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- Up real late around 9:20am!! . . Image of HMS Illustrious in Torbaywalked mostly between showers. Two navy ships were out in the bay. (Tyne I think may have been one of them?) HMS Illustrious was the other, and I ended up just sitting and watching for ages as helicopters came and went from her deck. They allways seemed to approach and pull up over the water on her port side, before then slowly drifting to starboard over her deck to actually land. Taking off seemed to be pretty much the same sequence in reverse. WHAT a job! . . Got chatting to a dog walker for ages. Heard a long convaluted tale of how a bunch of neighbours had all BADLY fallen-out over - well - initially frankly a bit of trivial nonsense! It'd all apparantly unhappily escalated, including 'on-line' stuff, into a proper police-involvement type of unpleasantness!!! SUCH a shame people gotta end up behaving like that. Once they allow it to get that bad, there really is no fixing it. For evermore, there's probably going to be an 'unpleasant atmosphere' between the residents of that street as a result! Another 'broken neighborhood' of people keeping themselves to themselves, locked away in their own little worlds!! :o( Sad - and god knows, I should know. . returned via the store for supplies . . . PCd this. Interrupted around 1:30pm by Bella barking and the postman calling. Yayyy - the new satellite dish quad LNB AND the flush bolts for the door were both delivered. Excellent. I'm hungry, it's raining, and it's a bit late to start 'major works', so it'll all wait for another day I think. The LNB does look pretty cheap, but as long as it actually works, who cares. The flush bolts appear to be ok, and when just held in my hand, DO have a nice action, and will hopefully do the job nicely. I think I went for the right ones. They ARE gonna take some awkward, precise rebating work to fit them, that's for sure!!!!!!! Worrying . . PCd this . . couldn't resist having a prod at it and ended up fitting the new quad LNB to the old satellite dish in place of the old one - in the rain!! . . worked ok as before on the already in-place TV lead, TV, so I guess it's gonna do the job ok. . . ate chopped ham and pork and mayo sandwiches, crisps, a banana and half a buttered golden syrup cake. . . TVing, just about to have a much needed nap, when all of a sudden there was a knock on the window - at the BACK of the house!!!! Scared me to death! Turned out to be one of next door's garage builders. I really, really REALLY did NOT like having someone walk down my garden, look in and bang on the back window like that. Definitely felt - um - insecure and 'invaded' - but said nothing! . the time had arrived - they needed to remove my carport so they could continue the garage rebuild/soffits/rendering etc. :o( Grabbed some shoes and raced out to - well - at least be some small part of the unwilling destruction of my carport! I thijnk they were intending to remove a big chunck of the supporting timber attached to my garage, but I didn't want that to be removed and encouraged the undoing of a few of the corrugated plastic roof sheet screws/bolts so that the whole thing could be slid out to one side without greatly affecting the intregrity of the garage roof etc too much. A line of metal rafter support brackets were all bent out of shape to facilitate the roof removal, but it turned out all the rafters also had screws through the brackets. Rather than have all manner of damage and destruction done (as surely WOULD have taken place if I wasn't out there 'supervising') I raced to get a hacksaw blade from the garage and ended up sawing through several of the screws myself!! At length, in increasing darkness (!!?) and in a dangerously strong breeze, after having sawn off all the integral supporting uprights and removed some of the garage roof guttering for the forseeable future, the two guys managed to remove the entire roof in one piece - and placed it on one of the tiers of the back garden. It actually fills and covers that entire level of the garden!!!!!!!!! . I'm not happy about any of this at all - but what can I do? There IS some talk about them having approached the insurance company asking for more money to fund a full 'new' rebuild of my carport roof - but I have issues with that suggestion. Even if the insurance DOES cover some sort of re-build, the best I'll end up with is a rebuild of something I'll not be happy with anyway - and certainly wouldn't be anything like what I'd do up there if I had the choice. Anyway - time will tell what becomes of all of that. To be honest, somewhat more of an issue for me is how long everything is taking and how they are kinda doing it all as a bit of a part time project around their other work. It's already all gone on for months - and I've had to negotiate around all the temporary carport roof supports they bolted into my concrete floor, etc! Then there is the having to keep on moving the car thing, the fact that the leaking and rusting out rear car windows/doors are no longer under cover, the 'lashed up' cut and insecure fences, having people coming and going in my garden as they see fit, etc etc. Now a good portion of my garden is unuseable (by Bella) covered in an enormous carport roof! How long is THAT gonna be stuck there now? Seems as though all the 'inconvenience' of the rebuild is being passed on to me!!!! If it's all still like this in several months, I'm really gonna start to lose my goodwill act! I've no control over ANY of it. It's getting me down quite a bit. :o( . . .god I needed a nap, but too late now. . . walked . . TVd . . dug the old sky box and a scart lead out of the cupboard, and temporarily attached it to the TV and new LNB and had a spin around all the available channels. I don't believe it! Am I gettin old and senile and losing my grip, or have they actually reduced the available freeview channels since I last used it? Not sure which - but suffice it to say, as far as I could tell, there was absolutely nothing to be gained by having it connected again. The 'Atlantic' channel I'd particularly hoped would be freely available, isn't - and everything else is already available on the freesat tuner in the TV. Oh well - that was money for the new LNB just thrown away then! Fool!! :o( . disconnected everything and put the sky box back in the cupboard. (Actually - on the subject of going old and senile - I AM increasingly aware of a decline in my mental abilities! Amongst other things - typing this, I tend to be increasingly typing in the manner of someone with dyslexia kinda!!?? Letters in words round the wrong way all the time!? Nothing I can do about it I guess. I'd be more worried if I WASN'T aware - but then I wouldn't be worried would I!!???? lol I'll settle for my cancer/heart attack in BGdns 'young', rather than dementia old thank you!). . TVd struggling to stay awake, feeling cold and suddenly increasingly down. Cold winter dark. . . ate bowls of sugary muesli before to bed at 11pm.
29 - Up around 7:45am. . PCd a bit of this as a bit of a gale blew outside and rain started to arrive . . .walked in full weather gear but somehow managed to pretty much miss the rain. Very windy! . carried on down town to tour the charity and DIY shops. Blimey - the first charity shop I came to, turned out to be worth spending an unexpected bit of money in. First of all, there were TWO computer keyboards in the window! One was a straightforward silver and black Labtec Y-SN47 with a 'normal' keyboard socket for 2, the other was an almost all black, all singing all dancing Logitech Elite Y-BF38 with a USB type socket for 2.50!! Despite having won that auction for the keyboard on e-bay the other day, and still hopefull I WILL eventually end up getting my hands on it (!), given the way I wear them out and how the two charity shop ones were both acceptable to my preferred PC room colour scheme - for that price I figured I may as well snap them BOTH up (in the full knowledge I was taking a risk with the USB socketed one - because my damned stupid broadband modem seems to use up almost ALL available USB resources in one foul swoop! I SO need to read up and learn and get to the bottom of how to remedy that situation!)!! Going into the shop to buy the keyboards, I also spotted a pair of good condition size 10 'Vans' trainers for 5! So - I ended up walking out of there with two PC keyboards and a pair of shoes, all for 9.50!! . . carried on up the local hardware place looking to see if they had any brass, 150mm flush mount, lever bolts for the french door project. Suprisingly they DID have a pair in there. Unsuprisingly they were (9ish each) around double the price I could get them on e-bay. I 'may' have been tempted to pay the higher price just to be able to get on with things, but one of them also looked as though it was a little bent in part, so I resisted. Checked in Jewsons on the return home, but they had none in stock and were even more expensive! I guess I'll be ordering some off the internet then! . . . luckily returned home before the rain set in again, although overheating badly in all my rain gear. . A good force 8/severe gale force 9 going on, according to the coastguard maritime safety broadcast!! . . damn - that'll teach me NOT to rely on the charity shop staff handwritten ticket, and not get my glasses out and have a proper look for myself! The trainers are a US size 10 - which equates to a UK size 9! Having said that, they are so thick with padding, rather than take them back, with a strategic loosening of the laces, I think I SHALL be able to wear them (as am I, while typing this). The Labtec keyboard appears to work fine, although one of the tilt-up feet on the underside IS missing, so I can't tilt it up as I'm used to doing. No big deal. An unexpected plus for me with my increasingly failing eyesight, is how the letters on the keys are somewhat bigger than the worn out ones on the Microsoft keyboard. The fancy Logitech USB keyboard immediately overpowered my limited USB resources (as I'd suspected would happen) so I've yet to try that out. Despite the 'issues', I remain pleased with my purchases. . . PCd looking at door bolts. Pretty quickly went ahead and ordered a pair of 'LEVER ACTION FLUSH SLIDE BOLT FOR REBATED DOUBLE DOORS. SIZE: 150MM X 19MM. FINISH: BRASS' for 11.45 including postage off e-bay. Actually not the cheapest, but hopefuly 'slightly' more robust and better quality as a result? . wasted a bunch of time looking at brass door handles. I can't seem to make up my mind what sort to go for! Ridiculous getting all bogged down in such a small detail, but I AM going to be a little choosey in what I go for, for aesthetic as well as practical reasons. (I already have a mismatch of different unpleasant handles on the doors upstairs versus downstairs!) Because of the 'folding flat against the diner wall' thing, I want handles that have a minimum practical stand-off/protrusion from the face of the door. For aesthetic reasons, I think I also want a 'long backing plate' descending below the handle. Sadly, I'm gonna have to spend more (excrutiatingly boring!) time looking, before I commit to the considerable expense of buying four. . . PCd this at length for ages - and there went the day!! . . .ate chopped ham and pork sandwiches, crisps and shortbread biscuits. . headachey. Napped until just before the 7pm alarm, and woke with the same headache. . walked feeling pretty yucky. A cold, clear, star-filled sky evening . . . TVd a bit before eventually mustering the energy to shift furniture, peel back a bit of the carpet, and get an initial undercoat of paint on the living room side of the doorway and associated new skirtings, etc. Touched a bit of filler on a couple of noticeable graft-joins on the doors before eventually cleaning brushes etc and calling it quits well after 11pm. MY critical eye can see a bunch of 'issues' with the door frame and trim on that side which would benefit from further work, but overall I guess it's worked out reasonably ok and almost certainly wouldn't be noticeable to anyone else. All in all, it just looks as though it would benefit from some serious 'decorating', which I am embarassed to admit, is usually where I just stop and leave things for - um - ever! Just need to get those lever bolts and some handles successfully fitted, and I'll be VERY happy with what I've acheived. It all REALLY has transformed the place. I like it lots. Shame about the furniture!! lol . . checked in on the PC looking for a reply from the keyboard seller, and STILL nothing! :o( . ended up doing my usual searches on e-bay just after midnight and bumped into a recently listed 'scanner stand' with a buy-it-now including postage of 9.99. I'd been on the lookout for one of those for a while now, but really couldn't justify the high price they always seem to go for, and had resisted. As the way in which I'm 'playing with my radio' toys has evolved, it's become an increasing pain in the rear to me, NOT having 'something' to prop the scanner or VX-2 against when I use and charge it down in the living room alcove. I'd begun to consider even just buying one NEW out of desperation - just to not have the thing falling around all over the place threatening to get damaged, as it so frequently does in that crowded little corner of the room next to where I sit!! The listing said it was 'Brand new never been opened' - and the picture tended to support that. Based on previous experience, I think it was only still available because it had only just been listed at such a late hour. I hesitated - but not for long - and then snapped it up and paid for it straight away. Funny thing was, the seller was apparantly still online, and there was a brief exchange of messages as I continued looking at stuff. His last message was sent (and received) around 1.28am saying "Hi Terry all packed and postage paid, its standard parcels so it probs be friday it gets there. P.s i dont know if you have heard of My website www.hamradiodeals.co.uk its free to join and a good resource for us radio chaps. take a look if your passing." Funny old world innit'. :o) Fingers crossed it's the sort of stand I think it is (which are normally approaching 20 new!). . . didn't finally get off the PC until rediculously early! . . grabbed a few bowls of sugary rice krispies before to bed around 4am - feeling a little 'heady' from the drying paint smells!!
