Jet washing

We had new paving laid at the back and it seemed like quite a good idea at the time to have quite a light Indian stone. Turns out it properly shows up dirty dog footprints, dirty boot marks, everything really. We put some “Wet and Forget” on it last year and it took away all the green algae that grows on there but after a cold wet winter it definitely needed a jet wash, which we did the other day, and another dose of “Wet and Forget” that I’ll get around to soon.

Don’t pay too much attention to the black stuff, that’s just crap that’s been washed down by the jet washer…but just look at the colour difference between the washed stone and the unwashed!

Usual April 1st Post

Three years since I stopped working [ mainly due to the Conservative governments ridiculous introduction of IR35 ] at Sky and this time I definitely can’t say I’m still retired. I’ve been doing some bits and pieces for Jason Coope which has been on the whole quite good fun. Ignition is a great tool, Docker and Traefik are excellent fun and Liquibase is quite a good bit of code but does have a few quirks that have been giving me sleepless nights.

Anyway, in keeping with April 1st being the day that I kinda retired I’ll continue making something not particularly healthy for breakfast.

A simple fried egg on white toast with ketchup.

Merseyrail robbing bastards

Paul, Jason and I decided to go for a few drinks in Liverpool. We decided to catch the train – turns out we could have gone in a limo for less money.

The problems began at Ormskirk train station where there was an absolutely massive queue for the ticket office and the train was just sitting on the platform waiting to go. We decided to hop on the train and buy a ticket online. Turns out you can’t do this on Merseyrail. You can do it on pretty much every other train operator in the country but Merseyrail are a bunch of robbing bastards who would rather take the income from fining their customers rather than fixing their systems to accept e-tickets.

We all received a fine of £107.90 which is reduced to £57.90 if paid within 21 days. So it cost £173.70 for the three of us to do a 30 minute journey. But at least we got some nice receipts and a blog post!

Commemorative Plaque

Whilst I was laying the bricks for my workshop in a spectacularly bad manner, Oliver came along to “give me a hand”. He laid one brick. One! It was this one.

He didn’t lay it badly really. Quite proud of him


Had my first real life Zelda BoTW or ToTK if you prefer, moment. In an otherwise barren and boggy wood I found a single flower. Kinda made me wanna grab it and see what happened next, but I didn’t, because I’m not yet quite that bonkers.


One of our local Michelin starred restaurants does a rather fabulous lunch taster menu with wine pairing. It’s a trifle expensive, especially when you start with cocktails, finish with cocktails add the cheese course and two rounds of plum sake to go with the cheese…but it’s worth it. Probably wouldn’t do it every weekend though

The fallow deer course

Water problems

The front of our house where we park the cars has always been prone to a little dampness since it’s the lowest point of our little enclave of houses. This Winter has been spectacularly bad since it feels like it’s rained non stop. This has been our reality for a few weeks.

However, in the past few days the builders that are planning to build on the “swamp” that is behind the far trees in the above photo have found a blocked land drain. They unblocked the land drain and hooked it into their drainage system and for the first time in possibly two years we’re all seeing the water levels fall in the “swamp”. The ducks are moving out and my car parking spot has now dried up. My back garden no longer squelches underfoot and all seems good. Admittedly we’ve had a few days of dry-ish weather but I’m still quietly optimistic that removing several hundred thousands of litres from the field next to us will solve our problems. Fingers crossed.

As an aside – rumour has it that my elderly neighbour blocked the land drains deliberately a few years ago for some unknown reason. The same guy that promised he wouldn’t sell the land to the builders until after his death. He’s still alive but the builders moved in a year ago so hey-ho.

Scroll Saw

When we did the extension the builder installed some Oak skirting boards. He did the joins using a butt joint. I moaned about it here [ ] in the past.

Well I’ve just been bought a scroll saw [ thanks Mum ] to have another crack at all this. The scroll saw is essentially a powered version of the coping saw I mention in the post above.

Turns out I’m still a bit rubbish at it.


The skirting board joint you see above is my first attempt. I’ll persevere with my scroll saw with a bit more practice and then hopefully I’ll finally have the skirting boards I’ve dreamt of.

Holly Dog

Jac and Mark and the kids all went out to celebrate one of their children’s birthdays…yeah I should really know which one but I’m rubbish at things like that and I was totally distracted by us getting Holly for the day.

We absolutely loved having her. Yeah, there were a few puddles. Yeah, she did nearly break the patio doors by running head first into them. Yeah, she did have a bit of a chew on my hat. But it was brilliant to have such an excited bundle of energy in the house. Violet enjoyed it for the first hour or two but then she wanted a sleep…and Holly didn’t.

As a side note I also popped around to Jac and Mark’s yesterday and Holly came running and jumping at me and was so excited that a bit of wee came out onto my foot. Her wee, not mine.

Baking like Nana Molly

When I was young and at Primary School my Mum was a Schoolteacher and so couldn’t pick me up. Fortunately Nana Molly lived a few hundred metres away from my school and so after I finished school I’d walk over to Nanas and she’d make me my “tea”. Dinner was often “Lobbies”. Meat, potatoes, onions and other veg in a gravy. Some call it potato hash, some call it scouse. We called it lobbies. Anyway, quite often Nana Molly would also make jam tarts. They were amazing. Highlight of my day even though it was just shortcrust pastry with some jam in it.

I recently had some pre-rolled shortcrust pastry that was past the use by date so I had to do something quick. So I picked up some sausage meat from the local butcher and made some posh sausage rolls. I had some left over pastry and we had some jam in the fridge that had been there a while and this is the end result.

The third from the right was made without using a pastry cutter. Dunno what I was thinking