Garden concrete

The lawn is not in good shape. Years of poor management – mostly my fault due to insufficiently frequent lawn moaning – have left it in a sorry state. This year, under the “Golden Age of Horticulture” banner I had hoped to improve the situation, but the almost biblical drought has put paid to that. Frequent lawn moaning only helps if there is enough water for the grass to sprout new blades as a result and with a lawn the

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Scope smell

This afternoon, I tried to instil some A Level physics knowledge into Sophia by giving her a practical electronics lesson. Unfortunately, part way through, my trusty oscilloscope made a nasty crackling noise and emitted an unpleasant smell. It did however keep working, so as we were near the end of the lesson we pressed on but switched the scope off whenever it wasn’t needed. My scope is a Phillips PM3217 which I bought more than 30 years ago as unused

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Stephenson Clarke 6 plank wagon

The main parts have arrived for my first wagon model for nearly 40 years! It is the Brassmasters Stephenson Clarke 6 plank with associated 1907 underframe. The body is resin, but as you can see from the photo the underframe – which is fully sprung – is brass. I still need to get some other associated parts such as wheels and buffers together with some more specialised tools so it will be a while before I make much progress with

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Silchester

Each year, on my birthday, we have a trip out to somewhere that appeals to me and this year it was the Roman town of Silchester. There are no remaining buildings at Silchester except for part of the Amphitheatre but the extensive city walls are impressive and remains of the previous iron age fortifications can also be seen. The site is in the care of English Heritage but is free to enter and – contrary to what it says in

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Comet Neowise

Last night I went out to try to see the comet. I drove a couple of miles north of Salisbury to a lay-by on high ground with a clear view to the north. A couple of other people had had the same idea, but it wasn’t too busy. Fortunately, there was very little cloud and once it got dark enough (about 2030) and I was looking in the right direction (about 2300) it wasn’t too hard to see. With the

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Xen hypervisor working on RockPro64

Previously I described how I had made a start on configuring my new RockPro64 SBC to act as the new house server. My intention has been to use the Xen hypervisor to allow me to run the server as a bunch of virtual machines. For the last couple of weeks (and aided a great deal by the time available whilst stuck at home) I have been struggling to configure the board and get Xen working. The Xen ARM project write

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Horticulture update

It is a few weeks since I last commented on gardening activity. Vegetable efforts continue and the big success has been the lettuce in pots which we bought as baby plants. These are doing well and provide plenty of leaves via the trusted “Cut and come again” method. You will not in the photo the automatic watering system. This sort of works, but it is leaks somewhat and I can’t get the coverage to be very even. I have some

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Replacing the Fiesta’s fuel pump

Regular readers will recall that I have been having problems with the fuel pump on my old Mk 4 Fiesta. Well, whilst I was in the process of fixing the rear brakes it seemed to fail completely. I guess I should be grateful that it always seems to pack in when the car is on the drive! This time the fuse didn’t blow leaving me not entirely sure that the fuel pump was the problem. I spent some time trying

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