Tag Archives: solar shower

Sunday 9th August 2015 – YOU CAN ALWAYS TELL …

… what the weather has been like, just by looking at the difference between the maximum and minimum temperatures of the water in the solar shower.

Today’s maximum was 19.0°C and the minimum was 16.5°C, a difference of just 2.5°C. So, in other words, we have had no sun at all. We’ve been swathed in hanging clouds and had a persistent drizzle all day. It’s been just like November today.

I had a nice lie-in until 10:20 and I’ve been having a relax today, ready for my marathon packing and tidying up for the next three days.

As well as that, I’ve had a lengthy chat with Cecile on the computer. There was a lot of news to catch up on, and we were probably there for an hour having a good chat.

So tomorrow, I’m packing. And I’ve just worked out that I’ve forgotten something quite important – my proof of address that I was going to ask for at the mairie yesterday. That’s upsetting. I’ll have to see if there’s a way around all of this.

And, of course, it goes without saying that this Hyundai is still here in my drive.

5th August 2015 – ANOTHER THING THAT I HATE …

… is people who say “seeing as how we have the injector seals, why don’t we fit them?”

Still, the client is always right and so at 15:30, having wandered along slowly but steadily towards the end of proceedings, we stopped to fit the first injector seal.

At 19:00 when the car came to pick up the aforementioned client, we were just on the point of taking out the first seal. And had we not taken the seal out, the car would have been gone by then. So one rather unhappy bunny here.

The worst thing about this is that by 19:00 I had suddenly twigged how to do it, and it was a job that could have indeed been done in minutes. But when you don’t know about these things, you have to learn by experience.

During the night I was on the prowl around town with one of my friends off my social networking site – a woman probably about 15 years older than me and she was behaving like a kid of 8 and it was most embarrassing. We ended up in a luxury hotel with another group of people and we ordered coffee, which took about an hour to arrive.

I was told that we would be restarting work at 10:30 as the car’s owner had to go to Montlucon for half an hour. So it was 12:30 when he turned up – I thought that 10:30 was rather optimistic.

And we made steady progress too – head torqued down, timing belt fitted and covers fitted, fan belt fitted, turbo coupled up, engine mounting fitted and a pile of other stuff done too. And then we ran aground on the injector seals.

After we finished, with the water in the solar shower at 40°C, I had a gorgeous shower.

I might have another one tomorrow too!

Tuesday 21st July 2015 – I PASSED …

… the inspection today. Rosemary came by and gave the place her seal of approval.

And so she should have, too. I was awake long before the alarm went off, having my breakfast by the time it finally did, and then, fortified by a pot of strong coffee, I attacked the house.

The attic is tidier now then it has ever been since I have been living in it and there is no doubt about that. The rubbish has been taken out and the composting bin emptied and cleaned.

The bedroom had a good clean-around too and I even managed to bring a little order into the chaos that is the ground floor where I’ve been working. All the tools have been put away, the floor has been swept with all of the sawdust now in a tidy pile, and there are pathways through the tulips where one can tiptoe without breaking one’s neck falling over something.

I even managed to give some attention to the shower room, and I emptied and cleaned out the beichstuhl, even though it didn’t need it, but one can never be too considerate to one’s guests.

All in all, Rosemary was impressed and awarded me half a melon, which went down a treat for pudding this evening. She arrived at 14:00 and was here until 18:25 – some flying visit! I treated myself to a shower too, although I had to wait until 19:45 and the water had cooled down to a delightful 38.5°C – the temperature at 18:26 was a mere 42.0°C – not far off the highest that it has ever been.

I don’t mind visitors as long as I know that they are coming. It’s a good opportunity and incentive for me to tidy up and clean the place. And it does need it sometimes. I ought to pay much more attention to my accommodation.

