cutie pops.  Because the majority are plain black, the three brown ones stand out a bit.  And because one of the brown ones is much lighter (and bigger) than the others, s/he stands out most of all.     Of course, if we had 7 brown ones and three black ones, it would be the black ones we'd be drawn to.

The light brown one is known as Big Bird. We think s/he was the one that was enormous when hatched, and we referred to him/her as "Big Bird" then because s/he was a big yellow ball of fluff.

What's the first rule of Dinner Chickens? Don't name them.  

We don't even put rings on (unless we have to), because the colour of the ring acts a substitute name.  Whenever we've had rings on birds before, they end up being known as "Grey", or "Orange" or whatever. And I know how much harder that makes things.

Big Bird.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Growing Up

A couple of days ago we pegged some close-mesh netting out so that the chicks could start to experience life outside the run.   They love it!

At the same time, we put out one of our Grandpas Feeders, the idea being that we want them to get used to it right from the get-go rather than having to move them over to it later.  After one day, we removed the other feeder so the only feeder they have (when not in the shed) is this one.

Because it is in the locked-open position, they have no trouble using it. Here they are aged 4 and a half weeks.

It will stay like this until they are heavy enough to operate the treadle, when we'll move it to the partially closed position. That'll be another week or two I expect.

EDITED TO ADD: The newer Grandpas Feeders have a grill. This is designed to prevent birds flicking the feed out, but would also have the added advantage of preventing the chicks from getting in to the feeder.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Blue air

Now, if I have to catch the chicks on my own, the air usually turns a slight shade of blue.

They have reached the stage where the large trug isn't tall enough to contain them. By the time I have 4 of them in, one or more of them has flapped to the top and tried to jump out.   Moving the chicks is usually one, two, or three at a time and so it takes ages.

They are regular little Houdinis as well, often jumping out and then running round and round the outside of the cube run.  They are almost impossible to catch, as they have the speed of Roadrunner, and are tiny alippery things to boot.

Yesterday I could see that it was going to rain so I went to get them to put them inside the shed.  Much time later, the air was a very deep shade of blue. It was hailstoning, and I still hadn't managed to catch the last chick.   I was muttering threats of letting the Cats have himher, and declaring that I didn't care anymore.  But of course I did care, and I did carry on until I'd caugt the last ungrateful little scamp.

Even getting them out of the shed into the garden run is now a challenge which takes several trips.

We've started decanting them into the Cube, and then opening the pop hole so that they get used to going down the ladder.  That part of the strategy has been very successful,  although they have yet to bother going back upstairs.  

We need them to learn to sleep at night, for which we need to turn the heat lamp off (and leave them with just the electric hen).  In previous years this has been a fairly easy step, but this year the night-time temperature has been somewhat variable.   Even now, we've still go the lamp on a little bit (we have a dimmer switch, so we have more options than just on/off).    Once we can get them to sleep at night, we can think about moving them into the Cube (with an electric hen in the back).  I'm guessing they'll need to be 5+ weeks before we think about that, and even then we will only do it if the weather forecast is good.   They'll need the Electric Hen until they are at least 6 weeks old, possibly longer.

Thursday, 3 July 2014


Eventually, six hours had passed.  We waited an extra half hour or so, then started the slow process of putting the furniture etc back.

It took 2 hours to get most of it in, including re-loading the cupboards.  We stopped for dinner, and then did a few bits. There is a little bit more to do, fiddly faddly bits,  and the plants are still outside having a holiday.

The floor looks lovely and smells divine.  It also feels really lovely underfoot (I've been barefoot in the room, not wanting to introduce any carp on the soles of my slippers).

My back hurts. I'm sure DH's everything hurts, as he had to move some things on his own. 

I'm sure I'll appreciate it all tomorrow. 

And it'll be a while before we do this room again,


We heard Tilda grunting, long before she came round the Pampas corner.

When she materialised, she was panting heavily and obviously stressed with the heat.  There is plenty of shade where she had been but she had chosen to sit in full sun. At least, I assume so. 

She headed inside the Pampas.

I went out to see her.  I gave her some water.  I got a cool wet towel and wrapped it round her.  I cut up cucumber and held it in my hand while she ate. It took a while.  I made up some more water with Avipro (which is a water additive for reptiles and birds, for stress) and droppered it in to her.

I came back into the house and saw that my arms had rather caught the sun.

A rummage in the cupboard unearthed some children's factor 50 "tear free" water resistant sun spray. I sprayed.  Then I bit my lip.   For quite a long time.  Liars!

It may be that it shouldn't be applied when one has already caught the sun.

Or it may be that I had a lot of weals on my arm from the Pampas.

Whatever the cause, it made my eyes water.


So I finished the stripping yesterday evening, and we moved the AV stand into the hall. Izzy decided to have a roll on the floor, which was a bit annoying.

Downstairs is chocablock with "stuff". 

This morning we moved the sofas outside.

O M G!  

We have two x two seater sofas, with electric recliners in all seats.  The sofas weigh a tonne!  We had to use a sack barrow to lift up one end.

I then saw some scuff marks on the floor, and I had to use the remover, all over again.  I tried using the cyclinder Vax to rinse the floor,  wil be interesting to see if it worked.

We had the french windows open, and the ceiling fan going, and it dried out fairly quickly.  I then gave it it's first coating of Refresh (previously known as Dim Glow).  Waited 30 mins, and applied the second coat in the opposite (lengthways) direction.   The french doors now have some mesh across them to prevent the cats going in for a look around.

We just have to wait 6 hours for it to set enough to move stuff in.

I'm going to do the kitchen and hall next, but I think I'll wait for a day when DH isn't here.  There isn't much to move out of the way, so it should be fairly easy (apart form the long wait). I can barricade the cat flap, and give the cats their food outside. Or something. 

First things first.

Jacks in the Box

The chicks have had a growth spurt, and are now like little Jack in the Box.   Even catching them in the shed to take them outside now takes several trips.  Catching them in the afternoon to put them back is even worse.

They are 4 weeks old today.  Because there are only 10 of them, the 3m cube run has been plenty big enough.   Even so, we're going to look at putting some netting out (probably next week as the forecase for the weekend is rain) so that they can start exploring outside a bit more.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014


It's time to re-protect my Karndean living room floor.  It's been time for a couple of years now but, somehow, I just haven't managed to get around to it.  The stripping and prptecting is actually quite easy,   requires a bit of elbow grease and time to dry, but it isn't difficuly.    

The problem is the preparation.  Emptying the room. 

Anyway,   decided that I was DEFINITELY going to do it, as soon as the weather was dry enough for us to stand furniture outside for the day.    

And I'm going to do it tomorrow.

I know from past experience that it takes hours to empty the room.  This is because it isn't just a case of moving, say, the display cabinet; no, the cabinet has to be emptied first, and then be unscrewed from the wall.  And the printer cupboard, the paper drawers need emptying. .  And storgae things behind the sofa need moving.  It all adds up.

In previous years, disconnecting and moving the AV equipment has taken a couple of hours on it's own. This time that  shouldn't be the case, as we should be able to unplug from the wall and move the whole trolley out.

I've spent several hours this morning emptying the display cabinet thing, and the printer cupboard, and sorting the contents.  I've put stuff in the bin, stuff in the charity-shop box, and organised the rest.  I've moved the stuff from behind the sofa.     My PC station is ready to roll away. 

The real killer is going to be moving the cross trainer. 

My plan is that this evening, before bed,  we'll move out everything that isn't going outside for the day.   Then tomorrow morning, we can spend half an hour (ha ha) moving the stuff that needs to stand on the patio for the day,  then I can do the floor stripping.   We can have breakfast while that is drying.  Then I can get the two coats of protector on before lunchtime.  And then in the evening sometime, we can put (some of) the stuff back.

We'll see how it goes.