So, an apology first to all those who logged in last night or earlier this morning looking for this week's edition of the blog. Unfortunately the Briddon family were struck down by a vomiting bug – starting with Steph on Christmas day night. Andrew started Saturday evening and by comparison I had it easy – waking up at 5 am Sunday morning feeling very cold and nauseous and remaining so most of the day. Consequently I stayed in bed but not having eaten since Saturday night, my stomach was emptier and I managed to avoid the joy of up-chucking.
Firstly, my apologies if you have had difficulties getting on to Weekend Rails this week. As I write this, people are telling me that they are getting server error messages. Now I “check” WR (and Andrew Briddon Locos) every day, a legacy of the trouble that has been caused by past hacking attempts (as a matter of interest, there have been over 500 spurious attempts to “log-in” to my side of WR this month) but I do so by means of the monitoring package which has been unaffected, so remained unaware. Hopefully it will not take long to fix.
So, what of the shed floor? Well, the e-mail arrived on Monday complete with a re-statement of the reasons why, but not really answering the questions I'd raised – a sort of “We are the experts, don't question our motives”. But their response might have been more effective if they'd remembered to attach the drawing itself. I got that on Tuesday, and despite having sent them a CAD drawing showing (a) the stools that we'd made after they'd insisted on lowering the foundations to 300mm below ground level and (b) exactly where the internal concrete panels had been located, they insisted that these points had no relevance to their drawings. Insofar as the purpose of the floor slab is to weigh down the foundations and ensure that our overhead crane, tearing up and down the building all day and twice as fast on Sundays, doesn't cause the whole caboodle to shake or waltz down to the river that may be true, but it is a bit galling to have them insist that their sectional drawings are “correct” when they cannot be true to what has actually been built.
27th October 2013
Right then, I've battened the hatches over the windows, guy-roped the tv aerial and covered the cars in bubble-wrap secured with 15 metres of gaffer tape. Do you think I'm ready for this hurricane?
6th October 2013
As I was saying, Andrew had the day off on Monday and so we were to spend it at Rowsley. In a surprisingly generous mood, he invited me to nominate what I would like to do (aside from heading back home, sleeping, resting, etc) and on reflection I decided I would like to start on “Ashdown”'s new windows.
14th July 2013
Of course, when I said that next Friday's plans were set in stone, what I should have said was that they were set in er - Blu-tak - and might be slightly ply-able.
5th May 2013
I usually say that on Bank Holiday weekends I will leave the blog until Monday, but then by the time Sunday night comes around I am convinced that to postpone it another 24 hours will only result in my forgetting what it was we were doing. So here we are again, and already it's 3 days on the trot and still one to go.
24th February 2013
On Monday I was over at Briddon Towers for the morning but aimed to be back in Derbyshire in time to meet the lorry. I needn't have worried so much, for somehow the postcode for Rowsley directed the wagon's Satnav to somewhere near Mickleover, and by the time the driver had sorted out with me over the phone where he ought to be, he'd run out of hours and had to park up. So finally he arrived in Rowsley late in the afternoon, a 40ft flat trailer with an eight-wheel tractor unit sporting the biggest HIAB-type crane I'd ever seen. We'd lifted the generator set and sundries off when Andrew arrived, having dashed home from work and changed. Off came the casing top from the NB, the 6RPH Paxman was lifted out and secured to the wagon, and the casing top refitted.
3rd February 2013
Those of my readers who like to think of themselves as regular will be aware that the first weekend of the month is generally regarded as the best weekend, where "things go right". It was a pity therefore that the Saturday was taken up with another Class 14 Owners group meeting, where the company was pleasant (people representing D9516, '20, '21, '23, '26, '31, '37 and '55 were there, and good friends amongst them) but when someone starts asking about the rumoured 10 spare Paxman engines that Swindon had for the '14s?
23rd December 2012
Sometimes what we are planning is affected by the weather forecast. It is not just a case of "if it snows, stay at home" but if it is expected to rain, we try to aim our efforts at a location where we can enjoy some cover.. With rain like we have been having of late (just you watch, there'll be a hosepipe ban next summer) that has become even more important.