But I’m surprised that I had the energy to do all of that this morning, seeing as I had been on my travels again. I was in a Ford Cortina estate (they aren’t half featuring quite regularly in my nocturnal ramblings these days) and testing the handbrake by the simple expedient of rolling backwards down a hill on this new housing estate and pulling on the lever. Of course, in this case the handbrake didn’t work and the car gathered speed. The houses at the bottom loomed up rather too rapidly for my liking and so I did a handbrake turn (with no handbrake, of course!) to pull up parallel to the kerb. A tabby kitten came out of the house right by where I was stopped and so I started to stroke it. Then the cat’s owner came out to see what was happening, and it was none other than a girl who has been previously described in these pages as “the one that got away”. Anyway, she invited me in for a coffee and we had a really good nostalgic chat about old times.

Friday 17th July 2015 – WE ARE NOT ALONE!

deer in field les guis virlet puy de dome franceI had a visitor this evening, and peering through the gloom I managed to take a photo of it.

A nice deer has come out this evening looking for food, or perhaps looking for Strawberry Moose – after all, it is that time of year and he does need to get back into practice seeing as how he’ll be off to Canada in about three or four weeks time.

I really don’t understand why anyone would want to kill anything as beautiful and graceful as this.

I was awake once more before the alarm clock, mainly due to the heat, and after breakfast I had another really good session on my wen pages. The trouble is though that the more I do, the more there is to do and rather than catching up, I’m falling even further behind.

I was driven out of the attic by the heat too, and I ended up wedged in a corner in the bedroom with the fan blowing full-on at me. Even then, it was almost impossible to keep cool.

After lunch I turned the house upside-down looking for some more tongue-and-grooving but that was completely unsuccessful. There is now no alternative but to go to Montlucon tomorrow and buy some more.

What i did do was to sort out the plasterboarding in the shower room ready for tiling and ready for finishing off the ceiling, and then to attend to some more outstanding bits of wiring. And that was where I reached at knocking-off time.

I finished off today by having a good shower – more to cool me down than to actually clean me off. And that’s me set up for the weekend now.

All ready for Montlucon, in fact.

Wednesday 15th July 2015 – I’VE FINISHED …

… the flying shelf this afternoon.

flying shelf shower room les guis virlet puy de dome franceIt took quite some effort and a pair of arms about 2 metres longer than mine, but nevertheless, after some considerable amount of ado about a great deal, I managed to do it. Strangely enough, the part that I thought would be very difficult was comparatively easy, and the part that I had expected to do quite easily was the part that took the longest.

However, looking for tools, nuts and washers was a considerable part of this too. But then that’s only to be expected.

It’s not as good as I would have liked – I can see several shortcomings in my work, but the design was good anyway. Just the execution was wrong and I’ll have to do better than this if I do it again.

But anyway, it looks OK if you don’t look too closely, and everything works as it is supposed to, so I suppose that that is something.

I was on my travels last night, visiting a football ground at a sports club in Crewe with a cement mixer – the lorry-based cement mixer thing. Someone connected with my family had connections there and they had ordered the cement, and meeting up with this person was the last thing on either of our minds. So I tipped the cement and when I tilted up the mixer into the vertical position, the lorry started to roll back. But someone from the football club grabbed hold of the bumper of the truck and hung onto it to stop it moving.

I was up before the alarm clock and so I spent a very profitable morning on the laptop doing some various assorted computer work, including finishing off a couple of radio programmes. I even managed to telephone the insurance company to have a duplicate label for Caliburn sent to me – which means that I will definitely find it now.

I had to go into Pionsat to buy some bread today for lunch, and also to try out the new bank card that I have received.

And tonight, I had a lovely warm solar shower that has made me fit for anything.

Tomorrow, I’ll be finishing the ceiling in the shower room, or at least, doing as much as I can.


Our Hero – “is it tomorrow that we are recording at Marcillat?”
Liz – “that’s right – at 09:30”
Our Hero – “ohhh” … pause … “I suppose that I’d better go home then”

Yes, the Bane of Britain has done it again hasn’t he? Gone to Marcillat on the wrong day. Still, it could have been worse. It was a nice drive out and in any case, at least it was a day early and not a day late.

