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“Screw up it by a whirling way”

A little update and some funny happenings from the adventures of Flowering Elbow: Project workshop/lab/studio/lair!

The workshop seems to be at a confusing stage. On the one hand, as our old and beloved geography lecturers might have said, it’s looking ‘pregnant with possibility’ – which is to say, we have almost got four walls, a roof and a floor, we can’t be far off right?

On the other hand, our visiting four-legged friend Tan the dog found this ‘indoor’ space a rather liminal zone and decided it was ok to pee in, and the birds seem prone to kamikaze at the window, so I guess that is one measure of how indoorsy it currently is!

Winter wetness has descended upon the Golden Hill Centre making rescuing some old bricks for a foundation wall from the fields a rather muddy affair. Someone might have lost a wellie down there…The sun hasn’t entirely disappeared though, and third time lucky, Bongo and Dave seem to have fixed the leaks in the old barn roof, fingers crossed!

We’ve managed to raise the majority of the strawbale walls now, which, even with substantial umming and arring and anti bail-frenzy measures, didn’t take two of us long (if you discount the many days preparation of the base plates and timber supports Bongo was busy with before hand!). Sam enjoyed foregoing the purchase of a specialised straw bale ‘persuader’ in favour of practising capoeira kicks and generally whacking walls with a big bit of timber (affectionately named the whacker).

We learnt a few tricks we haven’t seen in any of the textbooks along the way. An ice climbing axe, for example, seems somewhat more efficient at making channels and grooves in the straw than the oft-suggested claw hammer. We also had to come to grips with the fact we just weren’t performing well in terms of knots when re-tying half bales. A cup of tea over Youtube and a fair bit of practice and we’ve found ourselves a new knot: the ‘Miller’s knot’. Traditionally used for tying up sacks, it is great for tensioning up the bale strings, but is a touch fiddly to begin with.


Meanwhile, Alex and Regina helped out on a fabulous skip emptying service, where we found the first parts of the ‘let there be light stage’. One of the lights was still on in the skip (it was a battery backup emergency one)!  After some deliberation we decided experiments with LED replacement lamps would be worth a go, as though the rescued fittings took CFL bulbs we were still looking at 2x18W per fitting, as opposed to 2×4.5W for the LED ones.

A bit of research found that getting bulbs from the UK would be many times the price as buying them direct from Hong Kong. Given they looked like exactly the same thing and we weren’t in a great rush, with much trepidation we bought a couple of them to test, skipping the middle man [sic]. Somehow receiving a package all the way from Hong Kong increases the guilt factor, even when you know UK packaged ones have almost certainly been on a similar journey. The guilt soon gave way to giggles though…We haven’t rigged them up yet, but their instructions have provided much entertainment on a grey day. “Screw up it by a whirling way”! Being my favourite – not only hilarious translation, but impossible given they are push-click pin fittings, comedy gold. Bongo seems quite taken with the lack of “safety potential” part… We thought this was just too funny not to share:

Hilarious translations


“1.Please use the product in accordance with the right specification. It is indoor lighting product.

2.Installation: turn off the power source first, and then screw up it by a whirling way.

3.Efficient energy conservation:   it is driven by low voltage with a low power loss,   and its rate of power conversion is above 98%. Under the same condition of luminosity, it can save 60% to 80% of energy more than that of ordinary energy-saving lights, besides, it has a long life span with a characteristic of easy installation.

4.Green environmental protection: its light has neither infrared radiation nor ultraviolet rays. No radiation, soft lighting effect, no stroboflash, can be start frequently, no heating, without mercury or herniation, easy to be recycled, all those features make it a genuine green product.

5.Extra long lifespan: It has the charceristics of antishock and dstproof, low energy consuming, low heating, without saftey potential. It uses solid lighting source, and packaged by rosin material. It avoided heat deposition and filiment ruin and thus has a long life as 30000 to 40000 hours, which is 30 times against that of the ordinary one, that means it can be used continuously.

6.LED lighting: when installing, firstly remove the ballast, or it will generate resonant voltage step-up which may damage the light.

Note: There are ballasts in all the G24 shelters.  “


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