The Stainless Steel Rat's LiveJournal

The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel


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A semi-OK night with Amélie. She went to bed late, around 9pm, and woke up around 5:30am. I tried to get her to settle, so she has a proper 10-11 hours sleep, but after 30 or so tries gave up and took her to Lu.

After much debating we got our behinds in gear and headed off to Bodiam Castle. The drive would have been a bit shorter than the expected 2 hours, but I wasn't paying attention to the satnav and missed a turn. It only added around 10 minutes, and seemed to mean a more country-fied route, so wasn't a disaster.

The castle itself was amazing, and dates from the 14th century. Although it's small it's almost perfect from the outside. The inside is mostly in ruins, thanks to the English Civil War. Quite a bit of the upper structure is still accessible, albeit from spiral staircases for the most part, so not baby or pram friendly. Lu was quite happy to tour the bottom half though while I ascended the staircases.

We didn't realise the tearoom was at the entrance - about 10 minutes walk from the castle - so had to head back there to get some lunch. Just as we all more or less finished eating Amélie started retching and *bam* she projectile vomited, all over the table, and then all over me. It's probably only the second or third time she's vomited in her life, aside from when she had the norovirus, so it was a bit of a surprise to say the least. I won't go into graphic detail, but suffice to say projectile vomiting is quite a thing to witness (I'm sure most parents will sympathise). It took us 5-10 minutes to get cleaned up, and we had to leave the poor National Trust people to clean up the rest. We thought at this point it was best just to go home, so we did. Amélie looked a little pale, but slept the whole way back, and seems to be OK now. Although we're still wary.

The weather was great - just a touch cold, but lovely in the sun. The drive back was also really nice. Now we're just sorting out the previous mess and then will relax.

Bodiam Castle Back Right Corner (Monochrome)

The rest of the set is here (24 photos in total).

In other news...

Our central heating seems to be on the fritz again, which is a complete joke in a 3-year old property. On the face of it the system seems very simple. It has two zones: 1 = living room, kitchen and dining room. 2 = hall, toilet, bathroom, shower room and bedrooms. Each zone has its own thermostat. You've got to question the logic of putting the thermostat for zone 2 in the downstairs hall, but c'est la vie. When the thermostat triggers it should open a valve in the airing cupboard which then feeds the relevant zone with hot water. That's the theory, but for some reason the valves randomly don't open. You can manually open the valves using a small lever on the side, but it has that feeling you're forcing the valve, and I'm worried eventually it will break. Ever since we've had the house the heating seems to randomly just fail, and require messing around with the valves. While it was still under the 2-year warranty we complained and got one of the valves replaced, and assumed it was sorted. I kept an eye on the system with the house thermometer while we were away in Brazil, over Christmas, and it seemed to maintain a consistent temperature, so I assumed all was OK. I noticed when we came back that the downstairs toilet radiator wasn't coming on ever, but assumed that this was some other issue. Then yesterday the heating didn't seem to come on at all, as it was 15C downstairs a couple of hours after it was supposed to come on. I moved the thermostats to try and force the system on, but no dice. So I again went to the airing cupboard and tried moving the valves for both zones, and the system immediately kicked into life. I noticed a slight smell of burning, and found that the downstairs toilet radiator was on. I suspect the Zone 2 radiators haven't been on for weeks, hence the burning smell.

At the moment we can live with it, but I'm pissed off we're going to have get the system repaired when it's not old. Clearly there's some design fault somewhere, or the valves or controller are repeatedly failing. None of this sounds cheap to repair.

We've yet to think about getting our boiler serviced, but I suspect we'll need to do that at some point. British Gas seem to be the way to go, assuming we can as we buy our gas and electric from someone else.

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I've always loved Bodiam

It's a beautiful place. Such an easy place to take photos, yet even then they don't do it justice.

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