August 30th 2007



We have a somewhat esoteric heating arrangement at my parent's house.

We burn bales of bean straw inside a large combustion chamber (similar to these) which is located in an out-house to the main building. A number of water-filled pipes run through the chamber which is then pumped around the house.

Environmentally, it's really good. Most of the straw would have been burnt anyway (the rest cut into the soil) and the combustion is fan-assisted to minimise incomplete combustion. Very little ash is produced from burning each bale.

Anyway, the delivery and storage of approximately 700 straw bales has become a yearly tradition in our house. As a guide, the large trailer in the picture above is holding 160.

It's pretty tough going: even individually these things weigh a considerable amount, and they require removing from the trailer and then stacking in a 3 metre pile inside another shed. You quickly adopt the rules of moving a bale as little as possible vertically (carry them on your back if you're strong enough), and never, ever, moving a bale twice. There's also a large amount of dust, and a geek's delicate palms quickly tire of the string holding the bales together.

Anyway, this happened today on a couple of hours notice. The other two males in the house decided to be elsewhere, leaving it up to me and my poor mum.

If anyone was expecting email/code/chat/info today.. sorry.

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