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May
31
- Up around 9:25am!!!? Good grief - that was a long sleep! Don't feel ANY better for it though. Warm and mostly overcast, with unfortunately quite a bit of a breeze. . walked and back via the store for milk, going cheap chelsea buns, and a box of gravy bones for Bella. . I'm so WAY behind with all manner of other chores, but while the weather remains warm and dry, I feel obliged to keep trying to get 'outside' stuff done. Mustered up the energy to have a go at trimming the huge mishapen and 'obstructing' cherry blossom tree in the back garden. All the long spindly branches souring up far too high, always blow around in a terrible way every time there is the slightest of breeze, and several pose a real danger of coming into contact with my 'new' wire antenna. Took it 'relatively' calmly and therefor spent several hours on the awkward task. Propped the ladder up into the branches where I could, tied it fast, and then teetered precariously at the very top, reaching out with the lopper and saw. Totally the wrong time of year to do such a thing of course, but I'm assuming the tree will survive and recover. If not, I really don't care too much, because it IS too large for where it was put, and a huge extending root makes mowing the lawn a real pain. . eventually had it all trimmed back into what I think is a better more compact shape, and more importantly to me, had it well away from my wire antenna AND had managed to reduce the overall height of it, so I can now clearly see the chimney stack OVER it from the bottom of the garden. THAT raises the possibility of being able to at some point, MAYBE get a much longer wire antenna running right up to the chimney, and who knows, perhaps clean over the house and out front too?! (Even if I don't get round to doing that, I DO have a desire to buy some more aerial clamps, and actually tie both of the chimney mounted colinear masts together with a horizontal cross piece. That'd really strengthen the fixing of them both for when the gales hit. We'll see.) Anyway - trimming that tree has been badly necessary since before I even moved in here - and now at last it's done. Unfortunately a big pile of branches and cuttings heaped up at the top of the garden, to chop up and get rid-of now. That can wait. My watch strap was also a casualty of the work. :o( Caught it on the ladder at some point, and tore it off, breaking one of the spring loaded pins. Bugger! . . the forecast had suggested rain over much of the country (and the small chance of some here too) and with the sky looking a bit threatening, I figured I'd better push on and get 'some' form of weather protection sorted out, over the transmitting-balun /coax-plug, etc atop the pole at the end of the wire antenna. Dropped the pole down as low as I could on the T&K brackets so it was all within reach, and then tried to figure out what would be the best way to do it. Without question, I figured my 'tupperware' idea was the best, so to cut a long story short, I eventually sacrificed one of my favourite tupperwares from the kitchen, bolted the top to my bracket, and DID managed to get the whole balun assembly pretty well protected inside the easily removed bottom section, with a small hole on one side for the actual wire, and a larger one at the bottom for the coax (and to allow any water to drip out). Very pleased with that - although I WILL now have to find something else to keep my cheese in!! lol . fired up the FT767 radio and had a listen around, just to confirm things were still sounding ok. Gave someone a call as a test, and had a quick QSO (starting off at only around 25watts output) with a G0NGE up in Leyland (Lancs) on 40mtrs. Yep - that'll do. Reception sure does seem 'somewhat' improved by my recent changes. Hard to be sure with conditions ever changing, but I think I'm definitely hearing a little more than I did before. Cool. . . walked late. On the way to BGdns, a guy was hurridly taking a ladder out of his garage - and then with some assistance, started hurrying a short way down the road with it?? Turned out one of the children from the new housing estate on the old cricket ground site, had climbed up and got mimself stuck in a tree and needed rescuing! lolol Little brats! . .sat around in BGdns for ages, too tired to move. Plenty of chats with other dog walkers. One guy (with his spaniel - proper 'working' gun-dog) turned out to be here on holiday, staying in one of the cottage flats down near the harbour. Weird thing was, so it seemed to me, he was a fisherman from a fishing village in Cornwall! That's like a busman's holiday, coming here isn't it?? How strange. Very friendly guy, with a THICK cornish accent, and very interesting to talk to, given his fishing work and shooting etc. .Saw an impressive BIG slow worm just off the path, on the way up to the higher seats for yet more sitting. I'm cautiously optomistic that Bella's scratching HAS recently reduced. I HAVE had a damned good look through her fur on a few occasions now, I have NOT found any fleas, as I had done relatively easily previously. . eventually returned home (slowly!) well after 9:30pm . . breifly sat with a coffee in the garden 'admiring' my tree and aerial work as darkness fell . . guitarred briefly . . cooked and ate a six rashers pack of bacon, with chips and two crusts of buttered bread followed by a banana . . TVd . .ended up listening around on the radio for hours until deep into early. That antenna wire is DEFINITELY 'better' than it was. Still no doubt NOT good by other peoples standards, but I'm quite pleased with it nevertheless. The only thing I'm NOT happy about is, the coax is too short (by about five feet) for me to fully raise the pole - and I don't think I have enough left to be able to make up a longer length! . Eventually to bed around 3am or soon after.
30 - Up around 9:15am!!!? . slow getting going. Walked real late in the overcast heat . . . PCd/monitored radio while PCing this at length . . early afternoon the postman delivered the beaphar flea drops AND the antenna wire I'd ordered. The postage on that wire was quoted as 3. It'd actually cost them 3.65 to post, so I'm not the only one having trouble with the postage rates! lol . .spent the rest of the day putting up the new antenna wire in place of my existing 'stretched' stuff. The new wire is a poly covered flexiweave steel type. I hadn't really known what to expect from it, but as I started messing with it and soldering it, I became quite impressed. VERY easy to solder to - keeps it shape and doesn't kink - hopefully is NOT going to stretch like the old copper stuff - is really almost invisible when up in the air! . I'd read online that there are 'optimum' lengths of 'random' wire antennas, to enable the best chance of being able to readily tune them with your ATU - all based on multiples of wavelengths etc, etc. All pretty much beyond me of course, but I figured it'd be wise to attempt to end up with pretty near one of those lengths if I possibly could. Marked out a ten feet length on some garden slabs, and then gradually measured out the cable, actually marking each ten foot length with an indelible marker pen and with rather more easily noticeable pieces of insulation tape. At length (ha ha), wanting to make the longest length in the available space, I eventually settled on a 'recommended' length of 84feet (actually plus another foot, to allow me to maybe trim and mess with SWRs etc). The drawback with that length was, that it left me with around six feet 'too long', hanging vertically down from the insulator at the top of the new fence post by the garage. Damn - I could do with another insulator! Temporarily used some nylon chord and just tied the lower end of the wire to the fence rails, after having made a loop with one of the cheap wire clamps I bought the other day! They worked nicely. There we go then. That is more than useable - and boy, is that wire hard to see. VERY low-impact/ low-profile. Hope I don't end up with birds crashing into it and littering the garden! . listened to the radio on the new wire. Hard to tell because conditions change so much from day to day/minute to minute, but it DOES seem to be a little better than it was I think. . .walked a little early . . back onto the radio to eavesdrop on the local Riviera Amateur Radio club net followed by its bit of practice slow morse. PCd while monitoring, and after searching and debating alternatives, ordered a couple of 50ohm 3 meter BNC to BNC patch leads (god how I HATE BNC sockets!) for 7.78 from the same eBay company I ordered from once before. With all the radios/scanners/aerials I'm now trying to run, with its bizarre nest of interconnections and switches, I don't have enough cables/connectors to connect everything up in the ways I want (particularly my 'downlink' into the living room - which I've frustratingly NOT been able to use for MANY weeks now). I actually require at least two patch leads with a BNC connector at one end, and a PL259 at the other. To buy the little BNC to PL259 converters AND patch leads would cost a small fortune, so I'm figuring when I get those 'overly long' patch leads, I can cut them in half and solder a PL259 (which I already have) to the ends of each, and end up with four of exactly what I need at a fraction of the price. Fingers crossed on that plan. . unplugged a bunch of things to enable me to run a side by side test of the two colinears, now BOTH on the roof. Uh oh - the 'new' one is significantly poorer at receive performance - still!??? What on earth is going on there? They really should be absolutely identical now? SWR is about the same on both, so it isn't something 'worrying' - but - dunno what's going on with that! That's gonna take some getting to the bottom of!!!? Coax maybe? Oh dear. How disappointing after all that work. . drank the last glass of wine from the box and cooked and ate a pepperoni pizza with extra pepperoni and cheese, followed by a little chocolate . . to bed around 1:30am.
29 - Up around 8:45am! Warm and full sun. . . walked and then carried on down town to look see what tupperwares were available locally anywhere. Turned out to be almost none, and none of those of any use. Discovered a small pack of cheap miniature 'U' bolt type cable clamps on the hardware 'table' in the undercover market. 1 for eight seemed like a good deal. I'm intending to use a couple of those when I get the new heavy duty antenna wire I've ordered. . . did bed-linen laundry chores and then started a serious bought of vacuuming. The postman delivered the large heavy 'box of toss' I'd gambled on, on e-bay. Immediately stopped vacuuming, made a coffee and then nervously sat and opened it and went through everything. Well - I think it's fair to say, I'm pretty sure I've thrown my money away! :o( Sadly, that's pretty much par-for-the-course every one of the few times throughout my life I've tried a speculative 'gamble' like that. An expensive lesson learned - again. The morse key, which was the main reason I gave it a shot, turns out to be slightly damaged, with a small section of the bakolite actually broken and missing. It's still fully functional, but of course that detracts sinificantly from its potential value. The rest of the (electronic) stuff in the box is clearly old and probably of no use to anyone - certainly not me - and now I'm lumbered with it (just when I was trying to clear away all the rubbish I'm surrounded by!). Oh well - as I said, lesson learned. I doubt I'll EVER be so reckless and stupid again. . .Image of another of my morse keyswasted the next hour or two actually dismantling the morse key and de-rusting, cleaning, and greasing it all up, and getting it into as good a state as I possibly could. Despite the damage, I reckon it's still a cute little thing. Not as 'pretty' to me as the brass ones, but still a remarkable bit of quality 'engineering', that you just don't see on ANYTHING made these days. Less than five inches in total length, it has something in the region of a total of TWENTY EIGHT individual component parts (and THAT is counting the bakolite base with its multiple integral metal pieces as one!)! There IS a strange satisfaction with taking that all apart (like a child playing with meccano?) and cleaning it all up and putting it back together. Because it IS 'damaged', if I ever so desired, and had the nerve to 'destroy' it, it seems entirely possible to me, that the whole thing could be broken out of the bakolite, and then reconstructed on some ornate and varnished wooden base. Shouldn't be difficult - and could well 'add value'? . . eventually at length, returned to the major vacuuming around the house (in the hope of helping tackle Bella's flea problem - which so far does NOT appear to be improving much!). . . ate a tin of baked beans, grated cheese and four pieces of bread and butter followed by a little coffee sponge cake . . napped until around 6:30pm. . very warm out still (18C+?) and felt oh SO drained and tired. Decided to have a 'night off' from walking. Sat and played ball with Bella in the garden as a substitute for ages . .tu . . touched base with Mum and suggested she watch the BBC4 program that was on, all about the history of Bristol, on film . . did the mountain of dishwashing chores . . . TVd/PCd . . . sorted through my big chest of cables, sockets, etc 'junk', and dug out some cable (sacrficed a spare 'kettle' lead) and a quarter inch 3 contact stereo jack plug, and eventually FINALLY got round to soldering myself up a connecting lead to attach a CW key to the FT-767. Soldered 'u' shaped spade type connectors to the ends of two of the wires, to enable me to easily switch between any of the CW keys I currently have. One bit of a slip during the soldering saw me accidentally grab hold of the HOT end of the soldering iron as it threatened to slip onto the kitchen work surface!!! Sizzle - funny smell - smoke - OUUUUUCH!!!! . . . read through the relevant section of the 767 manual and eventually had the key all connected up and working. According to the book, with the transmitter drive turned down to zero, it should be quite possible to use the sidetone on the radio just for practice, without actually transmitting anything. That did appear to be the case - BUT - when set up like that, it DID register on all my other scanners/radios as putting out 'some' level of a signal!!!???? I hadn't expected that! Dunno what to make of that, even allowing for the close proximity of my scanners etc! I need someone REAL local, to help me test that, and make sure I am really actually NOT putting out a detectable signal!! (It'll be a LONG time before I ever (if ever?!) dare to try to actually use a CW key on air! My attempts at practicing and brushing up on my receive ability, has slipped by the way of late because I've been so busy doing other (antennas etc) things.). . stopped playing around 2am and TVd for a bit while eating a trio of tinned ham rolls and some chocolate. To bed getting on for 3am or some such.