And I’d been on my travels in the night. I was in Glasgow, the funniest city in Europe (everyone who goes there comes back in stitches) organising some kind of football training, and then I’d taken the Metro with Strawberry Moose. The train was stuck in the station for a while and so, knowing that I would awaken as soon as the train set off, I allowed myself to go into a deep sleep. But before I did, I took my trousers off and hung them over the back of the seat in front. Sure enough, I awoke as soon as the train moved, and I prepared to alight at the next station. But I couldn’t find my trousers. There was a pair of shorts there but they were nothing to do with me. Of course I made a fuss and the lady driver told me that seeing as how we hadn’t reached the first stop, no-one could have alighted from the train with my trousers. However, a couple of people had boarded the train and alighted before it had set off. I carried on the argument and a couple of the passengers started to become agitated. But none of this was finding my trousers.
Ironically, I’d been reading a little about the Glasgow Underground yesterday evening and also something comnected with North-West Glasgow and the Underground, which was where all of this was going on.

My morning wasn’t wasted though, as I did two more radio programmes – or, at least, half-done them. These are the rock programmes for Radio Anglais and I’ve done the miscellaneous programmes for two more months. I just need to do the two live concerts and find a radio commentary for one of the programmes.

After lunch, I made the shelf that will fit between the door and the stud wall by the beichstuhl. And the new Bosch circular saw – nice and lightweight, it cut through a pine plank as if there was nothing there. A nice neat cut, no need to sand it down, no whining, no rattling, and the inverter showed no sign of distress. This was the best circular saw that I’ve ever used (and so it ought to be at the price that I paid for it) and if it lasts the pace (because one or two people are a little sceptical about it) it’ll be just the job.

I also cut down a 300mm plank into 2x150mm planks, and the circular saw hardly broke wind doing it. But do you remember ages ago when I told you that the 600mm pine planks were actually 605mm? Well, the 300mm planks are actually 295mm. So much for Brico Depot’s precise measuring.

I had yet another shower to cool me down afterwards (I’m having my money’s worth from the home-made solar shower) and made a mega-red-pepper-and-lentil curry for the next 4 days. I may as well start the week as I mean to go on.


Today’s temperature outside reached a massive 39.4°C and that can’t be far short of a record. No wonder I had a hard time starting work today.

This morning I wasn’t as bright and breezy as yesterday, even though I had the Dawn Chorus again giving me a helping hand. After breakfast I mooched around for a little and then plucked up the courage to attack the radio programmes.The second lot for Radio Arverne are now half-completed and should be done by Sunday, and I have to check over the rock programmes for Radio Tartasse because they are being recorded on Monday.

When I finally managed to attack the bathroom, it was really slow progress. I’ve only done the first three rows of the ceiling, but then again each one had to be cut and shaped by hand so it isn’t surprising. In fact, because of the way that I’ve done everything, there’s going to be a lot of the ceiling that’s going to have to be cut and shaped by hand.

I’ve also had to fit a supporting strut in the ceiling. There’s going to be a flying shelf in the bathroom and the brackets to hang it from the ceiling have to be fitted, and that’s why I needed the supporting strut.

Apart from that, I had to unload Caliburn ready for my trip to Montlucon tomorrow and you’ve no idea how much I didn’t want to do that in the heat that we were having. But at least the water in the solar shower was 39.0°C so that I could have a really good soak.

Now here’s a thing.

Apparently in the UK, there’s been a minute’s silence in memory of those who were killed in Tunisia. Now – can you remember if we ever had a minute’s silence in memory of anyone who was killed by an IRA terrorist?

This is an old Nazi trick and the Nazis used it to perfection. Whenever an “atrocity” was committed by a hated enemy, they would have these ceremonial minutes’ silence, parade funerals, eulogies and all that kind of thing. They whip up the emotions and subsequently the hatred, and then the Government can go ahead and invade another country to “revenge these dreadful deaths” and the public will be so whipped up by hatred that they can’t see what’s going on. And when you see the outpourings of the Tory Government, that echo the comments that the Nazis made about a death in Danzig or the Sudetenland, you realise just how much the Tories have learned from the Nazis and how much of it they have put into practice.

