Friday, 27 August 2010

Getting ready for the Winter

So, I thought; no time for watching the butterflies, I'd better get on with cutting up those logs that were left by a friend in December as a Christmas present. We've already been accused of stealing wood and there's a bit of an Autumn feel about the place - lots of blackberries, etc.

Having admired the clematis armandii which is flowering yet again...

I set up the Workmate and got out the chainsaw.

Over the next couple of hours, I made reasonable progress but, by lunchtime, my back was aching.

I can't understand how my friend managed to lift these logs - he's 80 years old! He brought them over in his truck one day while we were out and lifted them all off (having presumably lifted them on) and stacked them fairly neatly in a corner before adorning them with a bit of tinsel and disappearing. I had real difficulty even lifting them onto the Workmate and maneouvering them around. So, In the end I managed about half; the rest are waiting for me to tackle tomorrow - on my birthday!
Still, when I went out later on, I felt some progress had been made and the cuts logs pile had grown considerably. it looks like we might get away with not buying any logs this Winter.

Meanwhile, the sky was turning pink and gold...

... and there was just enough light to take a couple of pictures of our eryngium agavifolium - spectacular in the gathering gloom.

The village settled down to its golden sky - Winter's on the way.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

A (very) minor eBay triumph

Recently, I’ve been trying to buy a mortise gauge. I know there are lots of new ones around – quite nice in beechwood but I really wanted a mahogany or rosewood one so I looked through eBay. I found a rather nice Marples gauge and bid up to what I thought was reasonable. Eventually, it went for a higher price – no problem, just a normal bid.

While I was looking through the tools, I found a useful hand vice; just a cheap item, bid on it and was in the last few seconds by a mathematically precise higher bid. A sniper! I wasn't very pleased - ‘xxx gives you the power to effectively manage and win eBay auctions by placing bids for you during the last few seconds of an auction - a practice commonly known as "sniping."

You can check a sniper by looking at the listed bids and clicking on the winning bidder. If it’s a sniper you’ll see something like this:
The last bit (less than 1 hour) actually turns out to be in the last few seconds – you’ve been ‘sniped’!

If he/she has a history of sniping, you’ll see something like this:

All single (winning) bids in the last few seconds.

Because I lost the original mortise gauge, I had another look and found another one - rosewood - rather nice.

I bid for this, putting my maximum bid rather (stupidly?) high, thinking it probably wouldn’t go anywhere near that high.

In the meantime, another Marples gauge came up - mahogany, exactly the same as the one I had lost, so I decided ‘belt and braces’ I would bid for that as well – a much lower maximum because the rosewood one was a nicer piece.

Eventually, I won the mahogany Marples gauge at a very reasonable price. Then I was concerned that the Rabone model would be bid higher and I would end up paying my rather silly maximum for a gauge having just bought one. I waited and watched as bids came in, but nowhere near my maximum, then, a few seconds before the closure, another bid came in exactly £1 higher than my maximum.

I had been sniped and the sniper got a quite nice rosewood mortise gauge at a very high price. I didn’t know whether to say ‘Gotcha!’ or ‘Phew!’

Friday, 20 August 2010

Blooming Great Tea Party

Marie Curie Cancer Care raises funds all over the country with its Blooming Great Tea Parties so we all gathered last Sunday at Ravenstone Court, beautiful old almshouses now turned into sheltered accommodation for ladies, for a very British tea party in the garden. As you can see from the small poster above, it rained heavily on Saturday, but Sunday dawned bright and warm.

The Marie Curie Cancer Care stall with Marea in position, ready for the rush.

All is ready

A Quiet moment before people arrive (Hymnbooks waiting for the final Evensong)

The Brownies are almost ready

Time for a quick burger before it begins

People start to arrive

The sophistications of 'Hook a Duck'

Horses (for stroking, not riding)

The all-important cup of tea

And, of course, cakes!

The Tombola - most popular stall of the day

Happiness is...

Lots of people and goodies

Lots of fun!


A glimpse of the almshouses

An ideal location

Dance-Network youngsters

Blues Brothers

Miss Personality

...and an appreciative audience



and his work

'Rivers and Shivers'

Final Evensong

All is quiet again