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Winter Draws On!!

November 23, 2013

We spent another relaxing weekend, this time enjoying the various TV coverage of the Remembrance Day activities and cooking up a roast beef dinner. However, I managed to get a big splash of cooking fat on my shirt and trousers to say nothing of the kitchen floor. Luckily they were old trousers and are now condemned to pure working ones, the shirt we got clean and the kitchen floor just took a good scrubbing. Part of the problem is that the oven is really small and low down in the unit and its drop down door makes it really difficult to clean. Its other problem is it is fan-assisted and there is no way to turn this off and use it as a conventional oven. If there is any cooking fat spattering the fan blows it all over the inside of the oven and the glass door.  Really miss the large wall ovens we had, but as renters we have to deal with what we have.

I made another start on the garage unpacking and moving stuff so I can find everything; I also wanted to get the photo equipment and photo albums into the house as the garage seems a bit damp, We have about 16 boxes (1.8 cu ft each) full of books, VHS and audio tapes, photo albums etc and we only have one book case in the house. Apparently Oxfam is requesting book donations – all I can say is be careful what you wish for!

Over the years I have accumulated a lot of photographic stuff, a lot from Junes father but a lot I have personally acquired as well. All the darkroom equipment was donated to a school of photography before we left California but I still have the cameras. Some of them I will try and sell on eBay but I’m very reluctant to get rid of my old Nikon outfit which is pretty extensive. We shall see as the project progresses. We have unpacked all the photo albums, discovering quite a few gems along the way; these are all now safely in the house and out of the cold damp garage. All the photo equipment is similarly safe and I got started on checking it all and its possible sale on eBay.

Totally unannounced, the boiler people arrived on Wednesday to carry out the repair to the gas valve, good job we were in. Anyway the guy was also to do the annual maintenance but then he carried out a full landlord’s inspection certification even though I told him it had been done in September. He had no information on the actuator valve that the previous guy had reported – in fact he spent most of his time complaining about the job, doing things that didn’t need doing and not doing things that did. There is clearly a communication problem between us, the letting agent, the landlord and the service companies. As of now, nothing has been done about the outstanding issues we have reported.

Then Friday arrived and I had to check it wasn’t the 13th! First off the power transformer in the kitchen blew up halfway through getting breakfast. I discovered later that the other one I had repaired in France had also succumbed to its injuries and was beyond repair. This is a big issue as all our kitchen appliances are US 110 volt so now we can’t use the coffee machine, the toaster and the toaster oven. I have located a replacement transformer (cheaper than replacing the appliances) and it should arrive in about 10 days. Next up, having collected our prescriptions from the pharmacy it transpired that they have given us 2 months supply instead of one and left two items out. Then the mail arrived with the doctors’ order for blood tests and that had the wrong patients name on it; I had to take that back and get them to straighten it out. Finally, I replaced the wireless internet connection with Homeplugs which absolutely would not talk to each other. Only after a long conversation with their barely intelligible tech support dept I learned that they should be paired by plugging them into electrical outlets in the same room, they can be moved afterwards. That worked and I now have a much faster and more reliable internet connection.

Not having a toaster working, I decided to try the oven grill function. All fine until I opened the door at which point all the spattered grease had burned off and the kitchen filled with smoke – this oven is really getting to be a pain, goodness knows how we will manage with Christmas dinner.

I spent the next couple of days cataloguing and photographing all the camera equipment I wish to sell, an interesting exercise as I have never really studied my digital camera, just using it on “auto” mode for general pictures. Trying to achieve depth of field and sensible size pictures for eBay was a tad challenging but I got it all done in the end. I really must study this in more detail but the manual simply tells you that pressing button “x” has a certain technical effect but this does not seem to relate to photographic issues. Simply put, there is a setting for aperture priority but no way that I have discovered of actually setting the desired aperture.

Next job was writing all the advertising descriptions and I was amazed how much information on the obscure bits that I have was available via a Google search – all very useful stuff. In fact there is more available now than when I last did any research into such things – I could find manuals for cameras made in the 1910’s and 1920’s

I did manage to get to the pub quiz night once this past week – I used to be reasonably good at this but an absence of 22 years has meant that questions on TV, music and sport are a total mystery to me. But it was enjoyable all the same and an excuse to get out and about a bit.

eBay is proving useful, I have sold the big press camera outfit and another camera case and the other items are gaining interest. Turns out the buyer of the press camera lives in Cardiff so came to collect it in person – and I’d just finished packing it all up for shipment! Then we got a real “small world” moment – conversation turned to where we had been, got round to Pontefract where June grew up and the buyer was born in Pontefract at the hospital June did her basic training. Seems like the camera is kind of going home.

It’s officially “Winter Draws On” time, sub zero night time and frost on the roof and the car on Friday. However, it’s bright and sunny and quite pleasant out, but we must get some more winter clothes. I need gloves and a scarf and June needs a warm coat. We did spend a pleasant lunchtime in a pub in Mumbles watching the ocean (SwanseaBay), next few days look to be similar so hopefully we can get out a bit more.

But now Christmas looms so we have started on the planning and making the Christmas cake. There is much to do in the coming month but all good fun,


David & June

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 26, 2013 10:48

    Getting used to a smaller single oven is a nightmare! Having left mine behind, I am sooo very pleased with my luxurious “piano de cuisson”!
    Frost at night… Brrr.. We are still enjoying 6 or 7 here at night and this week the howling winds have gone too, so it feels benign… For now.

    Photographic stuff, love sort hinge through old photos and camera gear, fun times!


    • November 26, 2013 10:59

      Yes, we left the “Piano de cuisson” in France as it wouldn’t fit in a UK kitchen.

      If you are interested in old photo stuff (as I know you are) check out my current ebay listings – under “myrynd2it”



  2. December 3, 2013 20:28

    I feel quite bad as we have a big oven, but rarely use it!!!! good luck with your Christmas dinner 🙂

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