jeudi 30 mars 2006

Hello software from Google - useless!

"hello" software is a bunch of crap. Everytime I try to use it to post to my blog, I get a message saying " a hello embedded error has occurred". I went on the Hello on line help to find hundreds of people with the same problem, going back over 12 months. Any solutions from the wizards at google? you bet not - they don't seem to give a shit. As long as people keep downloading the software and the share price is up who cares if it doesn't work. Posted by Picasa

lundi 27 mars 2006

TV mountain

A friend sent me this great link to a web site with numerous short alpine mountainering videos to download. Watch 'Traversee Grands Jorasses' now isn't that what living is all about?
Here's the link... tv mountain


I read on mostly nonsense about an encounter with a spider which made think of Bertie who lives beside my toilet. Here he is...
He's from Peru, big, bad and ugly. I've never been fond of spiders, in fact you could say I was scared of them. I thought having a big spider beside me on the loo would immunise me against the fear and I have to say it's worked a treat. OK I won't go and pick one up but I'm reasonably relaxed with them in the room. However, if its bedtime and there's a big one in the bedroom, well one of us has to go and it ain't me!

samedi 25 mars 2006

Earplugs please!

The Faculty of Building dinners...they happen every few months in Bristol and attract the good, the bad and the ugly, from the building professions in the, engineers, quantity survetors, architects, etc. I generally avoid them like the plague but went to one last Friday. Lots of people seem to thrive on it, you see them holding court - glad handing everyone in sight.
True, they are quite useful 'networking' events but I find the 'mass dining/socialising' thing so tiresome. Too many (boring) people crammed in a room - the temperature rises, the noise level increases - you have to shout at the person sitting/standing next to you to hold a conversation, whats the point?

This goes for most (city) pubs and bars in the UK too. I went out last weekend with some friends to a bar. The atmosphere was fine, the pub full but not overflowing. Then the barman cranked up the music, 'cos it was Saturday night. Soon everyone was having to shout to be's the same in the all the pubs here...but why? Don't people want to engage with each other any more?

mercredi 22 mars 2006

The Rayburn Saga

Another birthday over - barely saw it come or go. Got up at the crack of dawn to travel the 560 miles round trip to collect the Rayburn. All went well for the first 3 hours then when I was just 10 miles from the first stop - to collect the trailer on which to carry the Rayburn - I hit a traffic jam on the motorway...2 hours later...the traffic started to move. So frustrating as I was only 200yds past an exit. Trailer collected, I pressed on finally arriving at the agreed collection point in Llandudno at 1.30. The Rayburn at first glance wasn't in as good condition as I had hoped but this wasn't helped by the fact that it was filthy - don't think it has been cleaned for 5 years. The sellers didn't even empty the ash from the fire box! They had already managed to get it out of the house and into the street when I arrived, so we only had to get it into the trailer. This wasn't too difficult even though there were only three of us. We rolled it on some scaffold poles then pushed it up a ramp. In fact two of us barely did anything, as the third guy seemed content to do all the lifting and grunting - it's amazingly heavy don't kow how he managed. Everything was a bit top heavy on the trailer and at first I was gingerly cornering at about 5 miles an hour with one eye on the mirror (expecting the load to topple over into the path of the long queue of cars behind me) . But eventually my confidence increased and I was speeding down the motorway at 60 miles an hour (for my little jeep thats fast!). It was a 14 hour round trip and I was glad to get home. The trailer is now in friend's garage with the Rayburn still strapped to it, waiting for my next trip to the Pyrenees (Easter and the following week). Failed miserably to get any photos for the blogsite but I'm sure there'll be some news to post soon.
I spent the following afternoon cleaning the Rayburn doors. These are removable and 'cos it's so dirty I've had to break them down into their numerous component parts, scrub them, then reassemble. Took all afternoon but it looks new and shiny now, so am feeling happier about the purchase. Still got the main body, top and lids to clean. The side panels need refinishing/replacing. Looked at cost of new (£250!) but I figure a car body repair place will probably respray them for less than £100. A lot of work, but I enjoy it. Frustratingly, the french gov has just approved the Rayburn as an efficient wood burner and are offering a 50% rebate if you buy a new one and install it in a french property. All told (trailer, transport, spares, ferry) my second hand one will end up being the same price. But it'll have bags more significance 'cos of the effort and adventure of transporting and restoring it. I don't need many things, but I like everything around me to have a story! Of course this is just the beginning of the Rayburn's story! Still got the 1000 miles of towing to the Pyrenees, unloading, removing the old range, installation, changing the central heating to suit, reconnecting the chimney, etc.

dimanche 12 mars 2006

E-bay purchase

Finally I've found and purchased a solid fuel rayburn for the cottage. I've got to collect it from North Wales then transport it the 1000+ miles to the Pyrenees - not easy when it weighs in at 380kg and doesn't come apart! The existing efel range at the cottage is OK for heating but lousy at cooking plus it's ugly and badly corroded. To get the oven hot enough to roast necessitates boiling the water in the central heating with explosive consequences! In contrast rayburns are a joy to cook on and will provide hot water as well as central heating in the winter. The hunt is on for a 1/2 tonne trailer, some scaffold poles and plenty of spinach! Posted by Picasa

vendredi 10 mars 2006

Mont Valier 26 Feb

...and here's the view from the front door

jeudi 9 mars 2006

Not exactly news...

Well here it is! My new pyrenean mountain home (taken a few weeks ago on a short ski trip).