Friday, December 31, 2010


This week I have been ill advised in my activities. I look forward to the new year in the hope of better.
There has been the ongoing saga of my dongle.
Living conveniently far from the madding crowd I have been pleased over the last three years to rely on one of these to get a broadband connection. At first regarding this as an inconvenience I have come to appreciate that the early example of the genre has served me well.
Sitting in my favourite chair, in the garden or even in the foreign; I have been able to do all the interwebby things that a man could want.
And before you porn addicts smirk I would like you reflect that I am a contributor to the medium. My idle chatter has been visited, according to the great Google themselves, on over thirty thousand occasions. Admittedly over twenty nine thousand are down to a loyal friend in the west midlands but….
Anyway the point I ramble towards is that in the last ten days my trusty dongle has given up its ghost.
Children down at the Vodanet2 shop have tried to replace it and I am now on the third substitute and am quit irritated. Not least through having to stand in the shop while they talk to a grown up at the other end of a help line after having taken my valuable time to confirm my assertion that the previous replacement was not working either.
I have gone through two white dongles and am now on the black dongle.
Even this isn’t as good as the old one.

Add to this the fact that the plumbing child in Bodge it and Quit seems to have a comprehensive ignorance of the products on sale in the store when I am trying to purchase fittings to install a heating system worthy of Heath Robinson here on the mountain.

If the new year doesn’t get a grip I am going to be Mr Grumpy.
Still. I have been able to purchase a few fireworks from under the counter from a man in Bilston. It promises to start with a bang for all of you who care to look up.

Francine, Rich, Lou, Janet, Ginevra, Karen, Sally, Robin, Jo, Sandy, Sarah, Claire of course, Jane, Ian, Craig, Dave, Mike and Jo, Gideon, Jim, Lara, Kate, Mark……lurkers. Look I know there are loads of you.

Happy new year all from Hallett’s Mountain.
Don’t be strangers.
Come and see me in the soon before I visit you!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Christmas All

Pictures like this don't come easy you know

Lots of love from Hallett’s Mountain

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hallett’s Mountain Ate My Car

I have placed a number of posts with roughly the same title over the years. This one I found particularly amusing.
On a practical note. If you are ever in need of a first class four wheel drive car I highly commend the Hyundai Santa Fe.

Mine has nipped up and down a thousand foot mountain covered in snow and ice several times in the last few days.

Now then!
Moonlight over snow... cant beat it.

Have a look at some of the snow photos over to your right in the little flikr box

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bleak House

Instructions eh? I mean who ever read the instructions on anything. Certainly not She Of The Townhouse.

I mean its like use by dates isn’t it. They really only have to be in the right half of the current decade round here. And even if they aren’t we always give it a good sniff as we would hate to chuck anything away. Ever. I have a can of tripe in the back of the top cupboard that has been there for fifteen years past…….you never know when a canned tripe emergency might come….but enough of the aside and on to the main.

My farming colleague and partner in crime has ignored an instruction or two this weekend.
As the ice forms on the inside of the windows here on Hallett’s Mountain, and a thin film of frost manifests on top of the quilt cover, it is nice to know that the expensive electric blanket with all kinds of heat and snooze settings is at least keeping the inner layer at a level of comfort that can be endured; nay even enjoyed (I whacked a semicolon in there for Mike seeing as how it’s Christmas soon).
Beyond the refreshingly clear explanatory leaflet that came with it, there was only one piece of advice that the manufacturer saw fit to actually print on the quilt controller itself. Moulded in to neat white plastic is the fairly obvious caution.
And of course it was just this that ‘the dark of my life’ chose to take with a hefty pinch of salt.
Subsequently malcontent with the effect of the penetrating cold on her side of the bed, she did decided that the situation might be rescued by the expedient of changing a fuse in the plug (a good idea), and drying out the little controller (and equally sound proposition).
The thing is though, that you have to be so careful. Drying out small plastic containers full of clever electronics and some kind of transformer is a job best carried out with patience over a few hours.
You wouldn’t under any circumstances want to rush, for example placing such an object on top of an electric heater displaying the legend :-
Well…. Not if you were hoping it was going to work again…..

Thursday, December 02, 2010


From around the spring above my house, water flows through the settlement tank, the first stage of my cold water supply. In this tank bits of grit and dirt sink to the floor while a few centimetres up a protected inlet pipe draws the water on to the next stage,
This is a much larger cistern. Two meters deep and about one and a half in diameter, it holds then about three and a half thousand litres of water, This almost completely underground and about fifteen metres higher up the hillside than the house. It provides a cool clean store of fine water year in and year out at a good pressure.
At the bottom of the tank a second filtered inlet carries the water on down to the house below. This passage is conducted through a plastic pipe buried about one and a half metres deep to avoid even the worst cold spell that the winter can bestow. This pipe ends just outside the wall of the kitchen at a reducing stop tap.
Here the pipe steps down from twenty two millimetre to the standard domestic copper pipe of fifteen millimetre diameter.
A metre or so on, through the wall and now in my kitchen, there is a second stop tap.
If ever the water supply hiccups, and this has happened three times so far in all the time I have lived here, it is to this stop tap that I turn my eye. It is from here that I use a simple corkscrew to extract blockage.
Now then. Reflect upon the journey that the small frog in the picture above has endured.
You will appreciate perhaps why the poor creature seems past its best.