Archive for May 2017

Square deal

Posted by on May 31st 2017 in In the garden, Just for fun

So, let's suppose that I go to the tills at B&Q with 3 square metres of these slabs on my trolley. Do you think they'll have grounds for refusal if I tender One Pound Sterling and expect some change?


According to their pricing and my basic maths, I should get 4p change from a quid.

Capital Tee

Posted by on May 29th 2017 in Just for fun, Shiny new kit

It's a perfect fit, in more ways than one:

Stealth Moths

Posted by on May 27th 2017 in In the garden

These things always remind me of B-2 bombers:



Opinions differ - I'm told that it's either a Poplar Hawk Moth Laothoe populi or an Eyed Hawk Moth Smerinthus ocellatus.

What say you? You can click 'em for a closer look - it's safe, they're not armed.

Subtle hint

Posted by on May 27th 2017 in A bit of a rant

Above: My feedback on the Royal Mail Door-to-Door Opt-Out Scheme. Soon afterwards, it was fed back into the local post-box.

Maybe I should have written it in all known languages, as it's clear that they can't read (or can't be arsed to read) the English version of the form which I've printed, completed, laminated and stuck to the front door directly above the letterbox, the flap of which also bears a "No Junk Mail" sign:

I suppose they've "lost" all of the properly-completed forms which I've sent to Freepost ROYAL MAIL CUSTOMER SERVICES this year.


Posted by on May 18th 2017 in Illness and injury, Video (YouTube, Vimeo etc.)

I went to Leicester General today for yet another venesection. While I was being bled they gave me my serum ferritin test result for the sample taken prior to the previous venesection performed on 27th April. That result was 427 × 10-6 g/L

Compare that to my serum ferritin test result for the sample taken prior to the outpatient consultation at Leicester Royal only the week before. That result was 366 × 10-6 g/L

That implies an increase of over 16%. With no medication or medical procedure between those tests.

Now, I've taken on board their assertion that they are OK with swings of up to 20% (regardless of whether I'm OK with them), but that applies to things which are supposed to stay fairly constant. In this case, however, we are dealing with something that's supposed to be a reduction protocol. There is no good reason for such an increase, yet I suspect they'll say that it's no cause for concern.

I'm no jerk but I do know the difference between shit and Shinola...


I'll get the result of today's test next Tuesday, and there will be another test prior to next Thursday's out-patient consultation. I reckon that those results will confirm that it's a lab problem rather than anything wrong with me.

It could be an interesting week at University Hospitals of Leicester. If they pin the blame on differences between what goes on at the test labs I'll be lecturing them about calibration, standards, and the like. I'll be on firm ground there. I think that their "swings of up to 20% are OK" assertion is just an arse-covering disclaimer because their labs/tests aren't calibrated against a common standard and hence results from different labs are not comparable.

If I had to put my money on one lab or the other, I'd slap it on the General. They have lots of experience with venesections and associated tests for haemochromatosis patients, and that's why the Royal send me to the General for my bleeds.

But it's the consultants at the Royal who decide on my treatment, and they act on the results of their own tests.

Of course, the usual caveat applies... they can't both be right, but they could both be wrong.

Not even trying

Parking with due consideration obviously involves too much effort for some:

Torsional rigidity

Posted by on May 12th 2017 in In the garden, Making stuff

A couple of years ago a friend was dismantling his conservatory and, knowing how we like to re-purpose potentially-useful materials which are too good to chuck away, he kindly let me have a stack of unwanted used multi-wall polycarbonate roofing-panels. I duly stashed them behind the greenhouse for future use.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when it was both warm and windy. The greenhouse auto-vents were opening the windows but the wind was twisting them about because they weren't rigid enough. A few hours with a saw, some tape and a few screws soon saw them "faced" with polycarb, now they're nice and stiff and are defying the wind quite well:


Looking at the offcuts, and remembering that the long side of the greenhouse gets more sun now that the willow tree has gone, I decided to make some shades. They have been very effective at diffusing the sunlight, and so far we've not had any scorched plants. I might make some larger shades to deploy overhead for when the Sun's higher during summertime:


My over-the-road neighbour Chris helped out with the above, so as a thanks for his input he now has a nice new polycarb window in his workshop. Here are his pics of it:


There's plenty left for more re-purposing... I've a mind to see if it's any good for making cloches.

Oh FFS! He’s standing again! (Version 2, with added YT clip)

Posted by on May 11th 2017 in A bit of a rant, In the News

This is a re-hash of my post of 7th May 2010. Not much has changed, so for obvious reasons it's a copy/paste job with only minor edits and additions...

