Wednesday, 22 December 2010

winter weather chaos ?

so winter is here in the uk

no problem - the bad weather was forecast in advance so obviously we all got prepared and we ready for it

no we didnt - and now we are all complaining about it - and of course its all some body elses fault

no it isnt !!!! - its your own fault for not taking responsibility for your own self and the others around you

transport - did you fit your winter tyres and do your anti freeze and screen wash , did you pack a shovel and some warm clothes and a blanket etc in your car just in case - or did you brake down / get stuck and stand on the side of the road freezing and complain about how slow it was for the emergency services to get to you ( because you were their first priority of course ) 

your home / your street - you did remember to get your boiler serviced before the winter started didnt you ?
when the snow and freezing started you of course did your drive and your bit of path and along with your neighbours cleared your road
or did you just sit in the house phoning your local council that they hadnt done it as your street should have priority over all the others in your area because ( insert flimsy excuse )
after you had done all this you of course checked on all of your neighbours to see if they were ok and offered them any help if they needed any - or are you one of the im alright jack brigade

so far this winter all i have heard is people complaining about how bad it has been and blaming various authorities for their lack of action
try this new approach - get up off your butt and do something about it - do it yourself and take responsibility for you and the others around you

rant over - if i dont speak to you beforehand seasons greetings from me and mine to you and yours....nick

Saturday, 11 December 2010

short and sweet

yes it snowed a lot over here and those of you that know me will know that i drive a wagon fo a living .
i have earned my wages this last week - no pictures as no time but lets say its been an interesting week !!!!!!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

so it snowed then .....

 well here comes winter and the snow has started we have had a couple of days of it now so i suppose this will be winter then

luckily both cars are prepared with anti-freeze , screen wash and have been given the once-over ready for the bad weather

so on the way back from a trip out to carlisle and gretna we came back via the back roads and enjoyed the scenery and other stuff
as you can see up our end the back roads dont see the snow ploughs or gritters so it all makes for a very interesting ride out
we got there and we got back so no problems with that then - a good day was had by all....!!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

 look at the state of my car

and no i didnt do it - well i sort of did it but it wasnt my fault

it started off as a driving lesson for the oldest daughter and we would use my car as it has a heavy duty clutch in it
she is not old enough to drive as yet but is not far off

so off we went down to a farm track on a friend of ours land - no danger of any other traffic apart from the odd sheep - and more importantly nothing to hit

we would go up and down the track and turn around in the field at each end - no problem
you guessed it - there is one soft spot in the entire field and she found it panicked and got it stuck
yes i had to get it out and now i have it to wash
driving lessons are off for a bit now!!!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

 well i have found a solution to uploading pictutres so here is a bit of an update on what has been going on at our house
the garden is in full bloom and with all the flowers we are surrounded by all the birds,bees and insects doing their thing
(blow up this picture)

the acreage is doing well and here are some of the fruits of our labours so to speak.there are some potatoes, cucumber and cherry tomatoes , all home grown of cause and taste much better for it .the cucumders are all knobbly for some reason but taste great,the tomatoes are growing well but we are struggling to get them to go red

here is an overall shot of the back garden - i allways take this from the same place so you can see the changes.
have a look at those sunflowers - i have had to put the scaffolding up again they are about 8 feet tall allready and still have some growing to do.

here it is at last a picture of the £20 caravan on our all went well and as you can see it looks a lot better than when it first started. we bought an awning for it and this helped out no end .when we came back from holidays we listed it on e-bay and have sold it now to finance the next one - we will wait until back end when people are wanting rid of them and should be able to get a much bigger one - we are looking for a twin axle one next.
it will probably be another do-er-upper and more than likely we will post pictures of its progress so here's hopeing
before you ask - it sold on e-bay for £350 , yes really - worth all the time and effort i would have said

Thursday, 19 August 2010

technical difficulties

i cant seem to upload pictures at the minute as blogger wont accept the images my phone takes
we have been on holiday in the £20 caravan
the acreage is in full swing and we are eating loads of it
all of this i would like to tell you about - but without pictures it would be pointless - i will keep trying this space....

Saturday, 10 July 2010

tomorrow,-(Sunday) she who must be obeyed is doing the race for life

it is in aid of cancer research - a worthy cause you will agree

here is just a note to wish her good luck

and no its all right I'll make my own dinner and some for the kids

I'll just baby sit the kids and do all those long list of jobs while you go out enjoying yourself

good luck , keep running , its all for a good cause !!!!!!!!

I'll put the wine in the fridge and get a hot bath ready !

