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{ Monthly Archives } August 2014

Weston’s and Morgan

I was thinking back on my excursion around the Weston’s Cider Mill, and comparing it to my visit to the Morgan car factory. Both are local, family owned companies, and have been going for over a hundred years. In that time, they’ve both had to balance staying true to their roots with expanding and competing […]

Weston’s Cider Mill

I’ve taken the week off work, for some much-needed down-time in between bids. I had made all sorts of plans to go out and do things, including a day-trip to Oxford where the Ashmolean museum has an interesting exhibition on about the discovery of Tutankamun’s tomb. However, I’m absolutely shattered, and have decided to stop […]

A Wet Bank Holiday

It’s Bank Holiday Monday, and it’s been pouring with rain all day. The cloud is so low that I can’t even see the ridge of the Malvern Hills, less than half a mile away. There was no point in spending my holiday getting soaked outdoors, so I have instead spent the day constructing a wooden […]

Shopping locally

On Fridays, if it’s not raining, I like to try to finish work a bit early, leave my car on site and walk into the local village to shop for my dinner. Barnards Green is a flat, level, ten-minute walk away (unusual for somewhere as steep as Malvern!), and unlike the town centre, still has […]

Sunday Lunch at the Inn at Welland

Christopher’s stepfather, Peter, usually goes to stay with friends in Wales for a week over the summer, and his route home to Kent takes him through Ledbury, only a few miles from me. We don’t see each other very often, so it makes sense for him to time his journey so that we can meet […]

Wet Rot, Dry Rot and Lead Flashings

Well, three burly tattooed roofers have been here all week, fixing the roof of the extension, and their verdict is now in. A damp-proof course has been fitted under the bottom tile, all the way around the roof, to stop water soaking in to the barge boards. It doesn’t look much different to before, but […]


I’m in the midst of the next chapter of the ongoing saga of my attempts to keep this house watertight. This time, it’s the poorly-constructed roof of the extension, which has been built with an inadequate overhang, and incorrectly sized and positioned bargeboards. Water has been dripping off the roof onto the cement under the […]

Damascus Blades

Today is the fourth anniversary of Christopher’s death, and I wanted to commemorate it in an appropriate way. For several years before he died, he had become very interested in “Damascene blades”, a form of steel used by the Saracens to make their scimitars. He went into far more technical detail than I was interested […]

Plant Catalogues

Plant Catalogues have started arriving through the post, trying to encourage me to splash out on plants and bulbs to plant this autumn. The photographs in the brochures are always alluring, and the prices often very attractive, but as always there is a catch. I got caught out this spring, when I fell for an […]