Friday, 29 December 2017


Another happy Christmas and Boxing day spent at ours with a house full of family having a good time. Tons of food and drink and hopefully everyone had a good time. The car exhaust has been replaced so another job done. Next big thing is getting the central heating boiler replaced with a modern condensing combi, just waiting on a quote to get the ball rolling.

New Year is just around the corner and lets hope that it is a good one. Long gone are the times we saw in the New Year with a trip down town (Dundee) then a long slow plod home, greeting folks doing the same journey. The celebrations went on for a few days in which it took to get round everyone's houses to celebrate the occasion. These days it is a quiet night in watching the Jools Holland Hootananay on TV, a glass of whisky and off to bed, but I do miss the excitement of the old days in my youth.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

A costly month

After having a bird strike on the car earlier, we now have an added expense of a new exhaust, which we thought was on the way out and now confirmed. Anyway it is nearly Christmas and look forward to meeting with all the clan over the next week or so, so that should brighten up things for a bit.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to anyone who actually reads this blog (if any?)

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Central Heating

In the process of getting 3 quotes for a new gas combi boiler, it is hard work as all the plumbers in the area are busy at this time of year. Our old boiler is now 15 years old and has done a reasonable job with numerous faults over the years, all sorted by having an annual maintenance contract.

The old boiler is not near as efficient as the new products and with a new efficient machine could save on fuel bills too. Lets see what the quotes come up with.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Some week

Been a busy week getting all the Christmas gear down from the loft and set up, but nearly there.

Adding to the mix, our Combi Boiler is playing up, domestic hot water running hot and warm then cold and repeating the cycle, so it appears that the heat exchanger is blocked up and a costly repair would follow. The boiler is 15 years old and will need to be replaced with a modern boiler early in the New Year.

Yesterday my wife suffered a bird strike on the front grill of the car ( a Pheasant  )luckily after inspecting the damage this morning, it is just the grill needs replacing, no further damage, so guess she was lucky. One of the hazards of living in rural Lincolnshire.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Gas torch

Some years back I bought a micro butane torch for jewellery making, it never performed as it should and have just bought myself a new torch and gas cannisters which have tested out today and am well pleased with it, performs brilliantly and the flame is adjustable too.

All ready for the next creation.

Garden tidy up

With the snow now gone, it was time to get out in the garden and tidy up for the winter. First job was to tidy up the borders where the Virgin media engineers had dug up a few spring bulbs whilst laying their fibre optic cables the other day. Bulbs replanted and mud from the drive cleaned up.

Out to the back garden, the hose real disconnected and stowed in the greenhouse, water supply to the tap on the wall shut off and pipework drained. Good mornings work done.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

First snow of the year

A day with a difference, woken at midnight by my BT modem flashing away, thought they might have done it during the day, but no. The Virgin Media engineers arrived at 9am, nice sunny cold weather, took them 2 1/2 hours to complete the job and everything went well. Really pleased with the broadband speed 90mps and the TV package is brilliant, glad I got the package now.

Just as the lads were finishing the install, the weather changed a bit

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Lightning Association Website

Was chatting to one of the members of the Association the other day and he hinted that he had a mate who is involved in helping out on the Binbrook Lightning restoration who would like to revamp the website. After getting agreement with the Association, it was agreed that Craig Wise would take over as from now. Will look forward to the site revamp and am sure it will grow in popularity when completed. Now down to only 4 websites to look after.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Virgin media

Not long now till my Virgin media Broadband and TV package gets installed. Thursday 30th November. Now thinking of where they intend running the fibre cables from outside my property to the house. If all goes to plan, there should not be a broadband outage as my BT broadband is due to be cancelled the same day.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Twilight Double scramble

Excellent day out at Bruntingthorpe, was on starter crew for XS904 with my pals Martin Forster and Pete O'Callaghan, so an all ex 5 squadron crew. The event was well attended with over 400 photographers. Looking at the Facebook page and images, it looks like they certainly got their money's worth.

Our jet was the one on the left, you can see the Avpin smoke and fumes against the dark backdrop. Photo by Kevin Dack.

The A Team prior to start up, photo courtesy of Michelle Middleton

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Double Q scramble at twilight

Saturday along with a few pals, we are going to Bruntingthorpe to run both jets on a role play double Q scramble at twilight, subject to serviceability of course. This will likely be the last visit of the year. Be good to meet up with the team.