When it came to whipping up hatred against the Irish Republic or the Vatican over the deaths and other atrocities committed by the IRA, the Government was strangely silent. But when it comes to doing it against brown-skinned people, all of the gloves are off. This tells you all that you need to know about the British Government’s racist policies.

And don’t forget that it was the West that declared war on Islam, with the bushbaby’s “crusade” speech. And just who is so naive to believe that when you declare war on someone and start to fight them, they are not going to fight back?

You couldn’t make that up could you? It just shows you the depths to which the intellectual capacity of the Western world has sunk.

Wednesday 1st July 2015 – NOW, HERE’S A THING

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I have a solar shower. It’s an old enamel shower base with a wooden frame built around it and infilled with corrugated plastic roofing sheets. On top of it is a black plastic box filled with water and connected to a shower standpipe and covered with an old caravan window.

It all sits outside absorbing the heat from the sun and a couple of times a week I can have a shower. Some times though, I have to put a few litres of hot water into it to bring up the water to a comfortable temperature.

Today, though, this was the first time, so my records tell me, that I have EVER had to put cold water into it in order to cool it down to a comfortable temperature. It’s thoroughly crazy, this temperature. And even with the cold water in there, it was still flamin’ ‘ot.

Mind you, it wasn’t like that this morning. It was all overcast and cloudy. Not good weather at all, even though it was hot. And I’d left the electricity on all night and had the fan going in the bedroom to cool me down while I slept.

I was on my travels too. back at school, school uniform and all. Properly back at school although, strangely enough, I didn’t recognise any of my fellow pupils. One person who was there though was Zero whom I mentioned the other day. What’s she doing at my school?

This morning after breakfast I cracked on with the radio programmes – doing the additional notes for the Radio Arverne sessions. The first lot is half-done and I’ll finish off the rest tomorrow. Then I can start on the second show.

And ironically, by pure and utter coincidence, a major topic has appeared right out of nowhere and landed on my laptop as it were. Something very important and very topical. “A sign from the Gods” I said, and stashed it away ready for use in a week or so.

I was interrupted by the postie who brought me my circular saw. “What happened yesterday?” I asked her, and she gave me a blank look. It seems that although La Poste promises to deliver on a certain date, it receives the parcels at the central tri, in my case at St Eloy, but they don’t come out to the Post Office at Pionsat until the following day. Meantime, to cover their tracks with Amazon, they pretend to have delivered the products the previous day.

Thoroughly dishonest.

After lunch, I attacked the bathroom door. It’s now sanded down so that it fits, a washer stuck in between the top and bottom halves of the hinges so that it doesn’t scrape the floor, and the mortise latch for the door is now fitted and the handles are attached.

Even more so, the closer in the door frame has been chiseled out and the closer frame fitted, so we now have a door that opens and closes properly. This really is progress.

Tomorrow I have to drill out the bottom of the door for the air vent and cut down a floorboard or two to make all of the door jambs. When that’s all done, I can mask everywhere off and varnish all of the wood.

But it is so impressive, this door. I’m well-pleased with that.

Then I had my shower, and went off to Marcillat. It seems that I’ve been co-opted onto the management committee of Radio Tartasse and I’m not sure why. Clearly something’s afoot, and I’m not talking about that thing on the end of my leg either.

Sunday 28th June 2015 – I’VE FINALLY MANAGED …

… to have a day off work today. And not only that, I had a decent lie-in too.

Mind you, I had to go to visit the beichstuhl and I did think about going off for a coffee but when I checked the time, it was only 05:45 so there was little chance of that happening. I went back to bed and slept until 10:00. And quite right too!

After breakfast, I reviewed the stuff that I had written for Radio Anglais and found, much to my surprise (or maybe not, as the case might be) that I had a totally new slant today on some of the stuff that i had written. Consequently, I had to amend some of it and edit out a pile of it from the notes so that I can review it for another time. I mean, it has to be correct.

I also built up a database of venues so that there’s a list of websites from which I can extract events to broadcast, and simple contact boxes from where I can copy-paste the information en bloc into the notes rather than having to type it out individually every time.