28 - Up just before 8am. Warm and hazy sun again. Still feeling pretty tired and achey from my recent exertions . . .walked and carried on down town to briefly check out a charity shop or two before heading for the pet store. To hell with the cost (yikes!!) - needs must - bought a single (8 weeks?) treatment of 'Bob Martin FleaClear Spot On' for 5.50!!!!!! Also remembered I was all out of peanuts for the bird(mouse)feeder, so 'impulse bought' a large bag of those in there too, for 5.60!!!! Jeeze - those were expensive! Should have got them elsewhere. MUCH cheaper! . stopped off in the undercover market and bought a couple of new hacksaw blades for 1.50. Turned into an expensive morning! :o( . . . sat in the garden with coffee and cigs and after reading all the blurb (AND spotting more fleas on her!), went straight ahead and applied the tube of fleaclear to just behind Bella's head and in between her shoulders as per instructions. . . intermittantly shut Bella safely inside and worked in the garden with the disc-cutter, metal file and the drill, and eventually carved myself out a bracket-mounting-plate for fixing the balun to the top of the mast on the back of the house, from the scrap steel I salvaged from the skip up the road. The circular clamp I also 'salvaged' the other day, is a perfect fit, and looks as though it was made for the job of holding that awkward circular/tube balun. . At some point during the work, the postman delivered a small box containing the speaker-mic and programming-lead I'd ordered from Hong Kong for the VX-7. That'll have to wait - but boy, once again, WHAT good service! . . reamed out the hole at one end of the wire insulator, so the screw-in shakel shaft fitted through it (the shakel I found on the floor up the road, many months ago! More trawler gear!lol). Image of a 9:1 transmitting balun newly fixed atop a mast.Trimmed and resoldered the wire connector and - taddaa - 'in principle', I now AT LAST have a working version of a decent and VERY robust settup for the top end of my long wire antenna (albeit unfinished - liable to be further modified - and not at all weatherproof). I have it in mind to attempt to find some form of 'tupperware' plastic container, small enough not to be an eyesore but big enough to cover that whole balun/coax-plug assembly. If I can find one the right sort of size/type, the lid could be bolted to the bracket plate, and the removable bottom with a couple of holes for the cables, could securely fit in place over everything to keep the weather out, and yet give nice easy access when required. (Actually - while making a coffee just after typing this, it suddenly occurred to me I may be trying to be too clever. Hell - I could probably just get away with wrapping and taping a robust plastic bag around it all! It wouldn't look very pretty, but that whole top section (as per the photo I've included here) is only about a foot in length. Hardly particularly noticeable to anyone but me. Hmmmm?) Lots of messing around still to do, but quite pleased with how that's worked out so far (and all thanks to the fishing-gear-engineers' skip! :o) ). . left all the tools out in the garden and promptly fired up the radios just to make sure all was in order. As luck would have it, the scanner 'hooked up' on a signal coming in on 10mtrs, so I ended up having a mess around on THAT band. Turned out it was pretty good 'short skip' propogation and I actually ended up firing up the FT767 and giving someone a shout!(A RARE event!) M6MOF and 2E0RNP in Lincolnshire. Received better signal reports than I was getting from them! Didn't hold it for long, but it was a VERY useful confirmation for me that the droopy stretched wire was still working, and also the new hand-mic was doing the business too. VERY useful contact. Very pleased. :o) . . eventually cleared everything away and then ate a pastry slice, crisps, banana and a little chocolate. . napped, dreaming, until the alarm at 6:30pm . . . walked . . . PCd and then PCd this at length until around midnight. .Checked on the Post Office track and trace website (again!) and found the rare vintage razor I posted a week ago, is STILL listed as sat in New York awaiting sorting! Been allegedly sat there for a couple of days now!?? I hope their sniffer dogs haven't held things up by indicating on my old 'stash tin'! <worry> . .received apologetic notification that my gamble, the 'box of toss' has FINALLY been dispatched! About time! I've been up-tight about THAT too! STILL no feedback for most of the other things I recently sold on e-bay - despite explicitly requesting they let me know they'd been safely received, by doing the feedback thing!! Humph. (Perhaps we are each waiting for the other to do feedback first? Most likely not! Just 'people' being 'people' again isn't it! :o( ) . . .eventually tore myself away from the PC and ate bowls of rice krispies before finally to bed well after 2am.
27 - Up not long before 9am!! Warm but grey, with some rain having fallen in the night as forecast. . slow getting going. .well I'll be damned. I'd won the crazy auction for the 2.99 Vx-7 case I'd put a bid on the other day. Obviously cheap rubbish, but brand new from a Hong Kong supplier. It 'may' be useful for a short time, to help protect the buttons when I start to learn how to use it? 2.99 INCLUDING postage!!!!!???? How IS that possible so cheap? Is it only the UK Post Office which charges such outrageous prices these days I wonder? The world's gone mad hasn't it? . . walked in the grey. Had to clear up loads of rubbish from last nights partying youths before I could safely play ball with Bella!! The nearby gun emplacement has been filled with a huge heap of trash, bottles, barbques, cans, etc!! Grrrr. . after playing ball I walked back up carrying five carrier bags of other peoples filth to the bin - and that still left about the same amount dumped in the gun emplacement! People! Young people especially! I HATE them! :o( . . Caught out in a rain shower and sheltered for a bit under a tree on the way home . . . . .Bella has been VERY scratchy of late. I think I have finally actually seen something ON her!!!!! In fact - definitely!! Oh dear. Gonna have to get her something pretty sharpish I think! . . surfed a bit and then PCd this at length while test charging the VX-7 using the new drop in charger. Appears to work fine. . PCd more of this - and there went the day pretty much. Turned back to warm and sunny again. . I DID poke around on e-bay quite a bit, because they are having a 'free set price listings' weekend - which I presume actually translates into a 'buy-it-now' type auction? I DO usually periodically 'manually' keep an eye on any recent buy-it-nows when I'm poking around, and I've come to the conclusion, that with those too, the 'sharks' are the only winners. Are they all being automaticaly notified of new listings by e-mail or some such I wonder? Even a listing (on those for which you can tell) which has 'just' appearred to me, regularly has a LARGE number of views already logged! However they are doing it, clearly they can immediately snap up any 'bargains', before they even get seen by the likes of me!! Shame. :o( . . quickly e-bayed and unusually without much shopping around at all, just went straight ahead and ordered a flea collar (like I'm happy and familiar with, from Sally in Bristol days) for 2.19 inc postage, and then a 12 weeks treatment of 'Beaphar Spot-On' for 6.95 inc postage. Only trouble with all that is, it'll take many days to get here by second class post! Not sure I dare wait that long based on what I've seen and how Bella is acting. I regret not having taken a MUCH closer look at her much sooner - although in my defence (if there is one!), she IS largely black, and they aren't the easiest things to find under such circumstances! . . . walked and headed straight for the cove. Threw Bellas ball repeatedly into the sea for her to swim out and retrieve - just in case it would temporarily help her a little, with the irritation she's suffering from her fleas. Probably won't work at all - but she seemed to enjoy it lots nonetheless. Carried on up through the woods before ending up sitting in BGdns playing ball for ages more as the sun set in a beautiful clear sky. Surprisingly quiet out this evening. . . TVd . . ate a trio of tuna and mayo rolls, crisps and then a trio of mum donated pastry tart things . . PCd briefly before to bed around midnight.
26 - Up around 6:10am. Sunny again but with a bit of a cooling gusty breeze. . PCd a bit of this - but falling ever behind with it. . ordered a 50mtr reel of some good-quality (that WON'T stretch!) antenna wire for 27 inc postage. . walked. All the rubbish from last nights parting youths had just been dumped in carrier bags in the gun emplacement! Lazy swine!! . as I sat playing ball with Bella in the strong breeze, a dog went into the gun emplacement and came out with one of the carrier bags in its mouth! It's owner called and chased it, but it wouldn't give up its prize and ran off with the ever-splitting bag! In short - the entire contents ended up strewn all over the place and blowing further afield in the wind! The dog owner did his reluctant best to pick up 'some of it' - and threw it all back in the gun emplacement!! F***ing hell! :o( . . walked to a nearby 'chandlers' shop on a fact finding expedition. High time I saw what they sell in there - particularly with regard to some nylon rope etc for my aerial plans. Oh wow - turns out they have pretty much everything I could ever want along those lines. They even sell the wire like I've just ordered. Right then - I know where to go for everything else I'll need. Cool. . . carried on down town to see the state of the shop which had burned last night. A fire engine aerial platform was STILL in attendance - and a little smoke was still appearing from the burned out shell of a building. A big crowd of rubber-neckers (like me) of course. The Co-Op and restaraunt either side 'appeared' to have mostly survived intact - but who knows what state the actual structure of the dividing walls will be. They may end up having to be partially demolished yet perhaps?! All in all - I guess you have to raise your hat to the firemen who delt with that. In a joined rank, in SUCH a confined space, with all the other houses of the compact town right nearby, it's amazing how well they managed to contain it. Fantastic work. . . banked the 'laptop' postal order. . back with milk in the heat . . shifted all the old kitchen units from the conservatory up into the attic, after sweeping up a bit up there. Hot hard work!!! . .The postman delievered the hiMound Hk-708 morse key I'd won on e-bay. Well - it's suprisingly filthy (?), but not a bad deal. Happy with that - and MUCH prefer its action to my 705. . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations. . . mowed the lawns . . Hot and sunny but really blowing a gale! . . . at a pork pie, crisps and chelsea buns . . PCd a bit . . . walked feeling SO tired. A large groups of youths were assembled in BGdns all drinking and barbequeing and spreading their rubbish all around. Quite unpleasant. One group who turned up drinking cans of beer, and sat on a nearby seat to where I was sat throwing Bellas ball, openely discussed their recent cannabis purchases!! There was absolutely NO attempt to be discrete. I openely stared - as they examined and then began to roll some of the LARGE amount of 'bush' they'd purchased! It's these young idiots 'arrogance' and unshakeable belief they have every right to do WHATEVER they want, that SO gets my back up! :o( HAD to call it quits and get out of there. . . sat on my favourite seat up top for a bit. Despite the deceptive clear blue sky and setting sun, it really was blowing a gusty gale!! Not a bad test for my newly erected aerial (and cheap nasty bracket)I suppose! . back via a quick 'dip' into the skip by the engineering place on the industrial estate. Actually had to get Bella to wait while I climbed IN, to get the small piece of scrap sheet-steel I'd spotted the other day and figured could eventually be the makings of a good mast fixing-bracket, together with the U-bolt I got yesterday, for my long-wire antenna balun ! . . TVd unable to move. Drank a glass of wine. . ate two susage rolls, crisps and a banana . . to bed before 1am.
25 - Up around 7am. Another full sunny day. 21C in, 18C out already! PCd a bit of this . . . walked . . .packaged up the laptop. That fire-hazard polysteyrene packaging stuff someone in the past has dumped all around the attic as 'insulation', which I want to get rid of, has actually proven to be rather useful as protective padding in several of the things I've posted recently. Got rid of LOTS more with that laptop. lol Immediately left Bella at home and popped up the post office to post it. YET again, it turned out I'd got the final packaged-up weight wrong! It ended up costing me a shocking 12.50 to post - rather than the 9 I'd caluclated! FFS!!! That means I made pretty much NOTHING on the deal at all! Grrr. I'm VERY glad to see the back of all that! :o( . . back via Mums garage to search for a 'hook bolt' for the new fence post. Yayyy - found one perfect for the job. . . spent the rest of the day working on dismantling the rail fence up near the carport so I could fit the new taller fence post. Hot, HOT work in the sun. Had to dismantle the entire fence, piece by piece, prying out all the rusted nails, etc. Much of those timber rails are completely rotten - but I'm not about to start buying anything new! . with the fence dismantled, the existing post was easily removed. Held in place by two long, heavy duty carriage 'screws', going through holes in a sturdy concrete post concreted into the ground. After drilling and fixing the metal hook to near the top of the new 3m post, and transferring the plastic rain-cap to the very top, it was soon firmly screwed to the conceret post and inplace. . Around midday the MH1-B8 microphone was delivered by the postman. Looks 'ok' - although DOES have a slight 'nick' out of one corner! That SHOULD have been mentioned in the listing - and clearly was deliberately NOT! FFS. Left 'testing' it for later, and carried on with the fence reconstruction work - in the boiling hot sun! . . it took the rest of the day, but eventually I had the fence rails all back together. Screwed instead of nailed, and generally slightly improved on what it HAD been. . used the angle grinder to salvage the pulley from the line post from up the road, and trimmed off a bit to make it suit what I eventually have in mind for it. Basically - I'm going to make it eventually possible to lower the wire when I need to, by means of the pulley and a length of fixing chord, etc. . Image of my new 3m tall fence-post/antenna mast.eventually propped up the ladder up against the new post and and temporarily re-hung the stretched, in-need-of-replacing wire, and managed to trim a couple of interfering tree branches - just! Well - there we go then. It's hardly what I would have done given a totally free choice, but it IS better than the temporary I had. It's a fixing point up just a little higher, and if nothing else, is now well clear of the rotary washing line. In principal, I now have a good couple of ends from which to hang my wire. Now I can concentrate (after a much needed rest) on sorting out a more robust actual piece of wire, etc. If I were to manage to trim down the top of the HUGE blossom tree some time, I 'could' even now probably manage to get a LONGER wire up onto the chimney stack - and maybe even down over the front! We'll see. One step at a time! I need some decent 'wire' to start with. . . called it quits and cleared everything away around 6:30pm . . . briefly fired up the FT767 on the local repeater and confirmed the new mic works. Shame about the slight nick out of the side! I guess to ME it's still worth the money. Still think it's shameful how SO many people on e-bay seem to, as a matter of course, deliberately pull the wool over peoples eyes like that. I trust I can never be accused of the same?! It remains to be seen what sort of feedback I'll be giving THAT guy! :o( . . . walked - slowly, very tired again. Large (unpleasant) groups of drunken barbecuing youths in BGdns. One guy gathered up all their glass beer bottles - and then threw them all over the rocks into the sea! :o( . a passer-by mentioned two fire engines were in Fore Street. So casual was their comment, I thought little of it. . detoured on the return home, and 'raided' the waste metal skip on the industrial estate. I'd spotted a rather neat U-bolt type clamp in there the other day, and figured I could now VERY much use such a thing for maybe clamping my long-wire balun to something. SUCH a waste to be just thrown away like that. . . A VERY nice clamp it turned out to be too - and JUST the right diameter for MY purpose. Cool. . I'd hardly noticed, but there WAS a smell of smoke in the air and a haze over everywhere. I'd assumed it was someone burning garden waste - until the police helicopter 'Osca 99' circled overhead for AGES, and lots of emergency sirens echod across town. There WAS something serious going on. Toyed with the idea of going down to look - but was so tired, I resisted. At the same time, chatter on the scanner revealed a lifeboat search was underway in the failing light, after a kayak/sit-on surfboard type thing had been found drifting in the bay by the Pilot boat! . . with the police helicopter continually circling overhead, and yet more sirens across town, curiosity got the better of me and I went up onto the radios/PC to try to find out what was going on. Turned out it WAS indeed a fire. Using the Quayside Hotel webcam, (insistantly fighting for control of it!! lol) it WAS possible to see lots of rising smoke and activity in the distance just behind the harbor! Blimey! . fired up the radio and made contact with someone on TR, who confirmed one of the shops in the high street - 'Harbour News' was up in flames, and there were loads of firemen and appliances and big crowds of people all trying to get a view! Soon after 10pm, the local radio station confirmed that WAS what was going on but that things were 'under control' and not spreading - but people should close their windows. Good advice. The whole town appeared to be under a haze of smoke, and even MY house seemed to be full of the smell of it!! BIG event in a little town. Wonder what happened and what's left down there? I guess we'll know 'everything' soon enough - what with everyone having good cameras on their mobiles, and 'twittering' these days etc. . . cooked and ate four sausages, chips, half a tin of baked beans and some grated cheese . . TVd until bed around 12:30am.
