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What's the attraction of hot tubs?

Our garden runs down behind a short street of houses. None of have any way into their gardens other than through their houses.

A couple of weeks ago one of them came to ask us a favour. He wanted to install a hot tub in his garden but it was going to cost £1000 to hire a crane to lift it over his roof. So he was hoping it could be delivered through our hedge. He and OH looked at the hedge and found a narrow section of hedge at the bottom of his garden. With a bit of judicious pruning that will regrow next spring, removal of some dead branches and pulling a tree sideways with a strap, plus removing a panel from his fence he should have a gap wide enough to manhandle the tub through into his garden without that expense.

OH thinks it will work so has agreed to let him do it.

Yesterday the bloke from two doors down from the first one called round. He has also been considering getting a hot tub but had been put off by the cost of a crane. He wanted to go through the same gap and then move the tub sideways across another garden to get it into his area.

And so we're going to have two hot tubs coming through our hedge in roughly six weeks time. I hope I'm around to see it happen.

Holiday picspam #3 - the Gers

From the Med we moved north towards the Atlantic for a stay in the Gers. We had never been there before and it's not main tourist area. They advertise themselves as being unspoilt and undiscovered. Their main produce is Agen prunes.

We made our main wine shopping trip from there, a full day out. There's a winery there that we've been going to for ~30 years now. It's the local growers cooperative and sells very good wine at an affordable price. You can judge the quality when I tell you they're just down the road from Chateau Lafitte and Baron Rothschild's estates. We buy good stuff for laying down in our cellar for a few years and drinking at Christmas and birthdays, and other bottles that are ready for drinking now with Sunday dinner.

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Holiday picspam #2 - the Pays Catalan

After a week in the Dordogne we moved south to the Mediterranean coast near the Spanish border. We couldn't go the site we wanted as it was too expensive. We belong to a discount scheme which has fixed prices for campsites in the off peak season (usually May and June) but the site we had enjoyed before had reduced it's offers to May only, so we would have had to pay twice as much to stay there. We went to another site just up the coast

We didn't make many excursions from there, the weather was hotter and the site had direct access to the beach.

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Progress report on knitting projects.

I have hats ready to be packed and posted to the Sailors' Society.

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Holiday picspam #1 - the Dordogne

I've finally sorted the holiday photos from the long trip to France earlier this year.

Because of the approaching bank holiday weekend our first stop was further south than we really wanted. We prefer to travel 450-500Km between campsites, this time we went 650Km from the ferry to our first site.

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I must try to finish sorting photos and then share some of the nice places we've been.

Back in April we had a week in the Peak District. One of the places we visited was the Crich Tramway Museum and they have a couple of original police boxes.

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Is this going to post to my journal?

I've been using a tablet to read on line for the last couple of years.  And I prefer to use the browser and desktop view, rather than apps.  But this last update of LJ has forced my hand.  On the laptop things look much the same, but here on the tablet it's changed for the worse, so I've installed the app.  My friends page is looking ok to read, so this is a trial of posting to my journal.

The next thing will be to try a comment.

Edit:  Well it posted ok, but now I can't find my way back to the friends page.

WACWC has been dominating my life.

Ever since we got back from France OH has been doing nothing except work on preparing for WACWC, the World Association Croquet Women's Championship. We had our 7 year old grand daughter staying with us last week and even she got involved. She really enjoyed using the pressure washer to clean the plastic chairs we're lending to the club and the score boards that have been stored in our shed.

Since last Thursday OH has been going out after an early breakfast and not getting back until bedtime. Thursday was a practice day, Friday the formal opening ceremony and from Saturday until Saturday the 1st it's 10 hours play each day, plus a lunch break.

Last night was the barbecue, so I went over for that.

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We're a fairly large parish and have two priests at the moment but we were told this weekend that we are losing one of them and we don't know if he is going to be replaced.

Father Noel has been with us for about four years and now he's going to run the Education Department in Congo. That is going to be a lot bigger job than dealing with us. He'll be missed.

Sir Nicolas Winton, RIP

A remarkable man has passed on. To have seen the need, acted to do something about and then to keep it secret for so long.

I've been home for a few days now

but I'm still trying to catch up with the laundry. And I haven't finished sorting the photos either.

Our final site was at Quimper, in Brittany. Last time we were there I missed out on seeing the interior of the cathedral because it was closed for lunch. The first attempt this year was also thwarted but by a funeral for a top Breton politician. Apparently there were government ministers in the congregation which would explain the police presence in the square outside.

We hung around at the edge of the crowd watching what was going on, we could hear a bagpiper playing inside the cathedral and thought we recognized the tune. We were right, when they brought the coffin out they had half a dozen pipers and a couple of shawm players leading the congregation in the Breton version of "Land of my fathers."

We are at the back of the crowd in the square and further across than the camera pans.

Just a quick update.

The weather is lovely, sunny but not too hot.