After lunch, I sorted out all of the washing that needed doing, including the bedding. Seeing as it was 38°C in the solar shower, I had a beautiful soak and I’m finally going to have clean bedding. I’d bought some new linen sheets and quilt cover last time I was at the Auchan and I went to use those, but much to my surprise, there were no pillow cases in the set.

Even more surprisingly, I’d had some pillow cases the same colour when I lived in Winsford 35 years ago and I had hardly ever used them. And even more more surprisingly, I managed to lay my hands on them. Isn’t it good having a well laid-out wardrobe and everything stowed away nicely?

I went round to Cécile’s to check on her house and make sure that everything was OK. That gave me an opportunity to borrow her washing machine to do a load of stuff while I went round to Liz and Terry’s to rehearse our radio show.

Liz cooked a gorgeous vegetable pie for tea and the dessert was out of this world – something like a Black Forest Gateau in a wine glass. I’ve never had a dessert as nice as this.

I picked up the washing on the way home and now I’m going to have an early nice – a nice clean me in nice clean bedding. How I’m looking forward to this!

But something interesting has happened on the Social Networking account that I use. I once had a friend – a friendship that ended quite acrimoniously over a posting that he made about me on another site – and he had a daughter who used to confide in me quite a lot about the problems that she was having at home at the time but whom I haven’t seen since then.

All of a sudden, my Social Networking site has put her on my “list of potential friends” whom I should contact. So what’s happening here? How come it is that this site has made some kind of connection between the two of us? Of the couple of billion people who have an account on there, this would be an astonishing coincidence if it’s been a haphazard connection.

Clearly there’s something going on here. I wish that I knew just what it was.

Friday 26th June 2015 – DUNNO …

rotten sills nissan 4x4 st eloy les mines puy de dome france… who does the controle techniques around here but I hope it’s not the guy who does the controle techniques on Caliburn.

I’m the first to admit that I used to have cars with sills like this, but that was 25 years ago in another life and things were so much different in those days. I didn’t think that you would go very far with a car like this these days.

I’ve been out and about doing my shopping this evening. I know that I said that I would go to Montlucon tomorrow but I’ve ordered my circular saw by post and I don’t really need the tiles next week as I still haven’t finished the door, and then I have the ceiling to do, and I had forgotten about that.

What with having Monday off to go a-radioing, which means that I’ll have to do about 150 miles with a quarter of a tonnes of tiles in the back of Caliburn and before I go to Montlucon to buy the tiles, to empty Caliburn of all of the stuff that’s still in there.

For all of those reasons, I’ve postponed my trip to Montlucon until next weekend.

This morning, I was up early yet again and after breakfast, carried on with my website for a couple of hours. And it made me realise that I seem to have slipped rather unconsciously back into how I used to be when I lived in Belgium – doing the writing stuff in the morning before getting on with the heavy work in the afternoon. Especially as, these last few days, I’ve had the coffee machine bubbling away through the morning, such has been the amount of solar energy that I’ve received.

I’ve fitted all of the hinges to the door now and had a go at hanging it. It’s certainly the most difficult door that I have ever hung, even though I’ve taken more time over this than I have over any other door that I’ve hung.

The door wasn’t quite right – or to be more accurate, the floor isn’t quite right and the door is fouling.

using aluminium guide to cut bottom off shower room door les guis virlet puy de dome franceI’ve had to cut off 4mm from the foot of the door and that’s not easy without a circular saw. I’ve done it by hand with the rough-cut saw and you can see how I’ve done it.

I use a length of aluminium in “L” section as a guide, clamped to the surface and then I saw along the guide. It’s not too bad actually although it takes quite a while to do it.

I’ve not re-tried the door yet. I’ve drilled and chiselled it out for the mortice closer. I had to hunt around for one of those because there were none in the house. In the end I found three in the barn, one of which didn’t have a lock so I’m using that. Instead, I’ll fit a little bolt on the inside of the door. I mean, there’s only me who lives here so it doesn’t really make much difference.

