1. Things you need to know about the new ‘Conversations’ PM system:

    a) DO NOT REPLY TO THE NOTIFICATION EMAIL! I get them, not the intended recipient. I get a lot of them and I do not want them! It is just a notification, log into the site and reply from there.

    b) To delete old conversations use the ‘Leave conversation’ option. This is just delete by another name.
    Dismiss Notice

Today I have mainly been v3

Discussion in 'off topic' started by TalYWaun, Jun 8, 2022.

  1. TalYWaun

    TalYWaun pfm Member

    I’m adding internal insulation to my 130 year old solid stone built cottage. It currently has a smart home system (and all the additional wiring that goes with it) but I guess any new owner will want/need to revert it back to standard wiring, so the mods I am making are taking a rewire into account. As I am adding 500mm of insulation to the walls (1000mm in the ceiling), that means I can bury 500mm trunking (and conduit) into the build. The upstairs room in the photo (see link) is the one nearest the distribution board. I have installed the trunking at floor level so that the trunking can serve downstairs as well (when I get around to it). The sole plate (bottom woodwork) is above the trunking and supported using (heavy duty) steel ‘L’ straps that are normally used to secure the sole plate of a roof, to the wall, before the joists are added, so are well up to the job. The trunking will eventually be covered with the skirting board so when a rewire is required it can be removed to access the trunking instead of lifting floorboards and chasing walls. So that’s one room almost done, just 3 more to go. Oh, the joys of being retired (for the first time in my life, having the time AND the money at the same time) and having a hobby (making it good for the next generation).
    Midfi-Man and hifinutt like this.
  2. eternumviti

    eternumviti Wittering on the Vine

    Woke up again, ragged, with the first glimmer of dawn. Worried about the house sale, the wretched solicitors dragging it out so long that I wonder if we will complete before the hurricane hits. Two terrible weekends at the shop portend of what's coming, and I dwell on my part in that. It feels calamitous. I try tea to beckon a couple more hours sleep, but it doesn't work, so I dress and drive up onto the Weald with the dog.

    At the water tower there is already a grain lorry loading up from the store, though it's only just after six. The farmer is undoubtedly counting his blessings at having held some back, prices through the roof due to the bloody war. The light is beautiful, mountains of white cloud. The barley is suddenly turning, last weekend it glowed, now it is already decadent. Wild oats are growing tall through it at the edges. The skylarks are up again, and on full song. I stop and record them on my phone, for they'll be done for this year soon. The track is sticky from yesterday's rain, and the cloud-defused sun is already hot on my back, so I stop, unravel camera paraphernalia, and take my jumper off, but when I go into the forest it is dark, cool and damp, and it smells of peat and leaf mould. Strands of fresh, green bramble have grown across the path only in the last couple of days, Owen's 'clutching and clinging like sorrowing arms'. I try to make sense of the trees for the camera, try to find semblances of order in the chaos, but I can't do it. How do Amar and Mark LJ and the others decipher it, I wonder, again, to myself? The soft light on the fields at the edge draws me back, but the flat-bottomed clouds don't work for the camera when I get there.

    I choose the longer route back, taking the path through the meadow, soft now with hayseed, and over the oddly named Marconi Occupation Bridge across the railway, down past the ruins of the old Redoubt. At the top of the track down to the farm I can just pick out my house, almost hidden by the poplars and the chestnut tree, perhaps 3 miles away. I am looking back at myself from my own horizon, soon to be gone, at least to me. The sky is luminescent, glowing. At the foot of the hill I lean on the gate and watch the white cattle for a while, the calves sheltering from the morning sun under the two trees. There's someone feeding horses as I walk through the poor, tragic farm buildings, once a model for the Scottish arrivals of the 1890s to emulate, now falling into pitiful ruin. Primrose McConnell wrote his original notebook for them here, to guide them through the peculiarities of the heavy Essex clay. There's an enormous Limousin bull in one of the elegant brick-built yards, the outgrown pot-bellied pig in the next, and the long-horned store cattle awaiting their fate in the open-fronted sheds beyond, breathing cow-breath and snorting at the dog. One of them accepts a rub on the hard ridge behind his horns, and tries to lick the salt from my skin with his rough, sticky tongue. The garden at Dial House is full of colour, the potager, as always, neat and well-stocked, a sign on a box hanging by the gate with hand-painted instructions for parcels to be left - no innoculations here - and no sign of the incumbents. I photograph one of Paul's roughly-carved figures, dear, strange, talented Paul who made people care, and who didn't wake up one morning a decade ago.

