Amongst the various comments I received after last week's edition was someone who revealed a secret passion for sinks – apparently ours is a 'Belfast', actually I thought it had probably come out of a signal box much nearer home – and a suggestion that a photo of a mechanics coupling would have been much easier to understand than my convoluted description.
And they were right of course, but strangely I hadn't got around to taking one, remiss I know but sometimes even I forget to bring the camera with me. So for starters I can at least correct that omission -
Andrew has had a week off between finishing with his old employer and starting with his new, and it was fortuitous that this coincided not only with getting the conflats ready but further work from our contractor on the building. We are now about 95% weathertight.
Seems like I've been all over the place this week. I've been down at the shed most mornings opening up for the contractors at an hour at which I am normally just about to contemplate a slice of toast, then dealing with sourcing fixings and other minor crises. In between times there's been two wagons arrived and developments on a couple of other fronts – but I suppose as usual I had better take things in order.
It is amazing how difficult it can be to get an order placed with some companies. Years ago, I was at a steel stockholders in Rotherham. I didn't buy much raw steel in those days – most of it came in as fabrications made to my drawings – but I had managed to purchase something – on a cash sale – and was actually sawing it by hand into car-sized lengths, when the MD came by with a couple of clients.
I set myself an objective this week, and I'm sad to say I failed: but not by much. Come to think of it, what happened to 'Management by Objectives' which I seem to recall was in vogue as a principle (that word again) of company control years ago. Did it fall by the wayside as greater employee protection measures migrated in from Brussels?
Early on in the week I had a phone call to say my two brackets were ready, so as early as convenient I programmed another trip to Sheffield to collect them. With luck, I thought, I might get the new header tank fitted at the weekend, but you know how it is...
That's it, pretty much back to normal it seems. Everything went smoothly last week, nothing disappeared, no error messages and everything seemed to be where it ought to be. Which probably means it'll all go wrong this week..
Apologies if you had trouble finding last week's blog. Poor old Bill Hyde has had his work cut-out trying to ascertain what has been wrong, and whether it was 'my' fault or some corruption that had crept into the database, but for a while the entry from what is now two weeks ago disappeared again, and last week's entry could not be found under either 'Latest Post' or 'Blog' but could be found by going through 'Categories' (down the left). I guess from the number of people on the site many of you must have popped back in later to see if things had been restored. And they were - eventually.
Well, that wasn't a very auspicious start to the 6th year of this blog. To all those who came looking and couldn't find it, when I came to finish laying out all the text and pictures and uploading it, it proceeded to “lose” all the text and pictures and 'publish' a blank entry. I hurriedly tried twice more with the same result, then 'unpublished' to prevent confusion, though I know a few readers had already logged on.
This week, the van seems to have decided that I have been taking it for granted. And maybe I had, but it's rather like owning a loco. I coined a phrase once 'you never notice a loco until the day it isn't there'. I used it in copy for a leaflet at Hills promoting our loco hire services (I've got a proof but sadly it never went into print) and reflects the fact that unless you are so flush with funds that you have two of everything just in case, then when your one-and-only breaks down normal routines get severely disrupted.