As we have recently had Virgin Media lay fibre cables in our street, have decided to take a TV and Broadband package with them from 30th November. A much better deal and faster broadband speeds. Now awaiting confirmation of the new installation. An early Christmas present.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

The Wall

A few days back, I decided to repaint one of the walls in my bedroom as there was a crack in the old paintwork. Easy job I thought, not so in reality. The wall is papered however and that is where the saga begins. Rubbed down all the cracked area, filled it with filler, sanded it down all looked good. 

Painted the area with the new paint, looked reasonable and left to dry. Today After having already pre painted the edges of the wall and still looked good, got out the paint roller and all going well till I hit the cracked area, then the paper bubbled up and bits came off on the roller.

 So will have to let the area dry off, put some PVA on to seal it, fill again with filler and after drying sand and repaint, this time with a brush. Wish me luck with the final result.

Saturday, 21 October 2017


Continued with the winter clean up today, washed down the white plastic barge-boards, soffits  and guttering, a tad windy to say the least, but looking much better for the effort. Patched up some guttering joints where some water seepage was evident. Getting a bit too old to be climbing up ladders these days, but job done..

Friday, 20 October 2017

Prep before winter

It is now time to clean the plastic tri wall roofing on my porch roof, accumulation of tile dust from the house roof settles and obscures the daylight. So up on the garage roof with bucket of soapy water and soft broom with a hose down after will see it done for the winter,


Seems to be the time of year that various things need renewing, my passport has expired and also my driving license due in January, both applied for yesterday, next will be my bus pass due in January. Such is life.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Busy month or so

Been busy doing nothing for the last month or two. Garden being tidied up, onions planted, bulbs in before the cold weather hits. Still loads of Dahlias flowering. Continued clearing old bits and pieces from the garage, so a bit tidier now.

Last weekend attended an 11 squadron 100th Anniversary do at Bruntingthorpe and took a good few photos for a change.

Met the LPG team and caught up with current jet problems.  

Bought a new 2 gig PC graphics card as my new flight sim program required it to run smoothly, worked a treat.

Decided yesterday that I really ought  to learn how to do flight sim aircraft repaints as someone wanted a specific model, the one seen in the photo, so it took all day to figure it out and finally got the model done and too her for a quick flight to make sure it looked OK, am glad to have learned something new and which I have been putting off for years.

 Wonder what the next project will be?

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Garage door cable snapped

This is the second cable to have snapped on my garage door, luckily I had a couple of spares from the last time. A complicated fix with the need of another pair of hands, but all done and took the time to clean up the guide tracks and lubrication. Hopefully this will be the last time I need to do this job. Not for the faint-hearted.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Post carpet fit

Eventually got all the bedroom fittings back in place,and a good clear-out at the same time. The old carpet was removed by myself prior to the fitters coming, and has now been given to my daughter, so garage back to some semblance of what it was before all this began.

We had to empty the rooms prior to the new carpets being laid, and lots of heavy lifting involved, resulting in a few aches and pains which are slowly recovering from the shock. I think this will see the end of carpet laying now that the whole house has been done over the years.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

New Carpets

My wife decided some time back that we needed 2 new bedroom carpets, so today removal of all bedroom items has begun. One bedroom completely empty apart from the bed and even that is just the mattress on the floor and the old carpet removed.

The smaller room is partially done, with just all the computer gear and large desk, plus carpet to do tomorrow in preparation for the carpet fitters arriving on Friday. Think this will be the very last time I intend subjecting myself to all the upheaval. The rest of the house has been done over the years and will do for me.

One thing I can say is that how can a couple collect so much junk over the years? and of course we have to move all the stuff back again. And they said retirement was to have an easy life.

Monday, 24 July 2017

XR713 resplendent in her new paint job at Bruntingthorpe Airfield 23rd July 2017. Weather was variable, but eventually the sun came out.

Monday, 19 June 2017

General election outcome

Not as most expected, Theresa scored an own goal, and their build up to the election was dire to say the least. Wonder how long she will last as PM?

Thursday, 8 June 2017

General Election

The big day has arrived, have just been to my local polling station and cast my vote. Now to wait on the results with anticipation, the TV will be keeping us up to date with predictions etc.,

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Smart Meters

Had our smart meters installed today, no more estimated bills and no need to take meter reading, Job done.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Meet my new friend

For over a month or so, whilst filling up a tub with water lilies, I inadvertently disturbed a new resident who popped his head up to see what was going on. He is happy as can be in there, so will be careful when topping up his water level.

