Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Time flowing like a river in flood

I've decided my life is too boring for a blog.
I should be getting the house done so I can move but the energy isn't there, nor the cash.
I am spending too much time doing things for the Lit&Phil Society which is worth fighting hard for.
Even though I live in the City, getting to the road for a bus into the centre is hazardous so trips out of the house are rationed. It's not even scenic like Nem's place.
I don't "do" winter!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

An ungrand design!

This is not a Grand Design. Neither is it a job which the stalwarts of a Forum relating to old properties would agree with.
Not being able to DIY except for a bit of woodwork and decorating etc and even worse, not haviing transport has meant that most work has had to be paid for - not always as wanted so that an extra had to be brought in to redo a bit - properly.
Did you know that a bus driver can stop you getting on his bus if you are carrying a tin of paint that hasn't got the lid fastened on with sticky tape? My problem is getting the lid *off* not spilling paint all over the bus because the lid is loose.
The maximum length of wood you can get on a bus is 2ms.
Heavy stuff? Well you have to be able to lift it onto the luggage rack AKA the free newspaper recycling dump.
Old kitchen, during work and new kitchen. I'm scared to use it. There has also been a full central heating system insatlled which took ages and made more mess than I dreamed was possible.
Wall tiles and flooring need sorting still but that's the worst over.

Monday, 30 March 2009

The Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society under threat.

A long rant.
Yes, after 216 years the largest independant Library outside London and one of the most beautiful places in Newcastle is fighting for its continued esistance.
How? Why?
Well, for 5 years we've worked with the next door North East Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineering. We had a Joint Development Committee which looked after things common to both Societies.
Suddenly that Committee decided it would be better if we were amalgamated/re-united/merged (the word cahnges) under one new Company whilst retaining our individual Society names. The over-company would be the Northern Society for Arts and Sciences.
In theory this all sounds fine BUT....
The new company would have 5 Board members from the Lit and Phil (membership 1700 and odd), 5 from the Mining Inst (membership 500 and odd) and 5 co-opted members. each society would have an Advisory Committee which would supply the Board Members - but the Board could refuse to accept any nominee from these advisory committees. Thus the Board would be able to be self continuing without any real input from members. Any criticisms from members to the Board could be completely ignored, decisions by Extraordinary General Meetings expressing a lack of confidence in the Board could be totally ignored. Democracy would be dead and the Independence of the Lit & Phil would go. We would be at the mercy of public funding and a lot of wishy washy-speak for undefined and buzz-word filled plans.
A minority of the Board voted (6 to 4) against this and are fighting to save the Society.
Yes we are in desperate need of funds but selling our souls to coporate external funding is not the way to do it.
The NEIMME only own a small a part of the Hogwarts-like building next door. The Northumberland Masonic whatever owns the rest and they have looked into selling their bit before now.
This is even more worrying as there is a nasty property firm nearby who would love it. They have kicked the Robert Stephenson Trust out of their building so are not people we want as neighbours.
A joint Board could even sell the Lit&Phil's building to them and rent it back from these nasty people. And the Members could do nothing to stop them.

Friday, 27 February 2009

A Tour around Cymru Gogledd.


This was a programme following a Victorian edition of a Baedecker guide and covered Llandudno (which as he says was very mild last autumn) Penrhyn slate quarry and my little railway - the Festiniog, travelling behind my favourite loco, Merddin Emrys, to my favourite station, Tan y Bwlch. What joy!

Richard Wilson also did a 1950s trip in a badly driven Ford Zephyr(? don't know cars) He went from Caernarfon via Dinorwig quarry (where my roof came from). He gazed awestruck at the views from the Llanberis Pass and proceeded to Beddgelert which has THE best ice cream shop in North Wales and I was lusting after a choc ginger double cone. Then he went into the shop and had two icecreams - curse him! He then went to Pwllheli and met up with some ex Butlins girls.

A good night from the Beeb but I still want that ice cream :-/

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Even on the Archers....

Listened to the Archers at the weekend and this character who has been having his house altered was asked "not gone for uPVC windows then?" He replied "No Timber".
Good lad!

Friday, 13 February 2009

TV time.

I'll be warching "New Town" on BBC4 on 14th Feb -- it's a murder story about developers in Edinburgh.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Grand designs?

Actually saw a Grand Design that I like today! It was a repeat (missed it first time round) of one in France where they built a house with wood frame ad straw bales. Most of these porgs show pretentious pratts (I said MOST - not all) including one which was obviously a hospitality area/advert for an architectural practice in an old piano factory.
But this one was a prog where you ached for it to go right for the guy building it and it was so lovely when it was done. They seemed to float far above the surrounding countryside.
Compare it with the new one after it on the other Channel where it seemed money was no object. The old folly was lovely, I wanted it. Then they built a horrible white box container thing onto the side of the old building and on top of a completely out of scale kitchen which apparently was just a Chain company's off the peg one - oh, yes? I've got a cheap one of B&Q's cheaper line and for a space the size of their island bit it's costing me £4 grand. To me it spoilt the whole site. It jarred.
What a contrast between the two projects.