28 - Up around 7am. . PCd this . . .walked. . put in the hours of planing and hand-sanding on the french-door new edge-strip, to make both sides flush with the rest of the door. A frustrating amount of hard work to have to do, before finally - the worrying moment of truth! Is that last bit of timber I used gonna actually be wide enough, or have I messed things up?!! Re-hung the door and yayyyy - it overlapped with the other sufficient to show it was 'just' going to work - but really only just (particularly at the bottom). Boy - WHAT a relief. .ran a pencil down the overlap on both sides and then took the door back off for the nerve wracking final planing off of the 7mm or so thickness of the chamferred waste. . . to cut a long planing/sanding story short, it went reasonably ok and I eventually had it back on its hinges and meeting the other door. Yayyyyyyy. A definite milestone of satisfaction. To be honest, the gap between those doors is probably rather too small and will need to be planed/sanded larger to enable me to fit a coat of paint on the edges, but a decision on that can wait. . . cleared up the big mess of sawdust and enormous pile of shavings and vacuumed for ages. . . ate a pastry slice, crisps, cuppasoup and a little chocolate. . napped poorly (not really asleep) for an hour or so. . . walked after the earlier rain . . . ended up removing some carpet tiles and putting a coat of undercoat on the skirtings and door frame, on the kitchen side of the opening only. The living room side can wait. Easier to do it in two halves like that, not least of all because of having to work around Bella kinda. Couldn't resist putting a bit of paint on bits of the doors too, just to see how well my 'grafts' are going to eventually cover up. Not bad on the whole, although some bits are VERY noticeable and will require much further attention. It always WAS part of my master plan to have to put in lots of painting/building-up over the joins/sanding-back-down, at the final decorating stage. Overall, I gotta say I'm pretty pleased. VERY pleased, after all the absurd amount of work it's all taken to reach this point. :o) Now I have to impatiently pause until I can get some appropriate door lever edge-bolt/handle fittings etc. . dabbed some emulsion on a few 'dings' on the surrounding walls. . washed brushes and cleared up after 11pm. . TVd . . ate a tin of baked beans, grated cheese and four pieces of bread and butter followed by a little chocolate. . .I'd gone to the bother of briefly checking in on the PC at SEVERAL different times throughout the day, fully expecting a reply with an address, from the keyboard seller. Suprisingly, there was none. That's disappointing and frustrating. :o( . . . finally to bed around 2am.
27 - Up just before 8am. . .walked. Breezy. . tested the wood plane on some scrap out in the garden, and concluded it was indeed cutting at an unacceptable angle. Put in quite a bit of time trying to re-set the factory-set blade adjustments. Fiddley awkward thing to get right, but I think I got it pretty close in the end. . . worked on the doors. Planed off the couple of millimeters from the top of the side of the one that's nearly perfect and hopefully squared it up more than it was. 'Touched' the bottom also. Oh boy - do those new blades in that planer make a world of difference. Makes it SO easy to do a precision removal of just a hint of a 'shaving' on each pass. I hadn't realised how bad those old blades had become. . hung that door back on its hinges and measured everything yet again, now concentrating on the other door. Decided to take the considerable risk of using the offcut of skirting timber I have left, to make up the final 'shim' for the side of the door. It's a risk because it has a chamfered edge and isn't quite as wide as I really would prefer, so planing out that chamferred edge is going to dictate how thick it ends up - whether I need it thicker or not!!!!! Hard to explain - but risky! I may well be 'spoiling the ship for a hape'worth of tar'! If it doesn't work out, I'll end up with a larger gap in the middle between where the doors meet than I would have liked. I'm not going to know until it's all sanded down and rehung!!!!! :o| . . eventually screwed and glued that last bit of timber on the side of the door despite the risk. . . slow getting going again but eventually did the long laborious job of hand sanding the top and remaining side of the frame on the living room side, to 'round over' the bit of detailing I want (with the grand prix on the TV - behind me). It was around 6pm before I called it quits. . . I think it'd been a pretty mild, sunny day for the most part - but I kinda missed it. Clear skies saw the temperature drop dramatically after dark to low single figures C. . . walked in hat and gloves. Very cold but a clear star filled sky, and not a breath of wind. Quite pleasant . . . TVd a bit. The forecast for the coming week is all strong winds and rain. Given the forecast, I felt I couldn't delay (damn - I'd wanted to get that LNB and associated cables fitted before I did it) - mustered up the energy to get overalled and masked up, and got under the floor, and put in at least an hour under there, stuffing bits of fibreglass insulation into all the draught producing gaps around the living room floor. Actually succeeded in doing so around the ENTIRE perimeter of the living room floor. Satisfying to have finally got round to doing that. I can't imagine it'll make a huge difference, but every little helps. I've a big wadd of insulation left in the garage, so at some point I'll have to have a go at doing the same around the remainder of the ground floor. . showered off the dust and fibreglass sticking into me all over the place. . briefly checked in on the PC and oh wow - I'd won the PC keyboard auction! I'd totally forgotten that was ending earlier. I'd won it for 99p! :o) The seller had even messaged me - "Hi, just noticed you leave near to me, would you wont to collect it and save postage then?" Mailed the seller back asking if I COULD pick it up from wherever, sometime. I await his response. . TVd. WITHOUT the fire on - with the hallway doors to the living room/kitchen area closed (and with the heat from Sally and I, the TV (considerable!), the fridge and freezer etc and with no wind outside - and with the 'heat store' effect of the sun having heated the walls (hill?) up during the day perhaps and with next door presumably having their heating on), the indoor temperature rose to around 16C with down to only 3C outside. Blimey - that isn't bad is it. . . ate a trio of ham, grated cheese and mayo rolls, crisps and chocolate. . to bed after midnight.
26 - Up around 7:40am feeling very not so good . . walked . . mowed the lawns (very overdue!) and did the mountain of dishwashing chores until Mum called in with the paper and food donations, for a coffee and chats. . . ate salami, mayo and grated cheese sandwiches, crisps, a cuppa soup, banana and some chocolate. . napped . . walked in the breezey gusts . . TVd/PCd and ended up prodding around on e-bay. It IS an addiction!! . eventually FINALLY got round to ordering myself a new LNB for my satellite dish at last. A "Genuine MK4 QUAD LNB For Freesat, FreesatHD, Sky, Sky+ & SkyHD. FREE Legacy Adaptor & 4 x 'F' Type Connectors" for 5.15 including postage. I actually only wanted a twin, but it appears they have all gone quad these days, and it was cheaper to get this lot. With luck, that'll enable me to rig up and run my old sky box again (only freeview of course), alongside the freesat TV. I'm sure (from memory) even if it's only one or two, there WILL be a slight difference in the available channels - and hopefully it'll make that Atlantic channel with the Brixham 'Fish Town' program available to me. We'll see. .wasted my time bidding on something else on e-bay. It'd been sat there with no bidders for days. An old brass barometer and thermometer. The thermometer was broken, but the barometer bit looked rather desireable, specifically in terms of the actual design and lettering on the face of the instrument. Would have been a real nice one to mount on something else - with my clock maybe? i.e. gradually getting the bits to make up my own clock/barometer type thingy. I sat and watched the end of the auction, and even inched up my minimum bid just a handful of seconds from the end - just in case. Despite that, YET again, I was outbid in the last couple of seconds. It never ceases to amaze me how sought after barometers are. There are clearly lots of people building them up out of parts too! What with my late bid increase, and the heavy postage, I bet the guy who won that is a bit pissed off at me (although it was still probably incredibly well worth around the 10 he paid)! Sheesh - the amount of time I've wasted through searching for and bidding on such things. I'm gonna HAVE to stop playing with e-bay!! Having said that, I DID put a token 2 maximum bid on a Microsoft RT2300 PC keyboard. It was listed by someone very local, would be a straight replacement for the one I currently have with the letters wearing off, and if I won it, would hopefully be something I could walk to collect and save on the postage. No one had yet bid (everyone has laptops these days don't they) so I figured it was worth a bit of a cheap shot. . . ate Mum donated sausage rolls, crisps and bowls of rice krispies immediately before to bed just after 3am.
25 - Up around 7:20am . . PCd a bit of this and that . . walked . . trouble finding the energy to get going on anything, and ended up calling Mum and suggesting I have a go at gluing up her broken kitchen drawer. I feel as though that's hanging over me and just want to get it out of the way. . . walked up Mums with Bella. Just up the road a 'relatively' new dog owner neighbour in the street (whos house I pass, back and forth twice a day) went out of his way to engage me in conversation and 'congratulate me' on the noticeable improvement in Bellas behavior since I've had her!! He said something along the lines of how people are quick to judge and criticise when a dog is badly behaved, and seldom acknowledge when someone has worked hard at improving its behavior. That was rather nice of him I thought. Little does he know (I DID tell him! lol) the trouble I continue to have ALL THE TIME to get Bella anywhere near under control!! I suppose I have to admit she HAS got 'better' - but it's still a struggle, and I have a constant back/left arm/chest ache as a result. (Actually - I've been increasingly feeling the 'chest ache' may well be the smoking and DIY dust having finally put paid to me - but there's no point in doing anything about it - I'll cross that bridge when 'it' happens!) Worthy of mention here perhaps, that her wound is now all healing nicely. It's furring over with her strange fine, browny underfur, and the 'lumpiness' of it has also mostly flattened down. She no longer pays it any attention (although IS scratching a lot - again - already!!) In short, it's well on the mend and once her fur has grown a bit longer, will hopefully largely disappear (albeit with a bit of a 'comb over'! lol). . . . installed myself in Mums garage with her ktchen drawer and tube of superglue and spent ages just trying to figure out the best way to tackle trying to glue it up. Ideally I would have taken the whole thing apart and gradually glued and built it back up, but I couldn't figure out quite how it came apart, and eventually didn't dare run the risk because of the obvious 'brittleness' of the old plastic! . eventually gave it my best shot and emptied the tube of superglue into it as best I could. It can't have made things any worse, but I don't imagine it'll hold together and be particularly useable for long. :o( . . returned home after 1am with a couple of big old carborundem sharpening stones from Dad's garage to add to my tool collection. . ate a whole packet of miniature Mum donated pork pies, crisps, banana and some chocolate . . napped the whole afternoon away! . . walked . . TVd while having a go at hand sharpening all my wood chisels on Dad's carborundem stones. I'm not good at doing that!! - but I think I made them 'somewhat' sharper than before I started. A cheap electric bench grinder would be a far better solution I'm sure. . . hadn't intended to, but somehow ended up on the PC trawling e-bay adverts - for hours!! Pretty much went through absolutely every local auction listing!!! A few 'temptations', but the same old same old of lack of means to transport, prevents me getting serious. :o( . . ate salami, mayo and grated cheese sandwiches, crisps, banana and biscuits before to bed around 3am.
