Posts by Cobnut

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UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

    Unfortunately these days common sense doesn’t prevail and it’s no good saying to a gas fitter that you’d have the door or window open; I tried that :(. They have to assume that you won’t, that you’ll die because of inadequate ventilation, and they’ll get in trouble. Their defense of “she promised me she’d always have the window open” wouldn’t hold up, so they have to go strictly by the book.

    I’ve just reread the cooker installation instructions and the gas engineer is right about the size and position of the vents. It’s a shame the floor vent isn’t enough for the stove and wood burner, and to damage the Romany paintwork :(

    Hello. I am now the proud owner of a beautiful, albeit quirky, caravan and need some clarification on what vents my builder needs to add before a gas engineer can install the LPG cooker. There is also a small wood burning stove to take into consideration. My wagon is a gypsy bowtop made on a caravan chassis so has few straight sides (just to complicate things) like these:

    The gas fitter said I need a vent on the floor so that any leaking propane can escape. This needs to be a 6”x 3” hole in the floor (covered in mesh to stop rodents taking up residency) with a box type guard (with 2 open sides) underneath to stop water coming in when I’m towing it. The other vent needs to be as high as possible to allow air flow. He said it has to be a “70 sq cm free air vent”/ “10 x 7cm”, and would probably be best over the door as it’s one of the few straight areas and is also close to the cooker and stove (which are about 3’ from the door, opposite each other).

    Does this sound right, and can anyone post a link to the vents I should show my builder please? The gas bloke wants the vents in place before he'll do his bit, so he needs to get it right first time and has asked me to explain what the gas engineer said. I don’t want to get it wrong.


    Whatever you do, no matter how gruesome it is to you, it has to be quick and humane for the animal. Personally I feel if you chose to own a pet species that is known for its potential predation on wildlife then you need to be prepared for this; preparation prevents dithering and means you can dispatch the animal quickly. I’d imagine the mouse has either eventually died or you managed to kill it by now anyway?

    I found a newly injured rat once and decided the quickest way of putting it out of its suffering was to put my walking boots on and stamp on its head hard. It died instantly and I didn’t have to handle it [bad for me and the animal] either. OK, it was brutal, but it was very quick and easy, and meant I didn’t have to try and hit a small target [head] with something heavy. My eye to hand co-ordination isn’t great sometimes and there was a big risk of doing a bad job.

    I hit an injured slow worm on the head with a brick; again, a bit messy but instant. I got a vet to teach me how to neck my chickens if they were suffering, and I have had to do it a few times. A game keeper taught me how to neck rabbits [practicing on newly shot ones so they didn’t suffer through my incompetence] but I’ve not had to do that on injured ones yet. Hopefully never!

    Almost forgot to say, it really helps (I find) to rehearse what you’re going to do in your head before you actually do it. Then take a deep breath, rehearse it again, then do it. Wait until you feel calm and ready, but just do it. It’s horrible (I always cry after I’ve had to neck my chickens) but hopefully you’ll feel better knowing you’ve done the right thing quickly.

    ...are women always so insipid, self-obsessed and vacuous that such magazines are big sellers?!! :S

    Unfortunately it seems a lot are:rolleyes:. Thankfully you and I belong to the group of women who aren't :D.

    Reminds me of the recent series on C4 about bad cosmetic surgery, where the presenter tried to put school kids off of wanting surgery. One girl, when asked if she was considering going under the knife, and if so what she wanted done, said "obviously a boob job" as though it was the most natural thing in the world to want massive fake tits! As though it was no big deal to get foreign objects implanted into her body...and she wasn't even flat-chested :eek:

    Hiya Cobnut, yes of course. This one was built to fit into a very small space, so putting a larger hotplate on would have defeated the object. Rather than putting a large hotplate on a small stove, I prefer to make the whole stove a bit bigger to get more genuinely hot cooking area where possible, otherwise it feels to me like cheating, but that's just me. Incidentally, I usually put the door catch on the left with the door opening to the right. This one is the opposite way round so that it opens into the space available.

    I can see your point. What I'd be looking at would be a stove with a small kW output (as it would only be heating a caravan) but with a large enough top plate to put a kettle, saucepan or frying pan on (not all at the same time or it would have to be big!).

