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This is the UK website for Peter and Maureen Scargill. We live in the Northeast of England and also Andalusia in Spain.

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The LED Lighting Sunday Lecture

Good morning all…

Benefit from my mistakes?.. in modernising our house lighting both here in the UK and over in Spain, we have totally gone over to LED lighting of one kind or another. Having been used to compact fluorescents, I kind of expect a couple of years at least, before lights give up.

LED lighting is currently a choice, it won’t be for long as supplies of older alternatives dry up.

The first thing I learned when fitting LED lighting is that manufacturer specs are rubbish, blindly copied from the actual LED design specs by the lamp manufacturers/sales people. The specs refer to LEDs running at reasonable (warm) temperatures. Typically, household lighting gets HOT due to poor ventilation. LEDs don’t like to run HOT so forget your 13 year life claims but 2-6 years should be do-able..

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A Crappy Winter Morning

Lovely winter morning? Not lovely winter morning! The first of these pictures was sadly taken precisely 1,198.3 miles (1,928.5km) North of the second (hence the quality variation) mid-morning this morning. For anyone looking in while enjoying the sunshine in Southern Spain, please spare a thought for friends suffering the current god-forsaken weather in the Northeast of England.

Crappy winter morning

Lovely Winter Morning

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Chicago then back to Blighty

After a very pleasant trip to the USA to visit friends and relatives in and around Chicago, we’re back in the UK. Time to get on with our various winter jobs and to catch up with our friends over here. Meanwhile here are some pics from our trip to Chicago.

Food pic from USA store

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Relaxing in Galera

It is hard to express the stress we’ve been under thanks to rubbish tenants who played the system and kept us in between homes for months not to mention pretty much destroying our home in Wark with their couldn’t give a toss lifestyle, however much of the repair work was done before our travels this month and now we’re taking a well earned break. I’m simultaneously recovering from a stroke and long overdue carpal tunnel surgery. The sun helps a lot as does spending time with friends over here in Spain!

Cullar with friends Ester and John (left)

Len, Christine, Ron and Barry

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Back to Wark

Despite the unbelievably poor state our ex-tenants left the place in (hard to believe that there are people with so little regard for where they live) the cottage is starting, slowly to take shape thanks to lots of hard work, help from friends and lots of money…. the man-cave should be largely functional within the week, the house itself will take somewhat longer. not the best of times to be recuperating from a stroke nor preparing for a carpal tunnel op but then no-one ever promised life would be fair.

Short Trip to Spain

To relieve the stress of waiting for tenants to move out of Wark, not to mention the mind-numbing after-effects of my (first and hopefully last) stroke, we recently took a short break in Spain and as well as stopping over in our place in Galera, we took a short detour down to Puerto De Mazarron. Just a 2-week stop-over but given that the weather was mixed over the 2 weeks I think it is fair to say that some of it was unusual weather. By now however I note they are hitting peaks of 26c in Galera.

Puerto de Mazarron Read the rest of this entry »

Life and Illness

I am currently “recovering” from a life threatening illness, only shortly after “retiring”. I use quotes for a reason here. I hope this story is interesting.

On 15th of December last year, I had, out of the blue (I guess it is always that way) an ischaemic stroke which affected my left side ((right brain?) initially quite badly. Though to this date I have no knowledge of the actual stroke, I was in my home office at the time working on the computer as usual and not unusual for late at night I must’ve dozed off, when all of a sudden I found myself on the floor, completely unable to get up. I don’t recall much more but it seems my wife and grand-daughter, discovering my state, rapidly got me to hospital where I had clot-busting medicine (thank science for 21st century medicine without which I wouldn’t be writing this in May 2018) within hours of having the stroke.

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The Big Change

Looks like the last time I wrote in here was late last year.  That might seem odd to some of you so to clarify, I spent much of December, all of January and part of February 2018 in hospital following a stroke in mid-December. I have since then been incredibly hard at work performing a mix of official NHS therapy and my own home brew therapy concentrating on getting my lost keyboard skills back.

The stroke initially took out my entire left side but that is now largely reduced to weakness in my arm and hand and a slight inattention in my foot and will improve in time. My back is weak but that isn’t stopping me getting around. The big one for me is the left (writing) hand which is very much a work in progress and I’m using it to type this blog, but not without hard work.

For no reason other than getting a head start when I was out of action, I’ve dropped my weight by 20% with more on the way, helped no doubt by having no desire to consume alcohol.

A shame it took something this dramatic to get me to lose the weight but there you are. I’ve only just started to resume blogging and the hand still needs lots of work but I’m making a start. Maureen is also losing weight which makes it easier for me.

Winter Approaching in Bellingham

Fireworks

We’ve been back in the UK for a three weeks (seems like years) and one of the very few highlights has been Guy Fawkes. So we took the grandkids off to Hexham on 4th of November for the display – and what a display it was – huge bonfire and a spectacular firework show.

More fireworksAs is always the case in the Northeast of England, it was of course bollock-freezing cold but thankfully not wet. Hexham town centre was buzzing with activity, except for the shops which were, by and large, inexplicably shut (a tip shopkeepers – lots of people out on Guy Fawkes night with kids wanting to spend their parents money). Thankfully there were a few street vendors (burger vans, ice-cream) and a fellow selling battery-powered-use-once-then-dump flashing lights.

All in all a pleasant experience and then off we went to Bob and Margaret’s place (friends of ours who have a business in Hexham) for Indian grub – which was delicious.

On the actual night of the 5th, we’d been shopping and dropped the grand-kids off so by the time we got back to Bellingham we were a little tired, it was VERY cold and there was no-where to park anywhere near the fireworks – so, we gave it a miss.  We didn’t miss too much because once back home we could see the fireworks – which were fine – but of course not in the same class as the Hexham show.

When we arrived back in the UK after fixing things around the house (which had been holiday rented for 6 months and so needed a little TLC) I settled down to making good use of Ebay to pass on stuff that I realised had been sitting here all summer and not being missed! And so I’m not ploughing through the web in search of a 3d printer!

Not a lot else happening as it’s too cold!

Life

In the early hours of the morning, I’m usually asleep. This morning however was different, I had two completely unrelated things on my mind. One was technical and is documented elsewhere and the other involved the origin of life. Yes, some of us do have deep thoughts from time to time and occasionally, they’re not rubbish. This may or may not be one of those times.

So firstly, a disclaimer, I’m not a doctor, scientist – or anything really – just someone who was brought up learning how things work and watching Attenborough, Star Trek and just about every other sci-fi movie and TV series of note, reading Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins and challenging just about everything. Still, at age 63, what you are about to read may or may not be complete bollocks but hopefully entertaining bollocks.

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