Monday, 5 October 2015

A Day in the Life of a Loo

Found this time-lapse of Chipping Sodbury High Street taken in June:

Finished off the cabin (less the kitchen tiling, which isn't urgent) over the weekend and the boys move in today. Managed to get 27Mbps internet to it with the cable, which isn't very aesthetic, but will do till the RF solution arrives today.

Installing the composting loo was the main task of the day, but all went to plan and Hay got it started. A fan and heater run continuously, giving off a faint whirring akin to a shower extractor.

It'll probably scare the hell out of the boys when they first use it - or rather our new compost making units, as I now call them.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Supermarket DJs for UK Mail

Hay is already talking about building a 2nd cabin, but perhaps not to such a high spec as the one we just built. This got me to think about what we're going to call it. I suggested we call this one the Waitrose Cabin - aimed at a certain clientele with the name saying it all. The next one could be the Lidl or Aldi Cabin, being a bit more rough and ready, but good value.

Got my old school reunion next weekend. Hay has decreed that my trusty double breasted dinner jacket is a) too large for me and resembles a Demis Roussos kaftan, and b) allegedly about 15 years out of fashion. This necessitated a visit to the local St Peter's Hospice charity shop to purchase a single breasted DJ for the princely sum of £5.99. Since the charity shops went up-market it's never been so cheap to go to posh events. Hay still doesn't have a clue as to what she'll wear.

Rant against UK Mail. The wi-fi kit for the cabin was collected from the distributor by UK Mail on Wednesday for guaranteed 24 hour delivery. Having previous experience of UK Mail, a Thursday delivery was as likely as a delivery on the day before dispatch, if you get my drift, and I was proven correct. Anyway, it was rescheduled for yesterday but still didn't come. I couldn't collect it from the depot as they didn't know where it was, which doesn't exactly give me confidence of a Monday delivery either. UK Mail really is a crap courier service. Temporary solution is 150m of CAT 5 from Amazon delivered first thing this morning for £48. May even turn out to be a more robust solution, although I don't like the idea of wire strung around the field.

Heard a woman interviewing rugby pundits on the radio this morning. She seemed very knowledgeable, but I get an uneasy feeling about a woman who is interested in rugby in anything other than a cursory manner. Looking forward to kick-off tonight.

Friday, 2 October 2015

The Cat's Whiskers

Stop press! Found the drone after losing it on Monday. Convinced it had ended up in a field the other side of the railway, and using GMaps satellite view as my guide, I went about a mile up the road, across a railway bridge and through several fields (and a hedge) to get to the field in question. Surprise, surprise - there it was in plain view. Still want the Eye of God drone though.

Found one of Kitty's whiskers on the floor yesterday morning. As a joke, I took it out to the two young guys renting our old office (and moving into the new cabin on Monday) and said: "The wi-fi antenna for the new cabin has finally arrived from China." You could hear the wind whistling and imagine the tumbleweed bowling across the path. I said; "Cat's whisker...." Still the mystified silence. I finally said; "Forget it - it's an age thing."

These blokes are engineers too!

Book Club at our house last night. Luckily there were only three of them, so I settled down to the rugby match with my headphones on. The analysis of the key imaginary people in this month's book proceeded for some 30 minutes before it descended, somewhat predictably, into a gossip and wine fest.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Eye of God - Teeth of Corbyn - Radiator of Satan

OK, OK - so I've made an offer on another drone, but this one has FPV (First Person View) and auto-return by GPS, so you can see the world from the drone's eye's view and if you do get into trouble you can press a button and it homes in on your GPS location, which is transmitted by the controller. It's called the JJRC H11D, or Eye of God. I guess it's designed for old blokes like me.

Saw a headline yesterday saying - Corbyn: I won't use Trident. Well, each to his own, but I always thought Steradent was the business myself.

Getting back to the cabin; bought a 2kW ADAX Neo slim-line convector radiator to heat the living room. For a start I can't see people being willing to muck about with a wood burner (although we are fitting one), and secondly, if we're generating electricity then it doesn't make sense to add an alternative heating source. The ADAX is somewhat stylish, which means you could achieve the same thing yourself for half the cost with a pot of paint and some metal, but it certainly does look the business and we have to bear in mind the clientele we're hoping to attract. You can also set the thermostat to daytime and nighttime temperatures - useful if you're renting it out as an office.

You can wall-mount it, or use detachable feet (which I forgot to order). The only problem is the lead is too short to reach the socket on the left, so Hay's dad is being drafted in to replace the cable.

Might get a couple of 400kW ones for the bedrooms, but only after this jobbie has proven itself.

The internal oak doors have been oiled (they're actually oak veneer, but you wouldn't know it and they saved us a packet).

The composting loo still has to be plumbed in - shouldn't take more than an evening.

And the cooker has to be connected to the electricity supply.

The wi-fi has to be installed, and I'm expecting the gubbins for that to arrive today from China. That should enable me to beam broadband from the house over the 100 metres to the cabin.

The other jobs aren't as important for the business let - tiling the kitchen splashback area, putting in the Sky dish - they can be done at our leisure.

Our business tenants (who are currently residing in the other office we let out) move in on Monday. We're giving them a special deal for the first year while we sort out the little issues that will doubtless crop up and get the area surrounding the cabin looking like a garden.

I'm really chuffed with the result. It's a wooden temporary building within all permitted development rules, but to step into it you'd think it was part of the house - the continuity is almost perfect. It's like a womb transplant - sorry, I have a speech impediment - obviously I mean a room transplant. We reckon the return on our investment will be around 10% p.a., which is better than putting the cash in the bank or paying off the mortgage a couple of years early.

