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Progress continues

September 18, 2015

Model railway research continues – I have acquired a couple of useful books, one on DCC and the other on prototype GWR practices. The second one includes some excellent photos of my intended model site. When I first posted that I was considering a model in EM gauge someone suggested N gauge. Although I think that N is too small & fiddly it appears that I could model my chosen place in full-scale in N with just 8 feet of baseboard length – tempting! I was then fortunate to acquire a set of three books by a man who has actually built the model I’m planning so I now have what amounts to a workshop manual. It’s all fascinating reading. I’m also learning a lot more about the design software I have, it really is very powerful (possibly too powerful) so it is complex and a bit of a challenge. Not only am I having to learn the software but also relearn all I ever knew about railway track design practices.

More discussions on the extension plans led to me querying the following statement on the plans “light fittings that accept screw cap or bayonet fittings will not be allowed” – sort of narrows the field a bit. Turns out that in new buildings no traditional lamps are permitted – they all have to be low energy and this rule is to make sure you can’t use incandescent bulbs. More OTT UK rules – all they needed to do was outlaw incandescent bulbs and leave the fittings alone. Anyway we have paid the fees for planning permission and a fee to confirm we don’t need planning permission (talk about jobs for the boys) and the next step is to get a detailed quote and building plan. We know we are going to have to move out of the bedroom and that disruption is going to be extensive and prolonged. Ah well, it’ll be worth it in the end.

Our oil installation engineer came back to fix one of the items the inspector had failed and during the course of discussions it turns out the inspector was wrong on the other items but also has a reputation for criticising contractors in front of their customers. The engineer has decided to report him as others have made similar reports and I have helped him a bit in writing a note that exonerates him from the errors regarding the drains and fences and also complains about the inspectors’ behaviour.

The landscrapers have cleared the old plants, removed all the old rubble and planted some nice new evergreen bushes. My own planting of climbers appear to be surviving and now all we need is a few days dry weather and we can complete our replanting of the salvaged plants we removed earlier. It really does look a lot neater and more open and when the new plants get established we’ll have a green back border all year round. We had to let the neighbour know that his house wall needs some repointing – it was hidden behind one of the big old bushes – so his repair man is due to come some time in the next few days. They finished off by laying a strip of turf along the edge of both lawns effectively narrowing the borders.

Garden 001Garden 002 Garden 003

The local garage guy has nicknamed our car “The Boomerang” – they fitted the new sensor I bought and gave it an MoT inspection. It passed the MoT but with an advisory to replace a couple of steering joints. The next day we had to go to Norwich and would you believe it the blasted engine check light came on again. Further investigation reveals that another sensor is suspect, this one is downstream of the other so would not have shown up until the first one was fixed. For some reason this sensor is reasonably priced in the UK so it is on order for next week along with the steering joints as I don’t believe in letting things like that continue.

We are keeping our fingers crossed that the promised break in the weather for this weekend holds true – we have spent a ton of money on tickets and accommodation to visit the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain Air Show at Duxford on Saturday. I haven’t been to a decent air show in years and we are really looking forward to it. We also get the opportunity of dinner with friends who live fairly close.

Cheers

David & June

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