So far we've had a week in the Dordogne on a nice quiet site. Well it was nice and quiet until the electricity supply blew up on a holiday weekend. The power company supplied a lorry sized portable generator than ran for the three days it took for the repair men to come out after the Pentecost holiday.

That has been followed by a week on the Mediterranean coast within sight of the Pyrenees. Much time spent sitting under a tree with a drink.

Tomorrow we intend to start a drift north up the west side of France. The next site we're aiming for is near the town of Condom, in the Gers region.

Off to France today!!

We're off on the six week (almost) trip to France later today. In about 30 hours from now OH, the van and I will be 1000Km south of here.

Eldest is house sitting.

Thoughts on my Kindle

I've read comments recently about how people love real books and hate e readers, so here's my twopenneth on the topic.

Yes, I know the arguments on how nice books feel and smell and look, but when it comes to the crunch it's the content that really matters. I see my kindle as the next step in the line that started with clay tablets, moved to scrolls, codices, incunabula, hardbacks and paperbacks.

Where some don't like e readers I was stuck at the stage of I don't really like paperbacks. They won't lie flat for me to read while knitting. And while the old paperbacks were manufactured in the same way as hardbacks and so survived, they moved on to trimming the edges and dipping the spine in glue to hold the pages together. So if you open the book too far the spine cracks. In the 70s the glue that they were using became brittle very quickly, so however careful you were with the book you soon had wodges of pages falling out. The individual pages peeled off the wodges and you no longer had a complete text.

While the glue problem seems to have been solved, I still don't like paperbacks. But for reading text I like my kindle. It isn't so good at illustrations, especially from larger format books. So I read those on a 10inch tablet.

Happy Nurses' Day.

According to today's newspaper, today is International Nurses' Day. So thank you to all the nurses out there for being willing to do what I wouldn't do.

Yesterday's post was odd.

Last week was priority booking for the Erasmus Darwin Memorial Lecture, this year "The evolution of the world wide web." to be given by Dame Wendy Hall. So I went over to Lichfield and booked my ticket.

Yesterday I received a letter from the theatre with a replacement ticket. The covering letter said that the computer had been printing the wrong date on the lecture tickets and the replacement had the correct date. It's a good job they let me know because I'd used the date on the ticket to mark up the calendar. When I looked in their brochure to see what was on the original, wrong date I discovered it's Jim Davidson, thank goodness they told me.

For those of you who haven't heard of Jim Davidson, he's a sexist, racist,right wing (in British terms) comedian. Not someone whose act is to my taste, so I'm glad I won't turn up on that evening.

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I have a shower again.

A couple of weeks ago our shower stopped working. We did the basic troubleshooting and decided that it was probably the pump that had failed. We called our plumber in and he agreed, so then it came down to the availability and cost of parts. A compatable pump is available, but it's the most expensive component to replace. So given the age of the shower, and the cost of the pump, we decided on a new shower.

Fortunately the new model fits the same pipework as the old one. The trouble was we were off in the van for the first trip of the season. Never mind, we ordered the replacement anyway and left the courier trying to deliver in our absence and made the redeliver when we got home.

The plumber came today and it was a simple job for him to swap them over. So after having to have baths, I had a shower this evening. I don't like baths, a shower leaves you feeling properly clean.

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The working part of lace making.

entropy_house asked to see the other end of the garter where it is being made, so here are another couple of photos.

 photo Garter_setup-2resize_zps05ed8bcf.jpg

You saw this picture when I started. It shows the threads and bobbins set up and the work starting.

Before you can start you have to have a pattern called a pricking. You prick a hole in a firm, smooth card where every pin is to go. The pins anchor the threads into place where they cross over each other. The pricking is pinned to the pillow which provides the surface to stick the pins into. You use brass pins so they don't rust and discolour the lace.

And this is the lace with the pins still in place. You can see how the thread crosses over going past the pins.

The Lord is Risen, Allelulia

Happy Easter everyone.

Progress on the wedding garter.

I'm maybe half way through making the garter, ~80cm. So here's a couple of photos of progress. That's just an odd bit of ribbon through it to see what it will look like, the actual ribbon will be blue. But I think it's coming on OK.

 photo Garter_progress2-1_zpsovzgxd54.jpg

 photo Garter_progress2-2_zpsvp1qrtrk.jpg

Happy Annunciation Day.


It's exactly nine months to Christmas Day. :-)

Happy Mothering Sunday

May all of you who mother people or anything else have a really good day.

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Youngest has tired feet.

It was the Chase Walk today and she was taking part again. It's a competative 40 mile walk for teams of scouts and their leaders. The full walk is only for over 18s, the 14 - 18 only do 13 miles in the hours of daylight.

Her team took 13 hours 34 minutes to complete starting at 06-46 this morning.

No way I would do anything like that.

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RIP Leonard Nimoy

Spock is dead! :-(

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