For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!


Friday, 12 October 2018

Endmoor and a bit of paparazzi

Thursday walk with Pete - 11th October 2018 - Endmoor

Pete has the Met Office weather app on his iPhone and I had the BBC one on mine. Today Pete's predicted rain at 13:00 hrs. and mine predicted sunshine at the same time. Yesterday Pete had spent the day gardening - planting bulbs. Gardening has no attractions for me, and planting bulbs which will give no results for several months is against my nature which demands a bit of action immediately following my efforts. A notable example of gardening patience arises at Inverewe Garden in Scotland situated on an exposed coast. The founder wanted shelter first. He went to an island on Loch Maree and obtained pine tree saplings and planted them to form a windbreak, then waited twenty years for them to provide enough shelter before he seriously embarked on constructing his garden. That would not be for me, but the results are magnificent.

Pete's gardening had left him more than usually tired and we opted only to walk about two snd a half miles. We had not placed bets on which weather forecaster would prove correct. Pete's Met Office app came up with the goods as we felt the first spots of rain on the stroke of 13:00 hrs just before we got back to the car.

I have now deleted BBC and installed Met Office.

Our routine takes us to Café Ambio for tea snd cake. Ambio is attached to the purpose built livestock auction mart near Jct. 36 on the M6 and is frequented by farmers on auction days and we are fascinated and entertained by observing these characters with their flat caps, old tweed suits snd waistcoats and long shepherds' crooks. We suspect that meeting at Ambio is as much a social occasion for the farmers as is the selling and buying of their livestock. Today, with s bit more time on our hands, I took some clandestine photos without using the flash. I am not sure about the ethics of this kind of photography and I did feel s bit guilty about it, but you can see the results bellow.

Today's photos are a bit dark although I have played with some of them in Photoshop, and especially the Ambio ones will benefit from "click to enlarge."

Monday, 8 October 2018

If at first...

There may be some correlation between my problem with the lock and the book I have just finished. This morning in the peace and quiet of my study after a refreshing night's sleep I studied the lock and bludgeoned my brain. If you look at the photo you will see the spring has two legs sticking out. The counter-intuitive solution (to me) was to cross these over and hook each onto the opposing sidebar so that they became cross-legged and therefore under much more tension. Manipulating that and holding everything together whilst replacing the back plate was akin to brain surgery, more of that shortly. Having solved the locating of the spring I found the dam thing still didn't work and I had to disassemble and reassemble several times until I found out how the circular piece of metal attached loosely to the back plate fitted so that it would pick up the inside mechanism when the key is turned but I got there in the end. I am still awaiting a reply from Securit and the lock is fitted and the other woodwork tidied up.

My version of mechanical surgery didn't have the potential for total paralysis or death risked by Henry Marsh, an eminent neurologist specialising in brain surgery, which he describes with candour in his book Do No Harm.

Brother RR who comments here suggested this book to me over a year ago and I think he thought I was too squeamish to take it on. For years I have attended a small reading group and Henry's book was suggested by one of the other members as our latest read, so I was committed. I read the first hundred pages at one sitting and rattled on through the rest pretty quickly even though it did become a bit repetitive. There are twenty five anecdotal chapters describing individual case histories intermingled with  the agonies of communicating difficult information to patients and relatives and the the burden of decision making on all concerned.

In Henry's early career he seems gung-ho, and he has much to say about his frustrations with the NHS, but experience over the years sees him becoming more tempered. I did question his motivation for writing the book, was it partly egotistical? He is obviously caring and compassionate about his patients, and he has spent a lot of time travelling to the Ukraine on a voluntary basis to assist with neurosurgery in primitive and unpleasant conditions and this is obviously altruistically motivated.

Unless you have had direct and upsetting experience of brain surgery with close relatives or friends I would recommend this book as a rewarding read. One member of our group had unfortunately had a related family experience and had been unable to read the whole book but had just dipped in but still made a strong contribution to our discussion.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

No luck with a lock

The new shed needed a lock on the door.

I bought a clone Yale item (Securit Standard Nightlatch - S1740.)

It came in the usual tight plastic wrapping on a card. There were no instructions. I did look at a video on You Tube that gave me some idea. I fitted the main body to the door, then the keeper on the other side, but then I realised that the bolt part is curved on one side and straight on the other - mine was the wrong way round. I then lost the plot and tried to modify and ended up with a dreadful mess of split wood and shavings from the door jamb and it was getting late and cold. I became totally frustrated and depressed and decided to leave it all for a clearer head next day.

I came in and ate my meal, but couldn't help puzzling about this problem and I knew I was overlooking something obvious. "Are these items left or right handed,." I was trying to imagine the lock fitting on a door that opened from the other side, but my brain is not very good at such spatial awareness imaginations, a sad failing for an aspirant DIYer. There was no indication on the packaging. At about 8:00 pm I suddenly thought "is that bolt reversible?"

Off I went to the shed in the dark armed with my torch. I unscrewed the main body of the lock from the door, turned it over and saw a tiny screw securing a backplate. I unscrewed and lifted the plate. A small spring jumped out like one of those miniature frogs I have seen so often on the Scottish hills. The spring landed on the decking and it took overt five minutes to find it in the dark. I brought everything back into the house, and after turning the bolt I tried to refit the spring but there was no way I could see how it went. I searched the manufacturer's website to no avail. They had no phone number, just the option to send an email. I typed my SOS to them and now await their reply.

Long live DIY.

I am too ashamed to show a photo of the mess on the door jamb.

The vital point it seems, which I found out later, is whether the door opens inwards or outwards , but the retailer, the manufacturer and You Tube had failed to point that out, or that the bolt is reversible