Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Still Here!

I have not put anything on here for quite a while but it is interesting to pop back and see how things went over last summer.
Currently we have a mad 6 month old puppy Barney who steals and chews everything, 14 3 day old chicks hatched by Blondie blue ring, and 6 duck eggs about to go under a broody Maron.
A new boiler is being fitted.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Barny's first fireworks

Sorry but I lost the link to my Blog and could not be bothered to find it again and then there it was!

Nearly a year writing this nonsense.

Much too busy in the garden to do  much blogging and things are much the same as last year but with a puppy to entertain.

Last night there was a massive firework display on the rugby ground and poor Barney was most disturbed. i picked him up and showed him the lights that could be seen over the trees but this did not calm him. I regret he will have to get used to them as unlike when I was little there are fireworks many times a year these days.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Vic's apartment is now on "Tripadvisor"

Use the above link to view the listing on the Trip Advisor website.
Please share with your friends but beware that this summer is rapidly being booked.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Wheeler dealer Frog Spawn!

I've been a little busy recently.
We went to a local auction and bid for several things we thought we might like to have but the only thing we won was a massive box of toy trains and associated bit and pieces. It was all quite disgustingly filthy!
I took some time working through the piles of stuff and feeling that I ought to sell it to recoup the several hundreds of pounds I had spent but feeling more and more that I wanted to keep all the good bits.
Especially the certificated limited edition of the Flying Scotsman untouched in its original presentation box.

I am now quite a minor major EBay seller!

Everything that has come up to its closing time so far has sold and I have recouped the first £100. I still have a long way to go but lots of bits are already appearing on my railway including a new marshaling yard, several buildings with lights and a lot of new rolling stock.

Quick trips into the garden reveal that Spring is nearly a month earlier than last year and the first Frog Spawn has been deposited in the ponds nearest to the house. I have planted a few seeds but there is a bitter East wind today so I think I shall do some more railway in the warm.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

B&Q Sharon!

As some of you have read I had a bit of an embarrassing phone conversation with a B&Q assistant last week when I thought that I had been cheated by the self service till. It turned out that the missing item I had been charged for had rolled under the passenger seat in the car.

Well her name was Sharon.

And today I went to the till with an assistant. I told the lady there that I was no good on the self service till and had problems last week.
She knew!
She was Sharon and remembered me very clearly.
I felt very small again but Sharon was very nice.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Wet Sunday's are for playing Trains

Today Mercury Arc Rectifiers were commissioned for test purposes on the Loft Railway following the provision of the first electrical substation completed on 25 December 2010.

The best visual effect is seen on a dark night when the load drawn increases as a fully loaded train pulls away from a station stop.

Ah I remember it well.....

The substation looks rather dull in daylight.

The blue effect is achieved with just one blue LED.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Spring, springs and CCTV

OOHHHHH what a couple of days.
Daffodils, crocus and pink Ice plant flowering, birds singing their heads off and it's pouring with rain!

I celebrated with the self service check out supervisor at B&Q yesterday as after 2 years since their installation I managed to check and pay for my purchases, including pensioner discount, all on my own.
At home I found I had been charged for some mysterious item to do with saving the planet. I phoned them up explaining that the amount was too small to justify the round trip petrol cost but that their machine had done me! The most apologetic lady there said she would check the details and post me a credit note. I thought that would be fine.
SHE PHONED back to tell me she could see on the CCTV that I actually did have that item and thus she could not send a refund ..... I found it under the car seat where it had rolled. Just a small pot of paint that has few chemicals in it and is thus classified, and abbreviated on the B&Q till receipt, as "Ecosense".
Ever wanted the ground to open?

Our central heating and hot water has been behaving strangely so I investigated and found that the 2 way spring return valve was not working properly. Replacement £87 at Screwfix but only £36 on Ebay!
The Ebay purchase arrived at lunch time yesterday ... just a simple replacement job so I got stuck in.

Well we all went to bed about 0100hrs feeling very cold and tired as various springs had gone ping and the electrical terminals could not be accessed without demolishing part of a wall and pulling all the cables through to the loft space. I connected it back up but some of the cables had magically swapped randomly to the wrong positions and nothing worked. The airing cupboard had to be demolished and I still had such a problem connecting the motor unit that I jambed it.
Sleep is a wonderful thing! The system has been drained the unit replaced and the wiring almost returned to neatness. It all seems to be working.
Fingers crossed.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Chicken based Call Duck

Last Summer we hatched 3 Call Duck eggs with the assistance of a broody hen. Two of the ducklings were killed by rats but the third has grown into a fine figure of a Call Duck Drake.

The problem is that he has been raised by Hens and now lives happily (as far as I can tell) with the nine hens and three cocks.

The other day I caught him and took him to the ponds where I set him free to have a good swim and wash.
After a few tentative moments he got the idea and it was a delight to see him splashing, washing and diving. In no time he was swimming right across the pond under water. He even started to practice the male call duck mating dance which he accompanied by the correct whistling calls. I left him to play. Eventually I rounded him up after many hours and returned him to the Chicken house.

The next day I let the whole flock out for exercise and play in the garden. I expected the drake to set off for the ponds but no, he stayed with the hens on the grass. later I noticed him going through the whole washing, diving and mating dance routine..... but not in water..... he was still in the middle of the lawn surrounded by hens.

What is worse ...they were completely ignoring him.

I think I need a Duck therapist. Know one?

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Another Spring marker.

Delighted to see the Aconites are just waiting to burst open next time the sun shines!

Of course it is still bitingly cold today with a gentle wind coming from the North but there they are all up and ready to go. I am sure they weren't there yesterday.

Hang on in! We will make it yet.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Sunday Lunch in Stewkley Luxury

We finally made it to the grand Kitchen opening ceremony yesterday.

Well opening for us only as it has been in use for some time by the residents.

Very nice! Wonderful meal ... still feel very full!

Why is it that I spend all my time on the floor playing trains etc and all the other adults get to chat and gossip in the comfort of chairs?

I don't think I want to swap really but the floor is getting harder these days.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Wonderful People and Spring.

Yesterday the first white tips of the snowdrops were seen in both the sheltered northern side of the house and in the sheltered southern beds.
Exactly the same date as last year. Perhaps they like lots of snow.
There are also a few yellowish tips of daffodils to be seen.
Hold on it can't be far away!

There are some wonderful people out there in the World.
I have had masses of information emailed to me from the good people of Abthorpe, near Towcester, Nothamptonshire who undertook a millennium project to digitise all their Church registers. I commented on their Internet news paper that I wanted to know about my distant ancestor who was landlord of their "Stocking Frame" Pub and they have sent me all the records back to 1597! No charge!

Also a fellow amateur genealogist who helped me some time ago has shared some information he has found about one of my wife's relatives. It must have taken him a long time and quite a bit of cash to find but he has freely shared it. Thank you Stephen!

Friday, 14 January 2011

No Heat!

Yesterday was the first day in 2011 that we had no source of heat in the home from Breakfast to Afternoon tea. Not that there was a fault. No, it was lovely and warm. What strange weather we are having this winter.
Still it is just as well as we are right down in the fuel stock. Sort of early March levels of wood left only.

The neighbouring field has sprung into life. I have no idea what the farmer has planted but some form of alien pale green plants are appearing. They look a little like bean or pea plants.

Meanwhile the hen flock look very well and we are getting 1 or 2 eggs every day.