    My footsteps ring back sharp from the the brick lining of the tunnel beneath the railway, then up the long track to the water tower. I can smell cattle on the other side of the hedge, and I'm dive-bombed by a squadron of 'stuka' flies until I'm further up the hill.

    The grain bulker's gone now, the farmers are scooping the rest of the golden grain to the back of the store with a vast articulated mechanical shovel. Their Landrover has the letters MOO incorporated into the number plate.

    So, onto the day.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2022
    PhilofCas, cutting42, chiily and 7 others like this.
  3. cctaylor

    cctaylor pfm Member

    @eternumviti I enjoyed your account of your ramble. I hope that your house sale is completed soon.

    Interesting the Marconi Occupation Bridge. This takes me back to my farming days. Our farm was split by the Aberdeen - Inverness rail line. For historic reasons we had two level crossings. The rail authorities approached us to close one of the crossings. The paperwork referred to "occupation" crossings. I assume the description implies that the crossing is to be used only in relation to the occupation of the land with no public right of access. I presume that Marconi had facility that was accessed by this bridge.

    We were compensated for the loss of the crossing and I used the money to upgrade the farm track accessing the remaining crossing.
    Rosewind and eternumviti like this.
  4. eternumviti

    eternumviti Wittering on the Vine

    Ah, that explains it, thank you.

    The land on each side of the railway was owned by Marconi, who constructed their second radio station there in the years after WW1 - the original experimental station was on the cliffs at Poldhu in Cornwall. It was a substantial site, 4 large eiffel towers and a forest of tall upright masts. It passed through the hands of cable and wireless, the GPO and finally BT, who sold the land to developers in the late 80s, after removing the masts and demolishing the buildings. There were several attempts at getting planning permission, but vigorous campaigns by the local inhabitants and a group organised by the artists Gee Vaucher and Penny Rimbaud (who live at the above mentioned Dial House) succeeded in getting them all thrown out.

    It sits on the Essex Weald, which is a strip of terminal glacial moraine at the limit of the 2nd Ice Age, and it's a lovely piece of countryside, only 20 miles from Central London, yet almost empty. It is intersected, by those who know, by two Roman Roads, and by what was the Eastern limit of the Central Line, now the Epping Ongar heritage railway, hence the bridge.
    Rosewind and cctaylor like this.
  5. Durmbo

    Durmbo sister

    Because they are them & you are you.

    I like your style, btw. :)
    eternumviti likes this.
  6. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    this morning dealing with a couple of issues with HR and the recognised trade union.
  7. eternumviti

    eternumviti Wittering on the Vine

    Thank you, Dumbo, very kind, and yes, you are of course right.
    Durmbo likes this.
  8. Nero

    Nero Don’t call me Bud

    Isn't there still a Marconi mast there (not as big as Great Baddow), or is that something to do with later GPO stuff?
  9. eternumviti

    eternumviti Wittering on the Vine

    No, its a cellphone mast beside one of the old Marconi buildings. All that's left of the radio station are the huge concrete stays in the fields, which is why the land hasn't been ploughed like the rest of Essex. You can clearly see them on GE in all of the fields that are still meadow.

    The Great Baddow mast is a rare surviving chain home mast, albeit not in its original location.
    Nero likes this.
  10. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    I would describe your chosen themes as an Englishman’s Saudade.
  11. eternumviti

    eternumviti Wittering on the Vine

    I suspected you might.
  12. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    I meant it as a neutral observation of loss which I certainly can identify with. It reminded me of long summer walks as a boy with my father and a sense of the past coming into the present . A gravestone in an ancient Covenanters’ cemetery on the Duke of Hamilton’s estates carrying the inscription “Murdered by Bloody Graham of Claverhouse” burned into my imagination (for obvious reasons!).
    eternumviti likes this.
  13. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    Spent yesterday as part of a crew showing a bunch of young apprentices how to make a simple TV show in a studio. Was delighted to see that one of my colleagues for the day was Mark Hennessy, who has an excellent website with a good section on BBC and Rogers speakers. I made myself known to him and found he is a very nice chap who seemed genuinely pleased that someone reads his pages.

    We all had to introduce ourselves to the apprentices. I said I was a retired editor who was called in if the course manager needed a confused old man for some project or other. This got a laugh both from them and course manager. I showed them my domain, walking on the way through the abandoned studio now used as a storeroom for, amongst other things, an operational table-tennis table, a horrendously out-of-tune Steinway and a drum kit. I explained that all these items were demanded as riders in my contract. Another laugh. These Young People are OK. Spent my earnings online at Lay and Wheeler during the coffee break before they went stale.

