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

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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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Best meal of the day

I’ve never been one for breakfasts but a popular start to the day here is a very simple large slice of toast or tostada. The word has several meanings but at least in this part of Spain, ask for a tosdada and you’re likely to be asked if you want butter and marmalade – OR tomato – and I have to say the latter makes a VERY nice alternative (as in mashed tomato).

And so that is our new thing when the will takes us – getting up in the morning and walking down the hill for cafe-con-leche and tostada.  The problem is getting back up the hill but we’re working on that.

Breakfast in Galera

Weather is cooling off in Galera now, having said that it was roasting this afternoon but it won’t be long before one has to actually has to consider warmer clothing late in the evening.  Of course, when that happens, there is always the coast. No doubt about it – this is a considerably better life and lifestyle than anything I’ve come across in the UK.

Lots and Lots of Memory

Always running out of memory on your phone? me too!

Note this article applies only to Android 6 users.

HTC One M8There was a time in the distant past when Android phones would allow you to use an app called AppToSD or similar and move your apps (as against data) into your SD card. That time was long ago before Google stopped it working.

Then in the not too distant past, Samsung and others seemed to find a way around this  – you could go into your memory settings – apps – and move programs to SD (well, part of them – and only some programs), still leaving large chunks in the limited internal memory.

And so it was that until today I was struggling with my HTC One M8 phone which has 16GB of internal memory and a massive 64GB SD. All that extra SD was doing me no good because I kept running out of room in main memory. Attempts to move TomTom into SD failed as it would not run. TomTom are aware of this and by all accounts could not give a toss. Weeks after enquiring, they gave me some instructions for reformatting the SD that didn’t work. Other programs didn’t even provide the option.

And so, having read up on Android 6.0 having the ability to assimilate SD into internal memory but ALSO having read that TomTom would not have that as it would not be able to find any SD memory, I went for broke and formatted the phone and SD. In settings is an option to make external SD part of internal memory and I went for that.

Some time later, I was greeted with the message on my phone that I have a grand total of 73Gb of internal memory. Sounds good but would it work – I didn’t really think so.

Normally with all of my apps in – I’m sitting at 15GB used out of 16gb available, with only travel maps, images and video in the SD.  I re-installed all of my apps and more besides  – a LOT more. I figured I’d give this a good hammering.

Everything worked – and I installed a new sat-nav program – grabbed Spanish and UK maps and was delighted to find that all the new stuff was going into the SD part of memory leaving me nearly 8GB of the old internal memory intact – this had never happened before.

I don’t know what made me do it but I thought I’d have one last go at TomTom and installed it. I could not believe it – it worked. I told TomTom go go off and get Spanish and UK maps – which took an age. I came back, closed TomTom and started it up again – it worked!! But more’s the point, I STILL have nearly 8gb of the original internal memory. I added Word, Onenote, Facebook, Nova launcher and on and on -  hardly any change with everything going into the once-useless massive SD.

And so there you are – I have my TomTom and more apps than ever before – and rather than considering my 16GB HTC ONE M8 to be getting on a bit – I feel like I have a brand new phone.

External Home Lighting

That’s a name I concocted as I could not think of anything better as a title for this article. I did not want to say “solar lighting” as that limits the conversation So what do I mean by this? – and what is the point of this article?

Totally solar-poweredThis is about externally lighting your property for fun/amusement or even security. I’m writing this because invariably the subject comes up in pub conversations and I often promise people to follow up the conversation later – I then usually forget or we simply run out of time.

Why should you listen to me? Because I’ve designed and built home automation systems for several homes now, i run a very successful blog on the subject of home control and that means means I get constant feedback…  I have a very good grasp of the subject thanks to knowledge, feedback, trial and error….

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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 170 million people against 160 million voters, 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.