Month: March 2012

March 31, 2012
Yes, I’m afraid the half-stripped room that was part of the reason for my holiday has been temporarily abandoned, as the good weather led me outside instead.

I have four 6′ vegetable troughs in my garden. Two are filled with soil/compost, and already planted up, so I will leave them for now. One is empty, awaiting filling and planting, and the final one is full of soil, but not planted.

March 29, 2012
I really enjoy moving furniture arround, and trying out new layouts. However, my lounge is more or less sorted now, so I’ve been playing the same game in the garden. The garden dining set I bought yesterday arrived early this morning.

As I mentioned yesterday, I wasn’t sure if it would over-dominate the patio, and so I tried several different arrangements, including placing one of the benches in a different bit of the garden. However, in the end, I decided it looked ok lengthways down by the BBQ area, so that is where it is living.

March 29, 2012
Since picking up the car, the last few days have been a mixture of doing stuff that I said I was going to do (like stripping walls) and going off for a drive, “to see how it handles”. But what the hell, I am on holiday.

Had a brief visit from Tim and Nev on Tuesday – they were doing a job for a neighbour, so popped in to put a couple of grab-rails in the bathroom for me. Showed Tim the Gallotone and 6-string banjo, and he had a brief play.

March 24, 2012


Picked up the Berlingo this afternoon. Although it obviously handles differently from my Scenic (which was an Automatic, rather than an optionally-computer-controlled Manual), I had no difficulties, and it was an uneventful drive back from Peterborough.

Going to stick my nose in the manual tonight, and if the weather is fine tomorrow, go out for a drive.

March 23, 2012
Further to this post, I got my guitar and banjo back from Jon Haire today. The man is a genius.

The Gallotone 3/4 sized guitar plays wonderfully. Jon has completely replaced the frets, and the action is amazing. He replaced the top nut with one made from ebony, and set a new bone bridge into the wood bridge mount. The resulting guitar still looks like something out of a skip, which is part of its charm, but it sounds great. In fact Jon said that someone had asked him if it was for sale.

March 19, 2012
I am on holiday for the next two weeks. I am spending it at home, intending to take care of a few things – a bit of decorating, some gardening, some BBQ/Cooking experimentation and maybe a couple of days out.

This is my second holiday of the year, as I also had a week off in February. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out well, as I have posted previously, due to my CPAP problems. This time I am well rested, so I have higher hopes.

March 16, 2012
Last year, I was talking about my old Renault Scenic, and how it was playing up. I was thinking about buying a new car, and was considering whether to buy new or secondhand.

The problems with the Scenic got fixed, and although I still thought I should do something about replacing the car, I didn’t do anything except read lots of reviews, and make shortlists.

March 16, 2012
I’ve been using Pearl Barley a lot in stews and things lately. It is a grain that I really love, and adds scrumptiousness to everything.

Yesterday, on a whim, I decided to use up some milk by making a pearl barley milk pudding – pearl barley, milk, sugar and cinnamon, all in my slow cooker. I’d never tried it before, but I couldn’t see why it shouldn’t work.

March 14, 2012
Knowing that there are one or two other CPAP users here, I thought that this might be of interest.

I’ve just taken delivery of a radical (at least to me!) new nasal mask called SleepWeaver. Unlike conventional masks, this is made of soft fabric, and inflates in use, ballooning to fit the contours of your face. The SleepWeaver can be used with CPAP, BiPAP or AutoPAP.

March 9, 2012
On the way back from Jon Haire’s today, I popped into Morrisons for some groceries. On the fish counter they had some amazing looking cod roe. They normally come in pairs, but I bought just one, as I am not quite sure what I am doing with it.

I used to love cod roe as a child, but have only prepared it myself a couple of times, and then only from ready-cooked roe, pressed and canned. I spoke to the fishmonger and he advised me to boil it for about 15-30 minutes, after which it should be firm enough to to slice and fry.

March 9, 2012
When I was young – 8 or 9, I think* – I wanted to play guitar. My brother was starting piano lessons, but I wanted to play guitar.

We weren’t made of money, so I was delighted when my grandad gave me an old second hand guitar he had picked up somewhere. It was a Gallotone 3/4 size, and well played when I got it – this was evidenced by the back of the neck being worn through the varnish. It was well beaten up, with marks all over it, so my dad took it and sanded down the front and back, giving it a good coat of varnish.

March 6, 2012