Things to do in London by Month

Visit London:  the official visitor guide helps plan a trip with a month-by month guide to what’s on.  It’s early days, but we can use these links as we get closer to the date.

So, taking a look at September, we’re told that London comes alive with an array of city-wide celebrations, many of which are free!  Yep, that’s our price point.  Here are a few, but unfortunately full program details are not available yet.  So, we’ll check back later.

Totally Thames, a month-long celebration of the river with art installations, concerts, free exhibitions and walks.  That will fit right in because of course we’ll be walking The Queen’s Walk over Westminster Bridge, along the south bank of the Thames by the Tate Modern (on Nancy’s list) and back across the Millennium footbridge to St. Paul’s Cathedral.

London Fashion Week we can probably skip, but it would be good for people-watching

Open House London 22-23 Sept – Oops, we’ll miss it just like we’ll probably miss Open House New York

London Design Festival.  15-23 Sept.  Innovative design projects, large-scale installations and a visit to the festival hub at the V&A.  Put that on the list.

This one is for me….City of London Distillery and Bar (COLD)

Want to step back in time to when gin made life in London bearable? The BBC has a travel article on the City of London Distillery and Bar. We could take a tour. Yikes! It’s 25£. Or just stop by for a drink.

The City of London set out the rules for this spirit 300 years ago – but today just one City distillery still makes it.

London dry gin came out of an attempt to regulate what people were drinking,” he said. “In the 18th Century, gin was a cheap but very dangerous way to get drunk – it used to be laced with turpentine and sulphuric acid. People were worried by the Gin Craze that was sweeping Britain, and that worry gave rise to Hogarth’s picture Gin Lane, which we’ve got upstairs.”

Well, no, let’s not step back to those days. But as gin is my drink of choice I wouldn’t mind visiting a gin distillery in London. No, it’s not original! But perhaps a good way to “celebrate those good old day…they were terrible!”

What to do in London

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life: Samuel Johnson.

It’s hard for me to believe I would be asked “What can we do in London?,” but it has happened.  We are thinking of adding some days (a week if we can afford it) to our Road Scholar Hiking in Britain’s National Parks adventure.

So, let’s assemble some links.

  1.   Starting with the City of London page – it’s got everything, including a lot we won’t be needing so let’s focus on Visit the City.  Nine category boxes there:  offering Explore the City (all the landmarks); Walks and Tours; Events, Festivals and Markets, Itineraries and inspiration; Hotels and Venues; Art & Architecture; and Eat and Drink.

Well, as I click through these links, I see some pages need to be updated, and remember a lot of this information is just for The City, that one square mile, and there is a lot more of London.  But still it’s a great place to start.  And my particular favorite is the page of links to brochures for Self Guided Walking Tours.

So at the top of my list is the walking tour “Designs of the Times:  watch the modern face of the city unfold in front of you.

Hiking in Britain’s National Parks

It’s been a long time since I used this, so we’ll see how it works for assembling links and information on the three national parks we will be visiting this coming fall.

this morning I’ve been reading about the North York Moors National Park on their website.  The slogan is Moor, Coast, Forest and Dale somthere will be some diversity in the landscape.

Did you know that 70% of the world’s Heather moorland is in the UK, and it’s maintained by burning, else the woodland would encroach.  The moorland offers a vast unenclosed landscape, and is home to many ground-nesting birds.  It’s also home to a lot of sheep, so here’s hoping we get lots of lamb to eat.  The National Park website is well organized and full of information about the area, and its flora and fauna.  Check out the Discover page on the site.

What needs to be done next

The task is not completed….We need to:

Call Fillmore Air Conditioning  – (805) 524-5706 and have them come service the pump and burner for the radiant heating…..hopefully before the heat is turned on.

check out the radiant heat

check out the radiant heat

Have Luis Lomeli, Total American Handyman (805) 625-0286 do the following.  He gave me an estimate of $575, but feel free to have him do anything else that needs to be done.

  1. Reinforce the patio retaining wall with 3 stakes
  2. Fill in the patio trench with aggregate concrete
  3. Replace the 3 concrete blocks which were removed and replace the toppers on the patio perimeter
  4. Patch dry wall in heater room and garage so rodents don’t get in the house.
  5. Patch and paint the patio siding where pipes were supposed to be
  6. Paint the exposed water pipe alongside the house?  redwood or grey?
  7. Fill holes on garage wall beneath entry point to garage.
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    Fill these holes

    patch drywall in heater room and garage

    patch drywall in heater room and garage

    paint this pipe?

    paint this pipe?

patio trench to be filled, including place where apricot tree used to be

patio trench to be filled, including place where apricot tree used to be

aggregate concrete filler

aggregate concrete filler

Nope, no pipes where Pinpoint located them!

