Fake Bob - NOT the real Bob - he sits on the 1st floor.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Next time call a Left handed Electrician

This weekend saw me tackle a job that has been staring at me for months - a simple job of boxing in the pipes under the new boiler and moving 1 double socket, 1 boiler switch and a timer so that they are mounted on the box. Now I have a degree in Electrical engineering so moving a few bits was well within my ability - IN THEORY. Just to be on the safe side I called in a friend - with Electrics you can never be too safe :-0 The friend in question is equally qualified on paper and has the added advantage of 10 years of experience working as an engineer with the BBC. So between us we are well qualified to attempt this minor task.

As you can imagine, all started well, cut the boxing to size, mark out the holes for the socket housings use the drill to make a hole for the hack saw to fit through .... all going well so far. Did I mention that the boxing was in the far left corner of the kitchen, underneath some overhead cupboards - important info for later :-)

To cut the holes for the housings I used a tried and trusted method - a cheap electric saw and the wood balanced on top of the tool box with my friends foot used as a clamp. Sadly the blade of the cheap saw was as soft as butter and bent so much that the resulting holes were a little less than perfect - a bit of hacking and bodging with and eventually the boxes fit the holes. (I am still taking the splinters from my hands!)

The wires were ready to slip through the holes and a ten minute job of wiring them up as per the diagram was ahead. Did I mention that the whole job was far under the cupboards on the left - not enough room for 2 and in the most bloody awkward place for a right handed person to work in. I will spare you the whole story of wires not being long enough, not enough room to see what we were doing, wires not wanting to stay attached to the plug, a little swearing, one screwdriver too big, one too small etc etc. We did have a nice coffee and a nata (very sweet custard tart) from the local cafe when we needed a DIY shop break and then a few hot cross buns when our energy was low. The job almost finished we hit the Chinese take away and treated ourselves to a beer.

Without the support and help of my friend the job would still be sitting waiting - now it is finished I can finish the tiles :-) BUT I think that we would have both have been happy to pay for a left handed Electrician to come over and do the whole thing in 30 minutes while we watched the Rugby :-)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Tough Judge

Four times a year the local camera club that I belong to (The City and Cripplegate Photographic Society) holds a competition evening. Last night was such an evening where club members bring along their beautifully printed and mounted prints to be judged. Usually the judges are informative and generous (after all this is for fun) leaving the participants with a feeling of a job well done. Well last night the judge pulled no punches - a club with a rich history of great photographers managed not one mark of 10 (out of 10) in the prints section. [one bright button who shall remain nameless in case her head inflates so much that she explodes managed a 10 in the slides section!] Most people managed to get 5 or 6 out of 10, the lowest marks given with a few lucky people scraping a grudging 8 from the judge. What do you think about the picture here, "Ethereal Cloister"? Is it really only worth 6 :-( ? This unhappy punter managed 6.6.6. as a set of scores - perhaps it is time to sit in a corner and lick my wounds.

On a happier note a ragged bunch of keen snappers headed to the south coast on Saturday for a chance to photograph the world famous De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill. This Art Deco classic building has been recently refurbished and presents even the most ham fisted photographer an opportunity to take some impressive snaps. As usual RugbyMadGirl managed to outshine us all with her photographic skill and well developed eye. On a cold and clear sunny day it was an ideal venue, good food and coffee were never in short supply but there were perhaps a few too many people with SLR's there (not our group of course). At one point I found it difficult to lower the camera from my eye as my elbow struck an enthusiastic fellow who wanted to photograph the exact scene I had just captured. Feck off and find your own picture I screamed inside, "Sorry" was the word that slipped from my lips. How polite are we!