1.12.19

Looking for the Verine Peldon Gas Fire/Stove installation and User Manual? Look no further

 I've scanned it as I couldn't find a copy online - hope it helps.

You can find the PDF of the Peldon Gas Fire Installation and User Guide here



26.5.19

Leaping aboard the plastic-free bandwagon

Unless you live on the moon or a very remote volcano I'm guessing you will be aware of the recent sudden surge of activity to save our planet from ourselves.

In human history, much like other animal history we pottered along for years and years, using things, replacing things, recycling things and just generally being fairly neutral in planetary terms. But then suddenly we had a leap into the new, we started inventing things, and we went crazy.

Over only a very, very short space of time (in planet terms) we started filling the place with junk. Using things, tossing them aside, making new things...like children let loose with new toys we just ran amok and suddenly we seem to have sat back and realised we need to take some responsibility.

People are all looking at ways to do that and actions range from nothing ("governments and big business should do that - it's not up to us, what can we do?"), through going vegan, going vegetarian, not buying new clothes (slow fashion is very much en mode), using cotton bags in place of plastic (the jury is still out on that) to not using single use plastics.

I have decided to do a small thing. There is nothing wrong with small things, and we can all do something. I am no longer buying any bathroom stuff, toiletries or make up, that is wrapped in, or uses plastic as its container.


At first this seemed really simple. Years ago I moved back to bars of soap. I love that a bar of soap in the bathroom makes the room smell good, you can store the spare bars in your wardrobe or clothes drawers and get the same lovely effect there too. Choosing only soap packed in paper was simple. There are so many choices, from Lush products, to small businesses on Etsy.

Next I looked at shampoo. Again a nice easy one, I already buy shampoo bars from Lush for when I go camping (no danger of spilling the shampoo) so I would just stop buying bottles at all, and use bars at home too.

I use conditioner but more importantly I use a glosser or hair serum, so I was pleased to find a few of these in glass. I usually use one that is packed in plastic, I haven't tried these new ones yet, but I have high hopes.

I'm not a huge makeup user so this wasn't difficult. I only really use facial moisturiser and lip balm. I found a few posh face creams that are packed in glass, and some on Etsy too (Etsy is fast becoming my go to place). Plenty of companies make little tins of lip balm. Some make little tins of hand balm too.

Of course there will be no facial wipes, nothing that is use once and bin is good for that planet. I currently use a flannel, but I am also looking at some cute washable face wipes.

I shower more than I bath, so soap and shower bars are the new go to. And for the odd bath if I really want it scented there are bath salts, bath bombs or glass bottles of bath oil or foam.


Shaving .... I am not binning everything plastic I own already, that would be silly, so I have an electric razor, but the cheap plastic disposables will have to go, I will either have to buy a new safety razor and change the blades, or stop wet shaving. (Tip on blade disposal, place used blades in a small tin until the tin is full, then pop into the metal recycling) Shaving soap is available in blocks.

Deodorant. Back to Lush again for a block of this, although Primal Suds make some too. There are several companies that make deodorant packed in cardboard . My main gripe with them is the price, often nearly 10 times the price of a cheap plastic pack, and the lack of a good antiperspirant , but I'm still hunting.

Teeth. You will all know about bamboo tooth brushes and there are lots on the market. However I do love my electric brush and I think that's something that companies need to look at. I have quite a few spare heads for the electric brush at the moment so I'll be crossing that bridge later. But what about toothpaste? Almost all toothpaste is packed in plastic. Euthymol still uses old fashioned metal tubes but it doesn't contain fluoride (that may or may not be important to you) Most organic and eco toothpastes, powders and tablets don't contain fluoride, which I was pretty annoyed about as fluoride helps protect your tooth enamel. Then I stumbled onto tooth tablets with fluoride from KickPlastic and I have immediately ordered some. What a find the website was! Lots of great plastic free options for home and bathroom.

So that's me sorted. Wood, glass and metal where once there was plastic. I'll let you know if I find any more little gems. And please comment with your own finds, especially makeup - that's not really my thing so I didn't really look for plastic free options there.

No one paid me to post this, or even sent me anything for review, more's the pity ;-)


13.3.19

Wordy Wednesday with Michelle Midnight

Wordy Wednesday greetings  to you all, let me welcome you to the blog, grab a beanbag or a comfy chair and cuddle up in this virtual nook while I introduce you to the author of the week, Michelle Omari.