    Over lunch the course manager told me the studio day coming up in two weeks would have more attendees than this one. I looked blank. A look of horror. “Don’t you know about it? Haven’t I booked you?” I shook my head. “Oh no! Please can you do it?” I explained I had tickets for travel to France on the day before. The horrified expression intensified. But as there was no reason for my travel dates to be set in stone I offered to rearrange them if the cost of changing them was met. “Would you really, Marchbanks? That would be so kind. Are you sure? I was. “Would 50% extra on your rate cover it?” It would. (Most definitely, I thought to myself.) An image of a case of wine seemed to float before my eyes.

    Went back for an afternoon’s work with a spring in my step. Coped reasonably well, I thought. I was only completely out of my depth once, when one of my charges tried to explain to me what Tik Tok was used for. On the way home I popped into Waitrose and spent my new earnings in the wine sale before they went stale.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2022
    cctaylor, Durmbo, robs and 8 others like this.
  14. eternumviti

    eternumviti Wittering on the Vine

    I have no doubt that I am a melancholic, something certainly inherited from my mother. A girlfriend who dealt professionally in these things once explained that she believed my mother to be in lifelong mourning for an earlier full-term stillborn child, and that I, by some form of extension - or the 'repeat behaviour' that informs all of our personalities - carried that same sense of loss. My father had an intense interest in history, which he passed to me, and I to my own children. Amongst its manifestations is an awareness of, and curiosity for, what has gone before. I search for narratives in landscapes, though all too often find myself disappointed. The countryside, and the people who lived and worked in it when I was young represented the last residues of a way of life that had remained relatively constant for generations. Modern agribusiness is no respecter of such sentiments, and has all too rapidly erased all traces of those constants. Of course its easy to sentimentalise - the way of life was harsh and monotonous, and the people could consequently be spiteful, and often were, but, for every gift that technological progress brings, there's also always something that gets lost. I guess my interest in the possibilities of some degree of restoration of woodlands, marshes, hedgerows and habitats under whatever agricultural regime replaces the CAP is informed by that, but of course the sense of rural communities as they were, intimately intertwined with their surroundings, has gone forever.

    Anyway, I guess that's why wandering the odd bits and pieces of what's left gives me a certain introspective joy, even, as in the case of poor old Ongar Park Hall, I see it crumbling before my eyes and know that the only solution will be yet more 'luxury barn conversions', and another piece of something indefinably valuable will be sanitised away to glossy oblivion.
  15. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    Interesting personal observation. My sister is a psychotherapist who works with ‘family systems’ and she herself has said that deceased past family members still create effects in living members/ descendants.
    When I visit art galleries in different countries I laugh when I describe to friends my interest in paintings of bucolic misery, van Gogh being a fine exponent. I also though enjoy glowing romantic representations of Arcadia.
    eternumviti likes this.
  16. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    yes we love beetroot juice here and once ot twice nearly had a shock when noticed what effect it has ... on the loo
    Big Tabs likes this.
  17. Went to Canvey Island for the first time ever this morning, to quote for a builders clean to large premises, A nice job if we get it. Then progress meeting at our external redec in East London, with one member (thank goodness) of the residents association and their appointed surveyor. Meeting went well from my point of view, not so good for the residents, who need to stump up more cash, alas to a Stone Mason, not me.

    To cap off a good day we’ve been asked to work over the next two weekends on an internal redec to some high end office space in Central London. Bit of a rush to arrange but we’re being remunerated accordingly.

    Cheers BB
  18. Nero

    Nero Don’t call me Bud

    From Arcadia to Canvey Island in two posts. I love this thread!
  19. Jamie

    Jamie pfm Member

    Seems I was a bit premature in hoping changing the leaky shower pump hose was all good. By changing that one, it disturbed 2 others, and by trying to cure them by nipping them up a bit, the leak got worse, to the extent that my wife called me at work saying the the water was spewing out, and the kitchen ceiling had wet marks. I managed to get her to turn off the valves, which she said fixed it, but I came home (23 miles) to check anyway. So tonight picked up a full hose set from Screwfix, and replaced the 2 leaky ones. So now 3 of 4 replaced. Might do the 4th at the weekend as a precaution, but all looks good for now...... fingers crossed.....again.
    Big Tabs and Rosewind like this.
  20. Bjork67

    Bjork67 pfm Member

    Panting for jesus.

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice