Saturday, 29 December 2007

Freaky Friday

It seems a Tradition that Friday Blogs have lists in them so here's my first. 
Favourite Cranes
Sheffield has become a building site, apartment and office blocks going up everywhere. As the flats are costing what our house did and the major population influx is from Eastern Europe, it got me thinking.
WhoTF is buying them?
I'm told be people who should know (housing strategists would you believe) that it's rich people who work in the new office blocks who don't commute but have 2 homes.  I suspect the flats  could be buying and selling flats not living in flats.  Property developers build 'em and then sell them to property developers and they become pure commodity - ain't capitalism marvelous.The plus to all this is Sheffield's full of cranes - aren't cranes great!

No. 1
I looked for a picture of the Big Crane (with the little one on the boom) which must be my all time favourite.  No luck.  But this is what Barrow-in-Furness skyline used to be from Walney. Lovely lovely cranes. 

No 2
I can't help it it's in my blood, more shipyard cranes.  The very mighty Samson and Goliath at Harland and Wolf in Belfast.  They have no function but everyone wanted them kept.  I presume because they were familar,  I think they have beauty too but I like machines.  Too late for B-in-F. 

No 3

Here's a family group from Sheffield, they're building what will be the tallest block in the city which is nice for them.   I'm hoping they will grow as the block does and become cranes amongst cranes.  I suspect building tall buildings has left cranes behind and some clever gantry around the building will creep up as it grows.  Shame. 

No 4
I couldn't resist.  Isn't he lovely?
Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum) apparently

No 5

I couldn't resist.  Isn't he lovely?
Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) apparently

No 6
The final Crane.
Actually I think Eddie (RIP) is my favourite on the program but he's a dog and doesn't have a family name.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

The Slider

Neat title eh?
Today was another Sunday so we went for a walk in the park.
Here's we 'cept me obviously and the Big Kid  above.
Left to right Mike, Sandra, Sylvy and Barbra , the Big Kid is Eva.

They're all off ('cept Sandie) to live in New Zealand and I shall miss them.

That's it.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Elephant In The Womb

Image from here

Xmas day-what can you say the most Sunday of all Sundays and its not even Sunday.  Anyone remember the last xmas day on a Sunday?  That must have been the worst.

Sandy and I did Saturday morning film club special - it wasn't Saturday so it was a special geddit?.

The film was 'Bringing Up Baby' 1000% gem - today’s competition number and name bad Cary Grant films. Prizes given to anyone whose answer the judge (guess who?) agrees with.

Elephant in room

Lots of my time today has been taken up with this blog, I’m very tempted to blog about blogging and disappear up my own fundament - but I won't.

OMG I have!

Here's more

I love "my name is Wade Sonenberg, I live in Atlanta..." (don't know why either).

Taking of bad sundays here's Black Sabbath

Punk Rock 1970

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Homeward Bound

Sculptor and I guess owner of image

Fairly uneventful day, which was a good thing considering we traveled back to Sheffield.  Camper cruised quite happily at 65-70 all the way and the ploy of traveling on xmas eve worked a treat.  The circuit of London 'round the South/North Circular isn't ever fast but it kept flowing.  The M1 I’ve never seen so empty, which means it was busy but didn't grind to a halt every 20 miles  for no apparent reason. 

I could go on but this is even boring me. I was about to tell about the progress of my cold - thrilling eh?

Hopefully here's something more interesting.  

I think I keep dreaming about not being able to sleep.  But how do I know?

I’m lying there thinking why am I 'awake' at some god awful hour of the night and Sandra 'wakes' me up to stop me snoring.  The quote marks are to signify that I really don’t know what state I’m in.  Here's another thought, what if Sandra’s dreaming about me snoring?  
I think some research into snoring/dreaming/sleep apnea might be called for.
Well I did some and I keep finding the statement that you can't dream and snore but that's all it appears to be a statement - no evidence as yet.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Sick Boy - Fading Fast

I've got a cold and I’m not really interested in much today.  Which is a shame coz there's no shopping and two exhibitions I was looking fwd to.

So v. quickly

Age of Enchantment - Brit illustration 1870-1920- dead good but not enough Arthur Rackham

Interestingly (well it is to me) I've spent years admiring Arthur R's many talents

  • Illustrator
  • Spy
  • Journalist
  • Author
Now I find out there's 2 of 'em and I've been blended A Rackham with A Ransome

Doesn't Spartacus Educational sound suspicious - well it does to me!

Next the Turner Prize Winners - just what is said on the tin TP winners 84-07

Not bad, nice to see stuff that there’s been a fuss about in the 'flesh'

Back to the camper soon for tea and early night for sick boy G I think.