Michelle writes as Michelle Midnight. She is a 17 year old writer from a small city in California, and is currently writing  her novel, Society's Trial. 

Her hobbies consist of reading (in a tree during the summer, on her bed during the other seasons), programming, and of course, writing. She loves all things dark and morbid. (was the pen name a clue!?) Her favourite author is Stephen King, and her favourite poet is Edgar Allen Poe. She loves shows such as Supernatural, Doctor Who, and American Horror Story. Also, she thinks she may  have an addiction to green tea.


So let's find out a bit more...
Michelle, how long have you been writing?
I've been writing for about eight years.

Why did you start writing? And what makes you keep doing it?
I started writing in fourth grade when I was nine-years-old. I was in a four-five combo class, and the teacher assigned a writing project for the fifth graders when it was nearly Halloween. She decided to make us fourth graders do it as well, and I had so much fun with it. My story was called Don't Take What's Not Yours. It was a horror story with three characters in it. Spoiler alert: they all died. Since that moment, I realised I loved to write, and I continued to write after that.

Who is your least favourite character and why? If the character is one of yours, how hard is it to write a character you dislike? 
It's difficult for me to dislike a character I've created. I've fallen in love with every single one of my characters, even the most messed up and sadistic villains. However, there are two characters who I despise in my current project. Their names are Lars and Drew. They're only minor characters yet they managed to annoy me. I don't have a specific reason why I don't like them. Maybe I don't hate them, maybe I just haven't learned to love them yet. You probably think it's difficult for me to write them, but that's not true. I love to make them suffer.

What is the best snack to keep you going while you write?
The best snack for writing is grapes. They're tasty, low in calories, easy to eat, and they don't leave a mess. 

Do you have a day job (student?) or do you write full time? If you don't have a job, is being a writer full time your dream or do you have a job you'd love to do?
I don't have a day job since I'm still a high school student. In the future, I want to become a software engineer while being a writer on the side. Being a full time writer would be fun, but I love programming and computers, so I'd want to do something related to that in my life.

Do you have any unfinished stories that you are not currently working on? If so why have you shelved them and do you think they will be reanimated one day?
I have many stories I've started but never finished. I started my first novella when I was a 12 year old middle schooler. It was a dark fantasy/supernatural kind of story. When I started high school, I got bored of it, so I put it away to work on my novel, Society's Trial. I thought about abandoning that novella, but I changed the characters' names and rewrote the outline. Now I'm in love with it again. It's not a novella anymore. Now it's a novel, and it will be my second novel. Even though I fell back in love with it, I still won't work on it until I've landed an agent for Society's Trial. As for the other stories, I refuse to continue working on them because I'm not done living the world of Society's Trial.

What story are you writing right now? Tell us about the plot (no spoilers please)
I started writing my current story when I was 14. It's a third person omniscient YA psychological crime thriller titled Society's Trial which follows sixteen year old bookworm Jace Woods. After the bully, Claude, pulls a "prank" that went wrong, Jace gets rushed to the hospital, so he could get his injuries treated and get an MRI scan. The doctor notices a change in Jace's personality, so he leaves the room to retrieve the results of the MRI scan. Jace becomes impatient, so he leaves before the doctor can return. It turns out, certain areas of Jace's brain became "damaged." These areas will "turn off," causing poor judgement, empathy loss, and impulsivity then "turn back on" randomly. What this means is, if these areas turn off while he has a violent thought, his brain will be unable to stop him from acting upon that thought.

Can we buy any of your stories and if so where? If not is there anywhere we can read them? 
Unfortunately, Society's Trial isn't published yet, since I'm currently querying and seeking an agent. However, I occasionally post snippets on my Twitter (@Writer_By_Night) and sometimes on my Tumblr (midnight-writing-time.tumblr.com)

If you could travel to anywhere in the world right this minute where would you go?
If I could travel anywhere at this moment, I'd go to an empty field with a stack of books with me. I'd place a blanket on the ground, lie down, enjoy the silence, and read. I'd have the most peaceful day ever.

If you could have one super power what would it be?
Only one? That's a difficult question. I'd say the power to control time. The days go by so quick, I wish I can freeze time or slow it down.

Thanks to Michelle for answering my questions and letting you all into her thoughts. Do follow her on twitter and be there to watch a novel being born, and then you can say that you were there before she was famous.

As we don't have a book image to share, here is an image of almost midnight.
Thanks for reading.