Dog Poo Composter

I’m grateful that my two dogs are only little Westies but they still manage to produce a lot of poo. I can’t bring myself to wrap it in plastic and put it in the bin so have been digging holes and burying it. We have very little flat ground and the “soil” is clay and shale in most places so digging big holes is very difficult. I’ve decided to have a go at making my own composter since the commercial versions, I think, are very expensive. I’ve searched online and lots of people seem to have success with home made composters so I’ll see how it goes.

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It’s now about 8 months since I took the first photos and the mix seemed to be getting a bit high so with trepidation I did some digging around in it. I’ve been watering the bin to keep the mix palatable for worms but the side effect of that is roots have now invaded the bin. Today I decided to slide a spade around the edge of the bin to sever the roots then I decided to empty out some mix. I left the lid off for about an hour so that any worms would make their way down through the soil.

When I came back I was delighted to find that the mix had a nice fine crumbly texture with no hint of smell. Because I know what the mixture is made from I can’t bring myself to handle it but it looks just like compost from a commercial bag without the smelly lumps I’ve come across in them before.

I won’t be putting the compost on any fruit trees or vegies, there is plenty of dirt around my place desperate for a bit of humus. This is the first time I’ve managed to fully compost dog poo and I’ll continue with the bin as it is. I don’t know if the roots will become a big problem but will just have to wait and see, for the moment I’m very pleased.

P1120797.

August 2015

We’ve been away on holiday for 5 weeks so nothing has been added to the composter in that time. I decided to empty it out again and there were more roots invading the bin but there were also thousands of worms. I used part of an old worm farm to try and separate the worms from the compost. The compost is just going on my flower beds and any worms that are in that should be comfortable in the garden though it’s not as moist.

As an experiment I think this has worked wonderfully.

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Hotel Housemaid

In January and February 1972 I was working as a housemaid at the Strathspey Hotel in Aviemore when the Miners Strike resulted in large scale power cuts. Housemaids worked split shifts, coming to work early to make the guests’ Continental Breakfasts then to clean the rooms. If there were lots of departures we wouldn’t be able to finish before lunch because all the beds would need to be stripped. I can’t remember if all the beds had Continental Quilts which had to be manhandled into their seersucker covers but that’s where I learned to make “hospital corners” with the sheets. If the guests were staying for up to 3 nights the sheets didn’t get changed so then it was much quicker to make the beds and clean the rooms. When the power cuts happened it sounds crazy but I’m sure we used candles, I have a memory of chuckling at the paradox of cleaning toilets by candlelight.

 

At night someone would be rostered on to “turn down the beds”. We had to close the curtains and fold back the top corner of the sheets and quilt so the bed was inviting for the guest. One night I was rostered on during a power cut and dutifully knocked on one door and when there was no response I went in. A man was in there stark naked. I said nothing, just backed out of the room with my flickering candle and he didn’t get the sheets turned down that night!

 

When I was vacuuming a room one day a silk dressing gown was strewn across the bed, the tie must have been near the floor and suddenly it was gobbled up by the vacuum cleaner. No way could I get it out so I decided to just pretend nothing had happened but later I felt guilty and told the Housekeeper who retrieved it and replaced it in the room.

 

One guest hid his girlie mags under the Hotel Information Folder so each day as I went out I made sure they were sitting in full view on top.

 

You didn’t know that about Nana did you?

 

 

The Strathspey has changed hands and been renamed but it's the tall building in the background. The photo was taken by leonardo for a Hotel booking site.
The Strathspey has changed hands and been renamed but it’s the tall building in the background. The photo was taken by leonardo for a Hotel booking site.