Talking of tea I must tell all the camping fans amongst you,

that’s Tim and Jan if you didn’t know

We've got the best camping oven yet, 

  • The Weber was ok
  • I was tempted by a Cobb. 
  • Them soviets sussed it once again a Remoska cooker! 

If you’ve got mains you can have an oven.  What was good for a flat in Prague works just peachy in a camper (or a tent). 

Tonight, roast chicken and veg, stick it in forget about it. 

Which is just as well as I’ve got about 750ml of special brew on board and this typing lack is difficult never mind food prep. 

Sandra has just reported that the itinery of visual arts is virtually complete - we only missed a Jane Bown exhib 

Shame I love her photos.



Saturday, 22 December 2007

Is This A Pipe?

Well the smutty pics were largely just that - porno thru the ages I can get that off the www - I was expecting more art.

Highlights were selected images from The Kinsey Collection lots of 50's hard core but the academic classification made it really comic.  It appears they still collect and catalogue similar stuff. 

Whizzing all over today, Fulham for antiques - bumped into 'Quality Campers' just by accident loads of t25s but no breaking going on - no parts. 

If anyones got a mint set of engine tinware I'm in the market. 

This pm the plan is a sleeping and dreaming themed exhibition at the Wellcome foundation - I wonder if they’re giving out samples, I could go a nice nap from a big pink sweetie ;-)

The Sleeping and Dreaming exhibition was the dogs', cats', and bees' parts especially as they were showing Un Chien Andalou - best Spanish Surrealist film ever made.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Poets Corner - A Warning

Westminster Abbey - not bad, the Chapter House is especially good.  Surprising I’ve never been before.  Bit of a swizz though all these memorials for people who are buried somewhere else.

Check it out 

So that gave me an idea, I'll start putting up memorials in our house and charge admission.

If you get confused and doubt that Norman Mailer is buried in our back garden.

Look here

It's official, I hate shopping trailing around all the UniQlo shops in the West End to find that the only size in the trousers I want are stupid colours and I only want them for work anyway. 

Can I have those 2 hours of my life back please?
I thought not!

Shopping in the West End of London on the last weekend before Xmas wasn’t a clever idea anyway.  Carnaby Street to do and then lunch.  Might go into Liberty's to look at stuff we can't afford.  

On the whole I’d rather drill my own teeth. 

Lunch would be good next and the afternoon plan is smutty pictures at the Barbican - I kid you not.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Final Results - Sandra Wins!

Round up of the shopping match

Sandra missed another sitter and it went to extra time.  Very negative play from both sides - including drinking coffee and eating cakes.  Then at the death Power goes mental, a flurry of scores.

 We found the last Fopp Records on earth.  
I netted

  • First three Jimi Hendrix; 
  • Nirvana Unplugged
  • Guns 'N' Fucking Roses only decent album, "Appetite For Destruction"  

A certain winning play.  But no, Sandra kills the game dead with all the Bowie albums up to "Young Americans" (bar "Hunky Dory" which we’ve got). 

A clear winner.

Today is a comfortable start, 

V&A for Haute Couture - boring and superficial.

I don't get Fashion as Art when it  comes down to it doesn't do that inspirational thing to me.  I can't see that expression of some essence of humanity.  "What is art?" - Discuss!

Hey it's not an invitation, do it now!

Also at the V&A- The Art of Lee Miller - tee riffick.  

This is ART!

Try this for comparison


Less comfortable followed - more shopping. I’m losing my energy for intensive consuming. Although I have just finished probably the best pastie ever, from Harrods

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Dick Lit And the Shopping Match

No CDs acquired yesterday.

but Murder One in Charing Cross did yield 

I’ve read so many good reviews of JLB's latest I thought I’ll give him a go. 

Read the first 40 pages - dead good.  

Today’s plan is shopping, so far we’ve half done Covent Garden and its environs and the score is...

  • Geoff      a bag and a pastie
  • Sandra    a frock, 2 shirts and a hair grip.

Will post updates on the action as the match proceeds.

The CD hunting stems from the vinyl to mp3 saga.
I'd decided I’d do everything without assessment a la production line.    About 10 discs in however I came across an Eddy Grant album that neither of us remembers buying and after two tracks it's obvious that it must be turned it an ashtray. So now some assessment is being applied.

The first James Marshall Hendrix album is unplayable and must be replaced.  While I’m there why have I never owned 'Are You Experienced?'

So they're my target for the day but Fopp Records is no more, where to shop for music now? 
I forgot you all live in towns and won't necessarily experienced the joy of Fopp.  All dad rock cd's ever made less than a fiver. 

Top quality.

Dammit now I’m stuck with HMV and Virgin, which strangely is now called Zavvi???????

Match Report

GJP comes from nowhere to pull one back with a hooded top from Muji. But what's this, Sandra Dawn disappears into the fitting room with trousers and a jacket.  The lad's gutted!