24 - Woke up overheating around 5:40am, and couldn't get back to sleep! Oh no - that's gonna be another day all messed up isn't it! What was that - just three hours sleep? - and about half what I needed, the day before that?!!! Sunny again . . walked early, the long walk through the woods etc, giving Bella a real good time. . returned via the local builders yard, and after sorting through EVERY single one they had trying to find one that wasn't all badly bent and warped, eventually bought a 3m length of 75mmx75mm treated fence post for 7.86. Walked it down the back lane and pushed it through the fence and dumped it under the carport, before walking back round to the front to let myself in. . . weighed the lashing kit packet just for interest before opening it up. 1.4kg. Using the post office website price finder, I reckon the very cheapest 'I' could have posted that anywhere would have been for 5.30 as a standard parcel. Crazy it only cost me the 8.89 INCLUDING the postage!????. I'd tried SO hard to get one identical to the one that's already up there, but it appears it's slightly smaller and certainly cheaper and more lightweight in construction (typical of everything these days!)! That's not good. :o( . . Tired or not, despite my sleep deprivation, it seemed crazy to waste the perfect and rare opportunity of both good weather AND more importantly, almost no wind. Somehow, I mustered the energy to have a go at putting the lashing kit up!!! . . . . put the ladder up (in the middle of the back wall of the house) and nylon-strapped the top of it to the antenna pole bolted on the back of the house, to keep it securely in place. Eventually got the roof ladder hooked over the apex next to it. Climbed up for a general look at whether or not it was actually even going to be possible to acheive my goal from the BACK - given I can't get the ladder anywhere near the chimney stack because of the conservatory below. I dared to climb off the roof ladder and onto the tiles of the roof, actually straddling the apex at the very top, with a knee on either side as though sat on a horse! Nervously inched my way across (trying to not break any of the oh SO fragile small tiles) and eventually reached the chimney stack! Scary - VERY scary - but proved it 'may' be doable?! Measured the stack with the tape measure I'd taken up with me. Retraced my route in reverse (literally) and eventually got back down to ground level, shaking quite a bit. Phew - upon measuring and checking, the lashing kit cable WAS going to be 'just' long enough. Had a coffee and cigarettes and plotted and thought things through, mentally 'rehearsing' the whole process as much as I could. Eventually filled a rucksack with everything I could think I would possibly need. Spanners, pliers, long handle with a hook on, wire brush, bottle of drinking water, cigarettes, lashing-kit, nylon straps, etc, etc, etc. Ummd and ahhd a bit and then gave Mum a quick call and (WITHOUT telling her exactly what I was planning), told her I was doing something a bit 'iffy', and said I'd call her later to confirm all was well. It was NOT my intention to worry Mum - but I felt it WAS necessary for Bella's sake. Being how I live (SO) alone, IF something went horribly wrong and I fell off the roof into the garden and died, no-one would know - and in a very short time, Bella would run out of water and be in trouble! . . after many more cigarettes, I eventually built up my courage and with the rucksack of tools on my back, returned to sitting astride the apex of the roof. With some difficulty, I managed to inch my way back across the roof up to the chimney stack, moving the roof ladder along with me. At length, I had the roof ladder hooked-over, hard-up against the chimney stack. Yayy. Climbed onto the relative safety of the roof ladder, got my rucksack wedged into the rungs of the ladder and was all ready to actually have a go at fitting the lashing kit around the enormous stack. . It WAS very difficult, and WAS VERY, VERY dangerous. A particularly difficult part to start with was getting the cable threaded around and through existing cables etc on the NEIGHBOUR'S side of the stack - well away from the roof ladder! The only way I could do it (because of the aerials already up there, preventing me from just being able to drop a loop down from above) was to tie myself to the roof ladder with one of my nylon straps around my waist, and then leave the ladder behind and just try to lay across the tiles and reach around the stack with both hands, with only the friction from my body on the steep slope keeping me from sliding off!! THAT was awful - but eventually I got the cable around!!!! That turned out to be easy in comparison to eventually having to insert the little metal corner support pieces in behind the cable on the three corners furthest away from the ladder! The front two were the worst - where the nylon strap was the only thing likely to save my life if I slipped - and at one point, inserting the tie support on the front neighbours side, I did indeed start to slip - badly! That was THE absolute highlight of the scary moments. My body was giving me absolutely NO grip on the tiles, and I WAS starting to uncontrollably slip down the roof at the front (quite likely to my death!). I 'just' managed to grab the existing aerial bracket and thence the end of the roof ladder hook, and eventually managed to haul myself back up!!!!!!!!! Nasty. VERY nasty. . at length, I had the cable all suitably attached to the bracket, and was able to tighten it all up sufficiently for those corner pieces to stay in place and not potentially fall out and end up who-knows-where-on-the-roof in the middle of things (which WAS an ever present real danger!). Tightened the bracket up and tensioned the cable as much as I dared (which actually had the flimsy bracket tabs start to bend - because they were just stupid cheapo tabs of flat steel as opposed to angled steel!!Grrrr!). Had a drink and cigarette break. Oh MY god it was hot up there in the blazing sun! Sweat pouring off me! . turned my attention to next door's ridiculous and overhanging/obstructing TV aerials. Turned out the whole top section of the mast they were on could be turned around by hand (hence it swivelling into the chimney every time there is a breeze!) - which actually ended up being a GOOD thing! Managed to undo the top aerial and turn it right around so I could then position the dog-legged top mast section so it leaned back over THEIR side (as it SHOULD be) rather than mine. The lower aerial turned out not to even be connected, and was simply still there because IT was acting as the clamp to stop the whole thing turning as it has been. Everything was all pretty rusted up so I just left that lower aerial pointing absurdly in towards their roof tiles, and managed to 'tweak' the rusty clamp nuts sufficient to now prevent it turning any more and have it stay where I've pointed it. (The whole lot needs replacing - but that's THEIR business!) Yayy - now it clears MY side and enables me to mount my aerial on MY corner, without having to worry about their aerial spinning around and making contact with it. VERY pleased to have got THAt sorted at last. . 'reversed' out, and eventually got back down to floor level for a much needed break. . . the postman delivered the VX-7 drop-in charger I'd ordered from Greece, AND unexpectedly a postal order as payment for the laptop! I'd thought because they hadn't messaged me AT ALL since the auction ended (like I HAD asked them to!) , they weren't going ahead with it. Actually left Bella at home and rushed straight up the post office hoping to cash/deposit it. The stupid 'girl' behind the counter said they couldn't accept it and directed me to take it to my bank! I protested they USED to accept them (even if being treated as a cheque), but she was insistant. She WAS wrong! Grrrrr. THAt wasted my time. . Image of twin broadband receive chimney mounted antennaereturned to the antenna work. Dropped the pole down on the brackets on the back of the house, and eventually removed the colinear and disconnected it from the coax. Climbed into the sauna-like attic and pushed the coax through into the inside of the chimney, alongside the coax up to the existing antenna. . Mentally 'rehearsed' some more, strapped the antenna to the roof ladder, and then armed with everything I could envisage I'd need in a rucksack again, got back up on the roof and inched across to the chimney stack with the roof ladder again. Without 'too' much hassle, I eventually had the aerial all connected up and fixed in place on the new bracket. YAYYYYYYYYYYYY. :o) . . not wanting to waste the opportunity of being 'all over the roof', I then set about having a good scrape of all the tiles, removing all the lichen and moss and debris as best I could. Blazing hot sunshine was NOT the best weather to be doing that!!! SO hot! Exhausting - and my head had caught quite a bit of sunburn. In the middle of scraping the roof tiles, Mum appeared in the lane! She'd been worried I'd not called. (I'd intended to call later this evening!). Sorry. I'm 'ok'. . carried on scraping as much of the roof as I could before eventually just HAVING to give up, with still a six foot by six foot section NOt done. Shame, but I really had NO choice. I'd quite simply reached the point of (heat?) exhaustion, and was starting to feel pretty iffy! I just could NOT do ANY more. . sat around for a while drinking coffee and bottles of water before eventually sweeping much of the roof, and all the debris at ground level. Brought the roof ladder back down and stashed it back up on the pergola. .called out to next door to check they still had a TV reception on their aerial. They did. Cool. :o). . so, SO hot and dehydrated. Felt increasingly unwell. Sat around in a state of near collapse. . . touched base with Mum . . . walked. VERY warm and a bit misty. LOTS of people around. Youths tombstoning - yachts 'racing' without any wind, people sitting, etc etc. Listened to a rescue going on over Oddicombe way. A guy 'in drink' had fallen 20mtrs down cliffs and had suffered a serious head injury. Both lifeboats and all the troops were in attendance. Sat around for ages, too tired to move. . . TVd. . cooked and ate a pizza with extra pepperoni and grated cheese followed by a little chocolate. . . to bed around 10:30pm.
23 - Up around 9:35am waking to escape a dream in which I was expressing my anger about how my life has worked out!!!!!! . VERY warm and sunny again. Headachey. Annadin tablet for breakfast. Well - lack of sleep means today is gonna be pretty much a write-off then! :o( . . walked late - too hot for comfort. . prodded and broke up the still red, smouldering ashes in the bottom of the barrel, and stashed the lid back in the garage and left things to cool down. . did laundry . . .PCd a bit of this while monitoring the radio marine frequencies. There appears to be a bit of a 'lift' on. Picking up SOLENT coastguard (responding around 1pm to a mayday call from a vessel ('31foot yacht Crescendo'?)'taking on water'!). TWO lifeboats, warship Tyne and other vessels in the vicinty responding!! Typical of a sudden bit of nice weather. All the 'well off' people set to sea in their expensive toys, and a bunch of them promptly end up getting in trouble and need rescuing!! On the face of it, I increasingly STRONGLY feel there should be some way of making such people pay for the cost of the trouble they cause (compulsery insurance?) - and not the poor tax payer all the time! WhadoIknow! . . at 1:10pm (from the noise it makes) my lashing kit was delivered. I'm in no hurry to even open it - but that's pretty good service again isn't it. Just 8.89 including postage. How come that's even possible, when it costs me SO much (more!) just to post my little light boxes - never mind the cost of the contents???? Doesn't make sense!???. . . oh SO tired! Cooked and ate four sausages, chips, half a tin of baked beans and some grated cheese followed by a large number of chocolate biscuits . . .napped until around 6:30pm . . brought the laundry in and then walked with coffee. Sat around chatting to dog walkers for ages . . . eventually back to have a damned good prod at a handful of e-bay auctions which had grabbed my attention and were all due to be ending this evening. With my current paypal balance after all MY sales looking pretty healthy, I admit to being uncharacteristicly a bit 'gung ho' with bidding on stuff at the moment!! The first auction ending around 10pm was for a hand-mic - for the FT-767 of all things!!! Actually not entirely as absurd as it may appear (given I AM determined to eventually get rid of the 767 - for whatever little I can get, given all its faults). The MD-1 desk mic it came with, is something I've just never 'gelled' with. I had a desk mic many years ago, but even then, it just wasn't really my cup of tea. For some reason, I much prefer using a hand-mic on everything. So - I bid for and succeeded in winning an auction for an MH-1B8 hand mic - for 26.53 inc postage. Not a great bargain, but 'ok' - and there IS method in my madness. With luck, assuming it all works ok, that would give me a hand-mic I'm happier using, AND more importantly, enable me to sell the MD-1 desk-mic - which on a good day SHOULD be worth at least twice the price of the hand-mic. Makes sense I think?. . the second auction which had grabbed my eye, was a proper risky full-on speculative venture (which I wouldn't have dreamed of doing, if not for my recent selling)!! The listing was for "Another box of toss - radios etc"!!!!!!!!!!!! Basically, as far as one could tell from the photos and description, it really WAS a box of toss, with every possibility that ALL of it should have gone straight into a bin!!!!!! The MAIN reason I couldn't resist having a go was because amongst it all, there WAS a morse code key (obviously in 'poor' condition) but 'maybe' worth the (considerable) gamble! The gamble will ONLY have worked, IF I can successfully renovate the morse key AND 'maybe' sell-on some of the other stuff!!! BIG gamble! I dared to bid - and won it for 21.51 (which included the crippling 10.50 postage!). . the last auction I was gonna 'maybe' have a go for was ending around 11:48pm and was for a Hi mound Hk 708 morse key. I'm not entirely happy with the Hk 705 I already have, and given that it appeared to me that not many people were gonna be bidding at this time of night on a hot sunny weekday, I figured it 'may' go for a reasonable price. I think I was pretty much right. I bid and won it for 10.51 including postage. ALL of these bids were done 'sniper' style, three seconds from the auction end. So - this evening, I've been spending money, like it doesn't matter and I have loads!!!!!!!!! Time will tell if this evening will go down as a lesson in 'don't be so bloody stupid'! Fingers crossed. Hmmmm - do I seem to be turning into a morse-key collector all of a sudden??!!!??? I may well be losing the plot a bit here. Suffice it to say, whatever the outcome, I WILL now be selling more stuff on e-bay in the future!!!! Uggh. :o( . . PCd this until early. . . sat in the cool of the garden with a coffee after 1am . . . TVd and ate grated cheese and mayo sandwiches, crisps and some coffee sponge cake before to bed around 2:30pm of soon after.
