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…and finally…

We were out late tonight, so I shall fob you off with one last picture of our inglenook: the old bread oven.

It’s in the upper right corner of the inglenook. One of these days, I’ll have to put a camera on a pole and get some proper pics of the interior. You can’t quite make it out, but it’s a sort of beehive shape on the inside.

The way it worked, you’d shovel hot coals in to warm it up, then brush them to the sides and put your loaves in middle and shut the door until they baked. I see no evidence of hinges, so the door was probably just a wooden shutter sort of thing.

Note the bottom right bricks have crumbled away, we suspect where the wooden paddle (called a peel) was inserted to move the loaves.

Thus ends a week of sperging about my inglenook. Good weekend, all!

September 28, 2018 — 9:33 pm
Comments: 12

Well, that’s sinister

Remember this attempted extortion email I got in February? No reason why you should, but I thought it was pretty funny at the time. And I’ve gotten six or eight of them since, all in varying degrees of hilarious Google Translate English.

In fact, I’ve started to get them in other languages now, and I’ve had to use Google Translate to work out what they are. Which is pretty meta, come to think of it.

Anyway, the basic premise is that the sender has installed a virus on your computer, used your camera to film you getting it on with a porn site (with a split screen, so you can see the porn, too!) and will send the video to everyone in your contact list if you don’t give them $300 in bitcoin.

This one (see above) is a little different. The English is better (though you can see in the first paragraph that they don’t know how to drive the spam software — they’ve left in two variants of the opening statement), they’re asking for $1,000…and that thing under the black box is my real password.

Well, a real password. It’s the one I use for sites where it doesn’t matter. I’ve used it for years and years on things like technical help forums and the like. No doubt, it was a breach at one of them that caused this leak. Though I thought passwords were stored encrypted. So…leaky browser? I don’t know. Whatever.

Gives you a jolt, though. I can’t imagine how much of a jolt it would be if I’d ever, you know, actually visited a porn site.

September 27, 2018 — 8:48 pm
Comments: 8

My other boys

Roosters. I swore I’d never have one. I promised the neighbors.

But this year I got it in my head to put some fertile eggs under a broody, knowing roosters were a possible outcome. And how.

The final result: twelve ‘fertile’ eggs resulting in three live chicks. Two of whom are cockerels.

The first six were duds. Then I got four more in a close-to-hatching state, of which only two hatched. I may have damaged the other two somehow getting them home, for which I feel rotten. So I got two more newly hatched from the lady I’d bought the eggs from, from the same clutch of eggs.

What I’m going to do with these two handsome boys, I do not know. It all depends on how they act when the testosterone takes hold.

We’ve started to hear faint and feeble cock-a-doodle-doos of a morning.

September 26, 2018 — 8:31 pm
Comments: 11

Well, that was quick

I promised a picture of the inglenook with the fire lit. I didn’t think it would be so soon. It is cold here. (Pics still don’t really do it justice, but here’s a bigger one in color).

This is the view from where I’m sitting right now, at my computer. I lean over a little, and there it is.

I was playing Skyrim one night when I looked up and realized my house in real life is as cool as my house in Whiterun. Word.

A wiseass might ask what the point of the computer game is then, but that’s a dumb question. England doesn’t legally allow me to shoot people and steal their stuff, duh.

September 25, 2018 — 8:04 pm
Comments: 10

Brothers from a different mother

Can I get a d’awwwww? I took this picture a couple of minutes ago, and it’s a first.

We coaxed Jack into the same room as the baby, finally, about a month ago.

This was all made easier because Jack is an absolute pig and kitten food is fatty and delicious. We’ve tried to keep him off the food bowl, but he’s a crafty boy. And visibly fatter.

Then came the playfighting. Poor Jack. Kitten ran him ragged. But, hey — kitten food.

This started as a playfight and turned into a mutual nap. It’s adorbs.

Charlotte is at the other end of the house.

September 24, 2018 — 9:12 pm
Comments: 13

Look! Up in the rafters!

It’s a bat.

It’s a lousy cellphone photo of a bat, I admit, but I was trying not to scare him with the flash gun. The cleaning lady at work discovered him while dusting. He’s been there for two days now, apparently happy as a clam. A teeny, tiny wingéd clam.

Bats are protected here (there too, I think), so we had to call in a bat specialist, who advised us to turn off the lights, open the doors and windows and go away. On a Friday afternoon? I think I can manage that.

Have a good weekend, all!

September 21, 2018 — 7:30 pm
Comments: 19

I peench you!

ExpressoBold asked for a better picture of the inglenook. Really, black and white doesn’t do it justice, and it will never look right without a roaring fire. But here’s a cheap ‘n’ nasty cellphone pic that at least better shows the array of torture implements that came with.

Most of these were here when we bought the house. They are a bewildering variety of shapes and unknown functions. After a decade living with them, though, I think they all come down to poking things, pulling things or pinching things.

Plus the bellows. I bought the bellows.

Better pic when the cold weather comes. Which is looking like Monday, FYI.

September 20, 2018 — 9:20 pm
Comments: 12


Uncle B is right — the previous post didn’t really do justice to the coolness of our inglenook. By Tudor standards, it isn’t huge — this was a farm cottage, not a great house — but it’s the most important characteristic of the house.

I tried to find a house plan that shows what I mean. I found the two above, that are kinda similar. The fireplace would have been the first thing built, then one gigantic main house timber (not present in the houses above) would be run through the middle of the chimney. Then everything else hung off of the main house timber.

Not only does that make the chimneystack the main structural (and physically central) member of the house, but it also serves as a sort of storage heater, absorbing the heat of the fire and then slowly releasing it. This is a huge innovation over the cottages (essentially miniature Medieval halls) of previous centuries, that had a central fire that burned in a firepit and just vented under the roof.

You’ll note the evolution of the fireplace is not complete, however. The great beam that goes crossways above the inglenook (see photo from yesterday) doesn’t stick out.

They had yet to invent the mantlepiece. They were waiting for Hallmark to invent the Christmas card.

September 19, 2018 — 8:37 pm
Comments: 9

Turn, turn, turn

The chimney sweep, part of the regular end-of-Summer ritual. Completely necessary, as we depend on fire for most of our heat.

And this year, we had the added joy of an inglenook dripping honey. We have bees in the attic — we’ve had bees in the attic for years and years — but this year they gave us a gift. A gooey, black, soot-coated sticky, pooling gift. We had to ask the sweep if there was anything especially flammable about it (there’s not).

Our guy is modern and up to date. We get a text message when it’s time to get swept. Sadly, though, he doesn’t look a bit like Dick van Dyke.

Let the evening fires commence!

September 18, 2018 — 6:22 pm
Comments: 16

What’s one o’ them?

We followed this very interesting car along a country lane for miles and miles and never caught up. Which makes sense: Uncle B thinks it might have been an early one of these.

I really just wanted to post this because it looks like a scene out of The Avengers.

Big fan when I was a kid. Sadly, I’d look pretty shit in a leather cat suit.

September 17, 2018 — 8:15 pm
Comments: 13