Capewell shoots at an open goal, skys it into the crowd and only comes away with a jacket. Power quickly counter-attacks and brings off an audacious £1.95 sunglasses case.  He's on a roll, 50% off everything in Criminal was what he was waiting for - tee shirt - get in!

The pace settles down, toing and froing but no results from either side.  No wait, Capewell's back in the fitting room with 2 dresses - she must score!

Latest Score

  • Geoff      a bag, a pastie, hoodie, t-shirt and sunnies case
  • Sandra    a frock, 2 shirts ,a hair grip and jacket

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Cold Brit Monarchs, Hot Pop Art Heroes and SHOUTING

What are the rules here?

Can I tell you about yesterday today?

Here goes, Hampton Court was

  • Authentically cold
  • Not Tudor enough 
  • Needs a good 6 hours to wander about in.  
  • All in all well worth as visit but not what I expected.  

They market it as Henry VIII but really its William III.  

Off to the National Portrait Gallery for pop art portraits terrific stuff.

All the usual suspects (Warhol, Blake, Lichtenstein etc) but great stuff by people I'd never heard of especially Joe Tilson and Mel Ramos (can't resist a bit of cheesecake).  I liked the prelude bit with the people who came B4 the pop artists in particular a nice nod to 


who I rate completely especially as a welder

I've lost control of me typesetting now and discovered if you make up tags like - i'm shouting and I can't help it 

After that to the ICA for some photographer from Warhol’s factory , Peter Hujar

(the piccy at the top is a great pic of Susan Sontag by PH - copyright someone else)

and Charing Cross for books and cds.

Explosives, Birthdays and Rhyming Slang

The observant amongst you will have noticed time has passed and I didn’t finish the tale of auto engineering above (or it is below?).

I’ll keep it short - nursed the engine to Belfast, most of the distance by ferry so it wasn’t difficult, and had a few days there.  

Smart place and only a bit scary – the loyalists still advertise their military services "Papists killed here - apply within" sort of stuff. 

So set off out of Bfast and...

  • Crunch it happens again 
  • Shut it down 
  • Start it up  
  • Everythings ok. 

Anyway no trouble but I’m careful from then on - retarded the timing about 5 degree just in case.

Get back from hols and I’ve decided that it's dropped a valve seat.  So get and prep another cylinder head. Bugger me when I whip the old one off it looks like someones been at it with a pickaxe and the piston crown is the same.  

HSD - dread condition high-speed detonation, like pinking but worse something serious wrong with timing I guess.  

Surprisingly I'm not the only one to confuse pre-ignition and detonation.  I googled for you to provide some nice links to illustrate the problem but the only places where they seem to understand the difference are amateur bomb making sites.   I don't think I shall be linking to any of them. Here's the difference

  • Proper ignition - fuel/air mix burns and flame front acts in concert with piston
  • Pre-ignition - fuel/air mix burns and flame front acts against piston
  • Detonation - fuel/air mix explodes and chops lumps out of your engine

And that was keeping it short!

It's Sandie's birthday today and as we’re in London - pay attention at the back- we’re off to Hampton Court where I shall be re-enacting the famous moment in history when Good King 'Enry got his wick caught in a rose bush in the privy gardens

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Earwig O

2 days to go until holidays, preparations begin.

The camper is as ready as it's going to get.  

Amazing how I’ve kept off the subject until now, tough luck readers it's obsessive vw owner time.

The engine got rebuilt in the summer, proper rebuild from the bottom up.  Phil Edge's advice was taken and as far as possible it was stock, i.e. no extra power production attempted. 

V wise advice seeing as the last complete engine build I did was a 200cc two stroke (remember that James Captain?). 

So as per usual engine gets back in a day before we go off on holiday.  August in Ireland - lovely went to New Grange in the Boyne valley - staggering Neolithic stuff - big buildings from 1000s of years ago. I'm sure our archeological reader could add more superlatives.  

Anywho, carefully run in new engine up to Stranraer - runs like a nice running thing at a sewing machine festival. 10 mile from the campings it sounded and felt like every nut and bolt inside went for a wander.  Shut it down quick, coast to a halt and dive underneath. 

  • No bad signs.  
  • Unpack everything to get to engine bay.  
  • It's a T3, brick shaped one not a hippy one so the engines inside. 
  • Inspect sniff, feel, and lick everything I can. 
  • Still no badness.  

If there were a careful way to start it (any suggestions welcome) I’d have done that next but only thing I could think of was to crank it and hope.  

Brilliant, it fired up and everything tickety boo. Be great if engines made that noise when running sweet.

  • Tickety boo
  • Tickety boo
  • Tickety boo
  • Tickety boo

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Endless Sequence Of Camper camped 001

Maybe I'll even work out where.
(pre gps on camera)