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

acreage update and some big news

well things have come on quite a bit lately what with the good sunshine and the normal cumbrian rain of course

this is just one of the pots that is quite literaly bursting forth

meanwhile in the summerhouse things are getting out of hand a bit
all three grow bags are in use now
one for the tomatoes - on the right
one for the lettuce - in the middle
and one for the cucumbers - to the left
there are also some peppers ,lettuce and sweet peas in pots

in the acreage the peas are almost ready to pick

the potatoes are ready to dig up next week and hopefully for several weeks after that too

the cauliflower and broccolli are both comming on a treat and the first of the broccolli is begining to form between the leaves it is about a 1cm diameter at present - i know exciting i know

as you can see with the overall shot everthing has turned out well this year again

the sunflowers are at it again - lets see if they get too big again this year

the roses have settled in a bit this year and have benefitted from all that organic manure

i think the picture tells this story

this is the big news - the acreage and all the other jobs we have done are all up for sale

we have been here 7 years now and spent loads of time , effort and money and now its time to move on to the next project

it may sell quick , it may take some time but who knows - at least we can say we did our bit and have left it improved from when we got it

Sunday, 20 June 2010

just an update on how its all growing
this is the first of the roses

this is the acreage
this is the inside of the summer house

overall shot of the back garden

this is the daft dogs latest trick - dont know why he has started doing it - he is getting as daft as the kids
short and sweet this week too busy doing to write as usual - a picture speaks a thousand words etc.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

update from the acreage

another week , another update

its all growing in the summer house

- some of the seeds have got bigger and have had to be re-potted

the bigger ones moved up to even bigger pots

and the ones after that have moved house and into the garden

meanwhile in the acreage the potatoes hve burst forth - and are doing well
the peas are doing that well i had to re-stake them
the cauli and broccolli are recovering but getting there
some thing is eating the cabbage and has finished eating the carrots
but i have noticed that since the potatoes came through proper what ever has been eating stuff has calmed down

so all doing well and the garden borders are all getting filled up with plants that we have grown ourselves

maybe not as good as shop bought plants but there is a sense of satisfaction when you have done it for yourself

nothing exiting at work lately but i did have a wander up to inverness and back-its been a while since i was up there last and i had forgotten what a really spectacular drive that is

if you ever get chance you should do it the A9 from Perth to Inverness is some of the best scenery you will ever get to see - it really is straight out of a geology text book - glaciated valleys with huge boulders strwn accross the landscape just left where the melting ice left them - you really do get the impession that this is a landsape still being formed around you
i probably shouldnt have told you all as too many tourists would spoil the sheer tranquility of it all - so keep it quiet now but add it to the list of things to do before you die

Sunday, 23 May 2010

out and about and back on the acreage

well its all growing now
some stuff is growing well and others have died a death

generally all is well and the garden is looking better for it

the weather has started to improve and we are able to spend more time in the garden so we are having to put the effort in to make it a nice place to spend time

if you look carefully you can see the veg is starting to make an appearance - fingers crossed

the lettuce in the mini green house is no more as the ants have eaten it all -any ideas on that ??-

i have planted some more in the summer house and am going to grow it in there in growbags on the stageing and see if that works

lots going on in the summer house and things are getting big enough to move to bigger pots or even go outside and in to the garden

under the stageing you can see a box full of pots - we got these from a garage sale we went to - i asked the price and they said if i wanted them i could just take them as they were being thrown out - result !!

they are good pots and after i cleaned them up i am putting them to good use

- next time i am looking for planters and mini trellis - heres hopeing !!

been out and about with the kids and looked about at a few car boots and garage sales so on the way back we called in at the local school fun day and they had a go on the go karts

they both seemed to enjoy that so job well done me thinks !!

ok gotta go back to work again its sunday again no rest for the wicked etc.
i will try and be quicker with the blogging if i get time so dont hold your breath but you never know.........

Sunday, 2 May 2010

todays flower and other growing stuff

do you remmember that blue flower i was on about the other week - well this is what it turns into when grown
no idea what it is or what it is called but it grows every year and looks good so we keep it

please feel free to click on it to blow it up as it looks really good in detail

that advice goes for all my pictures this week as they all contain some thing worth looking at - for a change

this is the back garden at the moment and as you can see things are really starting to come up now - the main thing of note is the much larger acreage this year with a wall around it and the stupid looking but very effective orange fence

why the fence ? - i had just transferred the seedlings from the green house into the acreage and planted them in nice neat rows when the daft dog decided it would have a dump in this nice area and then decided to re-dig it over for me

i didn't have the 12 bore to hand so have had to come up with an effective method of dog proofing it for now

here is what is growing in the green house

on the left these are sweetpeas and are only just starting

on the right is the spare broccoli and cauli just in case - the rest are in the acreage

as you can see the grow bags are in allready but not planted yet as the tomatoes and peppers etc are not ready yet

