Thursday, 31 December 2009


Claims to be shrimp creamy tom yum.
I suspect thats Thai for sour soup.
Here's a recipe
Very Hot - yum yum

Next packet I had got this comment.
Damn Fine Soup

So I guess thats a 7.5/10

Monday, 28 December 2009

Brand New Fun!

In which your author searches for a cheap, acceptable snack.

Instant Noodles (and associated soups) have become a favoured snack recently.
Tiger Tiger make some very nice ones but they're a guinea from Sainsbury's.
The Thai grocers nearby has many different ones available (25p a kick) but I've no idea what they are like.
So I've decided to work through the dozens on offer to find some good uns.
Pictures are essential as most have no useful english (but some excellent engrish).
Plus the packaging - especially the calligraphy is wild.
I'm not sure which way the influence has gone but Rick Griffin anyone?

So first off, the one above.
Not good
Thin white pepper soup.
Noodles ordinary.
(I can feel a marking scheme coming on)

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Up Sir William's Mast

We went for a walk.
The GPS turned itself off again so the track is half of what we did.
Use your imagination to join the start to the finish.
It was circular.
We used to do linear ones before the camper.
I miss that about using the buses into the peak.
When you bus it to Bakewell then walk to Buxton it feels like a journey.
Parking in Bakewell and walking the same circular distance feels like a Sunday walk.
I don't miss the early start, hours on buses, getting cold and late finishes.
Ho Hum.

The long straight bit is the climb up Sir William Hill to the radio mast in the picture.
I've always wondered who Sir William was.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Where Is Wally

This Wally has an iPhone and is still trying to use the GPS.

Today we went on a walk.

We started and finished at Little Longstone.
All I got out of the GPS was a zip file that nothing seems to be able to deal with.
There's an
xml file that looks promising.

It's got this in it

Distance 14.4 kilometers
ElapsedTime 3:46:01
AvgSpeed 3.8 km/h

But I can't be arsed.
Sadly the Saab is the thing I remember.
It was a lovely, proper old school one and I wanted to knock on the neighbouring houses waving money.
I suspect that wouldn't have worked - it looked loved.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Another Peak District Circle

We went on a walk
I've looked for nice photos and failed.
But S did take this of our fridge (the week after)

We had been to the Farmers Market in Bakewell.
A rare thing - a Farmers Market where you can shop for food and avoid supermarkets.
They have virtually everything we need and lots of things I desire.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

A Sheffield Ramble

In which we went for a walk without any assisted transport, I muse on old routes and whinge about technology.

Up to Lodge Moor by bus and then out around Redmires Reservoir>Stannage>Hathersage etc etc is a firm favourite but today it became our destination.
The climb up to Lodge Moor, mostly Tom Lane, has got to be an old route.
The obvious continuous route and the collection of old houses all the way up must be significant.
But it's too straight and steep to be a coach road.
So I'm thinking packhorses and jaggers.

The GPS failed before the end.
(BTW to prevent you sneaking into Shed Zero and killing us in our beds I started the GPS after we'd left - clever stuff eh?)

Lunch pictured above was cold bbq ribs, spinach pie and aubergine rolls.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Testify Your Mental Capacity

This was the venue for my Mental Capacity Act roadshow. There is some significant irony in this. I get to lecture people about having capacity to make decisions when I can't decide what to have for lunch.
And they let me do it in a church!
Sometimes life gets well weird.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Here's a Funny Thing

A very funny man, but he can't sing.
Doing Lenny Cohen in a show about lost youth, existentialism and Paris is ok.
Singing songs on request when you can't sing well is crap.
He told the same joke as Julian Clary but it was no less funny.
The hand shandy joke here

Saturday, 17 October 2009

The Ghost of Shipyards Past

I went to B-arrow to see me mammy.
I had this weird mystic experience at what appears to be where they buried the town

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Reeves or Moir

Vic Reeves has a book out and appeared at the Off The Shelf Festival to promote it.
I wondered if it was really Jim Moir who appeared.
In the end I decided it was VR promoting a JM product.
I think.

Any which way here's the book.
He presented images from it and a commentary.
Some sort of surrealist connection with the usual absurd twang to it.

BTW - He was very entertaining, not so sure about his straight man for the night.
He was dull and ill prepared.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

First of the Formworks

Next make dams out of scrap wood (forms) where you don't want the floor to be.

It's Shedtastic

May I present Shed 2?
Chiefly used for materials storage although S decided it made a lovely summer house and sat in it for a while this pm. Strange behaviour.
It's a preformed "tin" affair and an excellent demonstration of strength through shapes. The sheet metal is not much thicker than kitchen foil but formed into box sections and ribs it's very sturdy.
There's hardly any frame at all. This shed will be on the move eventually to replace Shed 3. Which is coming done once Shed 4 is completed.
Shed 3's roof can be seen peeking out above the back of Shed 2. Behind that is the big shed, Shed Zero, which S calls our house.
Under that is Shed 1 or "The Cellar".
Further details of Shed 4 construction and a map of Shedland Theme Park will follow.

Friday, 2 October 2009

The Renowned Homosexual

You'll have to take my word for it but this is Julian Clary at Sheffield City Hall.
He was very funny, filthy and lovely with it.
He's 50 this year.
Good luck to him I say.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

A Trip to Hull

Which meant seeing this beauty.
I can't help it.
Engineering turns me on.

The trip was business however - to take part in the great care debate.
See elsewhere for details.
My take on it is , as ever, cynical. I shouldn't but I can't help it

Number 1
  • Despite all their assurances it smacked of consultation after major decisions have been made. For example "how can we fund future care?". But they had taken the two extremes of pay for yourself and total state financing out before presenting 3 slightly different joint funding models. I suggested that old people should take up armed robbery. My table of delegates thought it was a joke.

Number 2

  • When a government, which like all British governments doesn't control much of the economy tells me how it will pay for care in 2059; I think I'm allowed a modicum of cynicism.

Number 3

  • Thank you GB Govt. for an excellent day out where someone asked for my opinion. Normally I have to force it on my victims. I used up all my yellow dots, green and yellow post-its, gold stars and lost 3 pens. Our table facilitator Mark couldn't believe his luck someone willing to talk straight at bare silence and make a fool of himself.
What fun!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

From Where I Sit

It was a Sunday and we went for a walk.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Groundwork Day

I'm guessing this means little to anyone else but this post records the completion of the digging bit of the shed groundwork. As I predicted the day happened again and again until today.
The shed base is 3.56x2.5x0.15
I've shifted 1.34 cu.m of topsoil.
Which sounds very little but is close to 2 tonnes.
Shifting also means extracting and grading the stones/rubble in it 'coz thats going back in.
Then getting rid of the soil.
  • The nice fruit tree man up the road.
  • Mark's mam.
  • The domestic dump.
  • Sneaking it into the wheelie bins.
The bleeding great escape.
I'm off for a big drink.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

A Big Ship Appears

Overnight a beauty of a ship appeared in Kirkwall.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

The Light! The Light!

We went for a walk (which I didn't track) from "Walks in Orkney"
From Burray out into Scapa Flow onto the sort of Island of Hunda.
The weather was very Scottish, squally blasts rolling in across Flotta and Co, then bursts of brilliant sunshine.
In between one of these walking back to Burray Village this rainbow appeared.
It really did look like this!

We found a broch!
(right click, save and open in Google Earth if it doesn't do it for you)

Sunday, 30 August 2009

What Can I Say - It's Skara Brea

The wind became acceptable and they let us in.
My lasting impressions are sophistication, ease of existence and cosiness.
I'm sure this is from "The Noble Savage" and is far too romantic but thats me all over.
Look here and find out more.
Better still go and see it - it's worth the effort.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

F**k Me It's Windy

The day before it was even windier. They closed Skara Brae to visitors. I was miffed - didn't feel that bad to me. I think they have a meter behind the ticket counter that says "no tourism too windy".
We got there a couple of days later in sunshine and calm.
Marvellous, last time I went there was no visitor centre and the Atlantic weather was howling in. The impression I left with was how cosy the houses were. This time I could only see the stone work and imagine someone picking the right size little stones to fill the gaps. It seems such a human experience. If I was building something I'd have to do the same.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Remember Death

Well you're not likely to forget it at Saint Magnus's. The incessant repetition of symbols is cute.
If the big skull doesn't get the idea across...
  • Turf Cutter
  • Coffin
  • Used up candle
  • Tolling bell
  • Finished hour glass
  • Spade

All add extra hints in case you didn't get it.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

First Tomb of the Trip

It's Wideford Cairn and very nice it is to.
Historic Scotland, who manage it, are keeping quiet about it.

Copey and his pals have much more to tell you about it.

The hike up from Kirkwall is fun, eventually getting to the 2nd highest point in the Islands (I think). Something in the name signifies a signal point (ford/ward>vorthr= Old Norse for guard/lookout) and today the summit is dotted with communications masts and remains of such.
So not much changes then?
The view is super.
As you'd imagine.

Running Repairs

The new carburetors certainly have done the trick.
For those who couldn't place them - Dellorto DRLA 40.
Very sexy - for the cognoscenti.
But I didn't get the crankcase breathing correctly rigged.
I don't think there was any effective when I first fired the engine up, tuned and timed it.
I was engrossed in my efforts; the intake noise at 4500rpm is hypnotic.
Meanwhile the high pressure had found a weak spot in an old component and was pumping oil out.
It looked just like my arm bleeding when I stuck some barbed wire in a vein.
Pump pump, pump pump, pump pump...
You get the cadence.
No time to fix it in Yorkshire - turned the crack to the top and hope.
The journey up took 1.5 litres of oil.
Here's the fix.
  • Instant Gasket.
  • Gaffer Tape.
  • Guiness Can
  • Jubilee Clips
Voila no leak.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Fighting Talk

It's so rough that they tie any potential weapons down.

Mainland No More

I suppose people say this is the best possible view of Thurso but that's unfair. It seems to wear it's workings on the outside and has no pretensions. The Masonic Hall is impressive and very visible on the main road. Great sandstone buildings which reminds me of my hometown.
On this day however, we sped through and caught the Stromness ferry with at least 10 seconds to spare. That required thrashing the camper from Blair Atholl all the way up the A9. The new carbs did the trick (but are currently consuming petrol alarmingly - S calculated 17 mpg )

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Where is that line

Idling crossing a border and I wondered where is the transition.
The utilities people have to be exact; here's evidence of that exactitude.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Goyt, Goit, Goiter?

Here's a daft word.
Anyway today we went to
The Goyt Valley
(we love wikipedia)

But I know
goit in it's Y'shire context.
Blow me there be a
River Goit an all.

Whats goiter got to do with any of this?

Throats I'm guessing (with some support)

Here's the walk
(the GPS went wrong and there's a bit missing
I went wrong and tracked some driving - I think
You work it out)

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Sunday, 2 August 2009

A Hartington Circuit

(I pinched the photo from - good work whoever)

We when for a walk.
I can't remember much about the day.
(it's now 10/02/2010).
But Pilsbury Castle is always worth a visit.
Which we didn't do this day - looked down on it I guess.

Monday, 27 July 2009

The hardest button

Inspiration and time buttons won't stay buttoned.
Wish you were here.
This really is the view from our room.
Food marvelous.
S cooked it.

I did the galley slave bit for 3 days.
A well fed time was had by all.

The headphone patch is knacked!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

It's Holiday Time Again

We're in Scarborough for S's Father's 80th Birthday.
S and her brother organised flats in a very bona new development in
URL for The Sands in here
So far the weather has made it super dooper.
The NE Coast approaches heaven; beaches, a castle on a headland, a
smattering of low fluffy rain clouds and the evening light of a summer
We whizzed up and down both bays, gadding about in ice cream palours,
tea rooms and the excellent but tiny SeaFest.
What a jolly time!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Up and Down To Matlock Bath

We went for a walk
But S wasn't well so we turned around and came back to Cromford.
The rest of the day was spent shopping.

  • Idly wandering about
  • Looking at stuff,
  • Picking some of it up and
  • Going "hmmm"
At Cromford there is the remains of Arkwrights original mill.
Pictured is some hydraulics - the bit where the wheel was?

Friday, 17 July 2009

Lesbo Shindig


Funny You Should Mention That

But we don't actually wee into it.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

The Soft Machine, AC Cobras and Portable Stoves

Which sums up my day so far.
We went for a

Halfway 'round SURPRISE SURPRISE - a classic car show.
Well it was no surprise for me and I had warned S that we might happen upon it.

So no surprise to anyone really.

The star of the show, in fact on first perusal the only star, A real
AC Cobra.
If you don't know this car - you obviously have no interest in automobiles.
The greatest pure muscle car ever.
Body and chassis from some GB minor manufacturer.
Engine from Ford(USA) without any limit
Combined by
Caroll Shelby - nutcase genius.
This one however had a 6.3L Chevy engine - so a little suspect.
I wanted to lick this one - all gloss black'n'chrome.
The rest of the cars sucked so we had lunch and watched car geeks.
After lunch a cup of tea is favourite.
Now for that you really need boiling water - a flask don't cut it.
So here's a sub list inside the bag list

This is a little beauty I've had for years, it's gas powered and will fit into your average pocket.
The blistered patina is a result of my refurbishment with "wrong" paint but I really like the effect.

Stuart Maconie is featuring The Soft Machine and associates in the
Freak Zone as Hugh Hopper has died.

However typical showboating by some rich weirdo druggie R&B singer dancer has obscured this sad event from public attention.

Monday, 6 July 2009

More Mincing in Moorland

Exercise is good for you.
Here's an exercise in how quick can I get a walk published.

