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This thing exists in a forest in West Sussex. The paper called it a “Mystical Waterfall.”

I don’t know about mystical. It looks to me like somebody pulled the plug and we’re circling the ‘ole.

Southern Water called it a “bellmouth drain” and said it was for drawing excess water away from dams. Speculation further down the article was that it was to drive a water mill, several of which were nearby.

I wish they had film or other views; it’s hard to make out how it works. It looks like it’s open at the far end and draining down into a lower stream. Which would make sense if it was to drive something.

I’m sure we could get a sense of the age of it if we could see the construction up close. Looks like there’s a small arch on the far side.

Imagine having such a thing in the landscape and having no idea how it came to be there. Funny old country.

February 28, 2022 — 8:07 pm
Comments: 12

So…I bought thing

I’ve wanted a VR headset since VR headsets were invented. In fact, I had one to play with at work, way back when they were new and extra stupid. I loved it.

The Steam one, the one I want, is around £1,000. Not only that, I’d have to sink at least that much into my computer to make it capable of driving it.

Not. Happening.

But I got to talking – okay, Tweeting – with someone who has spent thousands on VR. She said the Oculus one was worth having. It wasn’t nearly as good as the really expensive ones, but it’s pretty darned good for the money.

The money being around £300. For a refurb, considerably less than that. So…I did it.

I’ve only been through the setup and introduction and browsed a few of the apps. The batteries last about two hours and it’s given me a headache (I think I need to upgrade the head strap), but it’s way cool.

Yes. Okay. FINE. This makes me officially part of Mark Zuckerberg’s lame-ass Metaverse. I even had to link it to my phone and my real name Facebook Account.

But. You know. SHINY.

Have a good weekend, all!

February 25, 2022 — 7:19 pm
Comments: 15



My urn. It’s brass or bronze. It’s had a couple of repairs and is possibly frankensteined together.

I’m of the opinion it was more than one piece. The rings around the top and bottom are decidedly cruder than the work around the middle. Also, the floral motif at the bottom looks European to me.

Uncle B disagrees. He thinks it looks Persian or Indian and all of a piece.

I haven’t dared see if it holds water. Probably not; it’s got some welds around the bottom. Dried flowers, then.

It has an overall chocolate brown patina. I’m not enough of a bumpkin to make it shiny. But I wouldn’t mind rubbing it up until it has a *hint* of metallic sheen.

Is that wrong? Am I a philistine?

I watch too much Drew Pritchard.



February 24, 2022 — 8:19 pm
Comments: 8

And they’re off…!

Carousel horses at the reclamation yard.

We did take a field trip to the salvage yard today. There was lots of the usual stuff. Masses of reclaimed doors, fire surrounds, beams, bathrooms. The doorknob room. Lots of tiles, including some interesting ones.

I bought an urn. More like a vase. I’ll show it to you when I get it cleaned up.

It was neat, but not as neat as the one we went to a few years ago. I remembered the name: Symond’s Salvage. They don’t seem to have as much stock online to browse through, though I note they have a very interesting galvanized “troff”. We’ll have to make a trip back there some time.

There was no nice garden sculpture for Uncle B, which made him sad. So I bought him a fish and chips.

February 23, 2022 — 7:21 pm
Comments: 14

But is it…?

This is making the rounds today. But is it true?

No. No it is not. 22022022 upside down is 55055055.

Pff! Ambigram!

I stand corrected! Mike In Fairfax pointed out to me in the comments that I flipped the image. If you rotate it 180° it is indeed an ambigram.

Obviously, the palindrome only works in European date notation. But I’m sorry to say, this is one of the few instances when I agree with the Old World. We Americans get it wrong. Month/Day/Year is silly. It’s fundamentally medium/small/big. It ain’t right.

Here’s what the kitchen radio looks like today:

I’d be happier without the zero, but it’s still pretty satisfying. I have to admit, dates like these make me happy. Like when I look up at the clock and it’s 12:34.

Not because I believe random numbers have any actual significance, but because I’m a simpleton attracted to shiny things.


February 22, 2022 — 7:45 pm
Comments: 14

Let me in!

Trump’s new TruthSocial had what someone described as a “soft open” today.

