Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Tooty fruity

It has been to say the least a rather damp squib of a summer with record breaking rainfall in August and July.The fruit trees here have thrived though (me...not so much!)with all bearing a healthy crop even if the lack of sugar content is rather noticeable.The apples,damson,quince and Asian pears in particular are looking good.This is also the first year that the cider apple trees I planted a few years back are bearing fruit so it looks like monkey and I will be busy brewing this autumn...cheers!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Wax on wax off

Taking a leaf out of this splendid chaps book I dodged the showers today and set about touching up the fence around my gate lodge in preparation for winter. I quite enjoy pottering about with a can of paint as with a bit of work you get quite a bang for your buck, even if all external paints nowadays seem to be water based.....and given how much water the heavens deliver here that's a recipe for disaster.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Magic in the air

I spent most of today taking logs out of the drying stacks and running them through the log splitter.I spent the time musing on various subjects one being what to post next when this flew low overhead....problem solved!

Friday, 31 July 2015

Summers past.

75 years ago this was happening,food for quiet reflection and grateful thanks.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Wash day

My wife subscribes to my nobody eats for free philosophy and so she put the kids to work washing my truck...all fine there then.What she didn't see was my littlest Princess using gravel to gave that extra special finish to the paintwork...oh well the best laid plans etc.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Cluck squark!

At last! one of my posh chickens (well done chubhead) laid an egg so another 3000 eggs and I'll break even....aint nothing free about free range.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Part time

Even though now retired I have quite a bit of work on the cards around the various properties here, the first of which is building the gothic wall on the Bothy.You can see here my rough drawing of the coping for the wall and pictured above a sample piece we made from some scrap stone. I think the profile is the one I was aiming for but I plan to sleep on it before making a final decision, the rest of the stone has arrived from the quarry and I spent time in the yard earlier this week helping to cut it to size on the large saw......and off we go!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Do the math(s)

The first couple of weeks of my retirement have coincided with a visit from my kid sister Vinogirl which means a fun time for all here over the water.Today we visited Meols beach in an attempt to escape the very pre thunderstorm muggy weather. whilst not the most scenic of beaches it does have a vast amount of clean sand and so it was perfect for the little ones to enjoy themselves even if it did consist of lessons in basic trigonometry.........never too young to learn!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Fathers day

Keeping the old man happy.

Thursday, 18 June 2015


A week ago I retired, not semi retired as I did in November but out,finished,done! The first week has been somewhat strange with a busy domestic schedule (pesky little uns) coupled with some feeling of trepidation as to how my future works out.I'm hoping to just work on buildings and land here for the next 18 months while my wife and I try to plan for the next ten years.I know planning for such a period may seem a little strange to some people but its how we have always done things and it seems to a reasonable degree to work for us.After the 18 months who knows? perhaps I'll try to get this clever chap out of retirement to work on this with me.....or maybe I'll spend more times working on my Ramones riffs....for me a harder task than it would at first seem.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

In the clink

Who knew that upon finishing the new chicken run it could double up as a prison for my 3 oldest wildlings....I'd better check I let them out.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Bay area blues

Considering the title and supposed subject of my blog I am not spending too much time over the water in America lately. A mixture of family commitments, work and selling our home in Walnut Creek means that family OTW will not be visiting the bay area until next year a fact that leaves me a most English Englishman curiously homesick! I do however pay attention to all the cultural and political shenanigans of my adopted country and I do have a long term plan (in its early stages more of which later) to buy and perhaps build in California at some point in the not too distant future.Until then I'll just have to do some California dreaming and enjoy the rain here...ha!

Friday, 22 May 2015

A little help from my friends

As you can see from another one of my scrap paper sooooper technical drawings the chaps who work with me have their work cut out when trying to put chisel to stone. We need a planter and as the type we want can't be bought we decided to make one, after I cut up the stone my very tolerant friend got stuck in and the first panel can be seen......normal service resumes soon.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Tatty head 2

Done and dusted!