I could have finished the door if I had had another hour or so to work, but I was distracted.

I ended up on the phone to Canada for ages. I need to register Strider (my Ford Ranger) in Canada and for that I need an insurance policy and an address. This meant hassling Service New Brunswick – it’s been four years since I first applied for a street address for my parcel of land at Mars Hill Road. Anyway, after much binding in the marsh, I now have an address and I can progress.

At the insurance company, they were rather bewildered. They haven’t had a request like mine before – a person with a foreign driving licence wishing to insure a Canadian vehicle in Canada. They eventually decided to go away and discuss things with their Head Office and see what happens. I have to phone them back on Tuesday.

And then, with going shopping, I checked the temperature in the solar shower. 37.5°C with no added hot water and that was perfect. At 17:45 then I had a glorious hot shower and it was lovely. And then I could wander off into St Eloy and the shops.

So you see what I mean about being distracted, as well as needing an extra hour to finish off.

I might even have a go at it tomorrow.

Monday 22nd June 2015 – BACK TO WORK …

… although I didn’t feel much like it. I didn’t have anything like a late night, but it was still difficult to crawl out of bed.

After breakfast, I did a pile of work on the computer again and that took me though to midday. And then I attacked the shower room.

worktop sink tap shower room les guis virlet puy de dome france The worktop is now in position, and all of the plasterboard has been fitted around it (except on the stud wall where the pipes will be running).

And I remembered why I hadn’t fitted the mounting rail on one side too. That was because there isn’t enough room to manoeuvre the worktop into position with both mounting rails in place. I had to take it out, fit the worktop and then refit the rail

But tiling the walls is going to be interesting. According to the plasterboard that I have fitted, the walls are out of plumb bu 25mm over a distance of a metre. So with 18m² of wall to tile, you can imagine what that is going to look like when it’s finished.

There were some bits of blank wall that needed plasterboarding too, and I had forgotten about these. I’ve made a start on them – one part has been done and I’m fitting the studding for the second. The third doesn’t need studding but just a bit of “dot and dab” – I’m sure that I have some stuff for that somewhere, and I’ll look tomorrow.

Water in the home-made immersion heater was really hot – off the scale in fact – and the water in the solar shower was at 32.5°C. 8 litres of water out of the immersion heater into the solar tank took that up to a glorious 38.5°C and I had the best shower that I have had for ages. But the wiring on the immersion heater is heating up again. I’m really going to have to have a good look at this next time we have a grey day.

Later, I made a mega-red pepper and lentil curry, enough for four days. Three says’ worth has gone into the fridge in the vacuum jars and that will keep me going quite happily for the next few days.

But I might not be working here tomorrow. Rob rang up and there’s the possibility of some folding stuff for the next few days.

Monday 8th June 2015 – I THINK …

sawn through top of black and decker workmate les guis virlet puy de dome france… that I am going to have to find a new top for my old Black and Decker workmate. I thought that the circular saw was making hard work of that final cut on the top of the beichstuhl this evening.

It’s a fine old workmate too – getting on for 30 years old. Nerina bought it for me in the days when Black and Decker stuff was good, when I was planning on making some fitted wardrobes at Gainsborough Road. She reckoned that it might motivate me to do them, and I did too!

It’s been around Europe with me on all kinds of construction sites and it’s outlived a couple of more modern reincarnations which have failed to last the pace.

Yes, I’ve been working again. Cutting out and smoothing out the lunette in the top of the beichstuhl, and then cutting out the lid for the sawdust container.

It”s all been sanded down and fitted with reinforcing struts – not that it needs them but I’d look pretty silly if it were to. I can finish it off tomorrow and give it the first coat of wood treatment

Apart from that, I spent the morning on the laptop talking to Acer. seeing as I’ve been having some success about various matters on various forums, I attacked Acer today about my new laptop which is painfully slow with Windows 8.1.

The official helpdesk guy was no help at all but the self-help forum came up trumps. I was given a whole list of things to switch off and to delete, and told where and how I can reduce screen graphics to a minimum. That has certainly bumped up the speed and it’s roaring along now like it ought to do.

