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Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Phew, What a Scorcher

Summer part 2 is still heating up.   To prove it, this thermometer is located in what is normally the coolest part of the house - the lounge with its massively thick stone walls and triple glazing.

30 C in many parts of the UK outdoors and no signs yet of it breaking.

Monday, 25 June 2018

The Tidiest Industrial Estate Turn-Around Anywhere

When we bought our derelict water tower in 2010 it overlooked, to the south, scruffy industrial units and weeds.   The scenery elsewhere more than compensated though.   Here is the latest touch to the stunning showroom of DCC Components, outside the industrial unit immediately behind us - parasol, table and chairs on the sundeck!!

Furthermore, DCC have now taken on the industrial unit opposite them and it is  getting the full DCC treatment.

The four buildings, water tower, new apartments and two industrial units have between them totally transformed the area behind the railway station.   Before and after pictures soon, I promise.

Did we kick-start something perhaps?

Saturday, 23 June 2018

A Second Wave of Summer?

More day-long sunshine plus the need to rest has meant I am spending a good deal of time with the Daily Telegraph on the rooftop sundecks (with an 'old man' straw hat with a wide brim).   Couldn't resist this one yesterday morning.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Solar Power Problems

Our PV solar power array on the navvy hut roof has done well, generating 14,000 kw/h plus in six years.   Our energy supplier Utility Warehouse have done less well at believing our readings - or those of its own meter readers.

Recently, the most expensive part of the system, the Aurora inverter, failed with a 'hardware fault', outside its 5 year warranty period of course.

so was replaced with a very similarly sized Solis:

Once bitten, I looked into the warranty period for these.   'Standard' warranty is 5 years but if you are in the good old US of A it is 10 years.   Curious that.   Different sort of sunshine perhaps.   But no worries, some UK suppliers offer 10 years.

I shall report further.

Friday, 15 June 2018


I must be improving.   Today, for the first time since April I took dog Bess for her morning constitutional!   My neck was painful afterwards - but it was a different sort of pain, which tells me that I was using different neck associated muscles.   Onwards and upwards.

Not only that, my computer has been playing up for a few days.   Apple Mac wizard Laura at Nexus in Gerrards Cross was able to sort me out remotely.

To cap it all and thanks to grandson James I am now on speaking terms with a box of tricks on my desk called Alexa.  You ask questions of or give instructions to Alexa and she responds.   Today I thought I was on something of a roll so I said to her:

"Alexa, tell me a dirty joke"

Without demur she replied:

  Q:  "What has eight wheels and flies?"

A: A dustbin lorry.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Blooming Clematis

Since designing, or at least sketching out, the garden it has blossomed way beyond expectations.   An exception has been the rear carden wall against which I had planted clematis and honeysuckles.   The latter have donee so-so but the clematises (IS that the correct plural?) have disappointed.   I made the mistake of buying fancy hybrid plants with enormous flowers but of course, these were picky about soil, watering, pruning - everything in fact.   I sought advice from Settle's market plant stall man who brought me down to earth in every way.   "Forget the hybrids - go for the common or garden" was his advice, which I took:

I am particularly pleased with the feature tower iron window frame on top of the knoll.   Nothing would grow up it - until now: