Friday, 15 September 2017

Holiday plans - and a tenth of a long life

My Daisypath ticker tells me that as of today,  I've owned Chertsey for eight years. That may not seem like long, but it's a tenth of her life!

I've also booked the first holiday of next year - back up the Erewash. Can't believe it'll have been five years since the last time.

Perhaps we'll leave off redoing the cloths until after then...

Monday, 11 September 2017

Normal service is resumed

But I've given up on the goal of getting 300 posts in by the end of the year - I'm not going to cheat by doing more than one a day. I could have carried on doing it on my phone, but... pah.

Anyway, today after two cancellations from EE, a BT man came round and did something and I now have landline broadband, at last - only six weeks after moving.

I think it must have been my iPad that was the data-eating culprit, and I still haven't got to the bottom of it. You will recall that something went through 8GB of mifi data in a fortnight - now, there were five devices connected to that: my phone, Jim's phone, my iPad, Jim's iPad, and my PC. My PC was switched off most of the time. Neither of our phones used more data than expected. Jim's iPad has an EE monthly contract SIM, and usage on that was perfectly normal as far as I can tell. Whereas when we went to the boat the weekend before last, I put a new 3 3GB SIM in my iPad. I use these a lot and they have always run out of time (three months) before they run out of data. This one ran out of data within two weeks despite refusing to connect to any websites in that time. It always showed a decent signal, but timed out every time. I've checked the usage by apps, and none of that comes anywhere near accounting for it.

Extra Energy by the way have surpassed themselves. I have now sent them three lots of meter readings in the hope of getting an accurate bill. When an envelope from them dropped onto the doormat today I thought it might be the bill at last. But on opening it I found.... a new 'welcome new customer' letter.  But at least they've stopped calling me Mrs.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Old flame

The crew of Princess Lucy snapped this on their way through Wheaton Aston and asked whether it was my ex.
Well yes, and I have very fond memories, but also very happy that it's got a new life and is, I am sure, very loved.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Data woes

How can we have used 8GB on the mifi in a fortnight (no games, no video)?
Why won't my iPad connect when its 3 sim is showing a three blob signal?
How am I supposed to blog when the landline broadband which I have been waiting for since the beginning of August isn't going to be transferred until September 11th?
I thought privatisation and competition was supposed to improve the service. We might as well be dealing with the GPO.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

A few Alvecote scenes

Remember last summer? Last weekend...

A lazy post tonight, but I can't afford to miss a single day now if I'm to hit the 300 target for the year!

Friday, 1 September 2017

Books I read in August

Graham Masterton Living Death (local library)
I'm on a bit of a Masterton/Katie McGuire run at the moment. The characters and the dialogue are great. The plots tend towards the outlandish, and also the somewhat grisly. This one, unforgiveably, relied on two coincidences. I will accept one coincidence per book, but not more than that.

Simon Kernick The Bone Field (Tescos)
Traditional thriller, not bad, already forgotten.

Graham Masterton Taken for Dead  (local library)
Another one which I'd already read - in fact, I'm pretty sure this is the first one I read. I enjoyed re-reading it though.

Graham Masterton Red Light (local library)
The last of the Katie McGuires for me to read. It's a shame I've read them out of sequence, especially as they all seem to finish with a bit of a cliffhanger. As a series, the good points are the characters and the dialogue; the less good ones plots that sometimes rely a little too much on coincidence, or stretch credulity in other ways, and a tendency - to be expected, I suppose, in an erstwhile horror author - to dwell a little too lovingly on the gory details. Overall though, pretty good.

Pete Brown Hops and Glory (local library)
I enjoy reading Pete Brown's blog, and this combination of travelogue and history of IPA is the first of his books I've tried.  It was pretty good - though sometimes he seems to be trying too hard to live up to the blurb of being beer's answer to Bill Bryson.

Simon Danczuk and Matthew Baker Smile for the Camera: The Double Life of Cyril Smith (Tesco's book swap)
The amateurish, breathless quality of the writing put me off at first, but even that couldn't mask a gripping story. The child abuse actually came as less of a shock than Smiths sustained lobbying for the asbestos industry. Not an unbiased account - Danczuk being a Labour MP - but it tries to be fair, and Smith's dreadfulness speaks for itself anyway.

Catherine O'Flynn The News Where You Are (local library)
Since loving her What Was Lost so much, it's taken me a while to get round to reading O'Flynn's other novels. This has many similarities with her debut, with its elegaic air and themes of loss and absence, conveyed with perceptive humour and featuring a precocious little girl. It's not as breathtakingly brilliant as What Was Lost, but as that's now one of my top ten books of all time that would be a tall order. It's a quiet sort of book, a story of the everyday desperation hidden beneath normal, even successful, lives, which somehow makes the most dramatic events mundane, as they so often actually are.

Catherine O'Flynn Mr Lynch's Holiday (local library)
Whilst still not as good as What Was Lost, I liked this better than The News Where You Are. It's a lovely, touching, beautifully sketched little story.

Christopher Fowler Wild Chamber (local library)
The latest Bryant and May. They're getting less outright weird, but still pretty convoluted. A delight more for its little asides ('the sort of people who eat crisps at home' being one that springs to mind) than for following the plot, but neatly if incredibly wrapped up in the end.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

PD2 gallery

And now for something for those of us with... specialised... interests.
In the late 50s and early 60s around 70 boats were fitted with Petter PD2s. Just over 10% of those retain them (while a handful of others have subsequently had one fitted). And of these, a full four were at Alvecote. So I took the opportunity to photograph these (to be honest not very magnificent) beasts in their different habitats.

Cassopeia's is what I have always thought of as 'authentic' grey:
I was reassured during the parade that Chertsey's engine isn't actually all that smokey after all
Both Aldgate
and Darley
go for a more traditional dark green, with red embellishments - but only Darley has brass.

And finally, Chertsey, in its unusual 'muscat' green. The one we took out was grey; this one is, as far as I know, from Rufford, and restored by Steve Priest.
I wonder what other differences can be spotted.