24 - Up around 5:50am, woken by some noise or other? . . PCd a bit - having a bit of a look at planer blades and the like. They are NOT cheap!! . . PCd this at length . . . before walking, I had a close look at the writing on the outside of the box the planer came in, just to check what size blades it said it had. On the box it said it came with a spare drive-belt AND blades!? Ok - it's been many years and a house move, but I just can't believe I'd have thrown away or lost such spares (for such a 'prized possession')??? I need to locate the instructions (hopefully in my old four-ring binder, which back in Bristol, I started to try to get serious with keeping safe in, in one place, all such instruction-books for EVERYTHING I had) and see if the spares are with them. . . walked with an empty rucsack and eventually carried on down town, for a tour of the charity shops and to buy some tins of dog food. Popped in the local DIY place looking for planer blades, but they too had none. :o( . bumped into 'singing man' who started chatting - at length - as he always does. I stood there for as long as I reasonably could - but eventually got all up tight about the waste of time and being little more than a 'scratching post' for someone elses ego - and of course the wrestling to control impatient Bella. I may have offended him based on his expression, because I eventually just clumsily drew the conversation to a close by saying 'enough, enough, I gotta go' and walking away! :o| He's a decent enough chap - but the last person you need to encounter if you have stuff to do. . eventually struggled home with nine tins of dog food (had the last three from one store and six from another) and just a few supplies . . ended up just sitting around in front the TV for an hour or two, feeling tired-out and really not up to starting anything AT all. . Eventually had a look for my instructions binder, found it and quickly found the planer instruction book, but sadly no spare belt or blades. It DID at least give explicite instructions on how to change the blades. Good job - never having done it before and having no idea how, I almost undoubtedly WOULD have ended up trying to unscrew the two little hex screws on each of the blade clamps (whatever they're for), which the manual stated are factory-set and shouldn't be touched! Hang on a minute!! Oooh, oooh, ooooohhh. Can it be? If I'm reading it right, it suggests those blades are DOUBLE sided!! Raced to the garage for a miniature spanner to fit the blade clamp locking bolts, and eventually with some little difficulty, managed to remove the blades and confirm they WERE double sided and reversable. So THERE are the two 'spare' blades. How super cool is THAT. Cleaned everything up as best I could, touched the duff blades with some emery cloth to remove the burrs, and got them clamped back in position, 'new' side up. Cutting my thumb on one in the process was a good sign. lolol Yayyy. We're back in business (when I can next muster the energy). Having said that, I'll have to test it out on some scrap, because it looks suspicously like those blade clamps aren't sitting quite straight (if they ever were! - I have my doubts, which 'could' explain why it's always been a struggle for me to keep a 90 degree angle on thin edges I've planed!). THAT is what those little hex screws are all about. . now the pressure is off - and I know a little more about what I'm actually after, I can seek to buy some replacement blades at my leisure. Well - I'll be damned. :o) . . . PCd a bit of this, definitely having a 'day off' - with a sandwich and a nap looming . . .somehow ended up piddling around on the PC for hours and then it was kinda too late to nap . . ended up feeling frozen, even though it wasn't particularly cold. Lack of food and all that sitting round motionless at the PC I guess. Dared to put the fire on in the living room for a bit. Warmed the room up in no time with both french doors closed. My feeling all cold and unusually warming the room up like that, did enable me to become particularly aware of where I have another major draught issue. In the front bay where I have a bunch of cables exiting through a socket box for the TV aerials etc. For ease of messing around with those cables, I've never bothered putting any sort of face plate on the socket box. What that means is, the conduits leading to that box are simply open to the under floor area. I've a clock with a thermometer positioned in that area in my TV unit, and the thermometer always reads a degree or so BELOW what my little indoor/outdoor thermometer reads just a short distance away. I'd always put it down to the cheapo innacurate thermometers and the small amounts of heat generated by various bits of equipment - but now I think maybe not. I need to get under there and stuff some easily removed fibreglass in at the base of those conduits - and/or buy another of those brush type facias for the socket. . ate a pack of salami in six pieces of bread and butter sandwiches, a packet of crisps, a banana and some shortbread biscuits . . walked . . TVd/guitarred the evening away . . ate multiple bowls of mostly rice crispies with huge amounts of sugar . . TVd until bed around midnight.
23 - Up around 7:30am . . <15C in / 6C out . . PCd a bit of this . . walked. Back via the local builders to buy another couple of metres of green oxide sandpaper for 4.20. . spent the day sanding down both sides of the graft on the edge of the door, to be smooth and flush and hopefully ultimately invisible. Bloody hard work for hours, but I guess it went ok. . dared to try to use the knackered planer to take off just a little more from the bottom of the door, before eventually getting it back on its hinges (again) to see where I stand. . well - I gotta say, I think that's turned out pretty well. (This is pretty much where I SHOULD have been on just day two - if it hadn't been for having to iron out all the badly worked edges, thanks to the previous owner!!) It still 'just' touches the top of the carpet fibres as it swings open, so I'll ideally need to take a little more off the bottom - but can't very well until I sort out the planer and get some new blades. (Doing the 'botch' thing of swinging it back and forth over some sandpaper DID improve things as a temporary measure.) In terms of the actual new width of the door, and the crucial left hand edge (where it will eventually meet the other door in the middle of the opening), it really is oh so VERY close to being exactly right!! At the top it is no more than around 2.5mm wider than at the bottom. Frankly, for such a small amount, I really could easily get away with just leaving it like that and calling it quits, rather than run the risk of messing it up trying to take that off and square it up! I'm very pleased. Having said that, in order to eventually have BOTH doors almost identical in width - taking off maybe a millimeter or more along the entire edge (as well as sorting out that 2.5mm 'slope' ) would be 'ideal'. With only the left hand door to just now add a bit of width to, the current (uneven) crucial gap between the meeting of doors is somewhere in the region of a mere 8mm! Given the amount of work I've already done - that is gonna be a 'relatively' small amount of work - albeit, perhaps THE most critical part of the whole project, because how close and straight that gap ends up is gonna be what is most noticeable when its all done and painted up. Trouble is, to do it (maybe even using the strip of left-over skirting timber offcut I already have!?), I am ABSOLUTELY going to need my electric planer. There is NO way I can even attempt it without. It simply would NOT be possible. So - everything is going to have to be on hold until I can get some new planer blades sorted out. How frustrating is THAT! :o( So, SO close - but all of a sudden all out of reach! Oh well - I guess I really do need a break. I've been doing absolutely nothing else for what seems like weeks now! I guess I'll be able to use the 'down time' to attend to the finishing-off and rounding over of the living-room frame detail, and start moving towards getting some undercoat on some of it. . . . vacuumed up for ages around 5pm, trying to get the place reasonably habitable again, because this is how things are gonna have to sadly remain for a while. . . ended up sat at the dining table with coffee and cigs for AGES, just looking at the doors - sometimes open, sometimes closed - feeling, at last, pretty satisfied with progress. . . walked and stopped by the store on the way home, specifically for a pack of sausages, which for some reason I had a strong desire to be eating. . . squeezed out the last tablespoon of wine from the now empty box, and cooked up the WHOLE pack of eight thick sausages with chips!! . . ate the sausages and chips . . TVd/guitarred . . showered and got clean for the first time in a while (!) . . . ate the other half of the Mum donated butter and rum cake . . to bed around 12:30am.
22 - Up at 8:20am . .walked. Back via the local store for supplies . . slow getting going. Mum called to touch base and say she'd bought some supergluefor her 'no hurry' kitchen drawer repair . . sanded back the top door-corner graft flat and square in situ, and then meticulously measured everything again, to work out how much timber needs to be added down the side of each door, to have them more or less equally sized and meet in the middle. Confirmed a long ago measured 15mm for one door, 10mm for the other. . left Bella at home and walked up the builders yard and closely studied all of their available timber, with my glasses on and a metal ruler in hand. As usual - they had nothing appropriately sized. . ended up buying a 2m piece of planed (19x100mm BEFORE planing!!??) skirting which was pretty much 15mm in thickness. Risky being so 'thin' rather than a bit oversized - but it'll just HAVE to do. Also bought a 500ml tube of wood adhesive - all for 7.49. They didn't have any planer blades - nor did the local hardware store. A hire place near the builders yard was worth an ask I was told. Went in and asked - and the guy behind the counter proceeded to get out one of the hire machines to have a look at the blades. The machine he got out had blades in it in worse condition than mine! It was at least useful to see that the blades looked pretty much the same as on my machine - so it may well be they are kinda standard types/interchangeable and I'll probably be able to get some for mine - somewhere? . . .roughly cut up the skirting out in the garden with the fret saw, and eventually ended up with a plain, oversized door thick strip - and lots of waste. . eventually screwed and glued it to the side of the one door I'm concentrating on most at the moment. . cleared up and vacuumed by around 4pm. . ate a banana and then a whole small tin of ham in sandwiches, with a bag of crisps and then a little chocolate . . napped until just before the alarm at 7pm . . walked. Suddenly quite a bit colder than of late. Down to around eight C with a clear, star filled sky. It's been so mild for so long, that suddenly felt rather cold and I didn't hang around looking at the sky for 'too' long. . TVd . . ate a meat pastry slice with a tin of baked beans and grated cheese followed by half a mum donated rum/butter cake . . TVd/guitarred until bed around 1am.
21 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up at 7:30am . . walked . . wrestled with the doors all day again, sanding and planing. . I'd thought I'd imagined it , but when planing some of the timber off the bottom of the doors-graft, I'd thought I'd seen sparks! I'd assumed it was just a trick of the light and was in fact just bits of the wood flying off. Well - it turns out that the electric planer blades have decided to turn to butter, and have all fallen to bits!!!!? Disaster! How the hell am I gonna be able to carry on and do what I have to do without that - right in the middle of everything!!!!! WHAT a disaster! What are gonna be the chances of being able to get hold of replacement blades for that no-'name', cheap make of planer? Ohhh dear. :o( . . carried on as best I could, despite the planer starting to badly carve-up and mark any timber I put it near! . .

. . had to cut a whole section out of the top of one side of the door, to graft and glue in an oversized piece of timber for eventual sanding down - just because that corner had been made all 'curved' by a previous owner!!!

re- hung the doors only to find the floor uneven and both jamming part way through their swing!! Would you believe it!!! Got myself in a bit of a frustrated state!! I've really had enough of this nightmare!

BB called. Said I'd call her back later. . walked . . ate a pastry slice, crisps, banana and bowls of co-co pops. . . touched base with BB . . TVd/PCd until around 3am before bed.
20 - Up at 8:30am . . PCd a bit . . walked late . . returned and promptly checked on the PC and found I'd been outbid on the barometer. I assumed I would be, which was why I'd been so 'casual' about putting my 10 bid on. It went for 12.50 (inc postage). Shame - the brass 'instruments' looked quite nice and could have made a nice set with my clock, for mounting on something else. Amazing to me how desireable barometers seem to be on e-bay. Always lots of people prepared to bid on them . . spent the whole day working on the doors again. Laboriously meticulously cut some scrap timber in the garden with the circular saw and at length, managed to screw and glue it to the bottom of door number two after having planed the uneven edge back straight-ish. Took hours, but I think it went ok. It's VERY close to the length of the door I've already done - and that one only needs a couple of milimeters planed off to be the right length for the opening. Put in more hours cutting little oversized slivers of timber to fill the old hinge scars on the sides of both doors. Just glued them in place using parcel tape to hold them in position. So - that'll be a lot of sanding down for tomorrow - again!! Called it quits and cleared up and vacuumed, again, around 5pm. SUCH a long slow battle - but bit by bit, I WILL get there if it kills me!!!!! :o( . . PCd briefly . . walked . . TVd . . drank the last glass and a bit of red wine from the box and felt very tipsy. . ate a trio of ham and mayo rolls with crisps and a mug of cuppasoup and then a little chocolate .. in bed by 10pm!!