    Hello. I’m planning on living in a caravan and have been wondering about the job situation. Is it too difficult to find work whilst nomadic, and out of interest what sort of work do you nomads here do?

    …I did not join this site to have arguements, I joined it for like minded company. My posts yesterday alluded to the fact that I have poor mental health at the moment, and am struggling day to day. I may have given as good as I got yesterday, but there will be days when I dont feel well and wont cope so well with santimonius people who get off on jumping on other peoples posts just to be contrary and have a pop. I have considered leaving the site, but there are lovely people on here who I would like to make friends with. So I`m staying put.

    PP, I know what you mean as it gets my goat too. Unfortunately most forums tend to have the odd one or two who enjoy sparing, but the great thing is they can’t spar or argue with themselves. In the past I’ve been drawn into online “debates” and end up feeling more low than I did before, and like you, I struggle day to day. I found the best way to avoid it is simply not to reply to those who you know are just trying to push your buttons. If I’m really peed off I find the best way is to turn the PC off and do something grounding in the real world instead.

    Whatever you do never go on a forum and say anything bad about cats. In my experience the cat owners will never have a bad word said about them and you’ll get totally flamed, which is a shame as that is probably my all time 101 topic and one that I wish could be discussed rationally. Unfortunately it usually turns into “at least they don’t rip the faces off of babies like dogs do”, LOL. Seriously!:rolleyes:

    A friend's blog I just read with this whole rant about "just because you're a parent, we don't want to hear about your kids all the time - if you don't have anything else to talk about, you need to get out more, for everyone's sake". Maybe us lowly, boring parents should start saying that to people who talk about their work, or their partner, or their wedding plans, or music 'too much'.

    If you're not interested in what's important to a person, then you're not their friend.

    Your friend certainly isn’t the most diplomatic person around eh! Is he/she right though, do you talk about your kids “all the time” or is she being unreasonable? Sounds like the two of you no longer share interests and things have moved on which is sad, and not very nice of her to have had a go at you online like that:(.

    This is not aimed at you BTW, just people in general, so no offence is intended:o…
    When any one thing monopolises someone’s life to the expense of other interests then their conversations can become very limited, and over time can alienate those who don’t share that one interest. For example, I’m really into my chickens and my dog, but most of my friends aren’t into chickens or dogs so I have to make a real effort not to talk about them too much. However, when I meet friends who are just as mad on them we have a dog and chicken fest, LOL. If I had a friend who suddenly developed an obsession with model railways and spoke predominantly about that it would bore me to tears; I’m just not interested in model railways and although I’d try and nurture their enthusiasm I expect the friendship would fizzle out unless they started balancing the conversation more. God I hope that doesn't sound patronising, I'm just not very good at expressing myself!:o

    I have a job where I have to be sociable and make conversation with people I don’t know and the easiest ones to work with are those with loads of interests in a wide variety of topics, and the worst are those who are only into one thing (that I’m not into) and talk about little else. It is really hard work keeping the conversation going with them.

    It's not atheletes foot, I've had that before and this isn't the same. There's nothing to see, no rash or anything, just the itching :S Might try that anti-itching stuff though :)

    Could it be that the skin was a bit dry which started the cycle? I know it sounds simplistic but I once had a similar patch on my neck and a beautician said it just needed moisturiser. Once the skin hydrated it stopped itching.

    When you move for people on the pavement but people never move for you, even if you are more or less balancing on the kerb and they are walking three abreast.

    Some people are just ignorant. I was brought up to move and walk single file if someone was coming the other way and there wasn’t enough room for them, but plenty must’ve missed that lesson. I never walk in the road for people (except old or disabled) and will bash into them rather than move, or just stop dead so they have to go round me. It’s the same when walking through a shopping precinct; I look as though I’m not moving and 9 times out of 10 people will move instead. But once I move I seem to spend the entire time getting out of everyone else’s way:rolleyes:

    ...Even worse, a few weeks ago, when I WAS home, seeing a red card come through the letterbox- He HADNT even knocked! and when I shot outside to catch him, he didnt have the parcel with him anyway- he said sometimes if they have too big a parcel load, they write the cards at the PO and just bring those instead....

    I really object to having to waste some of my day off doing this. whatever happened to customer service?

