Red wallet day

My friend Ruth Pullan called by the bodgery today with the new wallet I’d ordered.  Turns out to be a magic one that boosts your sales and the money just flows into it (I even sold a couple of elves as I was packing up , one to a little girl from her pocket money and one to Lotty.).  Here it is:


The cover looks out of square – but careful inspection will also show it is actually out of focus at right because the amount of cash is swelling its belly! See next photo.

Bursting with cash (only had a penny in when Ruth handed it over)…

SAMSUNG CSCAlso holds that important plastic stuff we all seem to need …

SAMSUNG CSCas well as notes (bills) …

SAMSUNG CSCReally good lil wallet though.  Un-dyed, veg-tanned leather and thread, hand stitched.  It is meant to age gracefully, and in my work pocket it will age.  Check out Ruth’s work here.

Today, besides running a deer making course, I have been finishing off this peg rack for the new outstead at home.

SAMSUNG CSCIt’s yew with ash pegs and fastened to the wall with French cleats (more on this later as I fit out the workshop with them).

SAMSUNG CSCIt was quite a challenge to plane – completely dry ‘softwood’, and totally erratic grain.  Holds lots of stuff that doesn’t belong in our cottage any more:

SAMSUNG CSCThe coats are mainly used when I’m mashing my beer.  Last Friday I ran my first brew in the new White Rose brewery:


Outside view, complete with green oak cladding.

This is the run off stage with the brew kettle coming up to boiling. Half this operation used to take place out of doors Winter and Summer.

A few tweaks are required – make the mash filter smaller diameter to fit in the old mash tun that will sit directly atop the wood-burning boiler.  Rewire the mains lead for the kettle so it will actually fit into the water-proof socket with the lid closed as intended.  I think I may be able to get rid of the sparging liquor vessel as I can just about get to sparge strike temperature in the hot water system.  I’m burning dry small wood the get a fierce hot burn and get that water temperature up to the critical 150 F.

Anyway, just for fun I’ve also got a hand pull beer engine working in the beer cellar


(Hang on, there seems also to be : minced meat, marmalade, wine and misc cooking equipment, and … it that a Christmas pudding I spy too? -Ed)

The white plastic gizmo is a valve to stop the, very low, CO2 pressure forcing a syphon through the pump when not required (That is running beer on tap when it shouldn’t be.)  I’ll be turning a new handle to replace the rather hackneyed pony riding scene.

Post scriptum:

Apologies if anyone has trouble with the speed of loading this post.  My ISP has upped the allowable file size from 2 mB to 10 mB.  I used to reduce the photo file size to comply with this and with the increased allowance didn’t bother this time, but there is a loading time premium to pay.  I’ll get them smaller for the next post.

Why the internet is not a good thing …

sometimes, and why it is for other things.

I’m crackers – I ride my bike every morning at 6am.  These days it’s no longer training for cyclo-cross – my X bike is hanging up now 😦 casuality of working Sundays in the woods, all the X races were on Sundays.  So, to resume, I still go out at 6am for a good brisk thrash, these days it’s up Netherghyll out of Cononley weekdays and a longer ride Saturdays.  At 6am here it’s dark (and surprisingly often pretty cold too, but that’s another pair of long johns) so my bike needs lights.  I’ve had lots of lights over the years, many pretty bad as I tend to be a cheap skate in most things and expensive lights I’ve always avoided.  Avoided until two years and two months ago that is.  I decided when the last front light died last time that I’d upgrade myself a bit and bought a moderately expensive Cateye LED front light.  One attraction was the onboard rechargeable battery, and the lower power beam with a high power that gobbles the battery power.  The light also has a flashing function and the battery lasts for ages in that mode.. I tend to use the flasher where there are street lights and the low beam where there aren’t any.  There was an added bonus – when the battery is running low a red LED lights up at the die of the lamp.  What luxury, many a time I’ve set off with a bright light that was clap dead 10 minutes later (I devised various strategies for dealing with this).

OK.  With me so far?  This autumn as the nights drew out (Do you mean dawn was later and later? -Ed) I started using the LED light again, I must have left it fully charged as recommended, as it worked fine for a while.  In due course the red LEDs started showing so I plugged the charger in.  Hrumph, next morning the red was still showing. Changed the fuse etc, and finally decided the charger was bust.  It had a two year warranty, you guessed – it ran out a month before I found it wasn’t working (probably because I’ll have dropped it on the floor at some stage during the Summer (remember those days?)).  I contacted the Big Bike Shop on the Internet from where I purchased same and asked if they di a service or replacement service.  This is the reply:

Hello Thank you for your email.Unfortunately we don’t stock spares for this item, however we could replace it if any of our customers sends a faulty unit back with a charger. At the moment we don’t have any at the returns office, please come back to us in a couple of weeks should the situation changes.Apologies for the inconvenience.RegardsPaula

Well, I don’t know, not really what I call customer service.  I checked out the importer’s website and the charger is a spare, I also found that there’s a supplier 5 miles away.  Contacted them, yes they would get a spare in for me.  Then a couple of days later they said they had these lights in stock and I could have a charger from one of them to get me going again without delay.  That’s more like it.  I collected the charger today, and gave them my complements and told them I would have bought the light from them in the first place if I’d know how poor the other lot (Southerners!) were.

So buying from the big fab old Internet does has some advantages (like price), but I worry that local shops like the one in Keighley that gave me excellent service suffer.  Anyway back out before dawn tomorrow with hot flashing light.

On the other hand I made a fresh sheath for my everyday knife today:

These instructions were very helpful.  My stitching would be a little improved by an awl of the correct shape (I used a round one!) but at least I am no longer in danger of the knife tip digging into my leg through the hole at bottom right of the old one.