19 - Up at 7:30am . . PCd a bit of this . . . walked. Found a penny. Stopped by the post office on the return and drew out some cash - because I had none! . . ended up back at sanding down the french door some more. Boy - do I wish I had a belt sander. Doing it all by hand like this is backbreaking exhausting hard labour! Having said that, after todays labour, the big bit of timber I've added at the bottom IS now starting to look like a part of the door and as though it may work out ok - and gives me hope my plan WILL ultimately succeed. I think I've decided I am going to BUY some long lengths of NEW timber for doing the sides. I've nothing long enough in my woodpile, and trying to do it with multiple salvaged short bits as I HAD been planning, would be an added nightmare and just doesn't make sense . . Mum called in with the paper and food donations for a coffee and chats . . applied a touch of filler to the door and then slightly modified and made deeper the recess of the catchplate on the door to the hallway, which has been infuriatingly catching for ages, making me bang the door every time I close it! . vacuumed up sawdust - again! . . ate pork pies, crisps, banana and biscuits . . napped deeply until the alarm at 7pm . . walked and sat around with radios and coffee and chatted to another dog walker for ages . . back after 10pm . . PCd e-bay (casually (?!) put a 10 bid on a barometer of interest!!??!!!!) and then PCd this at length until 3am!! . . ate bowls of cereals (silly little rip-off 'variety' boxes again! Sadly, Mum had bought me two more packets before I'd managed to tell her absolutely NO more!!) before eventually to bed around 4am.
18 - Up at 7am . . PCd this . . walked . . reluctantly back working on the one french door I've started on. Did a bunch of laborious sanding down before ending up applying some filler here and there - which then prevented me from doing anything more with it until it all 'goes off'. Couldn't muster the energy to make a start on the other, and ended up piddling about rounding-over a bit of the detail on one side of the living room side of the doorframe, by hand with just sandpaper! Took hours to do just that third. . ended up kinda 'burning out' and feeling all miserable. I'm frankly sick and tired of spending ALL my time working at all of this for SO long - with no end to it in sight at all! The more I work on those doors and the closer I inspect them, the more problems I seem to be finding - mostly in terms of where they've been badly and unevenly planed down by someone before. Just to get them into a state where I have a straight enough edge to start thinking about adding on some extra timber is gonna take many days of work the way I'm going!! :o( I'm just fatigued with the battle - and constantly living in such a mess. . I think I just need a break for a bit. . propped the door up in a kitchen alcove, dumped all the tools in a heap in the conservatory, vacuumed up all the sawdust for ages and just called it quits for a while - until such time as I can face having another bash at it all. I'm just worn out. :o( . . .ate tinned ham sandwiches, crisps, banana and chocolate biscuits. . napped poorly for an hour or so . . walked . . just sat in front the TV all evening hardly moving . . drank a glass of red wine . . ate a chicken pastry pie, crisps and bowls of co-co pops before to bed at midnight.
17 - Up around 7:30am. 16C in/7C out. . put a load of laundry on . . walked. Blue sky and low sun. . The coastguard put out a 'securitay' warning on the radio about a partially submerged obstacle/hazard in the water actually IN the bay. A member of the public had apparantly reported either 'a tree or shipping-container' floating in the water just off the coast over by Torquay. The sea was a pretty much flat calm, and suprisingly the 'object' was even visible from BGdns. Used the camcorder as binoculars to zoom in for a closer look, but at such a distance it wasn't possible to make out what it was. I don't think it was a container - more like a tree - and a big one at that!! Intriguing - and really quite a danger. . . found a dead frog stranded on the back patio :o( SUCH a shame I can't make 'frog escape steps' (like I did back in Bristol) - but it just isn't possible out there because of the lay of the land. :o(. . put laundry on the line in the strong breeze and did two more loads to add to it later, as I finally started working on extending and ironing out all the issues with one of the french doors. Used the covered dining table as a work bench! . Planed the bottom of the door straighter and then screwed and glued the slightly oversized 'extension' bit on the bottom and then spent hours and hours carving out little bits of timber to plug and glue into the old lock mechanism holes, old screw holes, etc, etc. . Mum called to say one of her kitchen cabinet door hinges had broken! Told her I was up to my eyeballs in it, so would have to have a look later! . . spent the whole day pretty much non-stop working on that door up until around 5pm - and seemed to make hardly any progress at all!!!! Ended up feeling a little overwhelmed with the amount of work it's all gonna take. Because of all the areas that were badly planed down by the previous owner, just to try to rectify those bits is gonna take several days of work chiselling out, gluing in, sanding down - never mind the bigger job of trying to make them longer and wider!! Daunting! :o( I'm feeling rather sick and tired of spending ALL my time working on this door opening thing now! It's even the first thing that goes through my mind when I wake every morning!!!! I'm longing to see an end to it all - and there really is no end in sight yet!! :o( . . tidied up some of the tools but left sawdust all over the kitchen! Not much point in clearing up, only to start all over again tomorrow - and tomorrow and tomorrow!. . brought all the still damp laundry in after dark. . walked just a 'little' earlier than usual. Called in at Mums on the way back. Her kitchen cupboard door hinge was suprisingly actually broken. A piece of the metal the mounting screw goes into had actually snapped off! Twenty years old, it seemed unlikely she'd be able to get a replacement!! As a temporary measure, I swapped the broken hinge with another from a less-used door, and removed the broken one in its entirety so it could be carried to stores in search of a replacement. . popped out into the garage for a cigarette and to have a bit of a rummage through Dad's tool collection etc. Oh wow - actually found a tupperware hidden amongst all the stuff on one of the shelves, containing spare part bits and pieces for the kitchen. It actually had three or four of the hinges in it! Triumphantly prsesented it to Mum as I returned to the garage to finish of my rummage and to eat a sausage roll, drink coffee and finish my smoke. . fitted a couple of the spare hinges and adjusted doors etc before eventually calling it quits. Her cutlery drawer is ALSO falling apart - but that's gonna have to wait for some other time. I think it 'may' be salvageable after application of a tube of superglue? . . eventually returned home around 9pm, exhausted and dripping with sweat (after unaccustomed exposure in all my layers, to the centrally heated warmth in mums house!), with one of Dads old wood saws and a small carborundum stone which 'may' be useful in attempting to re-sharpen some of my blunt wood chisels. . eventually cooked and ate a pastie and chips, banana and a couple of squares of chocolate. . TVd struggling to stay awake until bed at midnight.
16 - Up around 8:15am. . had a brief 'breakfast' look at e-bay, rain radar, AIS map etc, and then PCd just a bit of this . . walked under dark grey skies again. . TVd having difficulty mustering the energy for anything. . eventually sanded down a bit of the door surround and filler etc on the kitchen side . . spent ages meticulously measuring up the doors and working out what sizes of timber I need to 'pad' them both out. Sorted out a bit of scrap from my woodpile in the garage and cut it down with the circular saw out in the garden to a size appropriate for hopefully lengthening one of the doors. Rain stopped play! . SO dark ALL the time! . ran out of steam and just sat around before eating pate sandwiches, (with a tub of month-past-the-expiry-date pate!), crisps and a couple of chocolate biscuits! . . napped poorly until the alarm at 7pm . . walked. The rain had thankfully stopped. .just before entering BGdns I somehow stood on something unseen as I walked along? Oh NO!! I'm not sure how 'fully' I stood on it - but it turned out to be a frog!!!!!! :o( Really upsetting. Nothing to be done about it - I just kept walking without going back to inspect it. :o( . . . TVd the evening away and eventually drank a glass of red wine. . ate a six pieces of bread and butter pile of pilchard sandwiches, crisps and chocolate before to bed around 1am.
15 - Up around 7:10am. . PCd a bit of this . . walked. Just up the road a woman asked me for my autograph!!???Huh?? I've seen you on TV she said. No you haven't I said. Yes I have she said. We went back and forth like this more than I normally would do, because I was ABSOLUTELY certain I had NOT been on television! Anyway - turns out, according to her, she'd seen me on that Sky Atlantic channel series about 'Fish Town'! Nothing more than an anonymous passer-by in some street shot or other, but apparantly I WAS in there somewhere, complete with Bella! lolol Wonder where and when that was? I don't recall even seeing the cameras. Funny ol'world innit. I'm gonna HAVE to get round to buying myself a twin LNB for my satellite dish (I've been meaning to for months!) so I can connect up my old Sky box again, and maybe get to see some of that series (assuming it's available on Sky-freeview?). . down in the bay it was a boisterous sea, and un unexpectedly strong, cold easterlyish type wind blowing uncomfortably straight into BGdns. Chilly! . felt 'drawn' to tour the charity shops, so went with the flow and carried on down town and did so. . Image of a 3 charity shop clockOoooohhh I'll have THAT! Scored a 'William Widdop' battery quartz wall clock, with a 7" glass face and brass-effect surround, mounted on a thick 9" pine backing piece - in as-new, unmarked condition - for just 3! Couldn't say no really for that price! To be honest, the pine back piece is of no particular interest to me because it doesn't really 'match' anything else in the house. The main reason I bought it was because of the face, glass and brass-effect trim. Based on my recent learning experiment of successfully dismantling the cheap plastic one Mum let me have, it was pretty obvious on the briefest of inspections, I 'should' easily be able to remove the clock from the wood backing. THAT would enable me to perhaps stain the pine to match everything else - OR - of MUCH greater interest to me, would enable me to re-mount the decent looking clock onto a 'backing of my choosing' (and even put in a different quartz movement (radio controlled perhaps?) and hands if I wanted (all 'relatively' cheaply readily available on e-bay!)) . I haven't yet fully formulated a plan in my mind of what would be appropriate, but I DO have it in mind to 'fabricate' my own custom 'thing' (!?) as a feature for the middle of the dining room firebreast, to replace that disgusting cheap barometer thing I bought off e-bay and burned my fingers on. . . also picked up a cheap Focus 'Finial - Chrome finish Towel ring' unused still in its box for 2.50. I desperately need somewhere to hang a hand towel in the bathroom, rather than have to keep wrestling the towel over the edge of the radiator, and constantly having it slip off onto the floor, as I have been for SO long. That should do nicely as a temporary measure for a while (until such time as I start gutting the bathroom!!). All in all, felt like a successful sortie - and worryingly 'validated' the feeling I had of being 'drawn' to tour the charity shops today!! Almost 'hocus pocus'<shudder>!! lololol. :o) . . . TVd a bit while messing around with the clock. Managed to carefully insert my knife beneath the brass effect ring and prise it up, and sure enough, was able to remove the glass and gain access to the face, hands and movement-fixing-nut etc. (actually necessary anyway, because the hour hand wasn't 'quite' perfectly lined up with where it should have been (bloody irritating when they are left like that!), and needed a nudge). Didn't bother dismantling any further, because I'd proved I can. That'll sit around somewhere for quiet a while now (with a speck of tobacco trapped behind the glass! Ooops.) - until the 'right idea for its fate' springs to mind. Ones imagination can run riot. I do NOT intend to 'slim down' for wall-mounting, an old duff guitar I have in a cupboard, and mount the clock in the sound hole, and a thermometer (I'm actively on the look-out for a nice brass one!) on the fretboard - but I 'could'!!! lolololololololol (Actually - worthy of mentioning here those three old, convex brass porthole mirrors I've got on the wall in the living room (one 'modified' to take a clock face) which I scored in a charity shop for just a couple of pounds, and which I'm SO, SO pleased with. On e-bay they are selling for anything over around 20 - EACH!! WHAT an absolute bargain THEY were! I'll never beat THAT for a fantastic charity shop deal!). . . did a bit more of the slow and laborious filling of some of the gaps between the new door frame trim and the walls . . . ate tinned ham sandwiches, crisps, banana and viennise biscuits. . . napped until around 6:30pm . . walked . . TVd/guitarred . . more or less finished-off the big filler job around the doorframe by around 11:30pm . . cooked and ate six thin sausages, chips and half a tin of baked beans followed by a little chocolate . . TVd until finally to bed after 2:30am.