    Arrrgh! I had that a few days ago too. I saw the postie put mail in my outside post box and drive away, and when I went to get it I had a card saying "parcel couldn't be delivered because it was too big for the post box". He clearly was incapable of using his legs, walking 20' up the garden path and knocking on the front door so I had to drive into town to collect it.:rolleyes: I complained (for all the good that will do) when I collected it and the bloke said "didn't he honk his horn?" (coz round here they expect you to go out to them, LOL). Trouble is I can't prove he didn't have the parcel with him but I bet it's like your case and he didn't, so I'm going to have a chat with the person who sent the parcel and let him know that Royal Mail might not be bothering to do their job properly :reddevil: Maybe he'll use a courier in future :whistle:

    I’m also planning to live in a caravan so have been looking into the same things as you and this is what I’ve found out so far…

    Toilet = see this thread I started

    heating = wood burner or caravan gas heater. Gas does give off water vapour though apparently so the caravan would need to be well ventilated to prevent mould growth. Beware of carbon monoxide too.
    Get it well insulated! Can’t advise as I’m still researching that myself.

    Cooking = on top of a wood burner or have a LPG hob. There’s a great book which you might find useful, all about outdoor cooking using few ingredients and pans, called “Moveable Feasts”. Goes into all sorts of safety stuff too like beware of using flour inside near naked flames though as it’s highly flammable.

    lighting = 12 volt lights run from a leisure battery, wind-up lanterns or candles (but beware of naked flames again, especially as caravans aren’t known for their numerous fire exits!)

    washing = buckets of hot water. Or maybe fill a solar shower bag with hot water and hang it from a tree. Privacy from a toilet tent.

    water = find a stand pipe and fill up jerry cans. They’ll be heavy though so I figure a trolley would be useful. Or go down the natural water route and find a spring or river. Problem with that is that potentially you have no idea of what the water has been in contact with [dead sheep, faeces, chemicals, etc] so a water purification set up would be wise.

    I’m afraid I can’t help further as I’m still researching things myself. Lots to look into though! And I’m wondering, if you don’t drive how are you going to tow the caravan though?

    There was a programme on TV a while back about the science of losing weight and I found this info online somewhere...

    10 Things you need to know about losing weight
    Every year millions of people try to lose weight, and most fail. We are constantly bombarded with advice about dieting and the latest slimming fads. But what really works? In a recent BBC programme, medical journalist Michael Mosley investigated latest scientific breakthroughs in slimming, uncovering ten of the simplest ways to shed those pounds.
    For those who missed the programme here’s a summary:

    1) Don’t skip meals
    When we skip meals our brain responds/craves for high calorie food to compensate. This is caused by Ghrelin, the hunger hormone, which is made in the stomach and tells the brain when it’s time to eat. Ghrelin doesn’t cause obesity, but scientists think taming it might help us get our scales back in balance.

    2) Use smaller plates
    Change your plate size from 12 inches to 10 inches and you’re likely to eat up-to 22% less food. If you increase your portions by using large plates or bowls you’ll tend to eat much more.

    3) Count your calories
    If you choose low calorie meal instead of high calorie you can reduce your calorie intake by half.
    for e.g - Black Coffee (10 cal) over Cappuccino (100 cal)
    Toasted Bread (125 cal) over Pastry (270 cal)
    2 Apples a day (120 cal) over bar of Chocolate (300 cal)
    Thin Crust Cheese & Tomato Pizza (850 cal) over Deep Pan Pepperoni ( 1400 cal)
    Bloody Marie (125 cal) over Pina Colada ( 280 cal)
    A series of small changes in your diet can make a massive difference to your waist line.

    4) Don’t blame your metabolism - count the calories, even of healthy food.
    Metabolic rate is the speed at which your body burns calorie by simply being alive.
    Even if you eat healthy food but in large quantities you’ll pile on calories
    If you’re overweight you’ve eaten more than your body needs and the excess is stored as fat.

    5) Protein staves off hunger pangs.
    Certain foods keep you feeling fuller for longer. Protein is better at staving off hunger pangs than any other food type. So, if you're trying to lose weight, you'll feel fuller for longer if you start the day with ham and eggs, rather than muesli and orange juice.
    Protein triggers the PYY hormone, one of a number of hormones that stimulate or suppress hunger, which is released by the gut as you eat. It tells the part of the brain that controls appetite when you are full.