<- here are the tomatoes and pepper

they are getting there but not quite big enough to plant just yet

here it is the new and improved acreage

you will need to click on this one to blow it up and if you do you will see all that is there

there are peas,carrots,cabbage,potatoes,broccoli and cauliflower

if you look carefully at that soil you can see it is a good mixture this year as i have been lucky enough to find some good quality organic farmyard manure that is well rotted and almost dry to the touch

well heres to a good growing season and lets see what survives this year - i have planted more stuff than ever this year and there is more stuff still in packets ready to plant - i just don't have enough space to try all of it

Monday, 26 April 2010

too busy doing to write about it

work,work and more work

sorted garden planted loads of stuff

more work

planted more stuff , fixed some broken stuff

more work

planted more stuff , dug over other bits , added compost

more work

thats the last fortnight really

too busy to write about it

gonna try to get sleep now - two drops south coast tomorrow - early start and its late allready - nite nite !!!!!!!!!

Monday, 12 April 2010

back to the acreage

to start off with here is one of the photos i did manage to take on my holidays

you will probably have to blow it up to get the full effect but i only took it with my phone and its hard to get it all in

this is a new addition to the acreage - i got this off freecycle and after a little bit of sanding and staining it looks as good as new

if you look carefully you can see the seeds growing nicely in there - hopefully a bumper crop this year

i have re-done the top patio for the green house and have put stepping stones in and landscaped it with interesting river washed stones - it was our lasses idea and we think it looks good

once the seedlings are up some will be going into the cloche (new again) and some into the acreage which has been dug over ready

the daft dog wasnt much help but did try by sniffing every thing there was and i think he approved as he cocked his leg up at the end and put his mark on it - oh the joys!!

Friday, 2 April 2010

on holiday in north Wales

well we are back and have survived another holiday - we had a week in north Wales in probably the worst weather they have had in the last 20 years !!!!
I did not take any of these photo's as the weather was that bad - so all these are off the net just to give you the idea
our first day out was to Prestatyn where we had a good wander about through the local shops and had dinner in one of the smaller café's - I think it was called Gail's cafe and it was excellent - good food and good choice - the kids cleaned their plates - job done
later on we went to Ryhl and went in the shopping centre for the girls to look around the bigger shops - i hung around a bit and tried not to look bored
went back to the log cabin for tea and crashed out

the photo above is of the road that goes around the great orme which we drove around with the waves breaking over the sides of the road and over the roof of the car - the kids liked that - yes look at the picture again again and work it out - yes the weather was that bad !!

next we drove up onto the top and got on the great orme tramway and went down to the bottom of the hill and then straight back up again - I have never been so cold in all my life - there are no windows in them because the wind can be that strong up there it would blow them off the tracks - i am not surprised !! - I know it blew straight through me !!
we were the only people in it on the way down but some other idiots joined us on the way back up
was it worth it ? .... yes I think it was - you don't want a little bit of weather spoiling your holiday do you ?
here is a link to a video showing you what it is like on a normal day
on another day out we had a wander about on Anglesey we went around Holyhead for a bit (I think it was shut) and on the way back called in at that welsh station with the ridiculously long name - it was good and we wandered around the gift shop and bought some tat
here is a link to a good site that explains the name , what it means and how to say it .... good luck
looks posh doesn't it ?
this picture is of the complex at the front on a nice summers day - not taken by me !!
we thought it was a nice place and we were staying in one the log cabins around the other side
they were comfortable and made a good base to tour about from - we always like to have a look about the local area just to see what is about
overall we had a good holiday - even with the bad weather -gale force winds , floods , rain , hail , snow - a holiday is always what you choose to make it , we had some good laughs and have taken away some good memories
would we go back ..............yes I think we would

Monday, 15 March 2010

race for life - cancer research

A more important blog than the normal drivel

she who must be obeyed is doing the race for life in aid of cancer research

this is a 5km run and as you will agree is for a very good course

she is doing this both for her own wellbeing and to raise money for a worthy cause

so being a worthy cause she needs to raise as much as possible

here is a link to her fundraising page

if you can spare a little or a lot i ask that you give what you can as we all know at least a few people that have been struck with this problem and the more money that is raised the closer they will be to a cure

thankyou for taking the time to read this as it is important

normal drivel will continue on future blogs .....

