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August 20, 2015

The Cricket this year has been very enjoyable with the Aussies getting totally thrashed and the Ashes returning to their rightful place. So you can imagine my surprise when I found out very recently that Alastair Cook (England Captain) actually grew up in my parents’ old house in Wickham Bishops, Essex. Even more coincidental (or maybe not) is that house was called “Bowlers End”, named by my parents because it was built on the old village cricket pitch – other houses in the street were called “Wickets” and “Midfield”. My dad, who was a keen cricket fan, would have loved this.

That information all came about after a visit to the area and a dinner reunion with some former members of Witham & District Motor Club. It was good to catch up with friends, some of whom we hadn’t seen for over 40 years, and share some memories. Sadly it was occasioned by the passing of one of the key members, a man who had provided countless hours of help, support and engineering skills in helping us all build and prepare our cars for rallying. We also spent some time with our ex-neighbours in Layham, Suffolk; a good Indian meal, visits to, and Sunday lunch in, the local pub and generally relaxing.

Just when I thought we had finally got on top of the car mysteries and had a new fuel pump fitted last week, the pesky emissions light came on again on the trip to Suffolk. Much more head scratching is required and I have it booked in on Friday for further investigation. This is annoying as it runs great and is very comfortable plus it’s very useful for load carrying etc. The view over the hedges is pretty good too so let’s hope it can be sorted.

Work on the garden progresses slowly mainly due to the weather but we now have booked professional help in the major clearing and laying some more turf to make the borders a bit smaller. Our first efforts at produce in the greenhouse are encouraging, the cucumbers are delicious as are the tomatoes but we need to be more selective in varieties. The tomatoes are very small and sweet, good for salads but not grilling or sandwiches.

In preparation for the long winter evenings which no doubt will be upon us before you can say “Jack Frost”, I am contemplating resurrecting my old hobby of Model Railways. It will of course have to be GWR (Gods Wonderful Railway) and I am researching a small branch line in Oxfordshire. Closed many years ago and virtually all traces of it have disappeared; it ran for 3.3 miles from Uffington to Faringdon. As luck would have it, an author (Adrian Vaughan) has written a number of books on it as that is where he trained as a signalman post WWII. I am currently making small paper plans to see if it will fit and how it would map onto baseboards. I’ll build in 4mm scale to EM standards which will mean quite a lot of work to get track and rolling stock but heck, what else am I going to do? Of course, being a real geek, I have already made a spreadsheet of scale dimensions, next up I need a roll of lining paper for full-size planning and then I need to unearth all my old drawing instruments. The great art of kuminandy is alive and well!



David & June

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Mrs Niklasson's Adventures

Home is where the heart is

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