22 - Up around 7:35am. Very warm and sunny. . . delayed walking for a bit so I could head straight up the post office to post the bracelet on the way out. Ended up hanging around for ages waiting for the guy behind the counter to 'saunter in'!! He eventually opened the counter at pretty much five minutes PAST nine!! Sheesh! We'd never have gotten away with that when 'I' was on the counter! Got the bracelet on its way and then walked out the long way along the top road, down 'poo lane' and then on the usual route through the woods and onto the beach etc. Bella did LOTS of swimming after her ball - with a seal basking in the water, only twenty or so feet away as she did so. A truly stunning summery day. :o) More ball and sitting on the grass in BGdns before eventually heading back. . Detoured on the return and actually spent a ridiculous amount of time wandering up and down a nearby street, staring up at trees!!! lololol I'd snapped a little video the other day of two crows taking large amounts of my hedge away to make a nest, and I wanted if at all possible, to find where my hedge had ended up, and maybe get a snip or two of the actual nest. Wandered up and down for ages (making a weird specatacle of myself!) before sadly eventually just having to give up, without having found any sign of their nest . . .PCd and updated e-bay and let the bracelet buyer know it was on its way. . looking out of the window I realised I'd been out earlier looking at entirely the wrong tree while searching for the crows nest! . couldn't resist hooking Bella up and taking another wander along the streets to look in the CORRECT tree this time. . I DID actually see the crows milling around in the general area, and occasionaly perching in the tree, but for the life of me I STILL couldn't find ANY trace of a nest or where all my hedge twigs had been taken. Oh well - sadly I think I've wasted enough time on that little distraction to no avail. . . slow motivating myself to do anything, but eventually forced myself into the sauna like garage, and started shifting stuff around and trying to get it so I could at least just get INTO it (now the dryer and TV unit are no longer stored in there). Carried all the bits of stored surplus kitchen wall cupboards down into the conservatory. Having all that in the garage is NOT the best place for it. If I leave it in there, it IS ineveitable it WILL all become ruined - and that would be a shame because some bits of it are pretty ok (simply surplus because of the alterations I've made to the kitchen/diner) and probably could come in useful 'some' time. I have it in mind to eventually carefully store it all up in the attic - where it can probably stay for the enxt owners of the house to dispose of whne I'm gone! Stacked up all the timber I want to keep, neatly against one wall, smashed up an old mostly rotten hardboard storage-box/ottomon (and put it in the wheelie bin), and at length, had the garage looking a 'bit' neater, and it actually possible for me to walk from one end to the other for the first time in years, without having to actually precariously climb over a messy treacherous heap of timber pieces!!! Right - I think it's time I had a fire and burned and emptied all those dustbins full of tree cuttings and scrap timber etc. Maybe later this evening? . sweating and overheating. The clear panels on that garage roof trap the sun and make it SO hot in there!!! A sunny day is NOT the sort of day to have been doing sorting out in there! . . recovered with coffees and then ate pilchard sandwiches, crisps and a little chocolate . . napped for a couple of hours. .guitarred in the conservatory for a while . . walked a little early, and didn't hang around too long. VERY, VERY warm still! High teens C? . . . Temporarily undid my 'worringly stretched' (and as a result, unuseable) long-wire HF antenna, and looped it up over the end of the pergola out of harms way, and then dragged the metal 'burning' drum and the dustbins full of timber out of the garage, and got everything set up in the garden ready for a fire. Sat around drinking coffee and waiting for 9pm when I figured most of the neighbourhood would have gone inside (with laundry from their lines) and I'd be liable to create the least amount of upset with billowing smoke. Unfortunately, because it was so suddenly warm, many had their windows open - but - well - sorry people, needs must. . the next door neighbour saw what I was up to and helpfully donated a small amount of left over barbeque lighting fluid in the bottom of a jar. Carefully constructed a pyramid of timber and screwed-up paper in the bottom of the barrel, doused it in some of next door's 'accelerant', shut Bella safely indoors and eventually went for it just after 9pm. . It went rather well. Far better than the first time I tried it with the hedge trimmings (although probably largely because this time I'd given most of the wood time to dry-out in the garage for weeks). It burned up with some nice BIG flames like it should, and with only a couple of periods of less flames and HEAVY smoke, I managed to keep it going like that pretty much throughout. By not 'too' much after 10pm, I'd managed to feed the four dustbin loads of tree cuttings and all the other throw away bits of timber from the garage into it, and that was pretty much job done!! Nice one. VERY pleased with how that went this time. Sat in the garden and watched it burning for ages. . eventually even ended up sat out there drinking a glass of red wine, watching the flames gradually subside and just turn into a barrel full of glowing embers. At length I decided it was a job well done, and I propped the metal lid over the top of the drum, and left it to safely carry on devouring the embers overnight. . . PCd and had a prod at my recently sold e-bay stuff, actually looking up the tracking numbers of everything I'd posted, on the royal mail tracking website. Most appear to have been delivered. One or two positive feedbacks already. . STILL no word from the guy who bid on the laptop who'd asked if he could pay with postal orders, so it looks as though he was just a f***ing time waster. SO - after another day or so, I've got all that 'non payer' hassle to go through again, to ensure I don't get charged the e-bay commission!! What POSSIBLE motive can such people have for f**ing with people like that? Completely beyond me. :o( . . received confirmation the lashing kit I orered is on its way. I 'may' not have thought that through thoroughly enough. On closer inspection, it 'may' be that my chimney stack is larger in circumference than the 5mtre length of fixing cable I've got coming!! It also isn't going to be at all easy to even attempt to get it fitted - and then of course there is the major headache issue of next door's 'spins around every time there is a breeze' TV aerial, which WILL hit anything I put up on my rear corner because they have the cranked mast round the wrong way (putting their aerial over MY side rather than having it 'leaning back' over theirs as it should!). I 'may' never get round to fitting that new lashing kit, it's gonna all be SUCH a difficult job to do!! :o( We'll see. . .showered, got clean, and changed out of my smokey clothes . . monitored the radio, surfed a bit, trawled e-bay ads, etc etc and then somehow it was getting light already!?? To bed after 4am!!!!
21 - Up around 7am. . received notification the programming lead (10.50) and speaker mic (10) I ordered for the new radio, have both been dispatched from Hong Kong. With hindsight, I wish I'd ordered those at different times! If they've been lumped together in a single posting, I wonder if the combined value will see me getting screwed by import/customs charges? :o/ <worry> . . .walked a little early in the increasing sun and clearing skies. Feels pretty warm. . didn't hang around for too long and got back to start getting the posting of stuff done. . back home to find an anspahone message about the dryer. Would you believe it, the guy's mobile phone kinda 'clipped' and dropped out for a spliu second, JUST as he was saying what time he'd like to pick it up! Called him back and quickly okd after 4pm (actually being picked up 'by a friend' ) . . . left Bella at home and walked up the Post Office with a rucksack of packets and carrying a large parcel. Did all the lengthy getting them posted business, thanked the increasing queue for their patience and - yayyyy - THAT's everything out of my hands. It would appear I AM getting 'slightly' better at calculating postage on stuff. Several were exactly as I'd calculated - one left me 35p out of pocket, and one I'd OVERcharged for by 1.80!!!!!! . . . returned home and put in the considerable amount of time updating e-bay and entering all the tracking numbers and letting everyone know everything was on its way. I bet no-one else in the world would have done so - but I ALSO felt obliged to include a message to the person I'd embarassingly overcharged! "As you can see, this is less than the postage I charged you. This is the first time I've SO badly miscalculated the postage in MY favour, and I'm feeling awkward about it!! (I've NEVER yet charged for packaging with ANY of my auctions, usually end up UNDERcharging on the postage, and have just absorbed the loss and ended up increasingly out of pocket!!) Given there IS a sum involved in the actual packaging etc, and given paypal fees to make a refund to you would also have to be considered and deducted - I'm hoping I may be forgiven by you for my mistake on this occasion. If not, please let me know." Crazy - for the sake of less than a couple of pounds, but - well - I can't help it - like I've said before, I feel as though my 'honour' is at stake with such things. . .so - there we go then. Except for the ongoing laptop saga (he's YET to be in touch!) - and the bracelette non-payer, (and worrying about everyone being 'happy' with what they bought from me!!!!), that's everything pretty much done-with from my end for the timebeing. Boy - what a lot of work it's been. But then I guess - boy, what a lot of money I've now got - and just a little more cupboard space (actually ONE small box worth!?!)! lolol I've nothing left really, worth selling for much. Everything else I'm gonna eventually try to sell, will be similar amounts of work for just pennies - or radio-gear making a big loss on what I paid for it! I'm especially not looking forward to THAT when I finally bite the bullet and do it! :o( . . Mum called to touch base . . . PCd a bit of this before mustering up the energy to manhandle the dryer (after checking it still works, again!) through the house to near the front door. . surfed a bit, wasting away time, actually doing nothing! Actually spent AGES on e-bay, 'talking' to their utterly useless technical support people, trying to get to the bottom of why I can no longer save new searches. In fact, almost ALL the java hyperlink options on their pages appear to have stopped working for me. All such hyperlinks are just pointing at a null, rather than a script anywhere. The 'help' person was useless, and the whole tedious experience strongly suggested he was simultaneously dealing with several 'chats' at the same time, resulting in long LONG pauses before every response! Really got my back up. His VERY first suggestion was that I should immediately instal and use another browser!!! Yeah right - just like that! "Clear your cache, delete your cookies". FFS. Total waste of time. Nothing resolved. Still all that part of e-bay no longer working for me. Grrrrrr. . . guitarred in the conservatory briefly until the doorbell rang around 4pm. Two guys in a van from a drainage company - come to pick up the dryer. I didn't even need to help them carry it (except over my doorframe to make sure it didn't get damaged - as WAS on the cards!). One more thing less. :o) . . ate pilchard sandwiches, crisps, cheddars and chocolate biscuits . . napped late until around 7:30pm . . walked late with coffee . . .PCd. Oh wow - at around 6:30pm, the bracelet buyer had FINALLY made paypal payment! I hadn't at all expected that. Goodo. . Surfed e-bay listings a bit (wow - are they running short of new listings again!) before labelling and packaging up the bracelet for posting tomorrow. .PCd a bit of this . . . ordered a 6" bracket chimney aerial lashing kit for 8.89 inc postage. Sooner or later I'm gonna be getting back up on the roof in the hope of being able to mount my 'twin sister' colinear aerial on the other side of the chimney stack to the existing one!! . ate a tin of baked beans with three large pieces of bread and butter followed by a chelsea bun. .to bed around 1:30am.
20 - Up just before 8am. Grey and drizzly . . difficulty waking up. Got a link from one of the unsuccessful bidders on the razor and ended up waking up at the PC with coffee and cigs, while reading the razor forum posts!!!!! lolololol I won't be making a habit of that. Received notifications of payments received on everything now, except for the bracelette and dryer. . . .walked. Blimey - it would appear there's been an accident in the night. On the nasty stretch of road (along which walking twice a day (and night), I'm CONVINCED, its only a matter of time before I (and Bella?) get hit and maybe killed by someone), someone has apparantly driven straight into the thick wall of someones garden! That wall AND one adjoining at right angles have both been substantialy destroyed!! The vehicle has long been removed (all but a pile of smashed bits and pieces), but boy, I'd have loved to have seen the condition of it! Must have been a BIG written-off mess! Hard to tell with it all cleared away, but I suspect someone simply didn't stop at the T junction and went straight across into the wall!! Dangerous, dangerous bit of road! Really amazing there aren't more serious incidents along there. . LOTS of sailboats heading out of the harbour and across the bay - perhaps to moor off Paignton and be part of the Olympic flame thing later? The whole business interests me not a jot. Totally beyond me why so much hullabaloo is made about 'a flame' being paraded all around the country? Having said that, I can't understand why anyone other than those taking part and their friends and family, have any particular interest in the actual olympics anyway?! It all seems to me to be some contrived moneymaking scheme these days - with a good dose of trying to distract the 'simple people' from all the much more important issues! Blah blah blah - anyway - the whole thing is NOT for me! No interest AT ALL. 'Flaming nonsense'?. . . PCd doing acknowledgement messages to e-bay buyers and the like. (No surpises someones already trying to auction-off an olympic flame torch huh? ). .quite a bit of chatter on the coastguard frequencies again! Looks as though an 'overdue' diver is now dead and gone over Dartmouth way!!!!!!! :o( Jeeze - Lyme Bay is gonna be full of bodies at this rate!!!!! :o( . . radiod locally on 2mtrs a bit when I heard my name mentioned! lol Cut the conversation short when the TV unit guy phoned and confirmed he was gonna pop over. Sure enough, a short while later around 1:30pm he turned up, and was soon driving away with the unit. Excellent. One less thing. :o) . .PCd this . . .did the final adressing, labelling-up and taping-down of everything for posting tomorrow . .ate ham and mayo sandwiches, crisps and a buttered chelsea bun . . . lay down to nap but couldn't sleep and ended up back at the PC, surfing nothing much, and trawling through and catching up on any ebay auctions of possible interest!! . . . walked with a coffee. A chilly easterlyish breeze with quite a 'chop' on the water. Couldn't help myself scouring the coastline again, and my heart was in my mouth when I suddenly saw a large 'body' rise to the surface! Turned out to be a seal! Jeeze - that made me jump! . . . TVd/PCd. Well - I've finally received payment for the dryer (the guy HAD let me know he was away for the weekend). Even Sis2s laptop has apparantly sold for 5 - but that IS gonna be a bit of a hassle. The bidder contacted me before bidding and asked if he could pay with postal orders because he doesn't have a paypal account. Since it was a re-list and looked as though it wasn't going to sell (again), I'd told him I WOULD accept that, as long as he made contact after auction end and kept me informed of what he was doing, and didn't leave me 'hanging'. We shall see what becomes of all that. If it all falls through, that laptop is probably going in the bin! . Of much greater concern to me is the silver bracelette which sold for 40. Despite messages to the buyer, I've STILL not received ANY communication or payment!! Looks as though that one is gonna be a failure and I'm gonna have to go through all that lengthy non-payer nonsense and have to go through auctioning it all over again!! What a b*****d!!! :o( . . . ate cheese, cheddar crackers, crisps, banana and two buttered chelsea buns before to bed around 1am.
