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Day 53 – Door 2

My feelings towards rehanging doors have not improved over the last 24 hours.

Here’s an extract from a conversation I had with myself earlier.

Me 1: What were they thinking?
Me 2: Who?
Me 1: I hope that the current doors of whoever spent the last thirty years painting over the hinges squeak really loudly.
Me 2: Didn’t we have this conversation yesterday?
Me 1: I also need to take off a few centimetres from the bottom of the door.
Me 2: Don’t you mean millimetres? Please don’t take off centimetres.
Me 1: Millimetres, silly. Oh God, that’s just the sort of thing I’d do isn’t it.
Me 2:
Me 1: Hmm. A jigsaw just isn’t going to cut it. (Laughs at unintended pun).
Me 2: You need a planer.
Me 1: I’m sure there must be a tool perfect for this job.
Me 2: Yes, it’s called a planer.
Me 1: I wonder what YouTube says.
Me 2: It’ll say buy a planer.
Me 1: People seem to be using a planer.
Me 2: Are you even listening to me?
Me 5: I wouldn’t bother Number Two. I gave up a long time ago and I’ve slowly slipped down the rankings of internal conversationalists.
Me 1: Excellent. It’ll be here tomorrow.
Me 2: You did measure and mark off how much needs cutting off before you removed it right?

Stay measured, stay safe.

Day 52 – Door


Bloody screws

Q: How long does it take to remove a door?
A: Over an hour and a half.

Removing doors is probably my least favourite DIY job. I try to avoid doing it at all costs, but I’m currently laying the new floor in the little bedroom and needless to say I need to take a few milimetres off the bottom of the door.

It’s the first time we’ve decorated this room since we moved in and my heart always sinks further when I see that all the screws have been painted over that many times the bit you put your screwdriver in* has vanished under twenty layers of gloss.

So I spent half an hour carefully removing the built up paint. The screws still wouldn’t turn.


The door is now on the landing and I’m pretending that it has been locked for many years and we don’t know what behind it. Although if it were a door it would take you onto next door’s landing.

To cut a long story short I lost my temper a little. Hit it with a hammer a few times. Jammed the screwdriver into various bits of the hinge. Hit it again. Tried different size screwdrivers, including the screwdriver bits for the electric drill. I even tried drilling the screws.

After getting all but one out I eventually gave up and instead of removing the door from the hinges I removed the hinges from the door frame.

I’ve ordered some new brass hinges and now that the door is off I think I have a better chance of getting the screws out.

Of course I still have to saw a bit off the bottom of the door. But I can’t do that until the floor is finished.

So that pretty much sums up my day.

We did have steak for tea though. I didn’t realise how much I’ve missed it until I took the first succulent bite.

Tighten your screws and stay safe.

*Apparently the bit you put your screwdriver in is called the ‘drive’ and it is situated on the ‘head’ of the screw.

Day 51 – Cream Cheese

cheese 1

Jane Thomas and her recipe book

Sorting through some old books and papers I came across an old hand-written recipe book by one of my ancestors. On the inside cover it simply says Jane Thomas Oct 1885. She was my great-grandmother.

At some point in the future I plan to make all the recipes and blog about them. But for now, lick your lips as here’s an example of what to expect.

cheese 2

Cream Cheese
Put into a quart of cream one lump of salt tie it up in a thick muslin bag and bury it in the ground for 3 weeks.

That’s all there is to it.

I can imagine the cats around here are going to love it when I do that one.

Does anyone know how much salt makes a lump? Does the ground need to be prepared in any way? Consecrated perhaps.

Other recipes from Jane Thomas include Victoria Buns, Meat Patties and Baked Sole, all of which, you’d be glad to hear, don’t require interring.

I’ll let you know when the lockdown has finally driven me to start making some of these. In the meantime, stay well fed and stay safe.

Days 48 and 49 – Spoiler alert

Yesterday was a funny sort of day. Let’s just leave it at that.

I’ve been nominated to do one of those social media things where you have ten things to show but can’t use words only pictures. The one I started yesterday is ten albums that have influenced me musically.

So if you follow me on Facebook look away now as I am about to reveal why each of the ten albums mean something to me.

The order isn’t significant, but I’m listing them in the same order as they are/will appear on Facebook so you can cross reference if need be.


Tubular Bells

Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells
This was actually my brother’s LP and I didn’t get a chance to hear it properly. So one evening, when everyone was out of the house, I popped the LP onto the record deck, plugged in some headphones and got totally immersed in the wonderful music. I could feel myself drifting off into some dreamlike state. Suddenly, and very loudly, a man said “Grand Piano” and I leapt out of the chair. No other album has moved me in such a way.

