We used to say that the last weekend of the month was when everything went wrong, but for some time now the last weekends of the months appeared to pass by without anything untoward occurring. Of course, it couldn't last, could it?
I'll start off with an apology to anyone and everyone who was unable to get on to Weekend Rails (or for that matter www.andrewbriddonlocos.co.uk and www.petebriddon.co.uk) on Wednesday afternoon and evening. At about 2pm the servers where our websites are held had to be shutdown unexpectedly and were off for several hours while checks were made and the systems re-booted. By mid evening one or two of the websites were up and by the early hours of Thursday all was back to normal.
I am writing this having just returned from Christmas spent at our daughter's house in Darlington, and as we went there on Christmas Eve, there has in truth been not all that much put in to the collection during the week.
If you notice, I try to start off each week's piece with something sightly philosophical, a perceptive observation or maybe an insightful commentary on something topical. And guess what? I can't think of anything that fits into any of those categories this week. Ah well.
December is upon us, and all around houses are lit up with garish lights, a large Christmas tree has appeared at the crossroads by Station Road, and tinsel and twee models of Santa and reindeer will shortly be taking over shop windows. It's not just that at my age Christmas has lost its freshness – I just have to tell myself it's for the kiddiewinkles anyway – but heavens, on our Freesat service there's been a channel broadcasting 100% Christmas tosh since... well it seems like forever now but it was probably about the beginning of November.
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.
The trouble with having shed with only about three-quarters of its total roof and three of its four walls complete is that it is neither an open space nor a shed. Not that I should complain, even to have that much is a step up from having no roof and no walls higher than two metres. But if rain falls electrical things continue to need sheeting over, and if the wind blows you feel it.
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.
My apologies to those of you who logged in last night looking for this – sometimes on Bank Holiday weekends I maintain the rhythm and post on Sundays, at other times I may be too tired and postpone until after the Bank Holiday Monday. This week has been one of those.