19 - Up around 5:30am feeling all dehydrated and headachey. There must be a LOT of salt in those cheese-melt concoctions. Boy - that's gonna make today a long and stressful day, given all my e-bay auctions are ending from around midday onwards. I'll be sitting and anxiously watching them end, and won't be able to nap! . .coffee, cigs and annadin tablet for breakfast . . walked the woods and sat in BGdns with the radio for ages, trying to pick up snippets of the ongoing search for the missing fishermen over Portland way. . . packed up Mums shoes and FINALLY packaged up the razor. Wrapped it all in bubble wrap both inside the tin and around the lot, and managed to re-use a little cardboard box which turned out to be just about a perfect fit for it. . STILL receiving messages asking questions about the razor! Enough is enough - I'm answering NO more! They've had a week to ask such (silly) questions. NO MORE! . . did a few dish washing chores to waste away some of the time before all my auctions started coming to an end . . Mum called in early with the papers and food donations . . sat and watched auctions end with Mum. The 'army' helmet went just before midday for 20.89. . Soon after the ARP helmet went for a very respectable 56. I'd suspected that one was worth a bit. . some while later, the tumble dryer went for a suprisingly high 26!? Someone tried sniping it in the last few seconds, forcing the eventual winning bidder (who's 'away for the weekend'?) to suddenly pay an extra 10.50! Bet he's not quite so happy about the final price! . . a bit of a lull in the times of the auctions ending (reflecting when Mum arrived last week when I was doing all the listing) . . Mum eventually left me to it and returned home. . . received a quick payment for the ARP helmet, so got it quickly labelled up, hooked Bella up, and walked it straight down town to the post office and got it posted as I'd planned I may. Turned out the last collection had already long gone, so it won't actually be going anywhere until Monday - so that was a bit of a waste of time! Pointless rushing any of the rest to the post office (if quick payments make it possible) as I'd planned. It can all wait until Monday now - so another couple of days at 'working' at all this!! . . . sat and watched the rest of the auctions end . The silver bracelette sold for 40. I'm a 'little' bit disappointed with that actually. I reckon it was worth 'at least' 10 more than that, so I think they got a fairly good deal there. . the bus badge went for a respectable 22.36. . the 1/10th oz krugerrand went for a 'slightly' disappointing 107. Still - (taking into account the e-bay commssion/fee) it 'just' beat what the dog walker had offered me, so that'll do. . the winner of the pine TV unit phoned and I readi;y agreed he could collect it early tomorrow afternoon . .right then - just after 4pm it was 'the main event'. The razor auction! Throughout the auction it had occasionally crept up in bids, but really SO very slowly, I'd really started to wonder if it really would make the 'three figures' I'd been given to expect. The bidding seemed to have stuck at 48 for days! In true e-bay 'sniping' fashion, the REAL bidding started around SIX seconds from the end of the auction! I sat and watched (frankly amazed) as all of a sudden it DID indeed reach three figures, and then suddenly jumped in a couple of steps to a final sale price of a wapping 149 (NOT inc postage!)!!!!!!! Incredible!!!! And yes - it went to someone in the US! Absolutely amazing. My ENTIRE monthly income has just recently risen to 500. That little razor just sold for OVER a weeks income for me!!! Absolutely AMAZING!!! Mind boggling to me. Jeeze - at THAT much, I hope the buyer is happy with it and it lives up to my photos and description of it!!!! Who'd have imagined it. Oh thank god I did my research and realised it was worth listing seperately as I did, rather than just included with all the near worthless other stuff I HAD intended to include it with! That ONE thing alone (bar the e-bay commision etc) has 'almost' just paid for the VX-7 I just bought! Amazing, amazing, amazing! :o| . . Mums shoes sold a while later for 2.99. Who cares! lolol . . Right - that's the nightmare of the actual listings pretty much over and done with (except the laptop spares and RAF gaiter re-lists ending tomorrow - which probably won't sell anyway) and just all the 'get the payments', messaging and posting to do. Oh THANK GOD that's over and done with for a bit! I SO need a break from it all. It's really worn me out - um - being 'so much out there' and - um - having my 'honour' at stake, so it feels. (Does ANYONE else in the world put so much of themselves into their listings I wonder?!!!). . turned the PC off and took a MUCH needed break! . ate a Mum donated sausage roll, pastry slice, banana and a little chocolate. TVd Dads Army . . checked in on the PC and I'd received payment for the razor AND the postage! Big relief - although still VERY uptight about it until I post it - and still then until the buyer actually gets his hands on it and judges it to be as accurately described by me! . . walked. A lot of music noise coming from over Paignton way. (Apparantly Radio 1 broadcasting live bands and the like, from the big party they appear to be having on the seefront all weekend, because of the arrival tomorrow of the Olympic flame/torch.). . TVd the evening away (watched the film 'The Game' again - although I couldn't remember the end, so it was like watching it for the first time. Silly. ) . .ate a trio of corned beef rolls, cheddars and a little chocolate . . to bed, exhausted, around midnight.
18 - Up around 6:45am. Grey, with perhaps a little less wind . . the AIS map shows a lifeboat and SAR helicopter and other vessels, around 20 miles SSW of Portland, indicating the search for the missing boat is very much ongoing!! :o( . . . walked - and couldn't help myself peering into the water all along the way along the shore. :o( . . . PCd, wasting away the day whilst monitoring radios all morning, straining to hear anything. It's pretty obvious now, the missing fishing boat and her crew ARE lost! The searching continues, but it appears they HAVE identified the position of a submerged wreck - with floats attached at the surface, identification on which, indicates it IS the lost vessel!!! :o( Dreadful. Dreadful, dreadful. Those poor guys and their families - just like that. Dreadful. :o( Upset me quite a bit. I guess maybe it has more of an impact when you live in such a place and see such boats going out every day. . .ordered a desk-top drop in charger (around 17), a speaker-mic and a programming lead (20.50) for the new radio from a couple of different foreign sources on e-bay. . . played with the new radio a little. Boy is it complicated - and the buttons are difficult to press (without the risk of rubbing off the lettering on the rubber in particular)! I need to trim some nails! I'll have to start using a pick more, when I make noise with the guitar. . yet another dumb e-bay question, asking if I'll post the razor to such and such a country! Right - that's enough. I've really had enough. I'm turning the PC off for a bit. One more day to go and I'll be free of it all! . .actually - in replying to the latest razor question about 'do you post to?', it became apparant why people are asking me - and I take back my derogatory comments about them! For some unfathomable reason, e-bay is indictaing I am NOT prepared to dispatch to a whole long list of countries!?? Clearly I haven't got something set right for doing an international auction. Oh well, given the page after page of seemingly conflicting e-bay/paypal small-print - it's beyond me. I really think I'll be sticking to UK auctions only in the future. SO much less hassle. . . ate tinned ham and pork sandwiches, banana, crisps and biscuits . . napped . . walked . . drank a glass of red wine and TVd/PCd/monitored radios. Gathered from a snippet heard on the radio, a body from the sunken fishing boat had been recovered from the sea by a helicopter earlier! Imagine the experience of the winchman/helicopter crew! From what I've seen on TV, winching from the sea particularly is a pretty strenuous, 'intimate', up close and personal excercise!!! :o( . . . bidding on the two helmets I have listed, has suddenly jumped up - as I'd rather expected it would. Actually somewhat relieved someone (clearly an expert/dealer) has bid on the 'army' one, AFTER I'd drawn attention to the fact it may not be an actual 'army' one. . Blimey - even Mums shoes now have a bid on them. I'd thought they weren't going to sell because of the slight imperfection on the heel I'd sadly felt obliged to highlight . . . ate a bowl of defrosted cheese, bacon and mushrooms melt with four pieces of bread and butter, followed by just a little chocolate. . . TVd until bed around 1am.
17 - Up around 7:10am. Grey with rain forecast . . .walked and didn't hang around, just in case the postman was gonna try to deliver the radio early . . . as the rain arrived, I put in a bit of time boxing up the two helmets, partially ready for dispatch, and sorted out some padded envelopes and the like for eventually posting everything else. . someone has 'withdrawn' the bid they put on the razor! Never had a withdrawn bid before. Unsettling. I'm beginning to wonder if I really AM going to get a 'high' price for it after all. I also received messages from TWO different people asking if I had a 'but it now' price in mind to immediately end the tumble dryer auction. I REALLY dislike people who mail such requests. I'm not even going to dignify them with a reply. Boy - will I be glad when all these currently listed auctions are over with. I really need a rest from all the 'worry' it causes me!. . Mum called to touch base . . Yayyy - around 1pm the postman delivered the little box containing the VX-7R. (Extraordinary to me, how the guy who sent it, didn't do it 'at least' recorded delivery - and didn't even mark a return address on it! 'Someone' could SO easily have claimed they didn't get it!!!) Nervously oh SO nervously opened it up and set about inspecting it and doing a rapid test receive/transmit on it. Well - on the face of it, (it was described as hardly used and only 11 months old - and cost him 291 including the postage) it really DOES look pretty much like 'brand-new-in-the-box', and DOES appear to work ok (as far as one can so quickly tell - without IMMEDIATELY learning the entire phonebook-like instruction manual, and going through EVERYTHING step by step)! Fingers still crossed - but I 'think' I'm a very happy guy with that auction win. Looks like finally I've had a pretty good deal on an e-bay auction and haven't been ripped-off by someone! Right - I need to find the best price on, and send off for, a couple of desired(necessary) accessories before I seriously start playing with it and carrying it every day. I'm in no rush. . . PCd a bit of this . . ate four pieces of bread and butter with the last of the cold chicken followed by many biscuits. . . napped . . .walked in the cool strong breeze. Something going on somewhere over Portland way. Heard a bit of chatter on the coastguard frequency, indicating a lifeboat and the 'coastguard 106' helicopter were out, investigating 'something' on the sea bed, and even suggesting they could call in HMS York/divers and equipment!!!? Probably end up being a false alarm as most are, but at least it ain't a chinese lantern on this occasion! . . PCd. Yayyy - at LAST I've had a starting bid on the silver bracelette. I've been keeping a watch on an auction of one VERY similar to the one I've listed, and IT just sold for 64 after LOTS of bids!! Given all that, I just couldn't understand why mine hadn't gotten ANY bids at all (even with its 'relatively' high 46ish start price (inc postage)). Very relieved to now 'kinda' have that one sold. Even if it goes no higher, I'll be happy with that. Even if nothing goes any higher, the current listings have easily covered the cost of the radio I just got (and probably the accessories I'm immediately gonna buy for it, too). Swings and roundabouts. Better to have a 'toy' to play with, rather than a cupboard full of boxes of stuff I don't really want or have any use for. :o) . YET another person (who will NOT get a reply!) asking me to halt a live auction with bids placed, and sell them 'buy it now' - this time the pine TV unit!! I wonder if such people actually ask people to do that as a regular practice - and succeed? Any further auctions I do, are going to very explicitly tell such people to bugger-off and not waste my time, in advance!! . .radiod a little . . uh oh. Somone has messaged me about my listing for "ORIGINAL WWII 1941 BRITISH ARMY HELMET". 'Im afraid this isnt a British Army Issue Helmet,as all Helmets that had three hole drilled in the rim were substandard & only used for civillian use.I thought it best to point this out,as there are quite a few Militaria spies that report people for falsely advertising their Helmets,so it might be a good idea to revise it..'. Oh dear. A bit late in the day to start trying to do a complete re-listing (just on someones say so?), so I just responded and drew attention to my response in an update to the listing. "Thanks very much for the detailed information. I'm no expert and embarassingly stand corrected. It was NOT my intention to deceive. Hopefully the pictures have spoken more accurately than I have apparantly done!! It WAS indeed found with several ARP related artefacts (for example see my other auction for an ARP wardens helmet), so that may well be an indication of its wartime 'civilian' use. I'll post this so all watchers and bidders can see it - and withdraw if they so choose." . . arrrrggghhhh! Roll on Saturday when I'll be free of all this CONTINUAL nonsense!!!! . . while chatting on the radio to someone over Portland way, they indicated they TOO were listening to developments on the coastguard frequency - and it WAS allegedly a 'proper' SERIOUS incident going on!!? Too far away for me to really catch much of it, and I frustratingly haven't a clue what has actually occurred (and is continuing gone 1am with 'coastguard rescue 104'). . aha - looked it up on the net on various news sites. A missing trawler!!!!!!!!!!! Missing since around 5pm?!! That's VERY not good. :o( There WAS a pretty heavy swell on and a strong easterly type wind, even just in the local bay! . . TVd and ate bowls of rice krispies before eventually to bed after 2am. . difficulty getting to sleep - thinking about and imagining awful things. The local sea temperature is allegedly around 11 degrees C at the moment. The pain that caused me just wading-in the other morning was substantial. I imagine if I fell into it, I'd very likely not even surface, let alone last for more than a minute or so! :o(
16 - Up around 5:30am. . sunny again, and much less wind this morning. .woke up at the PC and eventually added YET more 'verbose' details about postage and the like, on the razor auction listing - to hopefully circumvent any further messages about any of it. . 'most' of my other auctions now have bids on them. A few don't. The silver bracelette sadly STILL doesn't - so I guess I may well have overpriced that one. The one tenth kruggerand now DOES have bids, but still at a level which, given the paypal/e-bay fees and comission and all, will mean I would have made more money if I'd sold it to the dog walker down the road!!! Both helmets have bids - and given the number of watchers on them - (the ARP one in particular) I have high hopes they'll go for a good price in the last few seconds. Ho hum . this auctioning business is bizarrely taking quite a toll on me! . PCd a bit of this . . .walked in the warm sun. WHAT a difference to yesterday, without that cold wind. Walked the woods for Bella to do squirrel chasing and then both beaches for some ball-chase swimming (on the 'local' beach). The tide was WELL out, and it took a bit of walking down over all the rocks and pebbles to reach the water. While throwing Bella's tennis ball out, as far as I could each time, I spotted one of those expensive rubber 'kong' toys submerged and sunk in the water. Being the penny pinching skinflint I am, I couldn't resist having a go for it. Took my shoes and socks off, roled up my trousers and precariously waded out up to my knees (while still unwisely wearing my bodywarmer containing my radio, camera, phone, etc, etc!!!). Oh MYYYYYYyyy god was that water cold!!! Like REALLY cold!! So cold it HURRRRRT!!!!!!! Anyway - Bella is now the proud owner of a rubber kong toy (which we'll probably never use, because she DOES definitely prefer her tennis balls - and they float of course). lolol . played ball AND kong in BGdns, and sat for a bit before eventually heading back. Stopped off briefly at the builders yard on the way back, to price up fence posts. Never mind needing at least three for building a fence out front some time (maybe - eventually), I AM also eventually going to attempt to replace one of the ones in the BACK garden up by the garage. I have it in mind to replace the middle 1.5mtre tall one, which holds up part of the rail fence next to the garage/carport, with a taller one so I can better fix my long wire antenna to it (and aside from anything else, have better clearance above the top of the rotary washing line when its in use!). Turns out they aren't 'hugely' expensive. . . PCd. Oh dear - having that money from all my recent auctions just sat in my papypal account, HAS started to kinda burn a hole in my pocket - a bit! I've been trying to be SO restrained and NOT buy ANYTHING of late - but this morning I caved in - BIG time!!!! I've been wanting a Yaesu VX-7R for months - to upgrade from/replace the little VX-2 handie I use when out walking. Been watching EVERY auction that's come and gone for months, and may even have had a poke with a silly low bid on a couple, but they ALWAYS went for plenty more than I feel I could justify spending. Well - this morning, the 'latest' auction I'd been keeping an eye on for a week, was due to end. With my recent auction-sales money just sat there - I ummd and ahhd - dithered - checked prices and previous listings (again! - they 'usually' go for around 165ish+) - and then I just bit the bullet and had a 'proper' go for it, in 'sniper' styleee! My maximum bid was for 165.01 (including the 4.30 postage) around three seconds from the auction end. I was actually amazed to win it - for 148.45 including postage!!!!!!!!!!!! Blimey! That'll do - IF it's fully working and all as listed etc, etc, etc. Oh dear - something else to worry myself sick about and feel guilty about now! :o( If that somehow ends up being a 'duffer' (like SO much of the other stuff I've previously won!) it really WILL be THE last (substantial) thing I EVER bid on! :o( <worry> <worry> . . . ate cold chicken with four pieces of bread and butter, followed by banana, treacle tart and biscuits. . napped until around 5:30pm. . .walked with coffee. Would have been a pleasant evening, if not for the clouds of little midges that suddenly seem to have appeared. SO many - it wasn't possible to continue sitting in my usual places for too long without getting quite literally covered in them!! I'm not sure if they actually bite, but they sure do cause some considerable 'irritation'. Eventually managed to escape them by sitting on the seat under the roof for my coffee and cigs. I'd forgotten to mention a couple of days ago - in front of my favourite seat, someones cremated remains have been poured out in a line and a heap - again! Funny how such a line of ashes, often starts or ends in a heap. Either people don't quite know what to expect and dump a load out to start with before getting a feel for proper 'pouring' - or they get fed up with the pouring and dump the last bit out. lolol Funny business. :o/ . . . PCd/radiod . . .TVd . . drank a glass of red wine and ate a trio of ham rolls, cheddar crackers and a mini pack of maltesers . . to bed around 1am.