    6) Soup keeps you feeling fuller for longer
    In the programme one group were given a meal and a glass of water to eat as normal, the other group had the same meal liquidised together. The group eating the “soup” had fuller stomachs for longer.

    7) The wider the choice the more you eat.
    Variety triggers our instinct to try everything that leads to overeating.
    We are likely to eat 30% more at buffets.

    8) Low fat dairy helps you excrete more fat!
    A diet high in low-fat dairy products (skimmed milk, cottage cheese, crème fraiche, etc.) can help you excrete more fat. The calcium in dairy products binds to fat molecules in our small intestine, forming a soap-like substance that we can't absorb – so the fat and calcium pass straight through you.
    In the programme a man agreed to follow a high-dairy diet for one week, while sending off regular poo samples to a lab in Holland. He followed this with a week-long low-dairy diet, which contained exactly the same number of calories. Amazingly, Alex excreted more than double the amount of fat on the high-dairy diet.

    9) Exercise goes on buring fat even while you sleep!
    A great news for exercise lovers - not only you loose fat while exercising, you also loose fat afterwards, even while we are sleeping.
    The Afterburn effect - A lot of fat is burned after you’ve exercised not while you exercise.
    Our body uses different fuels to give use energy - Carbohydrates & Fats. When we exercise our body uses our Carbohydrate, because they are easy for our body to burn. Our body would take another 22 hrs to replace that used carb. So in the mean time our body is forced to burn fat to keep you going – walking, talking and even sleeping.
    So don’t worry how much fat you’ve burned during your exercise, it’s the after burn that matters (you’ll burn much more fat later on)

    10) Keep moving (be active) and loose weight
    You don’t need to join gym to burn extra calories. Small changes in your daily routine (taking stairs, getting off the bus one stop early and walking the rest of the way, standing instead of sitting, etc) significantly increases the number of calories you burn. Be active - but don’t eat more just because you’re doing some exercise, keep to the same diet.

    My neighbours cutting their hedge's still the sodding bird nesting season you idiots :curse: All I can hope is that they were absolutely certain there were no nests there but how they could possibly tell in such a thick hedge I don't know :rolleyes:

    It’s better than nothing I suppose, and if it encourages those who wouldn’t think to recycle normally it’s a good thing. But it’s not encouraging people to reduce the amount they throw away; the saying is “reduce, reuse, recycle” in that order for a reason. People who are recycling a few cans and plastic bottles are not saving the planet!

    Oooooh, very nice stoves. I'd be interested to see any that are small enough to go in a gypsy wagon...just for heating and cooking on top of.

    Sprains Strains And Compensation claims--TV adverts where people complain they have tripped on a wet floor,or fell off a ladder,or tripped and fell down some stairs-simple solution=watch where you are going

    Oh god yes, I forgot about that! :curse:
    Adverts for perfume and makeup :rolleyes:

    Lecturers not replying to emails or taking weeks to do so. I needed advice ASAP not weeks after the event!

    My neighbours who, every morning, walk their dog past my cottage allowing it to bark constantly. I may be awake at 7.15am (just) but I do not want an alarm call just in case.

    People who cherry pick which wildlife to support. Funny how it's usually trendy species like dolphins, orangutans or wolves, ignoring our native (but not as "exciting") species.

    People who blame Corvids for the reduction in song birds and never looking at how humans have f****d things up far more with their choice of pets, lifestyle etc.

    People who, when shopping, put a bunch of bananas in a small plastic bag before putting them in a big supermarket plastic bag (coz they never take their own). They’re already wrapped for god’s sake you don’t need a plastic bag (which you’ll throw away as soon as you get home)! :curse:

    My view is that provided it's not in an environmentally sensitive area, or where it would disturb wildlife, farm animals or the locals, then (although I'm not into them myself) I don't see a problem. Thing is, there are always going to be people who either don't care or are unaware of the damage that can be done to sensitive ecosystems; Castlemorton Common springs to mind. I recently did some investigation into the Malvern Hills AONB and found some info [wish I could find the link now] regarding an illegal gathering there in the 90s which caused a lot of damage to the area. Not only that but some of the commoners' sheep went missing too! So, irresponsibly done...NO, responsibly done...OK.