Rummage through this blog

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Brazil, day 1

Fortunately Nicky from The Flight Centre stepped in and resolved the issue of check-in for us, it seems the Latam are just plain incompetent and don't understand how flights are purchased nowadays. I would have provided feedback but inspite of asking for English language emails from Latam most of them still arrived in a.n.other language (Spanish / Portuguese, not sure to be honest) which I was unable to interpret. Much relief felt with flights finally sorted not many hours before needing to use them.

The drive to Heathrow and the parking was uneventful and unexciting, exactly what was required for that part of the journey. 

Getting the boarding passes in the airport proved to be simple and successfully passed through baggage drop off and security.

...and relax.....

Hard earned Guinness drunk, everything is good, we are on holiday.20170329Brazil-PageFamily-0060.jpg

The plane was packed and hot but seat back entertainment worked well.

Brazil, day - 0

Check-in, painful, took almost 24 hours and several phone calls and a desperate lack of support from Latam to be point of being obstructive.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Jackdaws, they are from hell.

My lack of perfect fitting is letting me down.

The Jackdaws have exploited the small gap available and are happily taking advantage of the safer environment I have provided fir them.

Still no contact from the vendor.

Friday, 17 March 2017

The power of solar, 1 week on...

The evil jackdaws have demonstrated themselves to be too annoying scrabbling around under the panels at an unseemly hour of the morning so sterner discouragement is required.

Rumour has it that a shotgun might be (a) noticed by the neighbours, (b) over the top and (c) actually illegal.

That means something far more sensible is required, no an axe won't work, far too inaccurate.

Last year I did research all of the companies that cover our area and discovered that the minimum price for a commercial business to add some mesh around the panels to prevent entry was approx £1,000 which is frankly ridiculous for 1 to 2 hours' work. That price would then sky rocket when said businesses discovered we do not live in a bungalow hence a ladder or indeed scaffolding would be needed. If I lived in a bungalow I would have no concerns about getting up a ladder in the first place!

I did also contact the provider of the panels, last year : no response, this year : no response. It is strange they have emailled me and asked for data and support but when I try to contact them nothing. Yes I have tried phoning and inspite of allegedly being an active business they don't answer the phone either. I think one more try tomorrow before naming and shaming is applied - that Google search throws up a lovelly "write a review button".

Chicken wire, now that sounds good.

So 25 meters of chicken wire duly purchased from Amazon, folded to the correct height and wrapped around the panels. Lots of swearing and sweating from me up a ladder with a pole pushing chicken wire 3 metres above my head and hoping that it will stay in place. Move ladder along, repeat swearing ,sweating and pushing. No I didn't have that thought, you did.

Nearing the end and happily cable tying the mesh at the bottom to discover that I am being stabbed by the chicken wire. Strange I think, it is PVC coated and I don't recall any exposed ends so open hand to look, nothing, use other hand to move wire and more spikes. Oh hang on, there are no spikes, only electricity flowing through the chicken wire!

Chicken wire checked and it is only touching the frames of the panels and possibly the ends of the mounting rails. There are no apparent loose wires and the wiring still is in one piece using its waterproof connectors as far as I can see.

The final stages of tidying the chicken wire and making a good fit is now in abeyance. I suspect I am lucky that I remained on the ladder, thank goodness for grey British days I guess. my efforts are not a perfect fit, at the top there is a gap in one place, which I had planned to resolve by manouvering the chicken wire so it was a tight fit along the top, and at the bottom it is pretty loose but not hanging down.

More phone calls to the vendor, pretty sure I shouldn't be getting shocks from the panels.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Solar Panels Update aka nature too close to home

It's clearly that time of year again, that time of year that we hear the pitter patter of little feet, that time of year that twigs are deposited en-mass behind the solar panels and subsequently into the gutters.

Yes, it appears to be jackdaw nesting season and thanks to encouragement of our neighbours (sorry USA readers, neighbors) there is a thriving flock and thanks to our neighbors finally understanding hosting them in one's loft space is less than ideal now look to other locations for a place to nest.

The next best nest site appears to be under my solar panels so the ritual of shooing the birds away and making sure that the pile of twigs doesn't get the opportunity to become a nest has begun.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Post brexit independence vote Scotland

The news today is that the marginal remain result achieved in Scotland in the Brexit referendum means the SNP fancy another shot at independence from the United Kingdom.

I was 95% remain in that same Brexit vote so must by the same logic, along with around 49% of the UK population, be due my own independence referendum.

Now there are some practical considerations that come to mind.

Firstly, currency, I reckon as there is just one of me that I will get away with keeping on with the great British pound, I doubt little old me will be a problem and certainly keeping my address and domicile will make it easier to keep getting paid.

I do quite like the passport, it has presence does a British passport.

Then there is cash flow. The excellent news is that as an independent nation of one, I will not have to pay to close down a nuclear submarine base nor indeed will I have to pay to build a new one in a different nation. Scotland on the other hand, well that is a mighty big bill to saddle yourselves with if you choose that route, you want it you out for it.

Not to mention reprinting all that headed paper.

On the plus side for Scotland they may avoid independence yet. If I go for the referendum of independent me I can vote leave, or indeed stay; but when the entire population of the United Kingdom votes on Scotland leaving it is difficult to say how that will turn out. Are you telling me that there will be a partial vote again? No, I don't believe that, if there is voting for a part of the union to leave then the union must vote not just part of it. You could say that it's actually more like a divorce where one party can go it alone if that party is having an affair but think of the divorce settlement and who gets the kids?

This could go on for a while so a last thought for all you Scots who have heard enough of this. What happens when a single policy party gets its way?

It seems that they don't gracefully fade away, (cough) ukip (cough), or will that be England Independence Party soon?