14 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up late around 8:40am!. . . walked in the overcast grey. . . well - I've been putting it off and putting it off, but today I figured I'd better have a go at getting a ladder up, over and across the conservatory, to have a look at the inaccessible end of the guttering by next-door's extension. With some of the torrential rain we've had of late, water has been deafeningly cascading over, straight down onto the thin plastic (leaking!) conservatory roof. From ground level, I can see the gutter and the lead valley channel that leads-in from next door's roof is well blocked, and actually has some blades of grass sprouting up! When did I last clear that? I've had to do it once before, since I've been here, so that's not 'particularly' long!! It's a 'weak point'. A re-occuring significant problem to me - and all down to their badly built extension, which directs all the rainwater from THEIR roof into MY gutter!!!!! :o( . . struggled with the ladder resting on the conservatory guttering (threatening to detroy it!) and jammed against the bottom of one of the pergola posts, and eventually got at least one side of it propped up against the house wall , next to the bedroom window, adjacent to the offending corner and end of the guttering, at a ludicrously dodgey LESS than 45 degree angle!!! There was a lot of creaking and bouncing around as I carefully inched my way up it, but it managed to get me up there ok. Cleared a GOOD bucketful of debris straight away! Gave the site a damn good inspection again. It IS all down to how that damned extension was built onto next door! The top of their parapet wall should have been continued right into the tiles of the main roof, with an appropriate bit of leadwork to direct the rain around it - into a lead valley on THEIR side, and my guttering on the other. Instead of that, the wall stops short, and badly worked lead has been fashioned to take all the rain from THEIR main roof down into MY gutter!? As if that isn't bad enough, the leadwork in that area has been screwed up and actually forms something of a bowl shape with a ski-slope like 'spout' emptying into the very end of my gutter! In torrential rain (I checked with a couple of buckets of water from my rainwater barrel) the water shoots down and gets 'launched' into the air and directly over the gutter and down onto my conservatory roof!! A stupid, stupid 'little' detail which is causing me no end of hassle! Unfortunately, to rectify the problem now, would be a SERIOUS bit of building-type work requiring removing lots of the roof tiles, cementing in extra bits of masonary, a whole reworking of the thick lead, and adding a large piece more!! In short - all pretty much out of the question - so 'I' am stuck with the problem!!! Whoever built that extension should be bloody well shot! Wonder how it passed building controls like that? . I DID have a bit of a go at very slightly bending and altering the 'spout' type area of lead - but all being so thick and fully under the tiles etc, it wasn't possible to improve things much, if at all. The 'bowl' type area remains, and WILL inevitably collect all the debris from the roof and block-up AGAIN! It's only a matter of time - and 'I' will have the same problem all over again. :o( . . thinking that I could at least maybe delay the inevitable, and wanting to make the most of having access to that oh SO difficult to reach corner, I put in a LOT of time up that ladder armed with a scraper and a stiff-bristled sweeping brush, and did my very best at removing as much of the moss, lichen and debris from the roof tiles as far up as I could reach - on both my main roof AND the neighbour's, AND their extension!! To do a proper job I would have had to put the roof ladder up, and I was NOT about to start doing THAT, and run the risk of breaking the oh SO fragile little tiles - which have a pastime of breaking with the lightest of touches. Perched on the ladder and peeking over the guttering like I was, the sweeping brush at arms length enabled me to clear probably only the bottom fifty per cent of the roof slopes. Figured it was worth carrying on along the gutter, so I eventually ended up doing as high up as I could reach, all the way along MY bit of the roof and just past the downpipe outlet. It should maybe help things just a little - can't hurt (although one piece of rooftile DID break off, when I quite literally just touched it! Sheesh!). Another bucketful or more of debris added to the earth in a garden border! . . during all this horror, I used a softer sweeping brush to also wash down all the thick green mould (something to do with the local damp climate?) growing on the gutters, part of the back wall of the house, window frames and conservatory roof! Even used the garden hose a little to wash things down, so that's cost me a pretty penny on my already extortionate water bill. :o( Swept up and hosed down all around near the back door, and then finished-up by getting my arm down the stinking outside drain and emptying out the resulting debris from the u-bend. Yuk!!! . Cleared up and called it quits at around 4pm!! Blimey - I hadn't intended doing all THAT today!! At least maybe now I won't be 'quite' so uptight the next time we have some heavy rain - although since I appear to be the custodian of 'THE downpipe', and all the moss and debris covered neighbors roofs in the rank drain into MY gutter, downpipe and drain, I don't think I'll be able to relax much! :o( . how is it possible 'maintaining' this house has become SUCH a full-time job!!!??????? I can't keep up with it all!?! . . . sat around recovering for just a bit before then cooking up six small sausages, chips and half a tin of baked beans. . . PCd a bit of this (and added a couple of photos of the doorframe detail to an earlier unfinished entry). Not enough hours in the day to finish-off previous entries!!!!!! . . walked . .TVd briefly before doing just a little bit of the monster pva/filler-job which needs to be done all around the doors frame trim, where there are lots of gaps because of the unevenness of the walls, etc. . ate bowls of mostly co-co pops . .to bed around midnight.
13 - Woke earlier overheating, snoozed on, then up around 7:30am!!!! . . PCd a bit of this . . walked the woods, which I just don't seem to have the energy for, much these days. Doesn't matter to Bella so it seems. Even sat for a cigarette in the woods, I have to throw her ball! All she wants is to play ball - ALL the time - although she DID go a bit frantic with a bit of squirrel chasing. lol . the top path of that designated circular walk comes back out of the woods through the big field behind the new cricket ground, which was nicely cleared/mown earlier in the year. I was horrified to find that the 'landowner' (whoever he may be) had taken it upon himself to plough part of it up!? I've no idea who that landowner is, but clearly for some reason (trying to sell it for development?) he's suddenly got all arrogant and unpleasant about making sure everyone knows it's his! He'd roughly ploughed the stoney land directly either side of the path right the way across, leaving little more than just a couple of feet width for walkers to 'squeeze' along. Another well trod pathway which followed the edge of the field down along the edge of the woods, with several ways through the old stone wall into the woods and joining with various other paths (which was a marvellous place for blackberrying), he's deliberately ploughed out COMPLETELY, and made all those well trod routes inaccessable. The rest of the field remains untouched. Made me really angry. It looks like just bloody mindedness on his part, as though he's just excerting his power to make a point. That whole area has been largely untouched for many years, and was a very pleasant part of a very popular walk for many people. Really smacks of olde worlde arrogant powerful landowner type behavior, keeping the 'peasants' in their place. If he DOES succeed in selling off that field and having it built on, it'll be an absolute tragedy! :o( Found the whole thing really upsetting. . . put in the hours of work to fix the last two missing bits of skirting to the living room wall, either side of the french doors opening. The inevitable usual of what should have been a quick easy job, turned into a load of time consuming niggley problems. The floorboards on both sides turned out to be pretty uneven, so I ended up back out in the garden having to use the electric plane to shave off a bit of height from both pieces of skirting! The walls were also less than even, and needed a bit of scraping away in parts. . blah, blah, blah - anway, at length, I eventually got those two last pieces screwed and glued into position. Yayyyyyy. Put the flags out! FINALLY - I have a full house of skirting boards where they should be. Actually - with hindsight - although I keep being dismissive of the house surveyor who mentioned missing skirtings in his report, on balance, I guess it WAS something worthy of mention. I mean - really, it HAS been a LOT of hassle reinstating the missing bits. Given you can't just go and buy them anymore (unless at a salvage place maybe?) I can't imagine how anyone else (less DIY inclined) would have managed? What WOULD they have done I wonder? Given the bits that were missing to start with when I moved in, the alterations I've made which meant I needed more, the bits which turned out to be unsalvageable, etc etc, I suspect I've now actually carved and handmade well in excess of twenty feet of the damned things!!!! I DON'T want to have to do any more! . Mum called all excited during the skirtings work. She'd just had a foraging squirrel in her garden - for quite a time! That IS weird for where she is, in amongst all the other houses? Can't imagine where it lives and how it came to be there. . ate a pastry slice, crisps and most of a packet of Mum donated viennise chocolate biscuit things . . a bit late to nap and somehow I managed to muster the energy to put my overalls back on and start work again for a bit! I've long known it was an issue requiring attention, and have been putting it off for quite literally years. The wall between the kitchen and living room has been allowing a SERIOUS amount of draught to come through from the area beneath the floor, where the ends of all the floorboards meet the wall. With the skirtings missing like they have been for ages, whilst I've been making the french doors opening, it's been even more noticeable. Just putting the back of your hand down near those walls meant you could feel the wind blowing through!! It was SO bad, when fitting those bits of new skirting earlier, all the dust I'd been making when scraping off bits of the wall etc, had been blowing back up into the room in a little cloud!!! With hindsight, I can't believe I lived through last winter with it like that! . dug out the one big roll of fibreglass insulation I have left in the garage, and dragged a large section of it down through the narrow hatch under the stairs, and into the area under the floor. Briefly trimmed off a couple of bits of the old, redundant, in-the-way central heating pipes before stuffing some of the insulation in all the appropriate gaps beneath just that wall. I WOULD like to go around the entire downstairs and do every single 'floor edge' in a similar way at some point, but that'll have to wait - and can - since the carpets and skirtings above, everywhere else, mostly take care of the issue. If I had my way, I'd 'lag' and insulate the entire under floor area (somehow?) - AND inside the cavity of the bedroom floors, so it would effectively insulate each individual room, and make them seperate 'zones' in terms of future central heating thermostat control. Sadly I'll probably never have the money, lifespan or energy to ever do all that. :o| . . nasty working on my back with that fibreglass in the confined space under the floor. Promptly threw up once I'd called it quits and re-emerged all covered in filth. . . walked. Just happened to be looking in the right direction to see another fantastic 'slow' moving, big flaming meteorite cross the sky in the direction I'd just thrown Bella's ball (kinda NNW, passing west to east). Breathtaking - and that through a bit of a haze and with a fullish moon in the sky. Made the fireworks going off somewhere across the bay, look so silly in comparison. I envy pilots (on many levels) who must see such things ALL the time. . . drank a glass of wine and got a little tipsy as I do. . TVd/PCd mostly e-bay. A couple of nice wood and glass panelled doors have been re-listed (because they didn't sell for 10 each) - just across town!!!! As if I haven't enough on my plate with the ones I have, but I REALLY would like two more, to replace the solid doors leading in from the hallway. I'd ignored them the first time I saw them listed - but since they didn't sell and were SO local, I started to think 'maybe' - again. Actually ran around with the tape measure for a bit. Eventually decided it sadly wasn't to be. They were 'slightly' too small around, but also heavier AND thicker than required (necessitating triple hinges and sturdy frames). Shame - really nice doors, in excellent condition and just across town. I'll be keeping a lookout for others maybe. . . ate a trio of ham and mayo rolls and crisps before finally to bed around 2am.
