Author: Alyssa Douglas

Whole house water softener Kits

old tapsoft water system

I want to tell you and everyone else that reads my post about the benefits of soft water. Most people in urban areas live in hard water regions. Water is water right? Well yes and no. Soft water is preferred if you can get it but hard water is okay if you live in a hard water area.

Well now there’s a solution to hard water and that is to make it soft. But is this really a solution looking for a problem? Is hard water really so bad? What’s hard water anyway?

water splashwhole house water softener

Well let’s examine each of those points in turn. First, what is hard water?

Well water falls to earth in the form of rain, sleet or snow. Well we all know that. But before it gets to you if goes on a journey and that journey takes it through mountains, underground water courses to lakes, to reservoirs. Along its journey it accommodates (dissolves) salts. These are normally compounds of calcium and magnesium and this is what makes your water hard. So what’s the problem?

new tapbest water softener system

Well there wouldn’t be a problem if those salts stayed in the water . But they don’t they leach out and the leach out faster when the water is heated. This results is in the limescale deposits you see around taps, on baths and especially in showers, where it leaves an unsightly hard white chalky substance. Which is quite difficult to remove and it always comes back

But it gets much worse than this. It’s the limescale you can’t see that’s the problem. And that occurs inside your water pipes. These get clogged up bit by bit, year by year. Slowly reducing the efficiency of your plumbing. It’s a bit like the cholesterol build up in humans.

water softener system

Taps that won’t turn,stopcocks seize, heating elements that use more energy but produce less and less heat.

But there are solutions. Water softeners as seen here whole house water softener They remove the water hardness as the water enters your premises. The result is better household water. It really does make a difference. A big difference that will ultimately save you money.

water sources

water research

hard water affects

My Camera Tripod

photographer and cameraHiking with my Camera

I was out in the countryside walking my dog, as I do each weekend, come rain or shine. And our rambling takes us through some beautiful countryside along river banks and through small rustic little villages. I sometimes take my camera along, a dSLR, not a great one but above entry level and I carry a spare long lens in my rucksack, just in case I see a rare animal or bird.

We had just passed through a small village and over a narrow river bridge. And on this bridge there were photographers with massive telephoto lenses on top of some seriously strong looking camera tripods. It made me feel a little self conscious with my little mouse sized camera and lens. But I was intrigued and wanted to find out what they were doing.

camouflaged tripod The Ornithologists

They were ornithologists (bird watchers to you and me) and something, quite rare in these parts, they had flown in. And they were determined to hunt down some rare bird (in the photographic sense) and get the best shot. “I do that as well” I said “with this” and showed them my camera. Then the guy in the middle, Chris, showed me his tablet.

Whereas my shots are more green foliage than bird and it’s often hard to see what little blurred smudge near the middle of my picture actually is. Chris’ image was stunning by comparison those big telephoto lenses put the bird centre stage and they just jump right out of the shot.

camera tripodTripod For Camera

“So what’s with the tripods?”, “That’s what gives all that sharp detail.” It all made sense and I wanted to have a go. So I got a tripod from here It’s not in the same league as the guys I saw on the bridge. But it’s light and sturdy so I can carry it around with me in the rucksack.

selecting an ideal tripod

Now when I’m going to take a wildlife shot, I sometimes whip it out, quietly unfold it as quick as I can and get the shot. All I can say is stunning. I get more “keepers” if I use the tripod than if I don’t and I can take a bit more time setting things up.

Further reading for getting a good tripod

8-Person Tent

view from over the ridge


Having got a bunch of ramblers together for our camping trip. We then took responsibility to organise various aspects of the trip. I can’t cook very well. So I volunteered for tent duties. It was up to me to select and purchase, for the group, a suitable tent for all six of us.

I went to our small camping tent store, in town, and took a look at the tents they had on offer. The biggest size they catered for was parties of six. I took one look at that and realized that that would be too cramped we needed something bigger than those.

Tent at the campsiteJust the Tent

The tent had to be at least big enough for eight persons and I found what we were looking for online, here eight person tent This would give us enough room without us getting each other’s way. And not too big that we need a gang of four just to get the thing up.

And I’m pleased to say that the 8 person tent got a big thumbs up from the rest of the team. It went up with just two of us assembling it. And it came down just as easily, although packing is a lot harder at first and more tricky than I thought it would be but we mastered that part as well.

girl in a medowFeatures we needed

After some initial research, I knew what key features were required. I made sure that sure that we had a tent with a zippable groundsheet so that we completely isolated from anything that might want to crawl in late at night. I also made sure that the tent was breathable. This is where the fabric is porous to let moisture out (from people breath sleeping) but at the same time keeping rain out.

Getting the tent up

Tent takedown and Storage

The last thing on my list was a porch. So we could discard muddy boots or wet clothing before entering the main tent. And that came in real handy.

So, if you ever need a tent for six people, take my advice and get an eight person tent Instead. Well worth the extra cost in my opinion.

campsite ideas   more campsite ideas

Shona Sculpture

Shona Sculpture - The WritersShopping for Presents

Having to buy presents for my husband every year is getting harder. You see we live together and we both work. When we want something, we usually go out and buy it there and then. So there’s nothing that the other wants but can’t afford. No special surprises.

I like to get a present that has a surprise element to it. I don’t just want to buy a trinket or something that doesn’t have that wow factor. What’s the point of just getting something of no real value for the special person in my life. That gets put away in a draw forever and is never seen again.

Well this time I was determined to do better. I searched and I searched and I found something that I thought would meet all the above criteria. More importantly my husband thought so too. A win win, I was very pleased.

Shona Sculpture

Shona Sculpture - Family GroupShona Sculpture

So what was this present? I hear you ask. Well it was a sculpture. Not just any old sculpture but an African sculpture known as Shona Sculpture. They are really quite wonderful and very African with their rich tradition in the spirits of the land and of their animals. And although carved from rock these sculptures, depending upon the one you pick, are vibrant in color and texture.

I chose a family group, about four feet high. Being made from stone these African Shona sculptures are quite heavy. Its beauty lies in the colors and textures.

The figures are black in color but the hair is white. As this is one piece of rock, that’s quite an amazing feat. They do it by leaving the hair as roughly cut, unfinished stone. But the skin on the faces and torsos it’s smooth and polished and reveals the rocks black color.

Unique and Special

The other nice thing about these sculptures is that they are hand made so no two are the same. I got mine from this web site And I was very pleased the way it was packed.

Thoughts of The Day

My Day

Running around all day; work, kids, dogs, errands, my week just becomes a blur. But although I long for a “me time” moment, I wouldn’t change things one little bit. I work hard but I’m in a good place and I do get the odd occasion when I can have a quite coffee and watch the world go by or write my first blog, as I’m doing here, right now. You see, I’ve got to be doing something.

And although you didn’t see it, I just left the writing for a moment to get some juice for my youngster and put a second load of clothes in the washing machine. So what’s this blog all about, it’s not just a load of mindless ramblings going on in my head – I hear you ask? Well No, I want to write about things that are of interest to me and therefore of interest to others, maybe like yourself.

My Passion

I’ve always liked to write, even as a child, I would sit for hours writing and then reading my little short stories to my dad (mum was always too busy). When I went to college I took English as a major and spent some time in Bristol in the UK and ventured off to Wales. Wales a very beautiful country and the people there are really nice and friendly, but I digress.

So writing, is within me and I’m going to use this blog to get ideas down and write more lucid articles (maybe) from those, as and when I can.

Where I do get my own time is when I walk my two dogs. Those long walks, normally just me and the two canines, allows me to mull over ideas and turn my thoughts into ideas. Which from now on I’ll write up on here.