15 - Up around 7:30am. Sunny. . woke at the PC checking on listings etc, and watching two crows in the front garden further tearing apart the dead hedge at the bottom. When I did the fence work and decided to leave that old dead hedge in place for the time being, I trimmed it all straight and tidy. Well - now it looks in a hell of a state, all uneven and full of gaps. MANY of the local larger birds like crows and magpies have been regularly tearing it all to shreds for nesting material, and flying off with beaks full of the dead twigs! Actually fascinating to watch. . . walked (ouch what a cold feeling northish wind!). Bit worried about one of Bella's eyes. She appears to have something in it from all the goo it's producing!!! Back via town for a tour of the charity shops (and yes - I admit - having a look out for any old razors!!!! lololol There were NONE.) Treated myself to a cooked chicken from one of the butchers shops. . mustered the energy to mow the lawns - and then that was that! Slipped into an increasingly down and despairing mood and ended up just poking at the PC/TV and wasting away the whole day, unable to motivate to do anything else. :o( Felt utterly frozen all day, despite the sun and around 17C temperature in the house. . .YET another message about the razor auction - asking if I'd ship to Italy and for how much!!! This one listing has turned into a full time job! Couldn't even face having to reply to the guy, and eventually just walked away from the PC for the rest of the day! . . eventually ate a good proportion of the cold chicken with four pieces of bread and butter, followed by treacle tart and biscuits . . too late to nap, TVd, feeling utterly exhausted and desperate for sleep. . sorry Bella - I just can't do it tonight. Skipped the evening walk - again! Bella bizarrely seemed overjoyed by the prospect of having no walk and having her evening meal straight away. . struggled to stay awake in front the TV for the rest of the evening. Bella actually left me to it, and took herself off up to bed almost straight after eating!?. . to bed around 11pm (once all the five hours straight of 'running on stairs' and door banging noise from next door had eased off!).
14 - Woken around 7:15am by neighbor noise, and up soon after . .checked in on my e-bay listings. Messages about the razor from the local guy who'd expressed interest (and others) have enabled me to find a picture on-line (Mr Razor website) of one identical in style (albeit in MUCH better, absolutely as-new condition). It IS rare. A '1947 Anglo-American Aristocrat'. So rare, it's even been suggested this is only the second one the 'razor community' has seen. It has also been suggested, it 'could' reach three figures in the auction!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Astounding! I thought there was a recession on? Three figures would see it up around my entire weekly income for goodness sake! I'm not counting my chickens of course, but it IS gonna be stressfully FASCINATING to see what happens at auction-end on Saturday. Rather worrying (for ME) also of course, what with the international complications of postage etc etc. I trust I've washed out that tin sufficiently. I'd hate to think a customs sniffer dog would indicate on it!! lololol . . .walked before the forecast rain showers eventually arrived . . packaged up the military cloth badges in a small re-used padded envelope and then left Bella at home and popped up the post office to post them. Would you believe it - even on something so small and simple, I YET again didn't get the postage right and ended up 35p down on the deal!!? According to the guy behind the counter, it was because it wouldn't slot through a narrow slit on a template he had, so it had to be charged as a 'big' letter!! What impossible nonsense. THAT was NOT made clear on their 'price finder' website. They really have made it almost impossible to be sure what on earth the postage is going to be, until you actually stand there at the counter and hand it to them! Of course it would theoretically be possible to do all that BEFORE listing the stuff - except that in my experience (no matter HOW much you try to anticipate everything), you always run the risk of bidders asking detailed questions about stuff, requiring you to then have to unpack/re-pack it all! I swear its political. I've no doubt the Post Office is 'deliberately' destined to 'die a death' in the near future. Such a shame. :o( . . . stopped by Mums on the way home and told her about the razor saga. Also photographed a couple of antique things of hers, which require 'proper' research with a view to some time attempting to establish if they are actually worth anything much. A plate and a small bowl thingy. . . PCd this - at length - and actually rather reluctantly. I'm sick and tired of spending ALL my time sat at the PC of late!!. . .ate a meat pastry slice, crisps, banana and a slice of treacle tart - all mum donated. . . napped until just after 6pm . . . walked with coffee . . . PCd trawling listings and seeing what was for sale locally. Same old same old of some neat stuff, but without transport, nothing I can do about any of it. :o( . . . TVd and in the abscence of anything worth watching again, fired up the BBC IPlayer and watched a Dads Army episode and then an interesting (Open University affiliated) program all about the 'history' of electricity . .ate a chicken and mushroom pastry slice, crisps, cheddars and cheese followed by a miniature pack of maltesers . . to bed around 2am.
13 - Up around 8:30am. There really does appear to be a HUGE interest in that razor! ? MORE watchers and messages pleading for international bids to be allowed - and yet STILL NO bids!?. . . walked and played ball on the beach for Bella to swim etc, before then sitting on the grass in BGdns in the sun for a bit, playing some more. My mind was of course all full of the razor auction as I sat there. I'm not sure, but I 'think' I 'may' even have the original tin for it somewhere. I'm pretty sure I used the tin from what I thought was 'just' an old razor, to act as my 'stash' (cannabis) tin for MANY years!!! Have I STILL got it packed away somewhere with all my old lighters and smoking parafenalia? . . . eventually returned home and promptly searched through my smoking stuff. Yayyyy - I found the tin! It's in a terrible beaten up, dented and 'used' (lots! lolol) condition, but it can only help by including it in the auction. . washed it all out - THOROUGHLY! lolol . . I'm not quite sure how, but somehow I seemed to spend the whole day mostly dicking about on nonsense connected with the razor auction!!!??? Every time I opened my mail box there seemed to be YET another communication about it - and more and more watchers - but STILL no bids!?!?? . . in the abscence of bids, it was still possible to fully alter the listing, so I went ahead and eventually added the details about the tin, and even payed the small fee to include the extra photograph! I waivered - 'almost' made it open for international bidders - but decided NOT at the last mouse click. . . ate a trio of ham and mayo rolls, cheddars, crisps and biscuits . . napped . . walked . . tu . . back to the PC and finally relented and modified the razor e-bay listing to allow international bidders! Spent AGES thereafter, informing people who'd messaged me that I'd done so. My motivation was NOT purely greed. More than anything else, I did so, just to stop the stream of messages my mailbox was being inundated with every time I went online! It worked - the messages stopped - and immediately someone had (finally!) bid the starting price of 10. That's DEFINITELY gonna be one to sit and watch at auction end. It WILL go for plenty more - just an intriguing question of how much more now. Really quite extraordinary to me there are SO many people in the world collecting razors. There is apparantly a 'razor community'. From some of the messages I've recieved, it would also appear that such people get great pleasure from actually using razors from their collections for their morning shave! Funny old world! It'd be very easy to 'have fun' with the concept. Like - do they have conventions? Where they all turn up all VERY clean shaven. Or maybe all very RED faced, where they've overshaved - or even covered in little bits of absorbant paper where they cut themselves? lololol The whole concept could make for an amusing play on TV or some such. :o) Each to their own - I mean, after all, 'I' have two CW keys on my mantlepiece don't I - and I DO occasionaly tap out the odd word or two as I pass by. lololololol . . PCd some more and had a bit of a surf, trying to look up the aircraft part which came with the morse code keys. It has an RAF label attached to it, confirming it is serviceable dated 10/1/1958! Suprisingly I DID actually come up with enough returns to FULLY identify what it is!! Manufactured by Venner Time Switches Ltd., New Malden, Surrey, it is a 24volt Time Delay Switch (REF 27 N/56) apparantly used to induce a delay in the operation of the in-flight fire supressant system on PISTON engined aircraft! Extraordinary! Even found 'traces' of one having been sold on e-bay by an 'aircraft parts' seller for around 10! Well, I'll be damned. I guess at some point, I may have to give listing THAT a go - and open to international bidders on that one for sure. . what a bizarre - ebay induced world I seem to have been totally absorbed into of late!! :o| And all I've been trying to do is get rid of all my old unwanted clutter! lolol . . . left Sis2 an ansaphone message and let her know I'd NOT been successful in selling her old broken laptop on e-bay earlier. Disappointing. I really wanted that gone and out of my way! I HAVE re-listed it, with a cheaper method of posting - but if it doesn't go this time, it may well end up in the wheelie bin, just to be free of it! . . . touched base with BB (and bored her to tears with all my e-bay related conversation! lol) . . . ate bowls of rice krispies before finally to bed around 3am.
12 - Up late around 8:35am. . walked . . .the same type of CW key to the ones I just bought, that was currently listed on e-bay, went for around 10.50 this morning - so I'm still happy and think I did 'ok' with my purchase. .the military cloth badges I had listed on e-bay sold this morning for 3.99. The RAF gaiters did NOT - again! They really are pretty worthless I think. . PCd, slowly 'grinding my way through' getting my new e-bay listings all uploaded and live. I must be the only person in the world that has it all take SO long to do!! Having said that, I do like to think that the time I take over them all, and the (considerable) effort I put into doing the photos, DOES ensure my best chance of a successful auction/sale. Got the army helmet, the ARP helmet and the tumble dryer listed. . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for chats etc. . .spent hours listing some more. The old pine TV unit, the silver bracelette, the Bristol bus badge, the one tenth Krugerrand, the 'rare'(maybe?) vintage Gillette razor, and another pair of Mums shoes (despite finding a 'manufacturing fault' in one of the heels when photographing them, which of course I HAD to point out in the listing - so they likely will sadly NOT sell!!). . . took a MUCH needed break from the PC and set about cleaning up the other morse code key out in the conservatory. Ended up with the pair both looking pretty much alike, except for the chromed terminal screws on one. I HAD thought they were steel on this second one, but it turns out they are chromed brass - so I guess I 'could' return to them at a later date and actually remove all the remaining chrome? Ended up for the time being, with them both taking pride of place atop my firebreast - either side, angled inwards like a reflection or bookends. lololololol . . good grief. Several 'watchers' of the razor auction already!! Even had a message from someone local trying to get me to immdeiately do a 'buy it now'. Hmmm. I may be 'on to something' with that razor?! . . walked with coffee . . back via the store for a pack of burgers which I had a sudden 'need' of again?. . . drank a glass of red wine and cooked and ate four cheeseburgers and then a little chocolate. . PCd a bit (back into my unhealthy continually reading my OWN e-bay auction listings mode!?!?) . even more watchers on the razor auction, and messages from people in the US quite literally 'clamoring' to buy it, and asking me to open up the auction to international bidders!! Hmmm - what to do? Can't decide. I've read and heard such AWFUL things about doing international sales - how things allegedly 'go missing' as a matter of course! AND there is the complicated issue of postage and customs and the like. Difficult decision. I need to think about that. :o/ . . . to bed around 1am.