12 - Up around 6:20am!!!! . . PCd a bit of this and then radiod with P across town briefly . . walked. No sign of the ship from last night. Very damp, but mild and clearing to sunny spells . . stopped by the builders yard on the return for supplies of 1.5kg of filler and 1ltr of PVA for 8.88. . worked in the garden and garage on sanding and hand-shaping the last two bits of made-up skirting board for the living room wall. Got chatting at length to next door about his garage rebuild, and ended up frustratingly not getting much done. . .phone call from Mum. Ooops - I'd missed her calling in a little earlier than usual! I HAD been kinda relying on Bella to hear the doorbell and bark, but she didn't. . Mum returned with the paper and food donations for chats . . ate mini pork pies, crisps, banana and chocolate . . felt inwardly cold like I so often do (actually not cold at all - still very mild) and very tired. Napped the afternoon away until just before the alarm at 7pm. . . walked and sat around with cigs, coffee and radio for ages, and then for ages more chatting to dog-walker Ts son. . Didn't get back home until after 10pm!! I'd hoped to maybe get those skirtings cut to fit and fixed on the wall today, but too late to start on any of that, so all in all, a pretty much wasted day! :o( . . TVd and guitarred the rest of the evening away . . ate four sausage rolls, crisps, banana and half a dozen miniature boxes of Mum donated mixed cereals. Jeeze - the price of those cereals!! There was only around a normal third of a bowlful in each! There was more packaging than cereal! Absolute rip off. I'll have to make sure Mum doesn't (generously) throw her money away on those for me again! . . TVd until to bed around 1am.
11 - Woke earlier, snoozed on then up around 7:15am!!!! . .aching. Very slow getting going. PCd a bit of this . . walked. . back out in the garden working on the timber door frame 'mouldings'. Managed to trim off a tiny edge from all three peices with the electric jig-saw and clear away the tools and extension lead just before the rain set in again. I had intended to push on and try to laboriously 'round over' the bit of detail on all the timber lengths, but it turns out it's gonna be a LOT more time consuming and laborious than I'd imagined. Suddenly seemed pointless wasting away the whole day on such a little bit of detail, especially considering how difficult it would be trying to do it indoors on the floor of the conservatory or somewhere because of the rain! Figured it would actually be just as easy/difficult to work on it when it's in-situ and actually fixed to the doorframe - so I actually started the job of fitting it all to the frame. NOT as simple as just cutting it to fit and nailing it on!!! Because of the peculiarity of how I've mounted the doors (to fold back flat against the kitchen wall), I'd had to use a wider than normal piece of timber to make the frame - and because I'd been undecided about how to finish-off the living room side of things, I'd left that frame timber oversized for the thickness of the wall. What that meant was, the timber of the edge of the frame protruded out from the living room wall quite a bit. Now I've finally decided to do a proper 'normal' matching trim, that protruding bit of timber needed to be cut back to more or less the level of the wall (allowing for the uneveness of the thickness of the wall!!). . carefully measured up all around and eventually concluded that a good 15mm of the timber needed to be cut off, ALL the way around the double-sized doorframe. Any mistakes and I'd ruin EVERYTHING - and be stuck with it for evermore (or have to tear everything out and start absolutely from scratch - which frankly after all this time and effort is no longer an option!). VERY nerve wracking making that first cut. . it took AGES to do - although probably mostly because I don't own a decent saw! Eventually managed to run the electric jig saw through most of it. The top of the frame where I had to work it all the way along above my head was agony - with all the sawdust falling down directly into my face, around my glasses and into my eyes! . the trouble I ALWAYS have with a jig-saw, is the silly bendy blade, which never EVER gives a square cut through any thickness of timber. The cut edges ended up all over the place and needed further work with the electric plane and sandpapering to salvage the situation!!!

yayyy. Even unfinished, I'm pretty pleased with how that looks. Image of the original 1930s door frame trim, and my handmade 'copy' The 'detailing' ISN'T a perfect match to all the orginal around the house, but it's about as close as I could have hoped for - and will probably look even closer if I can be bothered to finish off the 'rounding over' of that wide bit of detail - and when it's all covered in paint. Good grief - will anyone coming in here ever even 'see it' - but then again, THAT'S what I've been aiming for. Just something that looks as though it's supposed to be there and always has been, along with all the rest - and IS 'unnoticeable'. It's taken a lot of effort and work to be 'unnoticeable'. lolol :o) It's not easy being 'picky' like I am about such things.

Sat for a rest and a coffee for quite a while, just 'admiring' my work. lolol

vacuumed sawdust - at length, as torrential torrential rain absolutely bucketed down!! It was pouring down onto the conservatory roof from the difficult to reach end of the blocked gutter - AGAIN! :o( . . . .

walked after the rain around 8pm. Actually turned into a not unpleasant starry moonlit night. Big (warship?) moored in the bay just off the breakwater it would appear from the three storeys of lights . . . TVd . drank a glass of wine . . ate six pieces of bread tuna and mayo sandwiches, mini cheddars, crisps and chocolate . . to bed around 11pm.

10 - Up around 6:30am!!!! . . walked. The forecast had suggested it'd be raining lots -again - but somehow we escaped it. . figured I'd better muster the energy to make the most of the lack of rain. Contrary to what I'd originally thought, I think it makes sense to leave working on the actual doors for later, and to push on with trying to finish off the living room side of the doors frame between the two rooms. . Left Bella at home and walked up the builders yard for more timber to make up some framing for around the doorframe on the living room side. Ended up buying 6.2m total of 19mm x 75mm skirting/architrave and two meters of different grades of green oxide sandpaper all for 8.99. . . spent the next MANY hours non stop, out in the garden with the router, carving 'detail' into the three long bits of timber. . pushed on and did the same for the last two bits of made-up skirting . .Nasty fiddley, back breaking job!! . slight hint of drizzle in the air briefly at one point, but otherwise suprisingly stayed dry . . . called it quits and swept up the carrier bag full of sawdust around 4:30pm . It almost looks like I threw away more timber than I kept!! All the finishing-off of that roughly shaped timber, and awkward 'rounding over' of one of the bits of detailing is now gonna have to be laboriously done by hand, mostly with sandpaper!! That's gonna take ages and be pretty hard work! :o( Nevertheless, at least all the nasty router work has been successfully done (ANY mistake and I would have had to scrap the piece and postpone everything until I could buy a fresh length of timber to start again!!!! Stressfull to say the least!) and I now have something to work with and aim for, and 'could' do it indoors if the weather turns bad again. . sat around easing my VERY badly aching back for a while . . walked just a little early and sat around with a coffee. Actually suprisingly not a bad evening. . drank a glass of wine and cooked up a couple of burgers in buttered bread rolls and chips . . TVd . . ate a WHOLE Mum donated McVities 'Toffee and Apple' flavoured cake! . . to bed before midnight.
9 - Up around 9:15am!!!! . . walked mostly between the heavier showers . . . Mum called . . TVd/PCd the day away!!!!! SO dark and rainy all day! . . cooked and ate four sausages, three bacon, two eggs, mushrooms, four pieces of bread and butter followed by a couple of squares of chocolate. . napped until the alarm at 7pm. .tu . walked . . just sat pretty motionless in front the TV all evening! . . ate bowls of cornflakes before to bed around midnight.
8 - Up around 8:30am. . . walked in the drizzle and sat around in Bgdns with a coffee . . sat around and then PCd/radiod a bit. Oh dear - it's gonna be another day of doing almost nothing. All dark and grey and drizzley. Just before midday and I can hardly see the letters on my black PC keyboard without the lights on (although sadly they ARE wearing off. Soon be time for YET another new keyboard as a result - again! Infuriating! :o( ) . . drank wine and cooked up a mushroom cheese thing

walked . . cut my hair beard etc . . TVd/PCd . . ate ham, mayo and cheese sandwcihes, crisps, cheddars, banana and chocolate biscuits before to bed around 3:30am.
7 - Up around 7am. . . PCd a bit of this . . walked in a cold feeling, easterlyish wind.. .slow getting going but eventually cut and nailed the three lengths of door-jam timber to the frame, to give the french doors something to close up against. . tidied up just a little and swept up much of the sawdust covering the garden like snow, just to stop Bella laying in it, getting covered in it and then bringing it all into the house! . . ran out of steam and felt real tired and just couldn't find the energy to do anything else at all! It hardly seemed to get light today! . . PCd a bit but felt really cold and couldn't even find the energy for that, and soon ended up just sitting around and TVing etc. . .cooked and ate four sausages in buttered bread rolls and the rest of the packet of Mum donated Cheddars crackers, followed by a square of chocolate . . napped until the alarm at 7pm. Great difficulty wakeing up!? . . walked . . removed and threw away one of the LED spotlight bulbs from the kitchen downlighters. WHAT a TOTAL rip-off they were (with their claims they'd last for years) - and SO expensive! Outrageous. I really have hardly used them at all, and yet BOTH recently went faulty. One eventually died completely whereas the other has only half the LEDs still lighting up! Fitted one of the spairs. When THAT blows, I'm going back to the cheaper, more reliable regular energy savers (assuming they are still available!). . it's perhaps embarassing to admit, but I spent a lot of time today just sat at the table in the kitchen, with both 'saloon' (french) doors closed - um - 'admiring' my work (!!), and generally feeling pretty pleased with the changes I've made to the house since I bought it. There's oh SO very much that still needs sorting out (more old wallpaper to remove and walls to smooth - a complete 'gutting' of the bathroom - central heating? - demolishing/replacing the conservatory?, etc etc etc) I'm not sure I'll live long enough to ever do it all!!!! Nevertheless, if the clocks were turned back and the place was exactly like it is TODAY when I bought it, I think I would have thought myself lucky to have ended up with it. I think it's now 'starting' to be worth what I paid for it, kinda. Even in its current state, I reckon I've made it far more functional and desirable from a 'resale'/whoever ends up with it next, point of view. Assuming I can adequately finish off this 'french-doors between the rooms' thing to an acceptable standard (looking back, I can't believe I had the nerve to make that opening and put in the lintel etc!!), the living-room / kitchen-diner area really does feel quite - um - 'pleasant' to me. 'I' think it 'almost' even has a bit of a 'wow' factor goin'on. lol . I put the fire on in the living room for a bit today - with the 'saloon' doors closed when I was cooking my sausages. Makes a hell of a difference. Very easy to heat just that front room up, and keep the cooking smells a little at bay. . All in all - an oh SO rare moment of feeling 'satisfied' with my progress and all the hard, HARD work I've done on the place. :o) . . PCd this at length until early. . ate a couple of ham rolls, a mum donated octail cuppasoup, banana and biscuits before to bed around 3:30am.
