Ecuador Trip Fundraising

As you might know, if you follow a few of the posts on my blog, I’m heading to Ecuador over Easter. In fact, Ecuador is only 70 days away! Myself and another lecturer in my college have started fundraising for the trip, aiming to collect money for the trip, and for the charities that we will be visiting. To this end, I will be making full use of my half term by swimming the equivalent of the channel in the local swimming pools. My calculations make it about 22 miles, which is 1413 lengths. I’m aiming to do this as quick as possible, where swimming times allow!

I have set up a fundraising page, which I’ve linked to below, and I’ve set myself a target of £200 which I hope I can reach, with the kindness of people, which I can put towards the trip and charities we will visit. I’ll be sure to post all about the trip when I return and show photos of the places which the money has contributed to.

If you have some spare change, and would like to donate, please find the link below. Thank you very much!

Initial Volunteering Dates 2012

As the weather is looking rather lovely this week, and we are well into January, I’m turning my thoughts away from indoors and back to the building project looming at the back of my garden. A lot has changed over the Winter – namely my planned trip to Ecuador, which is going to impact the building financially as well as forcing me to delay work on it. Nevertheless, I’m going to crack on with the ground work and see if my immense cutbacks mean I can save up money to continue to work on the building.

Initially, the bulk of work needed on the garden is moving earth and building retaining walls. Tyre ramming will be a part of this. The weather will probably not be great for much of this, so starting volunteering events around March is going to be the plan. Unfortunately, I am a busy person around this time and will be working on the Six Nations games in various stadiums, so the end of that can mark the start of the work!

The garden this morning, under a thin blanket of frost.

Provisionally (and I will send out a newsletter confirming this), We are looking at the following (activities are guesswork at the moment)
24th & 25th March – Groundwork
(break for Ecuador trip)
21st & 22nd April – Digging drainage ditches
28th & 29th April – Retaining wall using rammed tyres
The weather should be pretty excellent by April. Going into May and onwards, the work will contiue to be most weekends pushing to finish the groundwork and start on foundations by the end of May. This is where the financial issues will come into play and affect the progress of the building.

I’m hoping to meet some people this month with regard to the structural frame of the building and what kind of timber to use for the living roof. Feedback on this will allow me to give more thought on the progress planned from May onwards. I’ll be sure to keep you updated. Until then, I’ll draft up a newsletter and send it out to everyone about the volunteering this week. If you miss it, get in touch with me on twitter or email me alun.king[at].

Happy new year! Time to get cracking…

It’s good to see in the new year, I’ve had a mixed bag in 2011, but achieved some excellent things of which I’m pretty proud of. As most people will no doubt say, I am determined for 2012 to be a better year. It has begun with awful weather and mental winds blowing through the valley, but the forecast for this weekend is looking good so I’m hoping for a opportunity to get gardening again!

The bike shed will be finished as soon as I get a hand hanging the doors. The weather boards for the roof will be fitted in no time, and ocne the doors are on, I’ll get some “complete” photos up. Looking forward to ticking that off the list and seeing how the green roof goes! Added to this, I’ve just finished a lovely raised planter bed in the garden, which I need to fill with soil. I’ll put a photo up soon.

This winter I’ve been working on Java programming, and a website, which I am doing as a job for someone. I’m hoping to launch the website this month, and get the Java project to a finished state before half term, though I can’t go into more details on that yet!

As mentioned, the weather is looking better, and the days are now getting longer, so by the end of January, I expect to be back on track with the preperations for the shed building. I’ve got a few key milestones to reach to stay on track with building, so the more nice weekends we have, the better. I’m hoping by the end of this month to have sent out a newsletter about work parties in the lead up to the summer.

I’m gearing up for a challenge in my February half term. I’ve not decided on what yet, but either way, I am starting to do regular cycling, swimming, circuits and climbing along with giving up chocolate and alcohol for the month. Whatever it is, I am certainly preparing for it better than the Offa’s Dyke walk, and hope to be less of a state at the end of it! A healthy dose of digging in the garden will no doubt help with the preparations.