Ancient bovine skeleton

Ancient bovine skeleton

Horny snap i took in Copenhagen’s delightful Nationalmuseet (National Museum of Denmark) on the ol’ iPhone.
We popped in on our way to Bornholm, to get a glimpse of the Viking exhibition (beautiful posters throughout the city) We hadn’t reckoned how damned busy it would be so had to make do with a swifty looksee around the permanent exhibits. Tell you what, Camera+ is a firm fave app mind.

Viking 2013:


Cheerio Phil aka Happy Chopper.

Not even sure I feel right about publishing this but I want to put something down for once. He was such a lovely chap.

A simple but very moving ceremony yesterday morning in the September sunshine. My old black suit & tie, dusted off one more time, almost proved too much of a solar panel. Perfect venue, just north of Bristol in what must once have been a farm surrounded by fields and trees – a splendid rural spot for a picnic, under different circumstances. Maybe next time. Need to update my own will to mention Memorial Woodlands, its a cracker.

But such a premature loss of this extraordinarily talented, charming young man (dad, husband, pal, son, VFX whizz kid*) …I can’t find the words to do justice to my own feelings, never mind the sadness his family must feel. His terribly swift, cruel passing has done nothing for this mourner’s faith thats for sure. Maybe if the whole world and a few major planets had paused on their axes just for a moment – some kind of celestial 2 minute silent salute to at least acknowledge the passing of this special chap? That would have been a suitably impressive gesture on which to base some faith in a higher plane.

But then I suppose we’d run into all sorts of metaphysical causality issues; screw up time/space continuum and create a high-dependancy relationship with our Maker. If there is one, our Maker clearly wanted his work to roll along without intervention. This is not a helpful line of enquiry really. Without the need for faith, the ebb of life goes on around us regardless of the injustice. Maybe Phil would tell me different if he could reach back.

And so a fond cheerio to a much-loved, all-too-young pal, from those lucky few who knew this glorious fellow. Of course its never enough, but on the day its all we can do to pause, rewind …reflect, respect… and then fast forward, and hopefully play (nicely) again. *

Cheers Phil. Let’s hope this is the last time the ol’ black suit & tie come out for a good while.

Thoughts are of course especially with Phil’s brave wife, daughter, child to be; family and closest friends.


Roof with a view

Roof with a view

Time to be checking them gutters, broken tiles and insulation.
Definite Auntumnal chill in the air this morning and as we’ve been meaning to get around to this all year, now seems like a really good time to fix a leaky chimney stack.

Hacked off the shoddy render. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a shittier example of the art of cement rendering as this home of ours. I swear I could do a better job myself. Yes it would take me MONTHS but it would at least be smooth and stay on there.
Mind you I didn’t fancy the chimney… too high. I’d never survive the project.
But that didn’t stop me leaping up the scaff and having a proper look round up there. The roof is basically sound but needs a couple of tiles replacing and the gutters looked like they had never been cleaned out ever ever ever.
Never mind, all done now and the chimney is today being expertly re-rendered by the excellent Juan ‘Pato’ Cid. So our bedroom will be much less soggy this winter.

Airstream spring clean

Airstream spring clean

Gary-the-van-man ( gives the ol’ gal a once over. Checking for frost damage (all clear) and adding a nifty exterior electric pump socket – no more hefting of cold wet water barrels into the internal tank by hand. Two hours of pleasant chat and light work in the early sunshine on Saturday morning.
All I need to do now is commission the boiler and check tyre pressure, then we’re basically ready to roll.
Time and money well spent.

J R Hartley eat your heart out

Its time to dust off my fishing tackle after the winter break. The sun is out and them trout must surely be getting ready for a bit of fly action. I was keen to miss the mad rush at the start of the season but today might be difficult to stay away any longer – the family are all busy with ponies (new arrival today making my wallet clench) – so I might slope off and get my line wet at Blagdon Lake… North shore I fancy. It will be cold and I will only catch a cold but it would be nice to make a start. Pics later if I get near the hallowed ground.


Pig sty pool conversion

Pig sty pool conversion

Our friendly farming neighbours, the Fords at Yeowood Farm, have almost completed a year long conversion of some old pig kennels into a very swanky commercial swimming pool – soon to be available for hire by the hour.
A great example of farm diversification, particularly as they’re also growing large amounts of Miscanthus (Elephant Grass to you and me) to provide biomass fuel for a huge new boiler which will supply hot water and heating for the pool and their adjacent home. Neat.
As an hommage to the building’s hidden past, the pool boasts a splendid porcine mosaic in one corner – see pic.
I will add a click-through to their pool hire site when it goes live in a few weeks.