Friday 1 December 2023

Slipping away

 John Byrne, Artist

He of the portrait of the Big Yin.

Shane of the Pogues.

Losing friends too. 

I can see changes in Pirate too..but he is fighting and working hard to stay here.

They won't give us a case they get it wrong. We can understand that.

Wednesday 29 November 2023


 Thankfully we are not towards the east of Scotland, but snow is nearing us this afternoon.

We are sitting in the living room, the electric fire on one bar and fan, not full on..and at 2.30 we are still waiting for the promised plumber who is to restore the boiler to life....well to heating the radiators and hot water, as it is sitting there "working". I am not looking forward to the bill. Luckily we have been away quite a bit, so there is some slack in the equation.

The plumber, a mate of the landlord is obviously moonlighting between jobs for his usual employer. 

Meanwhile the friend who is a plumber..and we are supposedly "on the list" to have the radiators and boiler serviced...a proper deal, not mates rates... hasn't replied.

My carbon fibre track bike has today gone to Glasgow Velodrome with a friend, with the hope that it will fit her and she will buy it...fingers crossed....

And it is cold...only just above freezing at the most today.

Primulas and primroses...come on folks, it is NOT spring!
Fluffed up local moggy

Sitting tight... keeping warm....working on decluttering a bit.

Boiler reset...Pirate had been doing the right thing...but it was sulking.

Boiler man looked... switched off correctly...and back on...and it behaved!!

He will report back to the landlord..and hopefully the boiler will get its annual(should be annual, but....) overhaul.

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Back Home

 A two day journey home, with an added visit to friends...who had a couple of mutual friends from London staying with them.

A nice stop, coffee and hot mince pies, and the sight of the moon over the Solway Firth.

Then home again to a very cold house!!

And a dramatic dawn after a freezing night.  

I had put the heating thermostat on 12⁰C overnight...and our warmest room, the living room went below 11⁰ and triggered the boiler to start up!

At 6am I turned the thermostat up, to warm the house before we got up!

A morning of washing, tidying, packing four fleabay orders before a quick lunch and off on the bus to our local post office 2½ miles away..then the next bus to town for a quick top up shop. After two days of over 200 miles driving I needed a break!!

Arriving home at dusk, the house was dark...Pirate was having a nap...but also colder than expected...

The boiler was burning gas...but not heating anything....

Luckily we have an electric fire in the living room and a fan heater in our bedroom....and hopefully a plumber tomorrow...or maybe Thursday...a friend of our landlord.... fingers crossed....

Saturday 25 November 2023


 First stop Haynes Motor Museum...but getting everyone together was like herding cats!

When everyone had had enough there, café just outside Yeovil off the, Pirate, brother, eldest son and friend, youngest son and family and his son's girlfriend....

So we each have one son not caught up with yet and that's not bad going.

Friday 24 November 2023


 Look one way, then the other....

Thursday 23 November 2023


 Trip in brother's electric van see a friend's 2004 Fiat based Self Contained campervan...he lives near Christchurch.... Christchurch NZ....

It was his trade example for a trade fair in 2004. For the past 4½ years it has been sitting in a farmyard...moved 18 months ago across the yard.

It is sweet inside..but a bit dingy outside.

If only it wasn't so far away! A while ago I got a quote to move it up to us...£500+....not practical as we couldn't do any work on it.  It is 150 miles from the Oily One who could work on it...

We have to tell our friend what his options are...what the cost of renovation would be....his one idea has been to return it to NZ...but that is probably not financially feasible.

Now, I would love to have it....but....

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Tor Tour

 We got adventurous today...Pirate did something for the first time in 84 years...and I did for the first time in 50 I should have known better!!

We walked up the footpath towards the South and steeper side of the Tor

which leads across fields...and meets a road where there is no waymarker!

We went left and in a quarter mile found the two disabled parking bays at the foot of the climb. I had looked for these unsuccessfully on websites and maps..

I hadn't ever been up this side....I can't say I felt too happy..not being that keen on ups with steep downs and no handrail and just a narrow concrete path.....

At the top we were almost in the clouds...and it was definitely Hang onto your hat!!!

Down the slightly less steep path that comes out by the Chalice Well Gardens..and if we had parked in the blue badge bays we would have had to walk back up that lane to there!

By the path end
And an old sign on the main road 

An achievement...nearly five miles walking..a good start to getting fit again!!