Sunday, 14 March 2010

spring is comming - better late than never

now here is a good photo to start a blog with ....
our lass had spotted this on e-bay and added it to the watch list just in case i wanted to do another project caravan for the summer ....
what do you think - does it have potential ?
no seriously back to spring
we are getting ready for it here and i have invested in a mini green house to put the seedlings in - so hopefully i can grow even more this year
i got the seed trays free from some of the big garden centres i deliver to
they get them in to grow seeds in and when they get bigger they put them in pots and the seed trays get thrown out to recycle
so if you are on a budget or tight like me it could make your gardening cheaper

this is part of the back garden and as you can see spring has sprung and the shoots are shooting
no idea what they are but they grow every year and are blue in colour
i didn't plant them but they are where one of the previous rabbits final resting place is
you know what its like with kids - a dead pet has to go with a full state funeral and lots of gifts are buried with them - i think one of the kids must have put some flowers in

this is the front garden and this is the first of the daffodils coming through
they will be closely followed by the tulips as they usually are so that will be the front sorted again for this year.
a bit of an announcement - its our gills birthday this next week (that british woman) and she will be really old of course so please pass by her blog and pass on your sympathy etc and if you have spare zimmer frames etc that you could pass on to her !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- i am so dead but i am the other side of the pond to her so she will have to wait a while to get me
ps i should really tell you all all the embarrasing stories of our gills mispent youth so please e-mail in for a full book of cringeworthy tales !!!!!!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

competition time - results

as promised from last week here are the figures

you will have to let me know if you were any where near

48 hours - 36 minutes driving for the week (six days)

3435km distance travelled

i've had an idea ....

how to raise money for the country - to go towards fixing pot holes and road repairs and such stuff

courtesy cameras on the roads ...

these can be fitted at road works and traffic blackspots to catch out the numpties who cannot and will not get into the correct lane when approaching lane reductions and expect some kind soul to let them in at the last minute because they cannot be bothered to queue like to rest of us

liberty takers like these should be captured , fined and the money raised could be used on the roads to help out the rest of us

rant over ........ nick

Thursday, 25 February 2010

its competition time

well its a competition but with no prizes - just your own satisfaction

here is the jist of it - i will list what i have done for the week and you have to work out how many miles i have done all week and how many hours i have driven

dead simple , i bet you struggle for few weeks on the workings out but it might give you an insight into driving a wagon for a living

i will list the answers a week later and you can see how close you were - as i said no prizes but it should be fun

start penrith - tip bradford - down to lound - park up
load lound - tip bilston - load castle vale - up to penrith - change trailers - park up
tip howden - load ferrybridge - tip penrith - change trailers - run time out heading south
tip littlehampton - load gosport - load more at larkhill - run north
tip longtown - tip newbridge - tip edinburgh - load blantyre run south
change trailers at penrith - tip grangemouth - load livingston - run home to penrith
i think i have had a quiet week - lets see what you think

i suppose i had better explain tachograph rules and drivers hours laws and such just to help you out a bit

we can only drive for a maximum of four and half hours at a time before needing to take a fourty-five minute break - this can be divided into fifteen miute segments as long as the second break before the 4 and a half hour point is 30 minutes

we can only drive for 9 hours per day - however this can be extended to 10 hours twice per week

this driving time and rest periods must be contained within the working day of 13 hours - however this can be extended to 15 hours twice per week

at the end of your day you must have a rest period of 11 hours - however this can be reduced to 9 hours three times per week

you are only allowed to drive for 90 hours in any two week period

as per the working time directive you must not average more than 48 working hours in a week - this is averaged out over a three month period

working time is time spent driving or doing other work - ie loading or unloading

the wagons are limited by law to 56mph

there you are - clear as mud - but thats how we have to do it

so off you go how many hours driving did i do for the week how many hours total and how many miles did i do

Friday, 12 February 2010

not so much road rage, but...

its been bugging me for a while this one

speed limit signs on the roads ie 30, 40, 50 etc

have you noticed that if the signs are saying 60 the traffic is doing 40 and if it says 50 the traffic is doing 30 ?

it is dead obvious this one and was stareing me in the face - which probably expains why it took me so long to figure out

have a look next time this happens to your traffic queue

so what are you looking for ?

look at your speedo - not the miles per hour - look at the kph

60 kph is 40 mph , 50kph is 30 mph

so why - its easy when you figure it out - not all the drivers on our roads took their licence in this country did they ?

as a lot of other countries do all their speed limits in kilometers they are used to kph instead of mph

i had to talk to a few non uk drivers to confirm my logic and they agreed - so there you are , and now you know

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

is it just me ?

