Happy New Year!!


I’m in Canada at present, visiting family. It is the last day of 2016 and it has been snowing all day. Currently, we have over a foot of snow and it is 11 degrees F. I can’t think of a better way to spend the day than with frends and family watching the snow come down and the deer feeding at the forest edge. So Happy New Year to everyone and lets hope for improvements in 2017.


It’s cold tonight

We’re still in Canada at the moment. And it’s cold. As you can see from the photo below, the car told us so!

By my calculations, for those of you in the UK, that is about -15C.

Still not much snow though, only a couple of inches.

Another Year Ends

Oh Dear. Another year ends and I really haven’t done much with this blog thing. To be fair, I’ve not had a great deal of time as it has been a touch busy this year. Diane’s mom passed away in July and we have been busy clearing up the estate ever since. Work has also been as busy as ever (and as frustrating at times).

And yet, we have also achieved a lot. Diane and I have continued to learn to work with horses and it is incredibly rewarding.  It’s also incredibly time consuming as well, but the flip side is we are a heck of a lot fitter! It is not just about learning to ride, it is also about understanding horses, their herd psychology, and how to be able to gently train them using natural horsemanship techniques to respond willingly to directions. Much of this year has been taken up with groundwork and it is incredibly rewarding to be able to get a large animal that could seriously injure you if it wished, to come to trust you. OK, there have been a few bumps in the road – literally. So far I’ve had a broken wrist, an injured back and a bashed head from a couple of falls. And this is supposed to be healthy for me! But most of those were due to my own stupid fault and not reading the situation carefully. We hope to improve further next year and more about this will be posted in the appropriate section.

Some work has occurred on the Land Rovers . New Rocky Mountain front door tops were installed on the 109 and made a huge difference. No more rust showers every time I struggled to open the window! And the windows no longer leak. The middle door sliding window strips were also replaced with Rocky Mountain window strips, again because the originals had rusted to oblivion. Ultimately, both middle doors and front lower doors will have to be replaced due to rusting out of the frames, but this will extend their lives for another few years. Apart from that, the vehicle has worked pretty well throughout the year, though it has started to smoke under load a bit. As a result, I have started to accumulate parts for a top-end cylinder head rebuild, including regrinding the valves, and I will post on this in due course in the appropriate section. However, it isn’t going to happen yet, it’s too damned cold at present!.

On the railway modelling front, the Kitson Meyer has nearly been finished and painted and I need to put some pictures up. It just needs some final details and ballasting. The K1 garratt that I was commisioned to build has been progressing and looks so good, I’m building one for myself at the same time. So both locos are being built in parallel. Again, pictures and posts to follow. (Are you detecting a trend here?)

So that’s it for the year. I’m currently in Canada, the great white frozen north, visiting family. It isn’t very white, as there isn’t much snow, but it is frigging cold (0 degrees tonight. And that is Fahrenheit, not centigrade).

It just remains for me to wish everyone a wonderful New Year from Diane and myself and make a resolution that I will work harder at this blog in the coming year.