Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Out and about



Point of Ayre

Queenies for me in the Ravioli House

Peel harbour

Port St Mary harbour


Tall man chainsaw scupture.

Showing of her three boys.

At Laxey.

Walking part of the old steam railway route Douglas to Peel

Manxmans chair.

I have been restoring a highchair for the little Manxman,>This chair was first used by Sues cousin (who is in her 70's now)before Sue sat in it,  32 years later it was our daughters turn to have her meals in it, now 30 years more and it's our grandsons' turn. 

On the workbench.


Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Ernies toolbox

My dad gave me his old Neslien engineers toolbox when I was an apprentice Ford mechanic at Crimbles of Staines.  I think it is at least 70 years old. It has been crying out for a little TLC for quite some time, and time is something I have an abundance of at the moment.

How it looked with the drawer handles removed.

The leather handle has a flat metal spring inside.

The grimey drawers.


The drawer handles needed a good polish.

A small box compared to my other tool box.

I was surprised that after being abused for  70 years none of the joints needed re-glueing. Basically, the box was sound,  I gave the wood a good sanding down, three coats of linseed oil and four coats of satin varnish.

The bottom rusty chrome insert got a coat of silver Hammerite.

A saddler made me a flat leather sprung handle - like the original.

New baize was fitted to the drawer bottoms to finish the job.

This is the only vehicle in the garage - for now.

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Little Manxman


This is Thomas Junior born two days ago. 

Our 14-day isolation ends at midday today so we will hotfoot around to his place and introduce ourselves.

Friday, 23 October 2020

Hello Fresh.

 We are halfway through our 2 week isolation period, keeping busy hasn't been easy as it's not our house but there is a large garden with a huge overhanging sycamore tree which is shedding its leaves at a black bag full a day. Chasing these windswept, shrivelled, red and golden parchments plus weeding in the borders has given us a little exercise.    

Still, a few more bags full to fall.

When not outside we have watched loads of films on Film4, last nights The BookThief and Hidden Figures being stand out favourites so far.

Family and friends offer to shop for our needs, but trying to be as self-sufficient as possible we joined the Hello Fresh recipe suppliers, we received a box of ingredients for five meals today, the first of which we are having Friday night.

The isolation police called me Tuesday from outside our house but of course, we weren't in. I expect they thought they had caught us flouting the restrictions, turned out he hadn't read our landing form correctly. He did, however, offer to bring a parcel over that had been left on our doorstep....good lad.

There had been an airbridge between IOM and Guernsey but today the Chief Minister informed us via Manx Radio that this had now been shut down as 4 residents have tested positive on Guernsey.

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Hanging up my mask.

FL has been winterised and left connected to the grid while we go home to spend time with our daughter and partner who are expecting their first baby. We are looking forward to meeting the little Manxman sometime at the end of this month. 

We booked a cabin on the 14:15 sailing from Heysham and relaxed for the three-hour journey.

Before we get home though we have to isolate for 14 days away from the family, isolation means isolation, no going out at all, even to the shops, a family friend has lent us an unoccupied house for this purpose. 

Life in the IOM is back to normal restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs and gyms are all operating as normal, no need to social distance or wear masks - there are no cases of covid out in the community. 

The few cases that have been found are in those who have arrived on the island and are on their 14 day isolation period - a further extended period of isolation is then enforced.

The rules are rigorously enforced, at least a half dozen people have flouted the rules and ended up with a two/three-week jail term. The authorities will check up on us from time to time while we are in isolation, this usually takes the form of an official ringing our mobiles from outside the house and asking us to present ourselves at the window. 

You have to hand it to the government here their actions have got rid of the virus in the community, they closed the borders on the 27th of March by the end of May the island was covid free. 

At the moment only residents and key workers with permits are allowed to travel to the island. A safe environment for our grandson to enter the world.

Those socks don't work by the way.😞😒



Wednesday, 14 October 2020

The Epping has returned.

Today we had a trip to Bristol to collect The Epping stove from the restorers. We are very pleased with the results.

You can see how the stove looked when I removed it by clicking here.

New top plate and fire bricks.

New oven door 

New smokebox and damper

Below is the next restoration Olly is undertaking, Olly is a real stove nerd and has been searching for one of these units for years. It is the same model as was used in Shackleton's Antarctic hut.

Friday, 2 October 2020

Great Haywood


Haywood Lock

Shugborough Hall

Walled garden.

Packhorse Bridge.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Green balloon


Seen landing at the marina bistro at 8am 

They often take off from here, it's impressive if the pilots' intention was to land here.


Total for the year 
356 miles
150 locks

Monday, 21 September 2020

Thursday, 17 September 2020


With FL safely back on her mooring we got to the basket 5 mins before departure for our eco-friendly flight back home.