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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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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Newcastle Maker Faire

Maker Faire Newcastle 2017What a great day. Newcastle has an annual Maker Faire and it is on this weekend – and what a faire it is.

I headed off first thing to get some parking and was pleased to find that Newcastle College had some cheap parking – £4 for the day. I arrived 45 minutes to early, thankfully the security guard was a chatty type who wanted to know what all the fuss was about so we filled in time while waiting for my friend Aidan to turn up.

We got talking about cars as that was his thing and so by the time Aidan turned up in his Tesla, the guy was itching to see it and up to his armpits in questions.

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The Edinburgh Weekend

This weekend we went up to Edinburgh with our friends Karen and Dave.  Friday afternoon we drove up to Edinburgh and stopped in a little apartment in the city centre.

Of course, being Edinburgh, it poured rain most of the time..

Edinburgh

We spent the evening wandering around town after the obligatory trip to (House of Fraser) Jenners and ended up in a very nice Indian Restaurant just behind Princes Street…

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Life in Northumberland

home made humidifierNo exciting photos right now, mainly because we’ve not seen sunshine in the Northeast of England for a while now, just the usual suicide-inducing damp, cold weather.

Having said that, we’ve not had snow or anything – there is no chance of it being a white Christmas for example.  I’ve been buried away in my workshop now for some time, taking advantage of the bad weather to get stuck into some new learning.

On the right you’ll see my new toy – a home-made-from-scratch ultra-sound humidifier. The idea came to me one morning as she was griping about the room being dry. Inside the £2.99 B&M glass-with-wooden-stopper case is a £4.99 high intensity ultrasonic steamer from China, which when fed 24v (supply came with the unit) generates one hell of a lot of cold steam due to silent ultrasound vibration. Then follows an aluminium tube from B&Q, a 25mm processor fan (£1 from China) and a little convertor to take 24v down to around 3v (£ from China). The 5v fan forces air into the container and hence lots of very fine steam out. I dropped the voltage (to the fan) to reduce noise to virtually zero. Right now it is running flawlessly and I’m waiting to see how long it takes and how much water it takes to make an effective change to the room humidity – which, run by radiators and fire – tends to get a little dry at times.

The whole thing is on a Sonoff controller hooked back to my house system which knows how dry or otherwise the room is and controls accordingly. At least that’s the plan. How well it will survive cats sniffing, running dry and other daily challenges remains to be seen. Also needs a protective shield to stop the fan getting damp and make it look more presentable.  It did occur to me that a somewhat more powerful version of this would be ideal for the pergola in the height of Spanish summer. We have misters but they provide rather large water droplets whereas this is REALLY fine stuff. Could be nice for compensating for the blisteringly dry heat in August.

Other than that, Maureen is doing her usual Christmas stuff, I’m focussed on my blog which is just about to tip 6,000 signed up visitors and needs lots of attention. Some day if the sun ever gets out we’ll get around to some outdoor activities.

Can it get worse? Of course it can

Hard to believe we’ve only been back in the UK for just over 3 weeks. It seems like a lifetime.

When we left Spain the worst thing we had to worry about was Brexit – the end of Great Britain – now – there is Trump – racist, sexist, makes things up on the spot… there are many terms to describe him but the thing that worries me the most is how FAR this guy is from the people who think he will be their saviour.

Mostly white people who really think he would give two hoots about them ,the BIG thing that separates him from them is the silver spoon. While claiming to be all things to all (mostly white male) people – he has lived a life vastly, vastly removed from those who have the most faith in him.  That and the fact that this man will have his finger on the nuclear trigger. Thank heavens Americans only put presidents in place for 4 years – I should imagine anyone with a clean email record – maybe the nearest office cleaner would be a good competitor. But we have 4 years to go as the mighty dollar and the mighty pound slowly sink into the west.

I always said political correctness had gone too far but for 2 great nations to swing so far in the opposite direction.. I can only say, for once that I’m glad I’m a white male and even that won’t help much.

They always said the yellow race would rule the world – they didn’t say it would be our fault.

Counting the days to get back to our little hole in Spain, far away from it all.

The Return

And so we start our long journey back to the UK. We left Galera first thing Wednesday and spent most of the day driving up through Spain. We arrived at our hotel Palicio Urgoiti in Bilbao in time for dinner.

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Sky Website 2016

How long have we had websites now 20 odd years? You’d think Sky could get theirs right.

I went into the Sky website today to change our account – we have so many online options now it is hard to justify the sky package.

So off I went with my username and password – neither of which would work (I have this stuff all detailed in case I forget ).

So after finally getting the username and password sorted I went into Sky website.

Sky duff 1

Clear enough -  click this link to cancel HD and boxed sets ONLINE, yes?

Sky duff 2

You have to wonder.

What UK? We are Screwed

In a historic, democratic vote of 17+ million brexiters against 16+ million remainers, Britain voted to leave the EU.

One could say we can’t fight it – that is democracy – but then we democratically elected the Conservatives and that hasn’t stopped labour supporters actively opposing anything the Tories so. Indeed in terms of eligible voters, well under 40% voted Brexit.

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See BEDROCK

We’re there – at last – and all is well – check out http://www.bedrock.es

Ready to Rock

Trip from Bellingham to Galera

Here we are, once again all ready to start the unfeasibly long trip to Galera for the summer.

I must say I am looking forward to this – between the snow, rain, hailstones, expensive beer and Comrade Corbyn I really need a break from the UK. Had my last supper (last Indian probably for months) the other night in Hexham and very nice it was too). As everyone’s parts freeze here in the Northeast, temperatures are running up to 22c mid-day in Galera though the forecast says a tad cooler this coming week, probably 20c. Time will tell.

I say we’re “ready” – that’s probably overstating it a little. Yesterday’s painting job came to a grinding halt when thumping great hailstones came from the heavens so the door needs a little work on it. I just started sealing the bath and I’m wishing I’d left it alone.

3 cats, a computer, TV and a boatload of ancillaries including the new fridge need packing into the car before our early departure on Tuesday. There won’t be much room to breath. One route is as bad as the other – but the plan right now is to take the A1 route.

By Tuesday night we should be in Portsmouth where we stop-over, then onto the ferry first thing Wednesday, a LONG trip and the food on the ferry is DIRE unless it has changed in the last 4 months – do we’ve bought a mini-fridge to take with us – it’s good for 4 cans of pop and a few sandwiches.

That takes us through to Thursday morning at which point we alight at Bilbao and start the drive down to Galera.

With luck we’ll be there mid-to-late evening. So much to do, I have a new battery for my solar panels and a new nail gun to fix up the Pergola. That and a little repair work (ALWAYS) and some white paint are priorities as is getting around to see everyone.

Over to www.bedrock.es for the summer.

A fine song

You don’t really get any better than this – while elsewhere in the world idiots are chopping heads off and blowing themselves up –  this – one of the finer products of the 20th century sung by a master.