Kate Bush – The Kick Inside
I remember hearing Wuthering Heights being played on Radio City in Liverpool. The presenter, Phil Easton, said that her unique sound was her ticket to stardom and that we should keep an eye on her. He was not wrong. A year or so later I remember going to see one of her first ever concerts at the Liverpool Empire. A theatrical musical experience.

Bread – The Sound Of Bread
Even though I was living in Chester, Radio City was my local commercial radio station when I was a teenager. They used to have the Peaceful Hour at midnight and, along with Minnie Ripperton, Bread seemed to be played constantly. The Sound of Bread was one of the first LPs I bought and I will never tire of hearing Make It With You.

Rick Wakeman – The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
I loved this album because amongst the original artwork there was a drawing of a young woman who struck a remarkable resemblance to someone I liked at college. The music was good too. I still love Guinevere and I’m listening to it while I type. Who would have thought all those years ago that I’d end up playing a round of golf with him and he totally forgetting all about it when I met him again several years later.

Screenshot 2020-05-11 at 15.12.41

BBC Sound Effects Vol 1

BBC Sound Effects No. 1
I played this album like others played Donny Osmond or David Cassidy or Tina Charles. I don’t remember why I bought it (or if someone bought it for me), but I can only assume that this album was the single reason I got into soundscape recording. I mean really, who wouldn’t be influenced by ‘Laughter – Hearty, 30 People’ or ‘Door Creaks (8 Secs, 6 Secs, 6 Secs)’.

Alice Cooper – Schools Out
This album introduced me to the concept of paper underwear. The LP inside the school desk cover had an actual pair of paper knickers placed over it. I remember telling Mother so that she wouldn’t find them lying around on my bedroom floor one day and ban me from bringing girls home. Which would have been a futile exercise anyway as I never brought girls home. Let’s face it, I couldn’t even pluck up the courage to ask any of them to dance at the school disco.

Original Film Cast – South Pacific
It is the cover of this LP that holds the fondest memories for me. Mum and Dad didn’t have a lot of records. It was made up mainly of Mother’s Perry Como and Jake Thackray collection. I think Dad had one Shirley Bassey LP. I love the colours of the South Pacific album, but it wasn’t until a good few years later that I appreciated the music and film. The use of colour in the movie was quite striking.

Beatles – White Album
Another one of my brother’s albums. I loved to hear Rocky Racoon and Piggies. And Revolution Number 9. What was that all about? Again another influencer for my musical experimentation perhaps.


On the Beach

Chris Rea – On The Beach
I have so many happy memories tied up in this album. Total chill. Total hot summer days. I swear that some days I could actually feel the sand between my toes while listening to it. Sadly it was ruined a little by seeing Chris Rea perform at the Manchester Apollo. For some reason all he wanted to do – with every song he did – was fiddle about on a sliding guitar. Still, Giverny, still my favourite track and he didn’t do that one at the concert so it has remained pure in my head.

Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
My final choice. Possibly the album that appears on more lists like this than any other. Again I came to it via my brother and, like Tubular Bells, was (and still is) an album to listen to with headphones. I still marvel at how they created their ‘sound’ and again the use of effects and voices greatly influenced my own dabbling with sound.

So there we have it. Of course by this time tomorrow I will have though of another half a dozen albums I’d want to swap out, but now that I’ve committed myself I can move on and do something else with my life.

Stay aware. Stay safe.

Day 47 – Any Answers

You may remember in a post I did a while back I offered you the chance to ask me anything. I promised to answer all the questions honestly.

Well I forgot. It was a long time ago. Anyway, as I was clearing out some old papers I found all the answers, but sadly not the questions.

So, to stay true to my word here, as promised, are my answers.

1 I used linseed oil.
2 That’s not really a question. It’s more of a statement.
3 Possibly when I was very young, but I have no recollection.
4 £12.52
5 £12.52
6 Douglas, Isle of Man.
7 It was once used by Prince Charles.
8 Never.
9 OK, perhaps once.
10 See answer 3.
11 Norman.
12 Possibly when I was in the bath.
13 By mixing the two together.
14 Around the corner from Portland Place is Park Crescent East, the pillared semicircle south of Marylebone Road, W1, near Great Portland Street Station (Hammersmith & City, Circle and Metropolitan Lines).
15 She asked me first.
16 Yes, really.
17 Well it’s true.
18 Pour the vodka into a highball glass and top up with orange juice. Carefully add the Galliano to the top of the drink to create a separate layer. Serve garnished with an orange slice and a cherry.
19 Yes please.
20 I would imagine that kind of thing could happen in the future, but not until at least 2020.

Have all the answers and stay safe.


Day 46 – Four plants, one cat

I appear to have used up all the words in my head that were allocated for this week. I’ll reset my brain overnight and I will post some very interesting words tomorrow. Possibly some I’ve never used before.

In the meantime here are some random images from today.

Stay ant free and stay safe.