Windows Backup

The latest ransom ware outbreak prompted me to do a total backup of my PC contents. I have a portable USB hard drive which is handy for keeping things safe. The whole backup took all morning which included all my files and folders, a system image and lastly I made a repair DVD disc in case of emergencies.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Smart meters

Have been waiting on SSE letting me know when they are likely to be available in my area, got a phone call saying engineers would be up this Thursday 18th to fit them. Been over a year since I asked about them.

Dell laptop

Decided to see why an old Dell laptop would not charge the battery, conclusion, battery knackered and the power supply unrecognised. Bought a new battery still would not charge. Spoke to a pal of mine, a member of the Lightning Preservation Group, lives up in Lanarkshire who looked out and tested a spare power supply, sent it down to me, and all working as it should now. Job Done

Microsoft Flight Sim

Purchased the Lightning F Mk6 pack from Aerosoft last week meant to be all singing all dancing, but the installation which is by built in installer, got it wrong. The aircraft all fine, but the effects obviously being called on at the wrong times, making start ups a bit of a mess with guns firing missiles firing, fuel dumps need I go on. Spent the best part of 4 days disabling the effects and now have a workable installation. Am not pleased at all, should have saved my money.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

New Mobile

Bought myself a new mobile today, to replace the very old small screen one I have had for years, Well impressed so far. Galaxy J5

Friday, 28 April 2017

New Mouse

Have been struggling with an old Logitech mouse for some time, intermittent tracking et al. Decided to get a new one, ordered yesterday and arrived this morning from eBay. Wireless with a dongle transmitter, plugged it in and wondered why I never got a new one ages ago.

Monday, 24 April 2017


Had a great day out at Bruntingthorpe on Saturday, met the lads and helped clear out one of the portacabins lots of goodies which needed saving, and lots of old pipes and cables which needed dumping. The weather was like a summers day for a change, so got lots done.

Family Tree

Last week, signed up for a free trial of was heavy work, but found quite a lot. Unfortunately most of my research is Scottish and the site has still not got the Scottish 1911 Census data loaded, so in essence can't progress much further at the moment.

Have cancelled my subs for now, still retain my data however and may go back to them when the latest Census has been added to their site. Met a long lost cousin during my searches and he has passed on his findings, which have been added to my tree.

Virgin Media

Last week Virgin Media started installing their fibre cable network in our street, work starts 7 am and continues till 6pm. The pavement outside our property being dug up and a channel now has the cabling and fill done. They are continuing to fill the channel with tarmac today so should all be finished soon. I might upgrade to Virgin to take advantage of full fibre broadband next year as currently my contract with BT expires March 2018.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Compost Heap

Last week I started emptying out my rather large compost heap and distributing the contents around the garden. I have since bought two more manageable plastic composting bins which will be easier to deal with. Not much more to dig out now and when finished, will use the enclosure to house my barbecue.

24th April: Old heap distributed around the garden, area tidied up and now looking much better.

Dry Verge

Last week I got dry verge fitted to my bungalow, excellent fitter and a job well done

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Spring flowers

Lots of spring flowers in the garden

Damp patch

Whilst cleaning out the garage yesterday I discovered a damp patch along the brickwork at the base of the garage wall. Investigated today and found that the gap between the outside garage wall and the path had soil build up past the brick damp proof course. Spent the morning removing the offending soil and clearing it below the damp proof course, followed by a good scrub down of the path. Will monitor any further damp patches after they have dried out. A productive day so far.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Clearout in the garage

Have promised myself to do a clear out of the garage for ages now, mainly getting rid of old off cuts of wood, took most of the morning, but all the stuff removed and ready to transport to the recycling centre on Friday. Reason for doing the cleaning, was to find out if I had enough material to build myself a jewellers bench which will be purpose built and also enable me to bring it inside during the winter months. Now drawing up plans for the build.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Slow Firefox Browser

Been having problems with firefox being slow to load pages for some time. Checked out by trying another browser which was fast. Created a new Firefox profile and reinstalled all my bookmarks, add ons which seems to have sorted the problem out. No idea which profile items were at fault, but now working OK.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Lovely sunny spring day