coffee from garages and service stations

what ever happened to bog standard coffee when the only option was whether you wanted milk or sugar in it ?

me personally i like strong coffee no sugar with plenty of milk in it and proper milk at that not this watered down rubbish

so what happened - too much choice latte, cappuccino, flavoured syrup, frappe

lets get back to good old fashioned choice - i cant be the only one ?

this vehicle is limited to 50mph to save money and the environment

i bet you have seen this too mainly on wagons - what a stupid idea this has turned out to be - probably thought up by some suit in an office who knows bugger all about transport

this idea would work great in possibly Holland or the like - but here in the uk there are too many hills for it to work properly as at 50mph the lorries cannot get a run at the hills and end up losing speed and have to pull too hard up the hills thus using more fuel in the proccess

talking to other drivers who have had this done to their wagons they all say the same thing - their fuel consumption has gone up !!

another side effect of this is that it causes more overtaking manouvers for the rest of us thus causing others to lose speed - pulling harder - more fuel used again !!

to the suit in the office who thought it up - think again and try talking to people who actually know something about it before you do it - any more daft ideas like this and you will end up as a health and safety officer

Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Bathroom is finished - at last!!

told you i have been busy....

this is what i have been busy with...

managed to get a week off work so with a bit of forward planning got all the bits together so i could get on with it

i will describe it from where we last left off

i got some chrome pipe and chrome fittings and connected up the big shower head to the shower unit - i had planned this as i liked the idea of exposed pipework - so if you can see it why not do it in chrome and make a feature of it

i didnt want a shower door this time and any way i doubt i could get one to fit so a shower curtain was the way to go

it took a long time to find some thing that would do the job and not look too bulky - it also needed to be in chrome - this narrowed the choices a lot and we did struggle for a bit

this is actually two sets put together with some of the left over bits put together to make a rather nice tie back for the shower curtain

the ceiling was a disaster so we had to start again so it was re-done and done with textured polystyrene and polystyrene coving and then painted with umpteen coats of white till it looked about right

had a bit of a change of plan with the toilet side

i decided to do the bottom of the wall in the left over bits of the plastic stuff

the top of the wall didnt look right just painted white - even after all the trouble of filling it and sanding it down - so our lass chose this paper and i think it really sets it off

the pattern is wicked and actually matches the shower curtain

as you can see in the pictures our lass has been busy getting all the accessories to set it off

the towel rail over the radiator was a good find as was the towel rail under the slope

the fancy net curtains go well and i made a pole up from bits in the garage and all held up with pipe clips left over from the early plumbing jobs

overall i think all the hard work we have both done has been worth it - and we both love the end result
- it might not be everyones cup of tea - but tough - its our house not yours - and we like it

and now the sounding like our gill handy tip bit

cut a peeled onion in half and put cut side down in a saucer of water - this wiil get rid of the smell of paint

gotta go now other jobs to be on with - no rest for the wicked !!!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

no i'm not dead just busy

not dead, just busy doing stuff - there will be words and pics when its all done !!!!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

been out to play in the snow with the dog

been out playing in the snow with the dog
- its quite hard getting a good picture of the dog in the snow as it runs round like a demented idiot
this is actually a road we are playing on and not too far from our house
we go out here often as the road is quiet and the dog can run free
this is another one of our well gritted local roads as you can see - the gritters are only gritting major routes and this is only a local road so it doesnt get any

i would think it has been sort of cleared by one of the farmers as there is a farm down in the bottom
we didnt get too much snow up here but it has struggled to get much above minus 10 for most of the week - so it isnt going anywhere for a while i think
so off we went to play me, the better half, the youngest and the daft dog
we took the sledge as well and this kept me and the better half warm dragging it about and the dog ran about chasing the sledge and the snow

the dog looks knackered doesnt it - and it is asleep behind me in its basket at present - lucky thing !!
out and about this week in the wagon the weather has caused all sorts of problems
i have been in blizzards, white outs freezing rain and bright sunshine

yes its been fun to say the least
down south it was good as the roads were quiet as they all panicked and stayed at home - which was good as earlier in the week when they first got it they were taking it in turns to crash in ever more interesting ways
the further north you got the colder it got and the roads were more up to the normal traffic level - slightly less accidents but not by much
it just shows the difference in cultures - some people will take time off at the least excuse where others will just battle in - me, if i dont go in i dont get paid - simple as that - so into work i went
the weather may have been bad but over the week i delivered every load i was asked to and collected every load too - it was hard going at times - but the job has to get done - so you just get on with it
but it is nice on the weekend to go out in the snow and play with the family - enjoy it while i can back to work again tommorrow - hey ho !!!