Thursday, December 03, 2015


I still have not cut down the artichoke stalks in the garden. On one level, I'm lazy and just haven't gotten around to it (or a round tuit). But (and this is my excuse), on another level, I think they look nice. Right now they're splitting open to release their seeds, which float away on silk when the wind blows.

Dried artichoke flowers releasing their silky seeds.

As for the wireless thermostat that came with the new boiler, as happens often, writing about it has made me into a liar. We waited and waited on Wednesday for the inevitable "fail" only to be disappointed. Or, not disappointed. There was no failure at the predicted time nor at any other time. My neat little theory fell apart. I have only one explanation: I had moved the remote unit to a new location. We suspect that the signal may have been weaker where we had originally put the unit. Now it's in a more open location. If that's the case, it's a very sensitive little box.

We still think that the receiver, which is attached to the boiler itself, is in the wrong place. It's attached to the back side of the boiler, requiring that any signal pass through the boiler itself to be received. The documentation says that metal objects can block the signal. Already, the floor through which the signal passes contains steel beams. Strike one. There is also a reinforced concrete bearing wall in the way. Strike two. Then the signal has to pass through the boiler itself, a metal box filled with metal parts. Strike three. We may ask the installer to relocate the receiver unit to higher up on the wall behind the boiler to eliminate that obstacle. Stay tuned.


  1. "We may ask the installer to relocate the receiver unit"....
    ring them today... you know how long it takes to get someone to do a "small" job, these days!
    That applies to the UK, too... in fact, it is worse there... they just do not want to do small jobs!!
    In the part of Leeds we lived in we used to use a network of "country&westerns"...
    the "Headingley Cowboys" they were known as... professional bodgers!!
    But, normally, they'd do a reasonable bit of work, provided it was within their capabilities!!

    Given what the signal is having to contend with, I would say that it is a pretty powerful signal it is giving....
    ours is connected across to the boiler house, 40 metres away, by wire!!

  2. Not receiving the signal is what I guessed. You have a reasonably big house.

  3. Geez. Too bad the installer didn't follow the guidelines! As for the artichoke: I think it's beautiful. I once had a book on the winter garden -- pruning things to retain beautiful silhouettes in winter as well as leaving things like drying artichoke flowers as winter blooms.

  4. tim, I'm having enough trouble getting the gardening contractor to cut my hedge and trim some trees. Not a small job!

    andrew, not all that big, really, but something is interfering.

    judy, same bat channel!

    mitch, they'd look cool with a little snow on them, I think.

    gosia, :)

  5. I'm with you, Walt. Enjoy every phase of the artichoke flowers while you can. They look very beautiful in today's photo.
    Here, on the Isle of Wight, I had sunflowers still in bloom until the middle of November this year. Now dry and crackly, I thought they might contain seeds so put them at the feeding station for the birds. However, even the ever-voracious sparrows ignored them so I guess the seeds never formed.

  6. Silky sees my foot - them's triffids!!!

  7. I like the seed pods - don't touch them!


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