Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Getting the lead out......and in.

No rain today so I spent some time leading in the cast railings I salvaged a while back into the copings of the wall we are building.Its an easy job but I think the best way still of securing cast iron and also a fun job to do.Metal has been fixed to stone this way for several thousand years and you can still see Roman examples of it today.You simply melt lead,scoop the oxide slag off the top and pour away the shiny molten lead although any dampness in stone pocket needs to be avoided as a mini Vesuvius will result.......as I found out.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Oh to be in England

It's sunny,it's St.Georges day and as a nation we are celebrating the birthday of William Shakespeare family OTW are happy happy happy!

Wednesday, 13 April 2016


My girls have been enjoying a visit from their Aunty Vinogirl over the last couple of weeks.Like all little girls they like to play dress up but with me as a Dad and her as an Aunt they get to dress up as Ramones! Their Aunt returns home tomorrow but she will be followed shortly by these little Ramonettes so we can all get some California sun......Get ready Vinogirl and Bil!

Thursday, 7 April 2016


June 1981, I couldn't sing, couldn't play guitar (much) and I couldn't write a decent tune but somebody was daft enough to let me make a record. To my great surprise some people liked us and the first time I heard myself on the radio I immediately thought "this is way better than working".....and so a layabout was born!

Sunday, 3 April 2016


Over breakfast this morning my 4 year old son asked me "Can you kill a shark by throwing snowballs at it?" now as any parent knows you must never show a seconds hesitation or weakness in front of children so I answered "no!" my son continued on with his business assured and comforted by the knowledge that all was well in his world. As to the shark situation I'm hoping I was correct as telling porkies to my little un on a Sunday is a bit of a dilemma for an upstanding chap such as myself, if anybody wishes to enlighten me vis a vis sharks and snowballs I'd be much obliged!

Thursday, 17 March 2016


I'm not a great lover of St.Patricks day and all the fake Irish shenanigans but as the great philosopher Popeye said  " I yam what I yam!" so happy drunken Irish day to you all.

Friday, 11 March 2016


The pic below shows my Fathers old Liverpool police truncheon, a weapon (sort of!) he called his 'twig'.The truncheon is made of ebony or some such hardwood and I suppose could in the right hands inflict some damage.I myself took a few digs in the ribs from one in my younger years...not from my father I must add! The Liverpool police were armed with this relic when facing the mass violence of the Toxteth riots something that contributed to their rather large casualty rate.Things have changed now and our police resemble robo cop even when going about their ordinary business a necessary evil I suppose.I recorded a single with my little beat combo at the time about  the riots and it was a minor indie hit for us which was cool I suppose mind you selling a few thousand copies of anything from Liverpool wasn't that hard then.....a little bit of vinyl history I suppose.

Friday, 4 March 2016

googley googley

Mooching around on google I found this image of my house taken I would guess 18-20 months ago.Most of the work on the main house is finished but you can clearly see the ongoing work on the new build bothy top left.......history now!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Cap it off

Not the best pic I know but with a storm outside work is strictly indoors. The pillar cap is for a little job I'm starting....strictly as a hobby of course now that I'm a retired gentleman of leisure.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016


Up until my kids started school fulltime 3 years back I was able to spend 4 months a year at our home in California.Time passes however and the demands of life here in England meant selling up and settling into village life with all its quirks and foibles. As much as I love my life  I just cant stop thinking about how just a short time ago I could escape the interminable wet windy weather here pretty much whenever I wished...moan moan moan! I do intend to buy again in America at some not too future point as I find myself constantly surprised just how much I miss everyday life there. So as a sop to my feelings we have just arranged a seven week stay this coming summer, so sod the no doubt coming wet spring....sun this summer is guaranteed!

Saturday, 13 February 2016


Not much posting lately as we had a visit from an old friend (if you have kids you soon become familiar) the Norovirus.Described by some as the Ferrari of the virus world I can unhappily attest to its speed and vigour.On the plus side it made my giving up cake,sweets and chocolate for lent rather easy, If a little traumatic...not TMI I hope.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

The answer

I enjoyed my little quiz and it seems most who answered had at least some idea what it was and two people with a little prompting were spot on, well done Haddock and Albert. The object in question is one of the few CS gas canisters ever used on mainland Britain, it was fired during the 1981 Toxteth riots. I lived in Toxteth at the time and as a 20 year old I'm afraid to say a riot was something I was not going to miss out on.The gas canister hit a wall just above my head ( another individual was killed by a direct hit) and several seconds later I was a mess of snot, tears and puke...charming I know! A good friend of mine pulled me to safety which was nice of him as a police charge swept past and by this time they where not taking any prisoners...well not without a good pasting with a truncheon. The riots where very violent and very destructive with inbetween 700 and 1000 policemen injured, my involvement was mainly as an observer as I had friends on both sides of the line and you could walk via alleyways from behind rioters to policemen and back again quite easily.I have to admit even though people died and a chunk of the city was burned down I found it exciting but then life was different then...well at least mine was.I shall revisit this subject of the riots at a later date if anyone is interested.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Give us a clue

I thought I'd have a little quiz so here goes....does anybody know what the pictured object is? As a clue I can say that it is an object of social history quite rare and dating from the early Thatcher years....any ideas?
UPDATE, people are getting close so I'll answer tomorrow.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Time flies

It doesn't look like much thought and effort went into this build when seen at this speed.....if only all my projects went this quick then my joints wouldn't ache so much!