Archive for May, 2012

Path fin


The path is finally finished! And being used sat afternoon for a tasty BBQ!

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Wedding weekends


Apologies for the delays in write ups, but wedding season has started and we’ve been out and about in different parts of the country. A bargain find however, seen above on the side of the road was this fab BBQ. Twin burner – with gunk half an inch thick. A bit of clean up and a new gas bottle and sorted!


The beans are in


Found an adult male slow worm


Helen weeded the gooseberries. It was about 3foot tall in grass…


And we found all the bushes survived the move


And we have a guard cat for the greenhouse

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After three solid weeks (almost four) of rain, most of which has been torrential, this must be the wettest drought on record. I’m beginning to have concerns that the rain will drown the roots of my trees and I might loose the lot!

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Salad & Mangetout


Despite regular culls, the salad is approaching triffid proportions. So far I’ve given away three carrier bags and have had six fairly large bags shared between the wife and I for lunches.

Well it’s probably paid for the seeds used to plant it already. Plus the salad is much tastier than the stuff in the shop and infinitely fresher. Each day I’m picking it fresh from the rain, then washing it (which seems bizarre). Today I’m taking a large bag to work to share around. My favourite is the mortons secret mix from the real seed co. I shall definitely be planting much more of it!

Discovered something had been digging up my giant mangetout. I’m not sure how big it’s going to get so I’ve put up substantial been poles in the hope it’ll shoot up 6ft tall. Doesn’t help if the fox is digging it up though…


And finally cats camouflaged in their unnatural environment.


Can you spot them both?

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Star ceiling fin!


After another 3hrs of my wife drilling and me shoving fibre optic leads and gluing, we’re done! Looks pretty sweet now 🙂

We invited the neighbours round. The guy next door did wonder why I kept saying “I’m shoving it down now” and she was saying “to the window two inches” and “do you want me to pull on it” etc. Soundproofing isn’t quite as good through the tiles it seems!

I finally finished the day with the installation of a shiny new alarm and popping out for dinner with the wife and an evening in the amusements at the seaside where she (not me, I’m useless) won a cuddly toy.


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BT Openreach socket, NTE5

The last few evenings have been long arduous rediculously itchy nights in the loft.  No, the wife hasn’t kicked me out… I’ve been looking at telephone wiring.

I originally trained in IT.  IT is a wide subject and having built my first computer from scratch at 15 (only one minor fire).  I then spent some time at college and university studying computer science and by the time I left I had a good solid understanding of the subject.  So much so, I’d realised I didn’t really enjoy computing anymore.

What it did give me is a really good understanding of networking systems, so I’m not afraid to play with data cables.

My internet has been rediciously slow – it’s pretty difficult to get much further from the exchange where I am and generally the internet speeds round my area are about 1.5-2mbits so I understandably didn’t mind mine was at the top end of the 2mbits.  However having had some problems on the line (telephone interference), I decided to have a look at the cabling to see what was at fault.  BT wanted £130 to confirm it was either at my end or theirs as their records seemed to suggest my end was at fault.  About 20 minutes in, I’d found the fault, but more shockingly found that my wiring was really, really bad.

Where the cable comes in from outside and into the house all the way down to the master socket, it’s BTs domain.  It’s illegal to touch it and if you want it moved, BT charges for the privilage (not much, about £30) but it’s not free.  It also takes a few days to get it moved.  The houses previous owner (an electrician) had obviously ignored this and moved it himself.  He used all sorts of scrap wire.  For some reason one of the bits of wire actually adds current to the circuit – this is pretty bad and the reason for my phone fault.

I can’t legally touch this wire (after all I didn’t install it) but I did connect up my own box and my broadband speed jumped from 2mb to 4mb.  The wiring is really, really bad.

The BT engineer comes on Tuesday.  Chances are he’ll be unable to get the other box to work properly to install fibre, though I’ll have my new line and spare box ready for when he arrives.  Depending on how officious he is, I might be able to convince him the previous line was installed by an imbeicille and the new line would be much more advantageous to all!

I’ve used Cat 6 cabling – it can really help your broadband speeds – you can find information on it here:


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