11 - Poor broken sleep then up around 7:25am. Aha - here we go then. E-bay are having another free listings weekend this weekend. Damn - I haven't done all the preparatory work, research and photos for listing as much as I'd like yet! . . walked. Mentioned the 1/10th krugerrand I'm intending to list on e-bay to a dog walker. She immediately got on the phone to a relative and came back with an offer of 90 for the scrap-value/weight in gold. Very, VERY tempting, but I think I AM going to go ahead and e-bay it nonetheless, in the greedy hope of getting just a 'little' more (but of course running the real risk of getting a little less - and THEN having to pay the 10% e-bay commission and ending up with a LOT less!!). Tough decision on reflection! . . . dug the old pine TV unit thingy Sis1 once gave me, out of the garage and tried to clean it up a little. Not sure it's worth even listing that. I HAD made my mind up to (maybe keep a bit of the timber and) burn it next time I have a fire! May as well list it and see if anyone will come take it off my hands I suppose. Messed around meticulously photographing and closely inspecting the army and wardens helmets I intend to list. . at around 1pm the postman unexpectedly delivered a small parcel. Oh wow - I hadn't expected that so soon. It was the two morse keys and the heavy, weird 'delay switch' thing (off an aircraft?!!!!). Nervously opened the box and yayy - they WERE the type of morse key I'd hoped for. Actually a 'W.T. 8 Amp No. 2 Mk III' for the record. They are in an 'original' condition and both need some loving care (one more than the other) and they ARE just 'slightly' different in terms of the cable clamp 'screws' (one being all brass - the other steel), but on the face of it, I'm pretty happy with the money I spent. AT LAST I can put that silliness to rest in my mind thank goodness. Doesn't matter to me if I never actually use them - once cleaned up a bit, I think they look good enough to be beautiful little ornaments if nothing else. I guess as soon as I have the time, I'll have to have a go at researching what the 'aircraft part' actually may be, and find out if it may be of any use to anyone for anything. (I WAS right about him charging a bit much for postage. It cost him around 2 less than he charged - but then, I know all about having trouble being accurate about such things!). Couldn't resist having a quick prod at e-bay just out of curiosity. For the record - one of these type of keys is currently listed (due to end tomorrow) for 7.99 with NO bids yet, one sold for just 6.20 on the 9th May, and another identical one (even with a piece missing!) sold on 11th March for 22.19 including the postage! Yeah - it wasn't a super duper bargain, but I can live with what I just spent on them. :o) . . . dithered for ages but finally mustered up the energy to move enormous amounts of junk piled high in the garage so I could drag the old clothes drier back out. Managed to actually extracate it via the main garage door, out into the lane and then back in. Had to move the car backwards and forwards to be able to carry it through, back down into the conservatory, for a damn good clean and a test to make sure it still works. I'm gonna list it on e-bay - for a real low start price, in the hope of just being able to finally get rid of it. . . couldn't resist and put in a couple of hours renovating the worst of the two morse code keys. I say 'the worst' because as it turned out, the pivot shaft was rusted solid, and the thing wouldn't move!! At length, after a LOT of messing around oiling and gently forcing it, I managed to make some movement in it and then, with really no choice, I bit the bullet and managed to eventually drift the pin out by punching it out with a hammer and narrow punch!! Nerve wracking THAT was! Could SO easily have broken it in the attempt. Spent the next LONG time out in the conservatory using a wire brush attachment on the electric drill, to polish all the crud off all the brass and attempt to de-rust and smooth back out the pivot pin as best I could. Image of my newly cleaned  W.T. 8 Amp No. 2 Mk III morse code keyIt wouldn't have taken anywhere near as long if not for having the return spring suddenly fly off out of my fingers as I was cleaning it up on the wire brush drill attachment. As 'always' under similar circumstances, so I've found to my cost on MORE than several occasions, the spring promptly disappeared seemingly into a parallel universe!!!!???!!! I spent AGES - and I MEAN AGES, searching every single square inch of the conservatory for it. I moved all the furniture and searched through every single thing out there - but - impossibly - it'd simply disappeared!!! Disaster! Imagine the state I was in! Anyway - to cut a long story short, I eventually found it on the other side of the kitchen, almost into the living room!!!???At length, with a bit of grease on relevant parts, I had the thing reassembled, and working and looking about as good as it can ever get. Funny feeling - like having an old friend return to me. Dunno WHY I like those keys so much. I just reckon they look SO pretty. Only around four and a half inches long. Really is like a piece of meaningful and functional sculpture to me. Just a thing of beauty. Pure art. Anyway - that's ONE of the pair done. :o) . . walked under the clear blue sky and sat with coffee for ages as darkness fell. Chatted on the radio briefly before having to stop when a dog walker insisted on interrupting and chatting . . . back home after 10pm. . TVd and ate a bowl of cheese melt concoction with four pieces of bread and butter followed by a few chocolate biscuits . . PCd researching the old safety razor I'm gonna list on ebay. Trouble was, I couldn't find ANY trace of anything identical!? I DO wonder if it's actually a rather rare one?! . . PCd a bit of this until gone 2:30am.
10 - Woken around 5:30am by Bella unusually pacing around all over the place. Up around 6am to let Bella out, only to find I was too late and she'd been sick and pooped all over the floor of the kitchen diner!! Uggh. :o( . that put me in a foul mood with her. What sort of house training was she given for gods sake! Why doesn't she come and wake me up like Sally used to? . cleared up as best I could and shut her out in the garden for an hour while I did so and then woke with coffee and cigs at the PC . . walked in a foul mood and did NOT play ball . .back via the post office to use their scales to weigh the silver bracelette I am intending to list on e-bay some time. (The one I found in a local park - handed in to the police and then eventually had back because it was unclaimed.) Turns out it's a bit lighter than I'd hoped. Still should be worth a fair bit I hope (up to an absolute maximum of 100 maybe?) - assuming people buy/wear such things these days. We'll see. . .pulled up carpet tiles and hosed them down in the back garden, and then left them propped up on various garden chairs to dry . .washed the silver bracelette . . PCd e-bay looking at listings and researching prices and - uhoh - spent some money!!!!! Damn - here's me trying to sell stuff and MAKE money - not start spending it - BUT, I just couldn't resist! Years ago when I was last into radio, I had a beautiful little ex MOD type morse code key. A 'W.T. 8 Amp No. 2' type. Nothing special - but all black and brass, it was just a little thing of beauty to me. When I sold everything, I pretty much just gave it away for the price I got for everything. Since getting back into the radio thing, of all the things I used to have, THAT little piece has continued to prey on my mind and be an absurd source of continual regret. It's stuck in my mind like a splinter! It WAS inevitably only a matter of time before I'd end up having a try for one on e-bay - just to remove that constant source of irritation. Trouble is, unlike when I bought it (as I recall, they were dirt cheap in an army surplus store (Marcuss) at the time) they DO seem to now often command a VERY respectable price (anywhere from around 6 in auctions to the lucky few, up to even well over 20!??), and I just can't justify spending THAT much on one (in the full knowledge, I shall probably NEVER 'actually' use it!!!????!!! lol). Anyway - blah blah blah - trawling e-bay I bumped into a 'slightly off the beaten track' buy-it-now listing for "2 MORSE CODE PLUS DELAY SWITCH" for 16.50 (which includes the, rather high I thought, 6.50 postage)! God knows what the 'delay switch' is, but the photo also 'appeared' to show a PAIR of such morse keys. Impossible to really tell the condition of them. It's a gamble - but I went for it. Whatever the outcome, it WILL lay the issue to rest in my mind - one way or another!!!!! Can't wait to get my hands on them to see if I've messed up, or if I made a reasonably wise sudden 'grab'. :o/. . . right - back to what else can I try to sell - to now pay for that!! . . .actually, despite what I said the other day, it DOES appear that some of the grass seed I put down IS growing in the bare patch out back too, finally . . . ate a chicken and mushroom pastry slice, cheddars, crisps, banana and some chocolate . . lay down to nap but couldn't get to sleep and just ended up laying there overheating for an hour or two!? I have a suspicion MY stomach is a little 'unsettled' today too! . . . walked and just sat around for absolutely ages. . .TVd . . drank a glass of red wine . ate a defrosted bowl of stew with four pieces of bread and butter and some chocolate . . to bed around 1am.
9 - Up around 7:20am. Ugggh - raining - much! PCd this, slow facing-up to going out in it :o( . . walked in full weather gear in what turned out to be a strangely 'acceptable' light drizzel mostly. Something weird gone on in BGdns in the night. Stuff chucked around, and I had to tear apart a small tree which had been partially uprooted and was blocking the path!? . back via the store and couldn't resist buying THREE bags of mushrooms which were going for just 50p each. Figured I'd better make a 'melt' later, so also bought an enormous 2+ pack of bacon 'mis-shapes', which it would appear is a cheaper way to do such things. Also bought three 50g packs of golden virginia. . messed around for hours sorting through more stuff to eventually sell on e-bay. Actually did the photos and descriptions for a couple of things, but really should hold off listing them until either a free listing weekend comes along again, or at the very least, until a time of day and day of the week which is liable to get the most last minute bidders on board. I guess a weekend evening is favourite maybe? Who can tell. It really is a lottery isn't it. I'm DEFINITELY of the opinion from my experience, that things go for more in the winter (when people are presumably NOT out doing other things)! Anyway - I AM eager to get more stuff gone, and gradually (oh SO slowly!) inch my way closer to 'maybe' being in a position to buy a new radio with the results of it all - eventually - maybe! . . .drank a glass of red wine while cooking-up, at length, THE most ENORMOUS pot of chopped mushrooms, onion, bacon and grated cheese. Eventually ate a bowlfull with four pieces of bread and butter followed by just a little chocolate. . . napped until the alarm at 7pm. Pouring with rain so once again skipped the evening walk, which Bella really doesn't seem to mind AT ALL. In fact, when I explain we aren't going out, she gets all excited and uncontrollable - because she knows she'll be getting her food right away. . . PCd/monitored radios. Yayy - got positive feedback from the buyer of Mums shoes, simply saying 'like new thnx'. Phew - thank goodness for that. I was a bit worried about the ambiguous colour issue. . touched base with Mum . . TVd . . put pots of the mushroom melt thing in the freezer and the fridge and ate the rest of it with four pieces of bread and butter . . TVd, let Bella use the garden and then to bed around 1am.
8 - Up not long before 9am after almost no sleep at all. . . let Bella use the garden and then confused her totally by leaving her at home and walking up the post office to post all the parcels and packets nice and early, BEFORE walking her. . I apologetically warned the old guy behind me in the Post Office queue that I would be a while. He just kinda tutted, huffed and puffed and assumed a posture showing his annoyance. I was as quick as I could possibly be, drawing out money to pay for the postage, labelling up every recorded-delivery receipt so I knew which was which, etc, etc. Nearing the end I turned to the increasing queue behind me and apologetically informed them I was almost finished. The old guy continuing to display his annoyance simply rudely said 'Good!'. When I'd finally finished, I thanked the counterclerk and then turned and thanked the queue for their patience. The old guy simply continued to display his irritation with me! That pissed me off. I really don't know why I bother to go out of my way to be courteous and respectful to everyone. .the postage on everything amounted to over 30!! THAT is how I'm ending up transfering 'MY' money from my bank account into Paypal kinda (because I'm deliberately not touching any of the e-bay/paypal money I've received at the moment). . walked in some sunny spells between likely more showers . . well - finally - there are signs of some of the grass seed I put down, in the bare earth scars created by removing the hedge, sprouting up in the front garden. The same canNOT be said for the remaining bare patch out back!?? Wonder why 'that' bit isn't doing so well? . . PCd and did all the updates and 'posted' notifications for the e-bay stuff. Very time consuming . . cooked up some rice, peas and a tin of oxtail soup and ate with a couple of crusts of bread and butter, followed by a few biscuits. . . deliberately napped the rest of the day away, trying to catch up on sleep. Back up around 5:30pm . . .walked and got caught out in a bit of a rain shower on the return . . . TVd/PCd . . ate a six pieces of bread and butter pile of grated cheese, mayo and corned beef sandwiches, a couple of cheddars and a mini-pack of maltesers. . to bed shortly after 1am.
7 - Up around 8:30am. Grey and drizzly . . walked in what turned into a warm, sunny, summery morning. .back via the store for beefburgers and rolls, which I had a sudden craving for . . . spent - um - well, the whole day pretty much, wrapping stuff up for posting tomorrow! I finally received payment for the webbing straps, so I got those all ready to go too. .polished Mums shoes and got those wrapped up and ready to be labled up - when I receive payment . . radiod briefly . . drank a glass of red wine and got tipsy. Cooked and ate four quarter pound cheeseburgers with mayo in buttered bread rolls followed by a little chocolate . . napped until the alarm at 8pm!! Trouble waking up. Pouring with rain, so decided to skip the evening walk again . . TVd . . PCd. Received payment for the shoes so got those labeled up and good to go. That's quite a pile of stuff to send tomorrow - I won't be popular in the post office queue! . . listened to CW and PSK on HF (40m) for a bit, whilst decoding with the ham radio deluxe software and looking up the callsigns on QRZ.COM. . TVd and ate just a couple of kipling apple pies . .TVd/PCd until deep into early. Received payment for the CCTV spares bizarrely just before 4am as I was about to go to bed! . Couldn't get to sleep and tossed and turned for ages!!
6 - Up around 8:30am or later . . walked late and walked the woods and then carried on down town to briefly have a look at all the hustle and bustle around the harbour. The pirate weekend thing was in full flow already with loads of people all dressed up as pirates and various stalls of craziness set up inderneath the old fish market roof. VERY briefly sat and listened to a group of sea shanty singers before escaping the increasing crowds and headed home (past a large group of Harleys all parked up on the pavement nearby - with more arriving as we left. Visitors from the 'B-MAD' biker thing, going on in Paignton this weekend also apparantly) . . pottered around and then got down to having a final play with sis2s old laptop. Cut the original two pin US plug off the 'as new' power supply, and fitted a spare three pin one with an appropriate fuse. Meticulously dismantled the laptop and put it all back together, but still no life from the thing. Right - enough is enough. I'm tired of messing around wasting time on it, and just want the damn thing gone. Removed the hard drive of Sis2s data and applied a 5lb lump-hammer to it!! Reluctantly put the old broken socketed power supply straight in the bin with the remains of the hard disk and then took photos and eventually got the laptop listed on e-bay 'for spares/parts' for a fiver - but the 11+ postage is gonna put people off. Cost me 25p just to do the listing! . . Mums shoes sold on e-bay for 4.65, and my CCTV spares for 5. Actually just a 'little' bit disappointed with the low sale price of BOTH of those. I have a STRONG suspicion, that having auctions end at this time of day on a Sunday in the middle of a bank holiday weekend, is ABSOLUTELY the wrong thing for best prices. It ALSO may explain why I am STILL waiting for payment for the webbing straps auction from yesterday - as well as those two (despite explicitly stating on every one of my auctions that I expected IMMEDIATE payment at auction end!) Oh well - something to keep an eye on with any future listings. . . ate a trio of ham and mayo rolls, crisps and biscuits . . napped real late briefly until the alarm at 8pm . . .walked late. Sat around and chatted with other dog walkers a bit, and then sat and drank coffee until well after dark before eventually returning home feeling a bit cold in the light breeze. . . TVd/PCd this until gone midnight. .ate bowls of co-co pops and TVd until bed just after 2am.