6 - Up around 7:40am. 16C inside/7C out. Sunny. . PCd a bit of this . . Image of tug and jack-up platform Odin in Torbaywalked. Dabbled a bit with the camcorder, taking a couple of shots of the big jack-up platform across the bay in the sun. Huge great thing it was, with four towering legs and an enormous crane on board - with a couple of tugs standing-by. . . spent the whole day working on making up the edge trim for around the french-doors frame in the kitchen/diner, from the lengths of chamfered skirting/architrave!! Used the router out in the garden to laboriously 'carve' out a bit of recessed detail on all three lengths. Because of the 'wanting to have the doors fold back flat against the wall' thing, it wasn't possible to just nail some timber to the face of the frame edge like a regular door opening. It all had to be cut down to fit on the outer SIDE of the frame timber! An absurd amount of time to spend on it - but most of that time was spent with the router and sandpaper, carving out the little bit of recessed/edge detailing! Image of my custom door frame trim detailIt's a small, probably largely unnoticeable bit of 'detailing', but I was determined to do it like that, to have it, if not entirely matching, at least 'in keeping' with the look of the original type of trim around all the other doors in the house. . sadly snapped one of my router cutting-bits during the battle! A cheap/faulty bit, rather than particular abuse on my part on this occasion I suspect. Sadly the one I broke, I think was pretty vital to me when carving up timber to make matching bits of skirting board - so that's gonna be a problem when I try to make up the two bits for the living-room side of that wall. :o( . It was a long hard battle, but by around 8pm I finally had the trim all screwed and glued all around the door frame, the doors temporarily back on their hinges again, and the skirting boards newly trimmed to-fit, and now permanently fixed to the wall in the kitchen. In fact, for the first time in many years, the kitchen now has a full (visible) set of skirting boards - as it should! (Just those two bits of wall on the living room side, now without, to do - and then my obsession with replacing any missing bits of skirting (because it was absurdly mentioned on the survey when I bought the place) can be pretty much layed to rest. . VERY satisfying to reach 'this' point in the project. It isn't perfect - but it'll do. After a major session with some filler and sanding down, the kitchen side of that opening will be ready for some paint and pretty much done-with. The exact detail of how I'm going to similarly finish off the living-room side is still a bit up for debate in my mind, but it's going to be a similarly difficult and long nasty job (specifically in trying to get it to exactly match all the other old door surrounds throughout the house), so is going to probably wait for some considerable time off in the future. . . walked late after 8:30pm. Looks as though the two tugs and the big platform have left the bay already?. .vacuumed up briefly and then drank a glass of red wine and TVd while heating up a pizza. . finally ate the pepperoni pizza with extra cheese around 10:30pm. . BB called to touch base . .ate a little chocolate . . TVd struggling to stay awake until bed before midnight.
5 - Up around 7:20am . . big headache! . . walked. The tug that's been moored in the bay for the past many days, was slowly on the move, and appeared to making ready to meet up with another in the distance which was approaching towing another enormous jack-up platform (like a mini oil rig. 'Odin' I think it was called). Quite a spectacle, but all very slow - didn't bother to hang around to see it come in. . on the way back from BGdns not far from home, a couple of the regular dog walkers in their car suddenly pulled up on the other side of the road (embarassingly causing a bit of dangerous traffic mayhem) and shouted across that they had a sack of dog food for ME!? Huh? Apparantly they'd told another dog-owner they know (a complete stranger to me) about the Bella dog-bite incident, and because I'd had such a big unexpected vet bill as a result, the person had volunteered to donate to me/Bella a sack of food they'd allegedly been given!? Wow!? . gave the dog walkers my address and phone number as requested before carrying on home. . loaned the neighbour my roof ladder . . carefully measured up around the french doors frame and then left Bella at home and walked up the builders yard, to try to figure out what sizes of timber they may have which could be modified to make up a required 'custom' trim surround for the crucial kitchen/diner side. Spent ages at their wood-pile, measuring up and umming and ahhing, before eventually returning home carrying various pieces of, in total, 6.3m of 16x38mm doorstop and 6.3m of 19x75mm chamfered skirting/architrave, all for 12.04. . . Returned home to find a couple of ansaphone calls from the dog owner lady I've never met, about the dog food she was offering to give me. Pretty much called her straight back being all grateful and embarassed. She said she'd deliver it shortly, at around midday! . . sat in the sun on the patio in the front garden, in just a T-shirt, twiddling on the guitar for a bit. Who'd have thought it - in November for goodness sake! It was like a summers day! . . a car pulled up along the street and Bella went all barky at the woman driver as she approached my gate. Rushed down to briefly greet her and followed her back to her car to get the food. She had two friendly dogs of her own in the car - one old and on borrowed time. Being all grateful and awkward, I suggested she had good use of the dog food herself. Being all 'stressed' as I was, I can't really recall much of our conversation, but she DID say 'what goes around comes around' - and with that, she gave me a full 15Kg sack of 'PAL 100% Complete for active working dogs'!!!!! I hope I said thank you enough - and off she went, just like that! . I felt very strange after that. A bit 'floaty'!? No matter how much I firmly convince myself otherwise - there ARE some bloody decent people around. What an unexpectedly kind act by that lady - a complete stranger. I'm SO not good at being the recipient of such kindness and generosity. I just kinda don't know what to do with it!!! Dunno how to respond! It also, I'm sad to say, never EVER crosses my mind, to act in ANY such way towards others! I am SO not worthy! :o| . .

Mum called in with the paper and food donations for chats etc . . ate Mum donated pork pies, mini cheddars, crisps and a banana. . awful headachey. Napped until woken after 6pm by a bunch of nearby fireworks. It can be a little disconcerting on firework night, living high above the houses lower down in the valley like I do. When they let off fireworks, they explode right out front, pretty much at eye level or lower!! Wouldn't take much of a 'misfire' or misdirection, to have them hitting the front of the house! . . walked as normal, despite the fireworks. Bella was 'maybe' just a 'little' more 'skittish' than her USUAL hard to control self - but pretty good considering. . Soon after setting off, various fireworks were being let off from a particular garden a few streets away. Something I've never experienced before, but thanks to the wind direction, amount of propellant etc, whatever they threw into the sky, actually ended up eventually falling back to earth in a particular small area near the industrial estate! We actually had to walk through this 'fall-out zone' as spent cardboard tubes, some with hard plastic points, rained down around us!!! As chance would have it, we weren't hit (or injured?!) - but we very easily could have been!!!! Seems utterly extraordinary to me, given everything else the 'nanny state' has cracked down on during my lifetime, that they haven't banned the domestic sale of fireworks!?? If for no other reason - imagine the amount of 'litter' all across the country tomorrow! Cost THAT into the equation! . sat in Bgdns with a coffee for ages watching the displays of fireworks all around the bay, and listening to radios. Amazing what they can do with fireworks these days. One I saw (big organised display somewhere over Torquay), with a quick flash, instantly formed a perfect red spiral shape in the sky. It didn't 'build' into a spiral - it just instantly appeared pre-formed! Never seen THAT before. There was something about that wide bay view with all the twinkling lights and multiple flashes and explosions going on all over the place. Made me think of that Bhagdad 'shock and awe' bombing footage from a few years back!! . . .popped out to get a saw from the garage and found the roof-ladder dropped back over the fence. Struggled to put it back up out of the way on the top of the pergola. Quickly sawed one 4.2m length of timber in half, just so I could prop it aginst a corner of the kitchen with the rest, out of the way, rather than have to keep stepping over it. . .TVd/guitarred the evening away. . ate Mum donated four sausage rolls, most of a pack of full sized cheddars crackers, a banana, some chocolate and a slice of chocolate fudge cake. . to bed around 2am.
4 - Up around 6:50am . . PCd a bit of this - at length. . woke Sis1 up and then left her to leave and head for Mums after I'd gone. . walked. The council workmen were working on the white/double-yellow lines 'pathway' along the road by BGdns. They appeared to be using a big blow lamp to dry the road! . got caught out without appropriate raingear by more rain. Sheltered in the gun emplacements and under the roof with other dog walkers for a bit before just having to bite the bullet and start walking back in it getting drenched. The council workmen were gone and appear to have 'finished' their work!! Well - I take it all back about someone at the council having 'applied some intelligence for once'!! The idiots have ended that pedestrian marking, just up the street opposite a junction for no apparant reason, instead of carrying it on the short distance to where the actual pavement ends and forces pedestrians into the road!!!! What absolute f**ing stupidity! What planet are these people on for goodness sake - again?! So - part way along a treacherously dangerous road without a pavement, you suddenly come upon the start of a designated walkway. Utter madness. Makes no sense AT ALL! Makes me SO angry that money is thrown away on such poorly thought out nonsense like that. Imagine the wages those people are on - just to continually botch everything for everyone!! Outrageous! . . the heavens absolutely opened on the walk back! Big lakes of rain in the roads, and rivers running down the gutters type. Without leggings etc, I got utterly, UTTERLY soaked through! . Just after arriving back home, it eased off. Typical! . . checked on my back downpipe and could clearly see signs of it being blocked - again. Already as wet as I could ever get, I went out and got one of the ladders off the top of the pergola and set up against the back wall of the house, and climbed up to take a look. Totally blocked - inside the 'dogleg' bends of the downpipe immediately below the gutter outlet! Pushed my flexible brush on a long spring thing into the pipe but did NOT suceed in clearing the blockage. As luck would have it, I was 'just' able to pull the pipe apart and completely remove the bends. BIG woosh and enormous cascade of water came pouring down all over the place for ages as the whole rank of adjacent houses, FULL gutters, emptied! SUCH a pain in the ass being lumbered with the only functional downpipe like this! It turned out, the bends in the pipe had a large chuck of old timber stuck in them, which had amassed lots of other debris around it, causing the whole thing to block. I suspect that bit of rafter or joist or whatever it was, has been in there for a LONG time. (The last time I thought I'd cleared the blockage by poking my brush down the pipe, I must have just dislodged the debris from around that timber, which remained in place!) A short joining piece of the pipe also turned out to be damaged (cracked AND too short and poorly cut when fitted!) and in need of replacing. I DO have some spare (salvaged from a skip a few years back) which I've had cluttering up the garage for ages, but I just couldn't be bothered to start on YET another 'project' right now. Some other time. That bit of pipe has obviously been in that state and working 'adequately' (when not blocked!) since the joker who botched it put it there, so it can stay as it is for a while longer thank you very much!! . . briefly touched base with Sis1 at Mums . carried a couple of unwanted , ornate glazed, big, heavy, full plant-pots out to near the front gate, for Sis1 to return to pickup and take home later. . PCd a bit of this - still soaking wet - and yet more rain falling outside! I'm in danger of doing nothing with the day!! . . ended up drinking a glass of wine and guitarring for a bit. . ate tinned ham sandwiches, crisps and mini cheddars . . lay down for a nap but didn't get to sleep before Sis and Mum called in . . chats and looked at some of Sis1s Cuba holiday photos for a while. Sis1 said I could just HAVE - for my birthday, the 250g of duty-free Golden Virginia she'd brought back for me. :o). . eventually loaded the heavy flower pots into the back of her car and then bid them farewell . .tu . . walked. Not raining but very damp. Big firework display going on for ages somewhere across the bay (behind Goodrington?) in the distance (around eight seconds for the sound to reach me). . PCd for a while until unusually around 11pm or later, Mum called!? She said she'd heard about a big bad accident on the M5 and was worried about whether or not Sis1 had got home safely! Turned the PC off and went down to watch the news channel. Horrific big crash with a huge fireball and several dead ! Mum called back after having spken with Sis1 and confirmed she'd arrived home safely and had passed through that stretch of the M5 earlier than the accident. . TVd the evening away struggling to stay awake. . ate bowls of cornflakes . . to bed around midnight.