No historic details.
Techy stuff, so's to remember it.
e-mail Track from 'phone
open gpz file in Google Earth bringing in only track
Save as kmz (it's smallest)
ftp to web site
slap link in below

Forgot wallet - returned and got in
Forgot binoculars - missed detailed view of stoat/weasel
Forgot to lock car - trudged back.

Time for the

The walk.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Hussar - The Weld Pool Grows

Very quick post

This weekend I twigged Arc Welding!

Always I'd been able to happily create spot weld and tacks.
But continuous seam welds had defeated me.
Until now.
Two weeks ago I put in a repair panel into the rear near-side quarter on the Camper.
Usual struggle with seams, no problem with spots.
Mussing happened.
about a week ago I sussed it.
Build a weld pool before moving off down the seam.
I couldn't wait to try it and when I did sho nuf nice continuous seams.

I'm sure you're interested

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Ramps, Ridgeways, Railways and Rain

This Sunday walk re-used ways intended for other uses.
It didn't rain.

All the following provenance is mine and may well be wrong

The climb from Dennis Knoll used a 19c(?) millstone quarry ramp
At the top we followed Stannage Edge West on a medieval packhorse causeway towards Strines.
As the Inn claims to be 13C the route must have passed it - well you wouldn't avoid the only pub in the region would you?
Well yes we did! (S is teetotal and I'm in charge of the motor car).
Slightly before the inn we picked up a footpath "preserved" by very wonderful Peaks and Northern Footpaths Soc.
Their ref S086 - these signposts are a delight.
From Cutthroat Bridge to Ladybower Inn there must have been some sort of way for the murder to have been done and discovered.
I'm assuming that as the whole valley was flooded for the reservoirs, all the roads are new, but the placename "Yorkshire Bridge" does make you think.

A lovely lunch and a bit of a doze in the sun was then enjoyed at the top of the Labybower Dam.
Wonderful civil engineering site-seeing thanks to the Derwent Valley Water Board.
You've got to be thinking be-whiskered men in tall hats smoking cigars.
Bloody Hell - It's Van Morrison again

Off across the dam to pick up and railway, now called the Thornhill Trail. It was built for moving stuff from the main Hope Valley line up to the dams during construction.
(it's not really in Canada)

Past the rotting yellow syncro in bamford (spit spit I want it! They obviously don't)
Up the hill on Saltergate Lane.
Now what do you think that might be about?
Some jigger-pokery (should that be jaggery-pokery or coggery-pokery) gets us across Hurst Clough and into a green lane.
Green Lane/Drovers road call 'em what you want but mostly dicks seem to want to race 4x4s up 'em.
They are public roads but seems a shame to destroy 1000 year old ways in 20 years.
Guess where that got us - back to the 2 tonne 4.2 litre battle cruiser.
Yes I'm a hypocrite.
But I'm also a nihilist so everything is okay.

If you walk this way - enjoy it.
Future installments will do The Peak as industrial wasteland (which it is!)

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Pasty Number 5

Well this post went adrift somewhere last night.
I'd swear that I saw it up here after I'd written it whilst tucked up in the camper.
But I was pissed, tired and hurting after a long day in the sun.
We went to Fowey (pronounced Phooey) , walked via Gribben Point to Polkerris, then back to Foy (pronounced Filbertegibbert).
Last time I was here (for Roy Walker's Wedding 25ish yrs ago) Fowey was cute but still a functioning town. Now it's cuter than a kitten in a basket surrounded by daisies and probably awful to live in. Then it had a bakery selling pasties now it has Kittow Bros. (elsewhere advertised as a "craft butchers and grazier" WTF?)
The filling
Far too much meat, they advertise "3 times the legal minimum". By that reasoning a lump of steak wrapped in pastry would be a pasty. It aint, it's Beef Wellington.
And not enough pepper.
And cubes (but I think I need to get over this)
The Pastry
The better of the components but not perfect. I want pastry made of crumbs and any flakiness will be punished.
The Presentation etc.
S says 0/2, I want to give them 0.5 so they don't cry.
No I can't think of any good stuff
Total 5/10
(that surprised me)

Friday, 19 June 2009

Pasty Number 4

We went to Liskeard today and I did some research so picked this recommended baker.
I wasn't disappointed.
Fine to very good. Minus for Veg in cubes and all though seasoning was good not quite strong enough
Splendid. Slight lamination but not flaky.
Not bad baked on premises.
Only £2 for big pasty
Excellent gingham paper bag
Total 8/10
Rest of day spent deep in antiquity and geology.
The Trevathy Quoit vs Cheesewring
humans vs nature.
Nature wins
Unfeasibly large slabs of granite balanced in a threatening manner.
I was scared.