I hear some poor chap in India has been lynched for storing and eating beef. He apparently protested that it was mutton, but the rumour mill decided it was beef, so he got his just desserts - or rather, not - and was turned into onglet! Just hope the buggers don't come to my house - I have a kilo of skirt beef sitting in the fridge for Friday night's dinner.

Religion is such a hideous thing - you can't eat this, you can't say that, you have to wear this, you have to do that, you can't marry so-and-so, you must wage war against these people, you must think this. If there is a God, he must be shaking his head in amazement at the unbounded stupidity of humans and the sheer, unadulterated backwardness of religion. Thank heavens the Enlightenment managed to draw the teeth of Christianity, else we'd still be burning each other at the stake for some imagined slight against an imaginary deity that some deluded nutter imagines he has a direct line to.

Talking of deluded nutters, the Turner Prize is in the offing! Heard a bunch of people on the BBC news last night talking a load of bollocks about it . I love the Turner Prize - gives me something to have a good moan about. Self-important, up your arse crap masquerading as art - love it! I'm 100% with the much lamented Brian Sewell on this - ghastly! It's an attempt by so-called artists to out do each other in meaningless trivia.

Talking of meaningless trivia - it's Hay's book club tonight, and it's scheduled to be held here. I suppose there's the option of decamping to the Old Sodbury Village Hall Committee meeting. Talk about the choice between the Devil or the deep blue sea....

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Several Million Drones

It would appear that several million drones are to be bought this Christmas, and the authorities are terrified.

Mine finally went sailing over the railway line yesterday and either into an area of brush, or was ran down by the 15:30 from Paddington to Bristol. It went so high I couldn't tell which way it was heading, and by the time I did know, I'd reached the limit of the radio control, which is around 100m.

Not sure I'll get another one - it'll just end up going the same way. If I do it will have to be one that streams live video to the controller - at least that way you have a basic idea of its orientation and which lever to press to get it back home. If it ditches, you also have a rough idea of where it landed. The problem is you pay around a hundred more for one with live video streaming.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

VW Disarmament in Iran

Seems a good time to buy VW shares now - they're very low for some reason.

All this disarmament talk by Corbyn and Co. Not sure I'm up for that. The first priority of any government, before building roads, before curing my ills, is to defend me. That's the contract I draw up with anyone who wants to be my leader - and that has been the case since history began - I'll allow you to rule me as tribal leader, chieftain, king, emperor, etc., but in return you have to ensure my safety - Augustus could do anything he wanted providing he imposed peace and defended the borders.

Not sure Corbyn's plans are up to it. He may well say that ISIS in a new type of foe that requires new strategies, but what about Mad Putin, the dictator of Russia? His type have been our foes since time immemorial and understand only one thing. He does nothing unless it's on his own terms and benefits his power base - a bit like Augustus. I agree with Corbyn, however, on a number of other issues which, at first glance, seem contentious - a fairer society is an admirable aim and a new kind of politics is needed. I feel people will warm to him with time - he's just not very good at PR.

While on the issue of defence, I'm not overly impressed with the UN Security Council either. Seems Russia and China use it not for its intended purpose, but to score political points and seed disarray and instability among the remaining members. Why should anyone have a veto? It's a totally impotent body - as is the rest of the UN.

David Cameron was on the news last night and meeting an Iranian official - the President, I think. Why is it that all Iranian government officials not only dress the same, but look identical. I'm sure they're all the same person.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Sort It TV

What with building cabins and the general pace of life here on the kampong, we make several trips a month to the local Sort It Centre to get rid of all manner of detritus. That said, it's a weird fact of life that we invariably come back with more stuff than we take when we spot stuff people throw away but is perfectly serviceable.

Ever scanned the TV channels desperately looking for something you can bear to watch? Isn't TV dire these days?

Sunday, 27 September 2015

GU10 Update

Been without BT Broadband since yesterday morning - there's a problem in the area by all accounts. Having to resort to my phone's mobile hotspot. 

Finally got the last mini GU10 LED bulb into the light fitting - used Sellotape wrapped around my fingers, sticky side out, to give a bit of adhesion and friction. Just managed to turn it.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

The Great Old Sodbury Mini GU10 Light Bulb Fiasco

Lamped up in the cabin yesterday - took me a couple of hours to put 3 mini GU10 LED bulbs into each of 4 light fittings! Never, ever buy light fittings that take mini GU10 LED bulbs - they're a nightmare. 

The fittings comprise what look like 3 cardboard toilet roll centres, and when you finally manage to engage the bulb lugs with the holes at the base of the fittings (which is a pain in the backside in itself) you have to somehow turn the bulb, which is flush with the light fitting. 

They provide a small rubber sucker to stick on the bulb face which is meant to assist in turning the bulb, but it's about as useless as a Peg Vest and doesn't stick that well - certainly not enough to facilitate any torque whatsoever on the bulb.

I finally hit on the idea of using Hay's Marigold gloves to facilitate some grip on the bulb face, and it worked for about half the bulbs. The rest got damaged when the plastic cover came away with the force required to effect some torque - I can stick the cover back on with superglue though. Actually that made it easier, as there was more to grab hold of in the bulb itself (which is not actually recommended by the manufacturers) or the inside of the reflector.

On doing a bit of Interweb research I discovered that virtually everyone has problems with these little beggars, so be warned.

There's still one bulb remaining that simply won't go in no matter what I do.

On another note, Old Sodbury hit the news yesterday when four pigs ran amok in the village.

England are playing Wales in the Rugby World Cup and Hay decides to hold a Macmillan Coffee Morning. Hope it's over by kick-off at 7:17 - you know how long these coffee mornings can last.