Trusty’s Blog – 14th December 2012

Office Closure & Cold and Damp

At this time of the year, I get invited to so many social occasions which I am sure is due to my extrovert personality and incredible sense of humour. Being so popular and in such demand, my diary management is paramount in order that I can accept as many invitations as possible.  In fact, as the party time of year starts to come into full swing, in order not to let anyone down I try and juggle my attendance so I don’t have to say no and let anyone down.

I am approximately half way through my advent calendar and I always make a conscious decision to go with the flow and enjoy the festive food of the season I mean how can you worry about calories at a time like this?  Mince Pies, roasted Chestnuts, Mulled Wine and Christmas Pudding - the list is endless and don’t even get me started thinking of chocolate.   I am a real chocoholic and with so much to choose from it’s so hard to decide which treat I should purchase. Of course, I always end up buying far too much.  Even with the selection boxes there are so many different manufacturers with so many different flavours.  What a dilemma – if only life’s problems were just like this all the time how simple life would be.

Last year I started my Christmas shopping earlier than I usually do and my how it paid off so I have decided to do the same this year.  I really hate crowds and queuing up at the tills with all those frazzled mothers doing their last minute shopping with young children in tow. It’s also part of my master plan of being organised and so far so good. 

I have given myself a budget of how much I want to spend on each gift as it’s so easy to get carried-away and end up spending far more than you originally planned.  If I can’t afford it, my motto is ‘don’t purchase it’.  I mean, who wants any nasty surprises in January when the bills start to come in and it always seems to be a really long month financially. There is absolutely no way I am using a credit card.  After all, who wants to start a new year in debt due to Christmas presents – not me! 

There are so many bargains around I usually find by surfing the net I can find the best price before I head out to the shops or alternatively, I may purchase online.  It’s so convenient, sitting in front of the tv, cup of coffee and shopping at home – sometimes I don’t even need to go out.

I will be spending the holidays at home this year and I am really excited to have some “me” time.  I am looking forward to doing as little as I possibly can, just relaxing.  Plenty of television and hopefully catching up on a film or two that I have been promising myself to watch.  I had been invited to some friends in Scotland but the weather at this time of the year is very unpredictable and I have decided to visit them in the Spring when you can enjoy walking in the highlands with the wild heathers dancing in the moorlands rather than the temperatures you can endure in December.

One of the main issues that can affect many of us at this time of the year is the problem caused by cold damp weather and this in turn causes condensation.

This can be a major issue and is generally caused by the way we live. Most of this we can control ourselves and here are some ideas to help alleviate the problem.

Because air contains moisture, the warm air acts like a sponge and soaks it up.  We tend to notice this most on windows on a cold morning and can also be seen on mirrors after a bath or shower, and on cold surfaces such as tiles or cold walls.

Typical problems caused by too much condensation are:

• Mould growth on walls and furniture
• Mildew on clothes & other fabrics
• Rotting window frames
• An increase in house dust mites 

To tackle mould growth:

• To kill and remove mould, wipe down or spray walls and window frames with a fungicidal wash that carries a Health & Safety Executive (HS) ‘approval number’ and follow its instructions carefully for safe use. You can often buy these in supermarkets.

• After treatment, redecorate using a good quality fungicidal paint and a fungicidal resistant wall paper paste to help prevent mould growth recurring. N.B. The effect of fungicidal or anti-condensation paint is destroyed if covered with ordinary paint or wallpaper.

• Dry-clean mildewed clothes and shampoo any carpets. Don’t try to remove mould by using a brush or vacuum cleaner 

To reduce the levels of condensation to stop the problem recurring:

• Dry your windows & windowsills every morning, as well as any wet surfaces in the kitchen or bathroom 
• Wring out the cloth rather than drying it on a radiator
• Cut down the moisture you produce in your home
• Increase your ventilation
• Reduce the number of cold surfaces
• In cold weather maintain a low level of heating

I do hope that you have found my suggestions helpful in tackling condensation as it can be such a nuisance and can also become very unsightly. 

Over the holiday season our offices will be open on Thursday, 27th and Friday, 28th December.

To find out more information about our office closure over the Christmas period or anything else happening at the Trust, please contact me on

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