5 - Woke earlier, snoozed on, then up around 7:25am. . . PCd waking up with coffee and cigs, keeping an eye on my e-bay listings, most ending today. During the time I was sat here, someone has suddenly put in a wapping bid on the webbing straps (which have ended up with LOTS of 'watchers'). The current bid is just under 35!!!? The way things go with e-bay prices, never ceases to suprise me - and pleasantly on this occasion of course. . . walked. The temperature has suddenly dropped to only around 6C out, and with a stiff North Easterly type wind, it felt pretty wintry again. . . pottered around doing some dishwashing chores and putting laundry away and the like, but really just wasting time in between e-bay auction ends. It's an awful habit, but (aswell as continually re-reading my own listings throughout the seven days duration of the auctions, trying to imagine what people may make of them!!) I can't help myself sitting watching the final few minutes of each of the auctions, WILLING the bids to suddenly jump up in the last few seconds. Miraculously they 'mostly' seem to do so! Unsuprisingly the gaiters and cloth badges did NOT sell - so I promptly re-listed them for one more try. The broken gas-mask and bag etc sold for 5. The webbing pistol holster for a suprisingly respectable 13.17 - and BOTH paid immediately. Sadly of course, because of the bank holiday and all ('Pirate Weekend' down here apparantly - been there, seen that, done that), I won't be able to post anything until Tuesday now. . .Yayyy - 16.55 for the brass safe plate! I HAD hoped it'd go for a good price, but right up until the last couple of seconds, it was stuck on just a fiver. Really is nail biting to sit and watch things go like that. lolol So far, I'm VERY happy with how things have gone - and I've even got bids on most everything else (even including the sewing box thingy - for collection only!)! Bit by bit, I'm getting the (unwanted) stuff shifted, and despite all the work, I guess the pennies DO gradually mount up. . . Mum called in with the papers and food donations for a coffee and chats. Both sat and watched the end of a couple of auctions. Not suprisingly there were no further bids on the webbing slings and they sold for an amazing 34.99!!?? Why on earth so much I wonder? . the antique George V toilet roll holder went for a very respectable 23.49. SO glad that didn't go for next to nothing. I don't want it, but I didn't want to just be 'giving' it away. Nice bit of history that. .there was a bit of a worry inducing moment when Mum insisted that her shoes which I'd listed, were actually blue and not black as I've described them on e-bay! Uh oh!! We both ended up peering at them in different light (as 'I' did when I listed them!) trying to ascertain what colour they 'actually' are! Someone HAS already bid on them and they ARE going to sell, so IF they ARE actually blue, I could end up in a bit of trouble and have to refund money and end up out of pocket, with maybe even a bad feedback logged against me!!! At the end of the day, bizzarly, I think it was debateable. Dark, DARK blue 'perhaps' - in a certain light - but mostly appearing black. I think I'm just gonna have to roll with it. They DO in all HONESTY, look black to me, and I HAVE uploaded photos, so I don't think I can really be faulted! We'll see. I may give them another polish before they eventually get posted! . . When all my shopping was delivered the other day, the paperwork also included a '10 off your next shopping' voucher, if I spent over seventy pounds. The stumbling block was the voucher had to be used within a week. (This was all seperate from the no expiry date 'goodwill' payment they subsequently promised me). Sadly without transport, and because I've just done a monster shop, there really was no practical way of me doing more shopping and using that voucher before it 'timed out'. Suddenly thought that maybe next door could make use of it (because I HAVE seen them returning with shopping from that store) so I popped over and offered it to them. They eagerly accepted. :o) . . even the footstool/sewing box thing I inherited with the house sold for 4! :o) . . a pause in ending listings so eventually pulled myself away for a bit. . ate some cheddars, cheese, crisps and a meat pastry slice followed by a few chocolate biscuits . . lay down to nap and the footstool guy called and then came and collected. Bang bang bang - all done and dusted. One less thing. Excellent. . napped until the alarm at 7pm . . walked. . . TVd/PCd . . drank a glass of red wine . . to bed in the early hours.
4 - Up around 8:25am. Grey but dry . . walked . . started the car up (for the first time in ages!) and actually ran it backwards and forwards up and down the lane just a little, to make sure it was still working and to hopefully knock some of the rust off the brake discs etc. .messed around breifly in the lane in front of my garage door, digging out some of the weeds and debris filling an utterly pointless and ineffectual 'soakaway' hole. Transfered a bucket load of soil to the garden (where I recently took the tree out) and then re-filled the soakaway hole with pebbles/chippings from one of the garden pots. A pointless gesture. Because of the lay of the land, the rain simply runs straight off the lane and INTO the garage, and there isn't a damn thing I can reasonably do about it! :o( . Mowed the lawns . . PCd this. . . did a long winded reply to the Fairfield people about the perpetual calendar and then soon after, somehow ended up having a poke around about it on the net again. Oh wow! I found an almost EXACT duplicate of it on the Post Office Museum website!!! I think that fully answers the mystery. Clearly they were being made up in Govan for 'general' use! Eventually replied to the Fairfield people, giving them the link and as follows - "Right . . on reflection, that fully satisfies my curiosity. Quite simply, I would suggest that somewhere up in your 'shipyards', was a manufacturing facility which was producing these calendars for widespread (including Government department (Post Office)) use. Not quite such a mystery after all. lolol" That I suspect is the end of that. It DOES however beg the question perhaps, as to why the Fairfield Heritage Project people weren't aware they were being made up there in one of their factories somewhere? . . . ate a banana and then cooked and ate bacon and grated cheese sandwiches followed by a little chocolate . . . napped . . .walked. Felt much colder and there was a hint of rain in the air on the return. . . PCd . . . TVd . ate bowls of rice krispies . . to bed around 1am.
3 - Up around 7:15am. Grey with some rain in the air. Still feel all achey and hardly able to move!!? . . walked in a bit of light rain. We didn't 'quite' miss the forecast rain band as I'd thought we may. Boy am I still suffering from all my aches and pains! I can't recall EVER ending up in such poor shape after a bit of strenuous work like this. Sure am gettin' old! . . did a bit more laundry while PCing this - pretty much just waiting for my monster shopping delivery, due to be delivered somewhere between 11 and 12am. I'm VERY eager to see if it'll all be there THIS time. The (dry complete) dog food in particular had better be, because I've only enough left in the house for perhaps another day . . chatter on the (coastguard) radio around 10am about a controlled explosion due to be taking place on Sandy Bay! (The 'ordnance' mentioned last night perhaps?). The recent MSI broadcasts are making frequent reference to "Royal Marine parachuting serials in Poole Bay scheduled for the 2nd and 4th of May. -//- Voluntary exclusion zone of 1000 yards radius." If I had transport - I'd be seriously tempted to have a 'day out' and go see if I could see any of that - although I'm not sure the current weather wouldn't see it all cancelled? . .around 11:10am my shopping arrived. Inexplicably, despite giving a weeks notice and phoning up to warn of my bulk order, the six variety packs of a dozen packets of meat flavoured crisps were NOT supplied because they were allegedly out of stock!!?? The most important thing was of course the enormous mountain of dog food, and THAT was all there. . once the delivery guy had gone, I meticulously ticked everything off as I put it away and found I was one jar of 2.69 instant coffee short! Grrrr. (Also the sell-by dates on the three(!!) tubs of Flora I ordered aren't gonna give me much time to get through them - but I don't suppose they can really be faulted for that.) Phoned up the helpline and informed them about the missing coffee - and also made it clear I wasn't overly happy about the crisps thing, given the weeks notice I'd given and phoning up beforehand and all. The helpline person offered a 'gesture of goodwill' and true to her word, soon after, e-mailed me a 12.69 voucher to be used against my next shop with them, to cover the coffee shortage and the 'goodwill'! . well, I STILL have yet to have an entirely smooth and satisfactory online shopping experience with them, but I guess I shouldn't complain. That 10 goodwill thing more than covers that 5 out-of-pocket type experience I had ages ago, when they gave me an expensive substitute sack of dog food instead of the cheap one I'd ordered. Oh well - at least that's that all over and done with for a few months (thank goodness!!) , and I won't be having to carry all those tins of dog-food back from town on my back for a while. One problem I have - where to store everything I've bought!!!! . . .one of the 'statistics' functions on one of my webspaces has recently ceased to work. Nothing has changed my end, and a 'legacy' version of the function does still work, so in my opinion, clearly a problem at their end. Went onto a live helpline chat thingy and tried to get to the bottom of it. Pointless waste of time. Why are helpline people always no help at all? All in all, I was sat around waiting my turn, and then finally engaged in 'conversation' with the idiot for around half an hour!! At the end of that time he absolutely assured me he'd fixed the problem and it would now work 'after a while'. Of course it doesn't (absolutely NOTHING has changed) so he just wasted my time and fobbed me off - like is almost invariably the case with such things. Grrrrr . . right - a glass of wine I think, to celebrate having done my shopping. :o) . . drank a glass of red wine and guitarred in the conservatory a little. The wine went straight to my head of course. . Mum called to touch base. . ate the remaining mushrooms, onion, grated cheese, chopped bacon and mushroom soup concoction with four pieces of bread and butter followed by a little chocolate . . napped the afternoon away until around 6:30pm. Trouble waking! . . . much banging and shouting noise from next door had poor Bella get all up-tight and cowering, and unusualy take herself off back up to her bed in a futile attempt to escape it!!!!! Lost my temper and stamped on the floor and shouted out something along the lines of 'FOR F***S SAKE!' They heard it for sure and things went 'quieter'. . . walked . . PCd/radiod and couldn't resist joining a little local net which was being conducted on 2mtrs SSB. Switched the roof aerial into the unreliable/faulty 2m module on the FT-767 and had a successful chat for a bit, with allegedly no sign of any fault (although it sounded very 'iffy' to me, monitoring my transmitted output through headphones). . .TVd . . ate a tin of chopped ham and pork in six pieces of bread and butter sandwiches, crisps and some chocolate. . TVd until bed around 2am.
2 - Up around 7:15am. Misty grey . . oh myyyyy god I'm all stiff and aching! I can hardly move!!?? . . .walked . back via the store for a few supplies. I seem to have an overwhelming desire to be eating a mushroom cheese melt thing? . . yayy - as if by magic, all the chopped timber from the tree has disappeared from by my garage door. Nice one. :o) . . .suprisingly had a reply from e-bay (I really hadn't expected one) detailing why knife and weapon listings aren't allowed, and confirming that the other three listings for bayonets had now been removed. I bet those sellers aren't pleased. At least one had a nice bid on it! Oh well - fair's fair (although I DO feel a little guilty for maybe having had a hand in spoiling things for them!) . . . did laundry and - well - that was about it! Felt SO aching and tired - and hungry, I couldn't muster the energy to do ANYTHING and ended up cooking up a big pot of mushrooms, onion, grated cheese, chopped bacon and mushroom soup, and ate early with four buttered rolls followed by biscuits and chocolate. . . promptly napped . . brought the dry laundry back in off the line . . walked and sat around for ages. Chatter on the radio from over Exmouth way about some 'ordnance' found on a beach in the vicinity of the 'Straightpoint Range'. . . TVd but found absolutely nothing on worth watching. Even went through ALL the programs on the BBC IPlayer but found nothing there either! Absolutely appalling how TV has declined in recent years. . . cooked and ate a defrosted meat pie, chips and half a tin of baked beans followed by a large amount of chocolate . . TVd (Kung Fu) before to bed just after midnight.
1 - Up at 8:30am. Sunny spells! That's unexpected. . . walked and back via town . . somehow managed to fight my way through my continuing down mood and worked in the warm sun in the garden all day, cutting up the storm damaged tree!!! Hours and hours of cutting the smaller branches with the secateurs saw me fill two dustbins (and get the obligatory handful of blisters!). Filled another dustbin with some thicker branches. Put all three in the hot garage to dry out for a bit, before probably eventually having another bonfire sometime. . managed to extract the main tree trunk from the ground after a bit of digging and chopping through the two big roots, which was pretty much all that was holding it up. I had no choice - it DID have to go, because of how it was blowing around in the breeze and lifting one of the garden pavings slabs as it did so. Turned out it was lifting not only the paving slab, but also a lot of the surrounding soil and a breeze block embedded in the ground beneath!!!! The two thick roots (mostly one in particular) was ALL that was holding it up! . . re-layed the breeze block loosely in the soil and filled the resulting excavations with the contents of one of the large (unwanted) plant pots from the garden, before getting the paving slab back down, rocking a bit but more or less level. . spent hours sawing up all the thicker branches and even the main trunk of the tree, into suitably sized small chunks for the neighbours' wood burner stove thingy. Boy was it hard work sawing up the main, foot thick trunk!! Finally had it all done, with just the main solid timber root ball still in one large unmanageable piece. Stacked everything up out in the lane against the garage door, in the hope the neighbour would spot it and want it all for his burner. Swept up and called it quits around 5pm and showered and got clean . . received an unexpected e-mail reply from the 'Fairfield Heritage Project' people (who in my down and paranoid mood, since they'd not replied to my last, I'd convinced myself I'd somehow 'upset' by mentioning Kung Fu!!!!) ."Just a quick update as I have not had the chance to formally write and thank you yet. We are delighted to now have the Fairfield perpetual calendar back with us. My instinct tells me it would have been put up in the Counting House , a huge hall of a room on the ground floor where clerks attended to purchase ledgers. I have shown the calendar to my Director who would like us to mend it and use it as well as displaying it. The Govan Reminiscence Group (most of whom are well into their 80s) have also seen it and were very impressed, they say that there was once a post office opposite the shipyard called the Fairfield Post Office.-//- I am so grateful for your kindness in searching us out and sending the calendar home. We would like to write to our local press in the hope that they might feature an article to generate some publicity, would this be OK with you? They might wish to speak over the telephone with you?". Cool. Glad they are as 'into it' as I became. Not sure about telephone conversations with press people though!!!!!!!!!!! Especially ones with a Scottish accent I'd be unable to understand!! . . . got a real bee in my bonnet about my e-bay listing for the old No. 4 Mk II spike bayonet being refused/removed, and actually put in a bit of time reading through their rules and regulations in order to try to understand it. Simply put, it appears to be one of those largely nonsensical politically correct things that such businesses do, just to avoid any embarassing flack. Back around 2009 there were allegedly a bunch of stabbings which had the press getting all on the bandwagon, and since then, e-bay have refused to list any knives or similar weapons - or indeed anything even slightly pointy it would appear!! Seems pretty silly to me, but I guess I can understand their position. Nevertheless, what REALLY bugged me (and aggravated my 'paranoia'), was that there were at least three bayonets identical to mine, CURRENTLY listed on e-bay in happily running auctions (with one even unpleasantly described as a 'pig sticker bayonet'! Wow - the politically correct brigade could have a field day with that couldn't they - pig (still?) being in many circles street slang for the police?) Why were their's ok to avoid the rules, and mine was immediately singled out and removed? Oh SO childishly and out of sheer bloody-mindedness, I couldn't help myself start trying to stir things up a bit, and I sent a message to e-bay support asking for clarification as to why mine was disallowed and those three were still running!!!! . . . did a bit of an emergency sewing repair to one of the pockets on my indespensible body warmer. All the stiching had started to come undone at the bottom of my bulging dog-treats/ball pocket. Bit of a botch but should do the job without being too (if at all) noticeable . .walked. Beautiful evening -dead calm, clear sky and a full sunset. Sat for ages with a coffee on my usual seat. . .TVd . . cooked and ate a meat pie, chips and half a tin of baked beans followed by a large number of biscuits . .to bed at midnight after Kung Fu.
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