3 - Up around 7:30am . . PCd a bit of this and delayed walking as rain bucketed down outside - again! :o( . .walked in a lighter bit of drizzle which eventually mostly stopped. Carried on down town and toured the charity shops, but nothing found of any interest. Struggled home with a heavy rucsack full of fourteen tins of 56p co-op own-brand dog food. All this carrying heavy loads all the time is really taking a toll on me physically. My permanent lower back pain does appear to have become more painful of late, and the rest of my body appears to be a permanent mass of stiffness and aches and pains!?? :o( . . recovered from the walk with a coffee and cigs and was slow getting moving again. . eventually mustered what it took and forced myself to have a 'prod' at the french doors. Unscrewed and stripped-off the old catches and bent hinges and made a decision about the best way to attempt to tackle things. Because the doors have already been used somewhere, one side of each of the doors has been badly and unevenly planed down by someone - one door considerably more than the other. As a result, both doors are going to need a considerable amount of work to attempt to add some timber to the sides, to build them back out to the required width! A similar job of adding an inch or so will be required at the bottom to increase the height back up to a 'standard-ish' 78"-ish height. It's going to be difficult and time consuming, but I'm sure I should be able to manage it eventually, and once done, with much time and filler and careful planing and sanding etc etc, when painted over would hopefully be entirely invisible. Given all these complications and the sizes of everything, it seemed the best way to proceed would be to attempt to hang both doors with the hinges on the opposite side to which thay had been mounted, and up into the top corners of the opening where they need to be!!! That strategy would put the relatively straight and unmolested side and top edges of the doors against the door frame, leaving the bottoms and other sides requiring the 'padding out' and further work. Hard to explain in writing here. Basically - the scars of where the handles and catches were, is now going to be on the hinge side! . . measured up all the doors in the house and checked the hinge spacings so I could make these consistent and the same and maybe appear 'in keeping and original'. Turned out to be six inches from the top, ten inches from the bottom. (I'd already looked up standard UK spacings on the net and found a suggestion it was 6" and 9".) . . spent many hours using Dads old wonderfully still-sharp wood chisels, to meticulously carve out the two rebates on each of the doors and the matching four rebates on the door frame. I always have trouble doing this nasty fiddly job of rebating hinges, but thanks to the sharp chisels and taking great care and time, on this occasion it didn't go 'too' badly. . it took me HOURS - and not easy on your own!!!! - but by around 6pm I'd succeeded in hanging both doors in place and having them freely swinging, and happily folding back flush aginst the walls in the diner when fully open. Because they are too small and don't yet reach the floor or join in the middle, they look a bit like 'saloon doors'. lolol A bit of warping to the top bit of the frame means the little couple of millimeters gap between the top of the door and frame IS a bit noticeably uneven, but not 'that' noticeable (actually down the sides too, but even less noticeable). I'll have to live with that. Maybe be less noticeable when it's all painted-up. Image of my french doors between the rooms projectIn short - in principle - assuming the warped frame doesn't shift under the weight of the doors - it proves that the whole thing may yet eventually work out as I'd originally planned and hoped! Ooooohhhhhhh - fingers crossed!! I think I AM going to push on and just 'go for it'. . . utterly utterly exhausted, with a terrible aching lower back from all that leaning over chiselling - but VERY pleased to have FINALLY reached a point where I can now see where I'm heading and what I'm aiming for, and what I need to do next again! I can't tell you how pleased I am to have reached just this point, never mind how much awkward, oh SO time-consuming work has yet to be done! :o) Quickly cleaned-up and vacuumed up most of the sawdust until Sis1 arrived somewhere around 6:30pm . . chatted a bit before eventually all walking. . oh SO tired and aching and hungry!! . . . chats and TVd. Sis1 drank a couple of glasses of wine from my box while I ate a trio of ham and mayo rolls, mini cheddars, crisps and chocolate, followed later by lots of biscuits . . to bed long after Sis1 at around midnight.
2 - Up around 7:40am . . PCd a bit of this . .yet again Bella apears to have scratched and licked her wound, sufficient to see it looking angry and just 'seeping' a little blood! If she goes on like this, I WILL have to start trying to do 'something' to stop her! I'm thinking of maybe trying an old T shirt like a 'boob tube', rather than have to resort to the 'lampshade' which I still currently have. :o( . . walked in the dry grey and gusty wind. Returned via the local hardware store, and true to his word, the guy had arranged to have more hinges delivered. Two pairs were even sat on his counter all waiting for me! Now that is cool, 'old school' customer service! :o) Relatively happily parted with the just under 11 as a result. Bought a few supplies in the nearby store before returning home. .Right, that's me all set to have a play with the too-small french doors and warped doorframe when I have the nerve/energy. .PCd a bit more of this - NOT playing with doors! . . Here's another thing I've forgotten to include here recently. I have become aware that there is 'an issue' with my nice big new (second hand) plasma TV!! With certain coloured backgrounds, and if you look in just the right way, it has become apparent to me that the damn thing has suffered permanent 'screen burn'!! A ghostly image of an unidentifiable channel's icon and some other horizontal lines have been permanently burned into the right hand side of the screen!!!! So - like absolutely everything else I've bought on e-bay, even with that, I've been screwed-over and ripped-off by someone. Admittedly, it isn't 'particularly' obvious (it took me months to spot it after all) but now having identified it's there, of course I see it all the bloody time (rather than actually watch whatever it is I'm supposed to be watching)!! :o( It really is a dog eat dog world out there - more so than I've ever learned how to survive in! Feels like I'm just one of the ones who keeps getting eaten! . . the garage builders next door were having a fire in a barrel and burning some old timber. Rushed up and asked if I could add some branches to it. Turned out one of the guys brothers have log burners, and he volunteered to take all I had! Oh wow. EXCELLENT. Shifted all the remaining thick branches and root bowls from the hedge into a small heap out in the lane for them to take. He even said he'd take the remaining three quarters of a bin-full of all the chopped-up woody stuff, and poured it all into a couple of builders sacks to take away. So - just like that, at a stroke, I've got rid of the last of all that big hedge I cut down. What a joy to have that finally 'off my back'. Literally! It had become rather a chore having to carry it all out in a rucsack twice a day, every day. I've put in a lot of work at getting rid of it all, and really was almost there. Probably would have cleared most of it within a week anyway. It HAD become a 'challenge' and I'm 'almost' a little disappointed not to be able to say I did it ALL. Having said that, it's all still piled up out there at the moment because their van has broken down!!! (It remained parked inside the new garage shell overnight!! ) That's worrying. Must be something of a disaster for them! . . drank a glass of wine while frying up two eggs, four sausages, two bacon and three large slices of black pudding. Ate with four pieces of bread and butter. . napped for only an hour or so until woken by a nightmare. (Back working for the post office, just as I was leaving for home for the evening/weekend, I was told I was 'in trouble'. Something to do with 'my delays'.????). . walked and played ball a little in the wind and light rain. tu. . TVd . .dismantled a cheap plastic, still-working clock Mum had let me have, just to see how easy it is to replace the quartz movement. Turned out to be real easy. . PCd surfing clock movements and the like. Seems to be a popular, costly hobby, making up clocks. I may have to start looking more closely at those that come up in the charity shops. . Sis1 called to say she'd be popping down tomorrow . . TVd. . ate pilchard sandwiches, crisps and some chocolate. . to bed around 1:30am.
1 - Up around 6:30am . . PCd a bit of this . . walked. Found 16p along the way. Returned via the builders yard to see what hinges they had. I need to start getting something done about these doors/frame, or it's all just gonna sit there for months unfinished and all cluttering up the place. Decided to get the ones I'd seen in the little local hardware store so walked up there. Despite supposedly being open at 9am, at a good ten minutes after, they were still shut, so I ended up wasting my time and returned home empty handed. . briefly shovelled the loose heap of recently chopped up timber from the hedge branches into a dustbin. Pretty much filled it! . . Sat around for a coffee etc before walking back up the local hardware store with Bella. Yay- it was now open so went in to buy four hinges. Would you believe it - he only had two left! He rang up his supplier right then and arranged for more to be delivered tomorrow (allegedly!). Too risky to buy the two he had and start fitting them, only to then find he doesn't get another matching set. That WOULD be what happens - to me! Ended up saying I'd return tomorrow and walked away empty handed again. So - I won't be playing with doors today as I'd hoped - again! . . called in Mums and put in the work up her step-ladder to clear her back gutters which she'd recently asked me to do. Boy, did they need doing! Whoever fitted them ('Anglian' apparantly) did a pretty poor job 'I' think. They haven't put enough of a gradient on them, which is why I think they continually block up with debris so frequently. After yesterdays rain they were full of standing water, even after I'd cleared away the two good bucketloads of growing plants and debris filling them! In part as I worked, I even actually saw the standing water running AWAY from the downpipe! If it were mine, I'd have a go at altering them, but it'd be a lot of awkward work and I'm loathed to get into trying to do it on Mums! Easier to just keep clearing them out from time to time I guess. . had a bit of a prod around in 'Dads' garage, and with Mums blessing eventually returned home with just a few of his old tools. Wood chisels, drill bits, set-square thingy and a mallet. All stuff which may be useful for soon playing with the doors and frame. . . drank a glass of wine (again!) and cooked and ate a chopped mushrooms in butter, four slices of chopped fried bacon, and a large amount of grated cheese concoction with four pieces of bread and butter. Wow - VERY rich (and expensive!) , but VERY nice. . . napped until the alarm at 7pm despite the hammering noise from next doors garage rebuild. They've pretty much finished putting the flat roof on for the most part, and were felting it over today. . . walked. Oh wow - it would appear the council are doing a bit of work on the nasty bit of road which leads up to BGdns. It's long been an issue for me because there is no pavement on that section and really VERY dangerous for pedestrians (although mostly because of the absurd speed many drivers go, and how unnecesarily dangerously close (literally inches!) they insist on driving past people/dogs on foot). It would appear they are marking off a pedestrian area with a white line (too narrow to actually make a kerbed pavement), leading up to the entrance to BGdns where they recently installed a raised kerb and some reflective bollards at a bus stop. Assuming that white-lined 'path' is continued all the way to where the pavement ends, that WILL make things just a little easier for pedestrians going along there. VERY cool that someone in the council has applied some intelligence for once. It's all been like it was for so long, I'm amazed they're doing it now, what with the recession and all - but still very pleased. Having said all that, because I ONLY ever walk Bella on my left, and because she is still so hard to keep control of, I wouldn't ever be able to run the risk of walking her BACK on that side of the road, because white line or not, it'd still put her far too close to the oncoming traffic. I'm gonna HAVE to continue walking her back on the OTHER side of the road so that she is more safely against the wall - with ME out in the road right next to the traffic coming up behind me! At night, I always walk along that section with my torch on because it's proven to be so dangerous!! That new white line effectively narrows the road, so the walk back like that is going to be even MORE dangerous for me - and could even irritate drivers that I'm not using the designated 'pathway' on the other side!!!! Oh dear. . Sat around with a coffee. . guitarred and TVd the evening away . . ate a pastry slice, crisps, mini cheddars, banana and a bunch of biscuits . . to bed around 2am.