Oh, sure – the iPhone people got in. At least, until the backlog built up.

Not much luck for the web people, of which I are one. I’ve been refreshing the page for a week and getting a “forbidden” message. I assumed that was because it wasn’t ready, but no – it was because my IP was outside the US.

So I fiddled with my IP and came at it ‘from’ the US. Not much better luck. Both the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy links (which you have to sign off on) go to an Error 404 and the Signup button takes you to another error message. No Trump media for this little weasel, yet.

Oh, I’ve signed up for them all. The Fediverse is the one I’m rooting for, as it’s a decentralized federation of independent servers. Hence, ungovernable. But I’ve just tried going to the main server I was using and it appears to be dead.

Yes. That’s the downside.

February 21, 2022 — 7:48 pm
Comments: 3

We Survived the Great Gale of 2022!

Eh. It lasted a long time, but it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for us. We lost power for a half hour (during which our cellphones didn’t work, either – worrying). There was a period toward the end where the gusts were pretty scary. But, on the whole, we’ve had worse.

We lost one roof tile. Like the above. When the winds are high enough, the tiles lift and clack. It’s an eerie sound.

This style of tile is usually called a Kent Peg Tile, though they were the main roof tile in the Southeast from about 1300 to 1900. They were introduced by the Romans, but not adapted by Britons until much later. They hang on little wooden pegs, as you’d expect from the name.

The picture above is from a reclamation yard. You can buy them newly made, but you can also buy them reclaimed from old buildings. The ones above were salvage, going for £1.10 each plus VAT.

Have a poke around at the link. As you might imagine, very interesting things turn up in British salvage. If this is the yard we visited once – I think it is – there was an entire church belfry for sale in the drive.

February 18, 2022 — 8:08 pm
Comments: 10

My gin experiment

It’s yellow. It looks like a piss bottle. I look like a crazy lady saving her wee.

I think it must be that way for all compound gin (you remember – gins that are flavored *after* they’re distilled). I’ve been looking at the fancy gins in the store and most have a color, usually yellow.

If all the artisan gins are compound gins, it’s a flippin’ license to print money. It means they could well be buying or making the cheapest raw spirit and just adding flavors to it. And charging £30. Because once the juniper berries go in, it doesn’t matter what the raw spirit tasted like.

That’s what I do, anyhoo.

It’s nice. I like it.

I’m palming you off with this bad, out-of-focus snapshot of my piss bottle because I’m about to fall upon it and devour it. There was an issue with the intruder alarms at work and I had to go in just now to make sure everything’s okay before the storm hits.

In person. This little weasel. After hours.

I am aggrieved.

February 17, 2022 — 8:40 pm
Comments: 12

If I go dark Friday…

How am I supposed to be afraid of something named Eunice?

Well, actually. Merriam-Webster tells me Eunice is “a genus (the type of the family Eunicidae) of marine polychaete worms with complex chitinous jaws including the palolo worm and related forms.” Palolo worms look pretty scary. Well, ugly anyway.

But, no. I speak of a storm. It’s expected to hit early Friday morning and go on all day. The forecast for our area, the winds are “only” predicted to be 68 miles per hour at the heaviest, but they’re expecting 100 to the West of us.

Does this sound like biking weather to you? It does not. I could get Uncle B to run me in, but I don’t fancy being in a car in 70 mph winds. We’ll see if the forecast holds tomorrow.

February 16, 2022 — 8:42 pm
Comments: 6

First egg!

All my girls stopped laying at once last year, really early. In fact, I strong suspect they have a hidey hole in the brush and some day I’ll find it and a gigantic pile of rotten eggs.

The girls (I have two left) were locked up today, so I got an egg. It’s a little early.

I’m pretty sure this one was from Spoon. She’s a poland and daft as a very daft thing indeed. I found this egg on the floor of the henhouse, and that’s Spoon all over. Wherever she may be, she squats and plops out an egg and moves on like it’s nothin’.

Not like the fussy, broody little pekins.

p.s. P. J. O’Rourke has joined the Choir Eternal. No, nobody had him.

February 15, 2022 — 8:07 pm
Comments: 7