When all the pieces come together – Mosaic.

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We are very happy and proud to announce that our big mosaic floor in the extension now is finished. The actual tiling part of the job was completed a couple of months ago but we only put down a first layer of grout to bind it all together at that stage. We have been busy building, insulating and painting the different wall sections since then but this week all of that work was finished and we could move onto the final stage of the floor.

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LED there be light.

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We are nearing the completion of our extension build. As we did not want to have too many electrical sockets and light switches in there we thought about other possible solutions for lighting our new home. Our search took us to the IKEA website and we were happy to find that all the lights and light bulbs sold in the IKEA store in Dublin now are LED. For our new built in sofa we put up three spotlights with rechargeable batteries and LED bulbs. When you press them lightly they light up for 30 minutes or if you would like to turn them off before that you only need to press them again. They should be able to light up that space for twenty years using very little electricity and needing no wiring.

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We have been sceptical about the use of LED lights in candle shape as we thought they would feel artificial but as we now have a large young dog in the house, in many places real candles are not an option anymore. So we went ahead and bought a few block candles that can be used with rechargeable batteries and a few small tea-lights. When we tried them out we were happily surprised at how real they looked, giving off a warm flickering light. They are actually so convincing that the urge to blow them out before leaving the room, has been there on several occasions.

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We now have the option to use them everywhere and anywhere, while being kind to the environment. They use very little electricity and are designed to last for up to twenty years. The rechargeable batteries can be charged up to 500 times. There are no worries about putting them to close to the ceiling or walls, curtains or other flammable materials. The dog and any kids about can knock them over and they can be forgotten without any risk. We do believe real candles still are a magical and beautiful addition to our home, but only in the right place.

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Because of all these beautiful and practical solutions, we only need one wired in light in the middle of the ceiling that will also have an LED bulb, so it will be very energy efficient. There are now an incredible amount of LED fairy lights available, for use at Christmas or all throughout the year. They are very safe as they do not heat up so can be placed close to fabrics and plastics. Many of them can be used with rechargeable batteries and cause minimal impact on the environment. LED really is an excellent invention, revolutionising the way we can use light in our homes.

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Looking back at October.

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If you are a regular reader of our blog you have probably noticed that it has been a while since we posted anything. Half of the family has Swedish roots and has spent some time visiting the old country recently. It was fun to visit family and friends and go for walks in the beautiful Swedish forests. On the way back we spent some time in the airport departure lounge and found it quite creepy. The three of us were reading books and talking to each other but all around us there was an eerie silence. As we looked around every single person we could see was staring at a screen of some sort in complete silence. Not a single person smiled. No one seemed excited to be visiting another country. No couples were holding hands or even looking at each other. No parents were talking to their children. How did it get to this?  After that experience it felt great to get back home and throw ourselves into the work of finishing the last bits on the extension so we can move in. It will only be a couple of weeks now.

We always write a bit each month about what has been going on in the garden and October proved to be quite pleasant. We had some warm sunny days and were able to harvest peas, kale, potatoes and herbs. Our Swiss spearmint has grown as high as a person this year.

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Many of the perennials and shrubs were confused by the unusually warm weather and put on new growth and flowers. We actually hope it will get colder soon so the plants can rest and get the cold spell that they need. Apples for instance cannot give a good crop next year if they have not been subject to this.

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The autumn colours have not been as pronounced as other years in the garden but a few of our plants have put on a decent show. We particularly enjoyed the blueberry, aronia and the liquid amber.

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oct aronia

oct liquid amber

In our circle plants are starting to slow down and wither. We will leave a lot of the seed heads there and clean the beds up in the spring, to benefit wildlife. The teasels are full of seeds and we are hoping the bull finches from down the road will come into our garden to feast on them. We have gold finches every year and they love teasels as well.   Every month we take pictures of the circle in the four cardinal directions. All of these posts can be found in the category; Elemental circle.

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oct east


oct south


oct west


oct north


Two years ago we planted cyclamen and they have established themselves now and looked lovely in October around our yard tree. They look very delicate but can withstand both cold and rain. We are looking forward to the darker and colder season now as there is a lot of clearing, weeding and planting to do after the busy year we have had building our extension. As the growth rate slows down we should be able to get stuck into it all. Welcome November!

oct cyclamen

oct cyclamen