Saturday, 13 June 2015

An active Saturday.

After a week on the road with only moderate mileage,  (map below showing phone signal pick up between masts) I came home last night fully intending to strip off. My wallpaper. However, the call of The Barley Mow was too much and I felt I deserved a pint of terrific ale. Having satisfied that need, I came home to make dinner, watch the Isle of Man TT Seniors and go to bed. A fine Friday.

This morning with the stripping still to do, and an appointment with the back yard, I woke at half four, listened to the radio until half five, watched a few you tube vids and sprang into Saturday just before six.  Here's the photo story.

It is a little after ten now and a day of idle stretches before me.



Tuesday, 26 May 2015

On axe...

With my burner now in and ready to burn, clearly it needs fuel. Things to make it go, you might say.

My brother and I had totalled one short axe a few weeks back, using it as a conduit for the force from hammer blows to split logs.  It worked on you tube but we didn't quite have it down and the axe had to go in for  a new handle (sorry dad). With wider research on technique and a bit of on line shopping,  I happened upon a wood splitting set from Screwfix and set to this bank holiday Monday with the result below. All managed with limbs intact to boot!


Saturday, 23 May 2015

Woodburner - day 2 and lighting.

Friday saw the completion of the burner install here in BS5. There are some decorative tweaks yet to complete but all in all, the wood burner is functional and fitted - and very, very toasty.

It was a right caper being here for both days of the fitting and I asked tons of questions.

Here he is....Bernard the burner via a time lapse and a series of stills.


Thursday, 21 May 2015

Wood burner Install - day 1

A very exciting day has made its way to Blog BS5. I have finally got to the installation point for a wood burner here in the house.

The house is  about 115 years old, so naturally it has a chimney, and today after a decade of residence I stuck my head up there and took a look. There it was, quietly and reliably intact, ready to take a new lining for many a happy fire to come.

Here are some images of the day 1 install. There is solid wood, slate, iron, brick, render, cement, history, fascination and  all manner of conflagratory potential.

More updates on day 2, and at the weekend, maybe even a real fire movie.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Walking Week!

Almost a week ago I left BS5 to spend a Sunday afternoon driving 245 miles up to The Lake District in Cumbria. Walking Week had finally come around - this had been in the diary for ages!

I work for Rohan, a retailer  for 'Outdoor, Adventure, Travel'. We sell top end clothing to suit that strap line and the week was all about days with Store Managers trying out gear and just getting together to do what our customers do. Each lunchtime a set of Managers joined us at Windermere railway station, we had an afternoon walk, dinner together in the evening, a morning walk and then back to the station to start all over again,  Monday through to Friday. I have thirteen Stores and a mix of guests were from my Area. It was relaxed and informal and whilst no great distance was covered (maximum walk 6 miles), the elevation was full on!

We were based in Hawkshead on the edge of Windermere. We walked Red Screes, Tarn Hows, Grizedale Forest, and a load of other steep climbs. It was fantastic!  We also made a video to show later in the year. Larks a plenty, healthy, fresh air...and paid to boot!

I had never stayed in the Lake District before but I will go again. It was my birthday in the week, and the last few years I have been on a dull work  errand but 2015/43 was memorably different and I am grateful.

Top stuff!

Thursday, 30 April 2015


This week was a terrific family week. A run of days away from work, free from distractions and noise. We had planned it awhile, the success all down to my older brother and sister in law who just got it all spot on! We had a few days in Criccieth on the Llyn peninsula.

Ma and Pa and we three sons with our sister in law, Anna. And Toby and Quaddy and perfect weather.

Greg and Anna  have visited the house five times before and this was my third visit, but this time it was all of us as a family. We met them there, driving up last Sunday in no hurry at all and in a car full of silliness.

Day 1 was just unloading all the stuff we took (a lot of which poured) and settling in and catching up. Day 2 was action packed with a visit to a rabbit farm which also had chickens, pigs, goats, peacocks, horses, sheep and a donkey. We went to the childhood home of David Lloyd George and took a look into the past. After that we had a quick tea stop and then.....steam train action between Porthmadog and Beddgelert! Slow roast lamb for dinner and lots of wine.

Day three was the fantastic, near endless beach at Black Rock Sands. It is about 2 miles long and you can drive on it too! We walked miles and miles and miles across that day and the week and there was never a moment short of ease, relaxation or just simple togetherness. We also had fish and chips from a fantastic little place just nearby with a brotherly pint ahead of collecting the order.  I could do all that again and again with the Welsh welcome of the village and the endless, simple fooling about.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Mark, Lawson.

If you are a regular reader here you will know that my good pal Bazza passed last month. He and I met in 1991 at University, sharing a floor in a Hall of Residence. Bazza was called Mark in reality, but became Bazza after his delight in watching movies on our rented video recorder in Halls in that first happy year. Man, he worked hard at that, but he also worked hard at being a good man and a sci-fi spod.

I attended his funeral last week, and of course it was hard, but that's an indulgence when I think that his parents were there too and lowered his coffin into the ground. Easy for me in comparison to that task and I said my prayers quietly in my noggin throughout proceedings.

What was really very, very difficult about it was that Bazza was one of identical twins. Now I know identical is a binary thing - you either are or you are not, but Bazza and Lawson were *really* identical. Thus, I attended a funeral of a man I had met hundreds of times, but here in attendance was an in-every-way-identical man I had met maybe 8 times. Every nuance, look,  laugh and mannerism was there, and the voice was identical.  That was surreal. It was Mark, but of course it was not.

Lawson was 12 minutes older then Mark but now that gap will grow and grow and grow as the years roll on. Lawson was a stand-up  guy, leading things for his family and remembering the life of his brother.

Hard days.

I was glad to know you Bazza and I did not recall until funeral reminiscences that I  had kicked off your affectionate nickname.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

£412 in forty seconds

When I collected my new company car a handful of weeks back, it already had a crack in the windscreen. In fact, it was more a case of having a crack with a windscreen attached to it,  not the other way around, so hefty it was.

This week I managed my diary around a home call to have the screen replaced. Full of tech', spod excitement I set up a time lapse movie to capture the action.

Here it is.


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Easter Eating

I started Lent with my folks, visiting them for pancakes at  Glewstone Court on Shrove Tuesday and travelling up to Yorkshire the morning after on Ash Wednesday.  I also ended Lent at the house and in the forty days between, I wrote my Letters for Lent (a post to follow once the last letters have reached their recipients).

Spending Easter weekend in Goodrich was just fine, relaxing in easy company and enjoying the champagne transformation that makes Sal' even better company than normal (she did not disappoint and her speedier disposition to risque humour kicked right in at half a glass!)

It was a fine weekend with company, cooking, companionship, crosswords and a quick visit to Ferdy up the road. I mixed beer, champagne and red wine with a headache for my troubles.

Here's a section of pictures.