Which TV?

4°C, rain.

I want a new TV. the one I have drives me nuts- there is a high pitched whining noise (even when the sound is muted)from my CRT set. New TVs are currently cheap, between £300 & £.silly, but the problem is choice. There are too many to choose from.

Plasma screen: heavy, good colour gamut, less contrast ratio very fast re-fresh rate.
LCD: cheapest option, light, sharp but poor flicker. Thicker screen, but the sound is better in the bigger box.
LED: (backlight is an array of LEDs), fast re-fresh rate is expensive, but sharp, bright and better gamut than LCD. Screen can be very thin, but once it’s set up, you won’t see that.
I can only hope I succeed in getting one today.

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10~6°C, rain

This plan: Bent the flashing under that window to help it drain over a roof tile. Temporarily shoved a wad of plastic in front of the point that the water seems to get in. Let’s see how it goes, today brings rain, lots of it. The wood will take so long to dry out though, but at least we’re heading towards a slightly less wet part of winter. I put the heating back on up there and am running a de-humidifier to grab what is probably condensation.
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12°C, Westerly

Investigating a damp patch in the attic. Started with taking up the floorboards in the top room to have a look. There is a dark patch around the point that the pipes come out of the floor to the radiator. That was my first suspect.

However, confusion remains. There are four pipes that end there too. Just open pipes with an elbow bend that is not connected to anything. So, switch on the heating to see whether any water comes out. None.

The boards behind are damp to the touch behind, right into the eaves. There is a roof window just above and my second suspicion lies there. I don’t have any expertise with roof windows but it doesn’t look as if the lead flashing is right. Rain water could, I suspect, run along its lower gutter and under a roof-tile each side. It should run onto a tile then downwards off the roof.

Let’s get an expert.

0300 Night Watch

0°C, clear out. Orion visible

3am: often I’m awake at this time of night. It has formed a pattern like this over the past few months. I fall into deep sleep at 10pm, but wake at 3. It could be work stress adjusting my sleep cycle. Tonight is the first of my winter holiday but I will probably wake at 6, have some breakfast and then go back to bed until dawn. The routine wasn’t like this last year.


5°C, light winds, snow threatened then stayed away.

The desktop computer is no longer faulty. It couldn’t connect to the internet and this seemed to cause other problems too. The odd thing is, I didn’t fix it, no-one did. Perhaps pulling out the connections, or restarting the router has done the trick. Now it sees the internet after about three weeks of floundering. Best bit is that my iPod has new tunes and is all synchronised. Perhaps it was all down to a poor connection. It was a close call, I nearly bought a new router.

So for fun, I turned the overclock back up to 2.88Ghz & launched a flight sim– Rise Of Flight. It’s a good one, though not easy. Probably true of Cliffs Of Dover which I may buy sometime this holiday.

Is there a window open?

3°C, SW winds strong. Rain/sleet developing

The best thing about today: early this morning, at 7am, I was out with the dogs and I glanced up. Perhaps I glance up often, perhaps not. But on this occasion there was a meteorite shooting down to the west. It was a bright one too, at least as bright as Jupiter. That object has existed for thousands of millions of years and then ceased to exist in less than a second. It will stay with me for longer than that (the split second, not the millions of years). It may have been a Geminid.

This is the worst kind of weather for my house- the winds have swung round to the South-West so it blows across my house. It feels as if there is a window open somewhere. So far this winter it has blown along the ridgeline which doesn’t drive any draughts in this house. Temperatures are heading down to zero but at least the draw is good on my coal fire.

but 1 week

5°C, heavy showers

One week to go, the workload fails to abate. There was a time when school prep used to decline in the last part of term, a wind-down. Not any more. This is why I dream of a mid-winter holiday that is not spoilt by a commercial spend-orgy. Christmas spoils a perfectly good holiday.
Dogs’ Diner: This cheered me up yesterday in the middle of a three-hour marking binge.

Entrance exam

6°C, clear & calm.

Entrance exam at work. Lots of anxious 10 year olds, and even more 40 something olds (parents). The kids sit an IQ test after their parents have dropped them off. By the time they have finished, the sun is down. At 3.30, I was sitting at my desk invigilating my room of 24. The blinds were open to a view of the main car-park. As dusk drew in, the colour drained out of everything, the air became slightly misty and all contrast & textures were gone. But then I noticed something. The car park has a large metal gate which was open and a couple of figures had appeared. They stood there, gazing in our direction, unmoving, waiting. Later, others appeared, in small groups, or maybe one by one. Eventually, they formed a continuous outline of heads and shoulders, all in silhouette, all gazing in our direction.

It was pure Hitchcock. The parents had arrived.