Monday, 31 December 2007

Wow, where did the time go!?

I cannot believe it was June when I last blogged. The time is just flying by. All those people who say 'I don't know how I found the time to go to work' after retiring are right!
Anyway, I am going to make a concerted effort to blog more often.

I am still baking and intend to do more with that in 2008. The table is finished and I will get a photo of that in here as soon as possible.

The Midland Hotel is also coming on a treat and looks fantastic when the sun makes the rendering sparkle :-)

Lastly for this entry, my K3 is not here as yet. Elecraft have been working their socks off but due to manufacturing delays and the sheer amount of K3's ordered, they are well behind. I expect to see mine toward the end of January with any luck. I have put one together for a friend of mine though, John GW0SYN. It was great to be able to have a play for a couple of days and I can tell you, if you are a radio amateur who likes HF, you *need* this radio! In fact I was just talking with John earlier today and he was running 6W into his amp from it. The K3 was pulling 2.4A at that! Imagine being able to run an HF radio of this quality with a 3A supply :-)
You can see his radio in the photo.

More soon I promise!


Saturday, 16 June 2007

New toy ordered :-)

I have ordered an Elecraft K3 to complement my K2 lineup. It looks like a beauty of a rig. 160m through to 6m all mode and tons of features, never mind stunning performance. I can hardly wait for it to arrive.
The K3 is a kit but all the boards come ready built so it is pretty much a mechanical job fitting it all together. I will have to wait until September before it arrives though :-(

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Getting there

Sheesh, this blog is becoming the saga of the patio table! Still, it is coming on and I hope to have the tiling finished tomorrow. There must be an easier way of doing this!

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Mosaic madness

I have concluded that I hate mosaic tiles. How did the Romans get to be so good at it? I have started on the table but it is a really slow business. Still, tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

The tables turned

Well the table is coming on nicely :-) I will have a photo tomorrow to show. It will be unique if nothing else! What a wonderful week of weather so far. Hopefully it should continue to be lovely and I can get even more brown than I am already :-)

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Patio woes

Well today I have started to rework our patio table. We have had it less than a year but it has been really poorly made. The frame is fine but the top (wooden slats) has collapsed. Maybe I should not have left it outside! :-) Anyway, I have removed all the slats and fitted some external ply to the bottom. The plan is to use mosaic tiles to finish the top. It should look really nice when finished and give us a much nicer table to boot! It has been a beautiful day but the clouds are starting to roll in, looks like rain tomorrow :-(

Friday, 1 June 2007

Midland Hotel

The Midland Hotel is starting to look good again. It should be reopened early next year. For those who don't know, the Midland was once Morecambes most prestigious hotel. Built as an Art Deco piece, it has fallen into disrepair over the years, despite its prominent position on the promenade.
I am really looking forward to it reopening when we will see more money coming back into the town.
I am starting to get a lot of pictures of the town so I decided to start a gallery. I will post a link when it is ready for viewing.

Isn't life wonderful?

Went for a walk this morning along the promenade here at Morecambe. The views were fantastic and I got a lot of good shots with the camera. The other side of the bay was misty but the colour of the sea was wonderful. The tide was on it's way in and the weather beautiful, I could have walked all day!
Good to see families on the beach and a couple of kids setting up to hopefully catch some fish.
At this moment I am very content indeed, although I am sure I will get grumpy about something today :-)

Thursday, 31 May 2007

Am I getting to be a Grumpy Old Man?

Why oh why is the English language going to the dogs? People cannot tell the difference between their and there, spelling is atrocious, they do not capitalise their 'I's and cannot punctuate for toffee! I see it more and more and people seem to think it is acceptable. Most blame it on dyslexia! Complete crap, it is pure laziness! Where and were is another favourite. For Gods sake guys, get some lessons and learn the difference..... ARRRRRGGGGHHHH!


Today is one of those sad days that seem to come around more and more as I get older. We have to go to a funeral today of the mother of one of Lindas oldest chums, Diane. Having lost my father 10 years ago, I remember the pain of losing a parent well. However, they never really leave us, they stay within your heart forever. Hopefully the occasion will not be too overwhelming for Diane.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007


Music is one of my other great hobbies. I have a very varied and eclectic taste in music although my favourite band of all time must be Pink Floyd. I guess if I have to choose (and why should I?) I prefer Gilmour to Waters but I guess that is because I am a guitarist. My guitar is pictured here. I play through my computer via an interface by Line6 called GuitarPort. It really is a superb piece of kit and enables me to sound like anyone I choose, even if I cannot play like them :-)
I have played guitar for about 34 years but I had a long period (about 10 years) where I didn't play. I have always played acoustic folk until I got the Ibanez but I am now trying to learn to solo.


One of the joys of having a large shallow bay in Morecambe Bay is that the bird life is both profuse and varied. I managed to get a shot of this Heron this morning before the batteries ran out on the camera!

nb: note to self.... take spare batteries!

This was as close as I got to the bird before it noticed me and flew off.

More on Morecambe

We are currently having a lot of work done on the promenade here. This includes sea defences and tons of sand being dumped on the beaches. It is making a huge difference. The photo shows a tractor cleaning the sand which is really nice to see. It is terrific seeing families on the beaches again, making sand castles and walking barefoot :-)
I live not far from here and I can be on the promenade within a couple of minutes. How lucky am I?


Although my place of birth is Manchester, I consider Morecambe to be my home town. Now I am retired I am enjoying cycling and walking along the promenade. The views are always wonderful, no matter what the weather is doing. This photo shows a view from Morecambe across the bay looking at Grange-over-Sands. It does not look it but Grange is probably about 15 miles away in this picture! Before the invention of the train, coaches regularly traversed the sands and people still walk it today, usually for charity, in the company of the Queens Guide, Cedric Robinson.


The photo on my page shows me and Kai. Kai is our cat and he is a Burmilla. Apparently, the breed came from a chance mating between a Burmese and an Asian Chinchilla. The gene stuck and the Burmilla was born. Fortunately, they retain the best parts of both breeds. I have *never* come across a more laid back cat! He has the intelligence of the Burmese and the chilled out character of the Chinchilla. He can be extremely demanding when he wants something and will be very naughty if you ignore him! However, he demands to be picked up and cuddled in a morning and sleeps on the bed every night. Boy, can he snore! It's like his internal organs relax as well, he grunts and sighs with the best of them :-)

Amateur Radio

Amateur Radio (AKA Ham Radio) is probably my biggest hobby. In fact both my wife, Linda and I are keen radio operators. My callsign is G0VGS and Linda is G0YLM. She has her own blog here.
She is a very regular poster and also keeps a blog for Sands Contest Group, a small but beautifully formed group of like minded individuals that we belong to. We have a LOT of fun playing radio in one form or another. You can find out more by going to our website.

My main interest is building and using my own equipment. I am especially a fan of Elecraft kits. I have an Elecraft K2 (#4044 for those who like to collect serial numbers) which will output up to 100W, has DSP etc. You can see a photo of the lineup in this posting. I hope to purchase the new K3 later in the year but I will not be selling the K2, I love it :-)

It had to happen!

It was only going to be a matter of time until I started to blog. Having retired in April this year and having more time on my hands (you are joking!!) I decided it was the right time to start. Hopefully these musings will inform and amuse the reader. I hope to share photographs of my home town and hobbies and to reflect on lifes rich tapestry.