Even more interestingly, upgrading the RAM from 2GB to 8GB is staightforward. It’s standard DRAM 3 stocked everywhere and someone is going to find a plan of how to fit it. This one is not like the other ACER Aspire laptops with the service hatch underneath – you need to take the case right apart to get into it.

Rosemary rang up for a chat, and I had an interesting chat with a cold caller. He didn’t understand my lifestyle at all – it made no sense to him whatsoever

So tomorrow I’ll continue in the shower room? We’re are advancing quite slowly, but advancing all the same.

And with today’s water temperature in the solar shower at 33°C and the water in the home-made 12-volt immersion heater where all of the excess solar energy goes being over 70°C when I knocked off, 5 litres out of the latter into the former gave me a glorious solar shower to finish off the day.

Thursday 4th June 2015 – IF THERE WERE ANY DOUBTS …

… about those worktops being made of oak, you just ask the jigsaw.

The thing gave up after about 6 inches – a broken blade being the issue here. Terry had given me a little cheap low-powered one that I tried, but that was a thankless task. There wasn’t enough power to work the blade properly and we ended up with a scorched surface where the heat from the blade had singed the wood. In the end, the ancient Scorpion electric saw was put to use and although that struggled a little, it did the job.

So after I don’t know how long, the other worktop for the top of the beichstuhl was cut to shape, and it’s a much better fit than the first effort, and looks so much nicer too.

To cut out the trap for the container of the beichstuhl I resorted to the circular saw, trimming off with the Scorpion, and that’s also a much better job than the previous one

To cut out the hole, I had to trace a line around the lunette of the toilet seat, drill out the angles and then go and find my box of jigsaw blades – no easy task. However I did eventually find them and I’ve cut out the hole (3 blades later). It needs trimming off but that’s a job for tomorrow as it was quite late when I knocked off.

I had a late start – that’s why nothing was finished. I’ve been working on the radio programmes – in particular the rock programmes – for Radio Anglais this morning. I need to push on and try my best to get ahead while I am still here. I’ll be off to Canada before too long. Time is closing in.

And what a gorgeous day today. Not a cloud in the sky, 33.3°C temperature, water in the solar shower at 38.5°C and the temperature in the dump load going off the scale at 14:00. In the end I had to drain out 10 litres of hot water and put in 10 litres of cold in an effort to keep the temperature manageable.

It’s going to be like this for the weekend too apparently. That will be nice.

Wednesday 3rd June 2015 – THOSE OAK WORKTOPS …

… that I bought in Eching the other week and which I doubted were oak due to their astonishingly good price, they are indeed certainly oak, or something very much like it. You just ask my Ryobi circular saw. The poor thing has gone to lie down in a darkened room to recover, and I had to fetch out the 650-wattmains-powered circular saw.

Even that struggled, but eventually it cut the worktop as required and we could all breathe a sigh of relief.

As for trimming off the corners, I didn’t even think about the Ryobi – I just grabbed the 400-watt mains jigsaw and after much binding in the marsh, it managed to do the job.

Yes, I’ve discovered a little bit of motivation today and I’ve been out working. Cutting the worktop for the bathroom and, as an aside, using the off-cut as the top of the beichstuhl to replace the pine plank that’s there. I may as well go for co-ordination while I’m at it.

bathroom worktop tap sink les guis virlet puy de dome franceThis is how the bathroom will look when it’s finished, whenever that might be.

I’m not going for an inset sink, following my catastrophe a while back. This type of sink, a mounted sink, will be just as good and will keep the strength and rigidity of the worktop, something that was sadly lacking with the previous one.

I will however need to lower the mounting rails by 15 cms so that the top of the sink is at a consistent height.

In other news, I’ve found (at long last) a decent ripper for downloading streams from popular video and music channels on the internet. It’s offered as an add-on for my web browser and came on line on 15th April.