For 30 years we've had the same MP, and in all that time we've only ever seen him once, when he was in Hinckley town centre drumming up support for his re-election in 2015. Hardly surprising, really, as he still lives nowhere near his Bosworth constituency, he still lives 140 miles away in Sussex, which is still even further away from Bosworth than Westminster is. He's tried to claim expenses for astrology software and for an intimate relationships course, and was guilty of accepting cash-for-questions. He believes that homeopathy can fix the NHS. He's still never responded directly to any of the questions that I've put to him, preferring to "sub out" the job to somebody else. We had high hopes that he'd be ousted in 2010, and even higher hopes in 2015, but, despite calls for him to stand down he's going to be campaigning for yet another term.

His obsession with using his parliamentary position to campaign for homeopathy is, to me, just plain wrong. He's paid to represent his constituents, not to pursue his own personal agenda.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not anti-homeopathy, I'm not anti-Tory, I don't much mind which party ends up in government and if the Tories had decided to adopt a different candidate here I would have given him/her due consideration for my vote. No, I just want to see the back of this self-serving fool. Actually, seeing ANY part of this fool is unlikely. He's like the absentee landlord, happy to accept the rent-money but never there when you need him to fix the property. It's not what's expected of a public servant, and certainly not what I expect of my representative in Parliament.

We're going to be screwed. Again.


I think he gets through the candidate adoption process using homeopathic methods like this:

One of the Water Signs

Posted by on May 4th 2017 in Rambling on...

About this time last year I returned from one of my longer stays at LRI to find that we'd had a slow leak where the cold water feed was joined to the plastic cistern at the back of the loo, the cause was a fibre-washer which had perished. I had to rip up and throw away the floor covering in the bathroom and allow the units, floor-boards and plasterboards to dry for a few months. Luckily the leak was caught before it seeped down so far for it to trash the lovingly-crafted suspended ceiling beneath the bathroom and above the kitchen. Said suspended ceiling is actually laminate flooring stuck to a suspended timber-batten framework using aero-adhesive, so repairing it would be either a bodge-job or a complete replacement, neither of which would be a job to look forwards to.

When I was satisfied that everything in and under the bathroom had fully dried I made plans to re-cover the floor, only to be thwarted by a new leak - the shower-screen seal had given up and had to be replaced, and a load of silicone sealer was applied for good measure. Yet another drying-out period was required. Again, the suspended ceiling survived.

At about the same time we noticed some dampness on the kitchen floor, and there were some water-damaged laminate-flooring planks. That was puzzling, because we couldn't find a cause for some time, but it definitely wasn't anything to do with the bathroom leaks. After a few days we found the cause - the tumble-dryer had "walked" slightly from its proper location and was resting lightly on the plastic ring-nut of the cold-feed pipe for the adjacent washing machine. The gentle tumbling action had made the dryer's chassis slowly undo the cold-feed ring-nut and it was allowing water to seep out. Once tightened, it was fine and the leak was stopped, it's not been a problem since then, and the laminate planks are now dry with minimal damage which we can live with until it's time to renovate the whole room.

Two days ago I noticed that one of the unpopulated grow-bag trays in the greenhouse had water in it, and I know that I didn't put it there. This morning the water was deeper, so I surmise that there's a minor leak in the greenhouse roof. It's not an urgent matter, and it wasn't raining so I put the simple repair job on the back-burner while I put the finishing touches to the fruit-cage - I had to transplant an established redcurrant plant to a container, haul it into the cage and then finish spreading bark around it.

After that I went back to the house, made a brew, and decided to have a few minutes planning the refurbishment of the now-dry bathroom. I looked up at the suspended ceiling, thinking how lucky we'd been that it had survived undamaged, but when I did I noticed that it wasn't right, it was buckled and slightly damp. It looks like fresh water-damage and it's directly below the bath-taps and bath overflow. Looks like I have another strip-out to do, another plumbing job, and another period of drying out. It's an extra-wide bath, so to get to the undersides of the taps and to the overflow I'll have to cut an access-hatch in the stud-wall in Anna's bedroom, that won't go down well but it's either that or rip out the tiled-in bath and start again.

Looks like the bathroom floor will have to wait a bit longer 🙁



Unlike our good-for-nothing MP I don't believe in astrology, but, according to those who do, I'm a Cancerian. Ooda thunkit?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...