Took the opportunity to do some weeding in the front garden, spent a few hours and have filled the Green waste bin, amazing how many weeds have sprung up. The big job was to remove a large geranium which seems to have taken over, never seen so big a root system, so may carry on tomorrow if the weather holds.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Written for posterity

 Last year there was a request from the restorers of  XS456 a Mk5 static Lightning displayed at Skegness Water Park asking for folks that had worked on the aircraft. I submitted my name along with quite a lot of others at the time. The idea was that they were to display the chosen names to stencil on the aircraft nose undercarriage doors. All the submitted names were put in a hat and the draw was made. My name was one of those chosen, so now adorns the aircraft.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Composting Time to get composting, decided to get two 330 litre plastic composter bins which will take over from my large open compost bin and make it easier to manage.   Up to 28 days for delivery, so gives me time to clear out the old bin.

Spring has sprung

                                         Just a few pics of the spring bulbs so far.

Monday, 6 March 2017


The other day I posted a link on facebook to a pdf file I had on my website, result that my monthly bandwidth was exceeded, a first for me. Never expected that so many people wanted to read the pdf. Luckily enough my web host stopped any further downloads and emailed me about the situation.

Moved the file in question to dropbox now, so folks can still download it. Have no idea if there is a limit on downloads from Dropbox, but am sure will be notified if there is a problem.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Garden Water Butt

Dry weather today, so took a look at the leaking water butt which has been on my todo list. Emptied about a quarter of the remaining water and sludge and inspected the leaking area right at the base and a sizeable crack was apparent. Cleaned and dried the area affected and luckily enough still had a tin of resin, hardener and fibreglass matting available. Area now hopefully sealed and the resin is setting nicely. Will leave overnight and fit to the downpipe tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Bruntingthorpe Night Photo shoot

Arrived at Bruntingthorpe to help with moving the aircraft outside the hangar for the photo shoot. Most of the prep had been done by others who were on site the day before the event. Good to meet up with the lads and have a chat.
The public started to appear about 13.30 and as all the kites were ready for the event, we headed off back home. I don't think there were as many people attending as last year, but have looked at a few photos on facebook which were well composed and the lighting was excellent and well set up for the occasion.
All in all a good day out. Now comes the real work of getting the jets ready for the May bank holiday open day, and there are a good few jobs to be getting on with.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Silver ring

A bit warmer today managed to get out in the garage and make a silver ring using 6mm wide, 1mm thick silver strip and solder paste. First time I have tried the solder paste and my gas torch was not up to the job, so used a butane blowtorch which worked fine,  although will have to adjust the flame size for future jobs.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Jewellery Making

Have been making silver jewellery for a while, mainly rings and the odd pendant. My silver supply has been old pre 1921 UK silver coins, of which have now very few left. Purchased some silver sheet recently with the intention of making some more rings. I have all the kit needed out in the garage, but this cold weather is not ideal to work in, so my next project is to make a wooden jewellers bench which can be brought indoors so I can carry on some work.

I have stacks of wood which can be used and maybe tomorrow will drag myself out in the garage and make a start on a bench. Thermal clothing would be the order of the day as the weather forecast for the next few days is cold to  say the least.

10th Feb, woke up to a scene of snow lying outside, temperature too cold for my planned foray in to the garage, will wait till warmer days. 

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

New Camera

A surprise Christmas gift in the form of a Panasonic Lumix FZ200. Fitted with a Leica lens although not a DSLR I am really pleased with this camera, although have not put it to much use as of yet. I like all the extra features especially the flip out screen, which helps with all the settings etc. Looking forward to giving it a thorough test soon.

Monday, 6 February 2017

LPG Bruntingthorpe

Looking forward to 2017 with the LPG, the Night photo shoot is on 18th February where you can get some cracking photos of our 3 jets. Looking back to earlier shots there have  been some brilliant captures and expect that there will be lots more this time round. Details are here

Me at an open day 2016 photo by John Shearer where we met for the first time in over 30 years. Very enjoyable day it was too.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Photo Restoration

I am still doing photo restoration work for those that are interested. Very competitive prices. Details can be had here
Am closing my Facebook account at the end of the week preferring to revert back to good old Blogger as my social media preference, where I have more control over the content I post. If you want to join me, then you are most welcome.