My plan with this is simple. I have about a thousand LPs from the good old days and it has been my intention to copy them to *.mp3. I’ve even bought a USB turntable for just that purpose. However, it takes far too long to do that and all of the setting up that you need to do and the editing afterwards, it’s a never-ending task.

What I’m planning to do is to download the albums corresponding to those that I already own and have paid for. That way, there won’t be a royalty or copyright issue and that way I can bring myself up to date. I’m currently listening to one album that I’ve downloaded – Neil Young’s Ragged Glory – probably the best rock album that Neil Young has ever made – a real powerhouse album and one that I haven’t played for … ooohhh … it’s 15 years since I last had my real hi-fi set up.

As well as that, I had a lovely solar shower today. And a sign of the times is that it wasn’t a heated shower either. Just the sun – that’s all it took to bring the water up to 37°C and it was glorious. We had that much sun that the water in the home-made 12-volt immersion heater went off the temperature scale (over 70°C) in mid afternoon and it’s still there even now.

Now I’m all clean and ready for bed. But not before I tell you about my travels last night. I was back playing in groups again (we had this the other night, remember?) and the guy with whom I mostly played and I were trying to get a band together. We were however woefully short of equipment and people kept telling us to ‘go and see so-and-so – he has piles of stuff that he will lend you that he has spare”. And everyone that people mentioned were people with whom we had played all those years ago but we had “moved them on” for various reasons. The irony was that we were the ones struggling and they had all gone on to make it big.

And we had a few young groupies too. They all lived in a big heap under a continental quilt and there was a pile of loose underwear floating around. I kept asking them wbout each piece – to whom it belonged, all that kind of thing. But no-one owned up to anything so I threatened to have them all out of bed and do an identity parade.

I know that I’ve said it before … "and you will say it again" – ed … but I wish that my real life was even half as exciting as what goes on when I am deep in the arms of Morpheus.

Thursday 28th May 2015 – OHH WOW!

New laptop arrived this morning, all 500GB of it. Yet another tough, resilient Acer Aspire (I hope) but a very much different model. Most of the plugs (USB connections, mains lead, HDMI cable, ethernet plug) go in the back where you can’t see them, and isn’t that going to be a recipe for disaster in a confined space?

It has a British keyboard (so I’ve ordered some keyboard stickers) and a British lead on the power pack; which is what I wanted. But trhe charger isn’t an Acer one, but a cheap aftermarket Chinese one; the kind that you buy for €2:99 off eBay. At least though the lead to the power pack is unpluggable so that one can acquire European and North American leads for it. Unfortunately, it’s not a type of lead that I have around here.

And here’s a thing. Many of you will remember me losing a portable hard drive when I was in Brussels 2 years ago. All of my 3D files – tons of the stuff, much of which can’t now be replaced – went with it and started something of a panic that I have still not quite resolved.

But there I was, cleaning out the drive on the 1st Aspire – the one with the broken scren and smashed keyboard that I’ve been using just now – and Lo! And behold! Here are all of the files, and every last one of them too, in all their glory, sitting in a clearly-labelled “TEMP” directory where I must have assembled them when I copied them to the portable drive. I blame old age myself.

But this series of good nights sleeps continued again. Once more, I was well away with the fairies during the night, doing some shopping at a farm shop, patiently waiting my turn in the queue. Finally, it came to me and as I stepped forward, one of the previous customers pushed her way in, handed the assistant a birthday card and started to chat. I had quite a few words to say on this subject, as you can imagine.

So after my early breakfast, I cracked on with the radio programmes and I’ve finally finished despite the numerous distractions. Terry came round for a chat and to make plans for a future project, someone rang up (and I can’t remember who it was now) and I was having a long chat with someone on the internet.

Not only that, the glorious day today saw 180 amp-hours of surplus solar energy into the home-made 12-volt immersion heater. That took the temperature off the scale (ie over 70°C) and with the water in the solar shower at 33°C, I added 5 litres of hot water (that took it to 39°C) and I had the most glorious solar shower. First for a while and now I’m ready for anything, even Radio Tartasse tomorrow morning.

Now I’m backing up all my files and when it’s finished, I’m off to bed.