Useful You-Tube!

You-tube, as a Landlady – I love you, and here is why:

Nobody can be good at everything.

I count myself as someone who isn’t an expert at anything (apart from maybe Harry Potter book knowledge), but I’m okay at quite a few things, including DIY.

I can use a drill, saw, sand, hammer, paint, etc.
But there are a lot of gaps in my skills.

My 2 biggest issues with a New Rental :

When someone moves in, there are lots of things that need to go smoothly, and lots of potential for teething problems.
In my 4 tenancies so far… there have been consistent problems with 2 things:
Heating & Hot Water – how it works!?
How do you get furniture into the Front room?

Heating & Hot Water
My plumbing knowledge leaves a lot to be desired, partly as I have very little natural interest in the subject. The view I would like to have is ‘As long as it works, I do not care or need to know how‘. However, as a Landlady/Landlord, there is not a lot more embarrassing than not being able to describe how to operate the heating & hot water on, in your own house. I have been in that situation, it’s not fun, and it is really important to tenants that these things work. Of course.
My heating system is quite complicated – In the past I have even called a plumber out simply to explain the system to me again, having forgotten since the last time I had to explain it.
I didn’t want to do that this time – so I put in some in some extra research and basically, in a nutshell, You-Tube came to the rescue.

The offending controller
Annoying instructions
Lovely and clear video-tutorial.

Not only does a You-Tube video jolt my memory, but a link to it is simply the only thing I have to provide to my tenant when she had a query about the time settings for hot water and how to reprogram them. AMAZING!

Furniture into the Front room.

Every time someone moves in / or out, there is the same issue. It is physically impossible to get a normal sofa into the living room, without removing the sash window. This is due to a combination of a small hallway, and a ‘quaint’ but wildly impractical door choice by a former owner.
The window isn’t large either but it does just about get a sofa through, thank god!

Tiny Gothic Door.
The middle window needs to come out.

Removing a sash window is not for the faint hearted. Not only does it contain a lot of breakable glass, but they are heavy things, hung on strings/cords, and parts of the woodwork also need to be unscrewed or levered off and re-caulked back in.
I cannot do this. I can’t even explain to someone how its done.
But this man can!…. My gratitude to him is without bounds (or cords).

Again, all I had to do is provide the link, and now my tenant has her sofa set in the front room, and her boyfriend thinks he is the master of DIY and sash window removal!
Everyone is happy, moving in is successful, and I somehow come off like I know what I’m doing.

Thanks to You-tube for existing to enable these DIY heroes… and a never ending supply of funny cat videos!

T.G.L

(the Grateful Landlady)

Gratitude is a Garden

The more time you spend in it, working on it and enjoying it, the more abundant & beautiful your garden will become. Similarly, the more you practice feeling gratitude, the more it will grow and spring naturally from within you.
Well that’s the hope anyway, I find it really difficult sometimes!

In the time of Covid19, what with staying at home being enforced by government, an outside space is a very real blessing. Whether it’s a balcony, roof terrace, courtyard, or garden; all give the opportunity to commune with nature and also be creative and nurturing!

I am fortunate, I have a small garden (and a shed – which is a great place to escape the house).
However, the lengthy period of depression has not done my garden any favours whatsoever. It needs ‘intensive care‘.

Earlier this week I began my rescue mission, with some cutting back of dead branches.
The council is temporarily not collecting garden waste, which was the perfect excuse to have a bonfire, and burn some other random bits of wood from various DIY jobs too!
The smell of a bonfire is something I love. Reminds me of childhood, and helping my dad do garden work.

I also started what will be a long process of working on my bench, which is looking very sad. Firstly, washing down with bleach. I’ll do this a few times. Next, I will lightly sand the bench, before treating it with a protective oil.
I’ll need to do the same process on my garden table too (just visible in the lower right corner of the picture below).

Lutyens Bench
(Renovation required!)

I trimmed my ‘Red Robin’ hedge out front, and cut my sorry excuse for a lawn. The lawn will take a lot more work to recover, if indeed possible without completely relaying.

Straggly hedge, and mossy lawn.
Needs work. Nice tulips though!

So, all this before even adding any plants or flowers. I have planted some seeds though, so there will be flowers in due course.
Nasturtiums in the small pots and Ornamental Gourds in the large (below). All should grow into quite large trailing plants which will need to be up-potted. I have some ideas of where they may go, but some will have to be given away to neighbours – if they are all successful seedlings! My garden just isn’t big enough for them all.

All of this was not only energetic but very satisfying and I can truly say that for me, pottering in the garden is definitely The Good Life.

Thanks for reading… I hope your own gardening efforts are bringing equal success & happiness, or if no garden – at least a pot plant to care for. Let me know in the comments!

T.G.L

(the Grateful Landlady)