Nope, no pipes where Pinpoint located them!

Adventures in Plumbing at 524 Hunter Drive

Quality Patch

Quality Patch

My parents have saved all paper, including house plans and specifications, but there doesn’t seem to be anything that shows where the plumbing and gas lines run.  So, when Cathy and Fernando visited in August 2015 and found a water leak in the planter box by the front ramp, they called Pinpoint to locate the path of the lines and Quality Plumbing (of course, it was a weekend and no local plumbers were available).  Quality dug up the corner of the planter box and was able to “patch the line.

Cathy smelled gas, but thought it was decaying vegetation as the pipe had leaked for a while.  They left.

A week or two later Martha and Felix report a strong gas smell.  So I called Randy Lemons and he turned off the gas at the main.  Penny arrives Sept 26-Oct 13 on repair duty, and Susan and Rich come for a shorter time so Rich can give valuable input and direction.  Joe of Sespe Plumbing says he’s up for the job of rerunning the gas and water lines from the top of the motor court into the house.  Pinpoint again is hired to come and mark lines which they detect run up into lines behind the wall in the house by the heater room.

Trench at top of ramp

Trench at top of ramp

Early in the job Sespe Plumbing jackhammers trenches from the box to the garage, across the top of the ramp, and across the patio to the heater room as well as digging a trench in the planter box and removing 3 concrete blocks to run the piping around a supporting egg crate pole.

Trench cut in planter box and across patio

Trench cut in planter box and across patio

Joe digs out the concrete box by the holly and replaces the old gas and water lines and adds shut off valves on the NE outside of the garage.

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The concrete box removed and new lines run..blue shutoff valve for water

The concrete box removed and new lines run..blue shutoff valve for water

There is also still a shut off valve for the water underground in the box.

The new lines now run into the garage, over the garage door and down the other side. Lines run over garage door

Lines run over garage door

Near the top, the gas line T’s to run across the garage to the water heater in the closet on the SW corner of the garage.image

From there a new line runs into the NE corner of the house (shut off valve inside) and down to the gas dryer.imageimageimage

By the SE corner of the garage both lines turn along the floor.  The gas

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line continues in flexible tubing into the kitchen – behind the lazy Susan, sink cabinet, dishwasher, cabinet and attaches to the gas range.  There is a shut off valve at the back on the left-hand side of the range.

The water line T’s to send one line through a hole in the garage outside and down into the trench dug at the top of the ramp, through the trench dug in the planter box and then across the patio in the trench to the heater room.  The gas line also T’s very close to the same spot and runs alongside the water lines in the trenches.

Water and gas lines exiting the garage

Water and gas lines exiting the garage

There is a sewer line running from the kitchen sink to the NE corner of the house, but it must lie very deep as the trench at about 10 inches deep did not find it. Mother says two outtake pipes from each bathroom join it.

Pinpoint had marked two places on the house wall to the left of the heater room door about 15 inches above the ground where the water and gas line were supposed to run.  The idea was to connect the new lines to these lines in the house.  But when Joe cut holes there were no pipes.

Nope, no pipes where Pinpoint located them!

Nope, no pipes where Pinpoint located them!

We concluded that the lines probably run down into the slab.  I complained to Pinpoint and they sent a refund check…in Cathy’s name, spelled wrong, of course.

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water and gas line in the heater room

So Sespe Plumbing ran new water lines to the toilets in both bathrooms.  He also ran a water line to the radiant heat, thinking it needed a supply, but Rich caught that and it was disconnected and removed.  The gas line was run to the burner for the radiant heat.

The water line also continued in PVC piping along the base of the house to provide landscaping water to the SE part of the property.  image

But when this line was connected to the existing line at the faucet, water flowed back into the house through the abandoned toilet lines.  So the new line was joined a few inches south, and the northflowing pipe capped as Joe was afraid pressure would building up inside the line and cause flooding within the house.  The old lines in the bathroom were also capped at the interior wall.

As there was then no exterior water to the NE side of the property an old galvanized line that runs from the box to a shut off valve (in ground) and faucet near Jeff’s gate was reconnected. It also supplies the water for the sprinklers on this side. That pipe is fragile but it is working now.  And it may well have been the source of water for this area before.image

Back in the garage the water line fed into the soft water tank and from there through existing lines within the house to all the water heaters, sinks, shower and bathtub using soft water. water to the soft water tank and then throughout the house

water to the soft water tank and then throughout the house

God only knows where those lines run.