Cooler. Rain. Clouds..........

 Well that's a bit more like it

    The absence of the traditional Scottish weather was beginning to worry me, but here we now have a grey damp day. Errol, the cat, came in at about eight (am) and demanded that the rain be stopped immediately. You'd have thought it was pouring, but just a light drizzle was giving the plants in the garden a much needed bit of relief. We haven't had as good, hot and long summer in ages, and, although it was punctuated recently with a sudden cloudburst that filled the poly-tunnel water tank in about half an hour, it's been a real scorcher. I shall refrain from adding Phew!! in the manner of the red-tops. Funny terminology the rags use, arcane words like fracas crop up, rarely more than six letters, combined with puns that a three year old would enjoy. There again, I only see them when getting petrol, and haven't actually bought a newspaper in twenty or thirty years. I stopped when opinion out-weighed fact and Murdoch took over. Surely he must die soon, but perhaps there is a god, and he/she/it doesn't want to meet him.
     I would perhaps read 'Private Eye', but it is rather expensive, probably because they are always being sued by the likes of Murdoch.  
    Elizabeth, my mentor of many years, thought the Eye to be as good as the financial times (Pre Murdoch) for facts, scoops, and snippets that the high and mighty would prefer concealed. In the mean-time New Scientist and the weather report will suffice.
    The additional garage is now complete, though it needs a bit of trim at the front, and promptly filled with stuff. The panelling for the walls is currently rather in the way just now, but I can walk around my workshop in safety, and have found all sorts of this and that which can be fixed, sold, chucked and/or reassigned according to various conflicting forces. The latest was a paraffin torch which had a snapped off pricker stuck in it's nozzle (does sound rather painful). I managed to get it out using a microscope at 1,000 magnification and a blunted pin. It, (as well as the microscope) works just fine, in spite of being older than I am. 
    The coasters are not relevant but happen to be correctly positioned. 
    It's strangely difficult, getting hold of paraffin, here where the industry started, causing the great pink shale bing to the North of the village. Fortunately there turned out to be plenty in a large metal barrel that's been in a neighbour's garden for 40 years, and probably rather longer. The paraffin is as good as when it went in.
    I do wonder what the nimbys would say if such an industrial venture was proposed now, it might put the wind farms into perspective. Of course there wouldn't be a village, let alone a back yard, without it. I think the picture is one of Jonny Kenneway's collection.
    As the ramifications of the new garage settle down, there has been the opportunity of much sorting and tidying, two log piles have been shifted to the main store having been previously chopped and split, they are adequately dried and can be used next winter. Logically I should have made a separate store so that I can burn the older stuff first, but that's not quite ready yet.
    The next store will be for freshly cut logs, about 6 or 10 feet long, and that is being made from the roof of the old GPO van that was first in the garden of 234 Woodside Terrace. It has been through several iterations since 1986 when I first saw it, including a LandRover garage, a garden tool store and a cover for the caravan chassis. They built them to last then, out of mahogany and thick alloy sheeting. The actual lid is fibre-glass. The sides will be from the Auchengray school shed, currently being demolished.
    I'm hoping to make a useful trailer from the chassis, it might even be able to shift Midges. I'm planning on repairing a friend's Midge, which needs some mudguard and brake work for it's MOT, and that would help. 
    Anyway, the cleared areas, previously wood piles, mean that I can de-clutter the caravan shed, with a view to a trip to a local vintage car rally, and make a space for visitors with buggies that need to get out of the rain.

    It's worth checking that you read that correctly, I wouldn't want anybody to expect bug-eyed space visitors.

    I've just about finished a small buggy tunnel at a nearby villager's house. Mostly from a recycled polycarbonate greenhouse. It should keep it out of the worst of the weather, depending on the ferocity of the autumn gales, I'm hoping the house should do some of the shielding, it can get a bit wild here occasionally, and roofs can migrate. It just needs a bit of asphalt to mask the bump at the entrance, so I'm waiting for a sunny day for the final touches. New, clean polycarbonate would have looked nicer, but this was free. A picture later, perhaps.

    One oddity of note, I've been hearing a low pitched noise for a few nights recently, mainly inside the house. The nearest I can get to describing it is that of an Andean wind section blowing across the tops of (empty) old style milk bottles, to the time of a campanological quartet.

Without the guitar, or percussion.
In a cave,
under the cellar. 

    It's only discernible on very quiet nights, and easily buried by any high frequency noise. I thought at first it was the wind in the chimney, but it has an odd semi-cyclic variability and anyway, I can only hear it when the air is completely still, wind hides it completely. Fiona and I went out around midnight to listen and it was so windless and quiet as to be slightly weird. I imagine a townie would get distinctly uneasy. Or maybe I'm going deaf, in which case, why can I hear those old fashioned TV oscillators and the things supposed to deter teenagers from hanging around shops etc?

   But I digress....... Returning to the subject of odd nocturnal noises.......

 I should emphasise the windlessness to any windfarm conspiracy types, but I find they don't listen anyway, so I shan't bother.
    Of course it could be in my head, psychological or pathological, and coincidentally in Fiona's as well, but that seems a little unlikely. That and the fact it is louder inside the house would suggest  either that it comes from the house, or is transmitted through the foundations. I've checked the fridge and the freezer, which do tend to sing to themselves, and the central heating. They are all clear, as is the chimney, I think it's unlikely to be natural as, although variably cyclic, it is too regular. Certainly a bit odd, it makes me curious, though I don't find it  particularly worrying. For the moment I've put it down to some subterranean creature grooving in a cave with a pict (Pink Floyd) although it doesn't sound like it at all.

    The next holiday is approaching with increasing rapidity, or so it seems. A cruise, no less, something we haven't done before, if you discount the slightly bumpy trip to Shetland on the ferry. This is a Fred Olson jaunt to St Petersburg and Tallinn and a few other places. (We'll be taking Mum, who is getting thoroughly over excited), and we all expect to be eating too much. They do a drinking too much option, but we decided that might be a bit over the top. The diet is going to get enough of a hammering as it is. I've even got a dinner jacket. I allowed an extra inch or two in the waist, just in case. I think global warming has seen off the ice-bergs and polar bears for now, so that just leaves the tsunamis and methyl hydrate eruptions to fret about. I remember a Victorian invention of a suitcase that turns into a lifeboat, I must see if they still make them, though I suppose a wet-suit would be a more logical idea
    I was reading that it is apparently cheaper to cruise than stay in an old peoples home, and I imagine rather more fun. I wonder how long it will be before the accountants combine the two. We saw the 'action thriller' Escape Plan with Stallone and Schwarzenegger which may cause worries in those considering such a retirement plan, although any actual crumblies might be the same age as S and S I doubt they'd need the same level of containment. The food looked ok.

    That's the rain on again, through bright sunshine in twenty second bursts. I expect to hear the cat yelling soon, as he just went out.  I, on the other hand, shall go and get a small sensation (Scottish for a medium sized whisky) and a book by Terry Pratchett, whose consequent Knighthood I consider to be well deserved. If you haven't read him yet, you should. You will need a book, a chair and a sense of the ridiculous. I have borrowed his picture from Wikipedia, but just a small one.