Health and safety up in smoke

The family opposite had a Sky TV dish installed this morning. I watched as the engineer got ready to mount the satellite dish up on the wall. If he had been preparing to enter the core of a nuclear reactor he couldn’t have had more safety equipment.

With hard hat, goggles, mask, earplugs and gloves he drilled a hole in the wall and fitted a metal eye. This was just to lash the ladder. Then he donned a safety harness and clipped himself onto the ladder. Climbing all of two metres he drilled the wall and attached the dish.

After completing the installation he stood back, admired his work and smoked a cigarette.

Are we cool?

We have been getting used to our new central heating system since the controls were all wired in a fortnight ago. I took a wrench to the hall radiator valve and adjusted it right down, which has solved the issue of a hot hall triggering the new wall thermostat and consequently preventing the boiler from warming the rooms.

I thought that was the end of our problems, but Continue reading

Doing our bit for the planet

We had a new gas boiler installed today. The old Vulcan it replaced was simple and reliable but it sent a lot of heat up the flue (more on the flue later). It also heated up the cellar which did at least give us a laundry drying room.

The hot water storage cylinder in the loft also got replaced – with one encased in foam lagging so we no longer have to have a pile of old blankets and duvets on top of it.

The flue was attached to the back of the house and ran right up beyond the eaves. Being made of asbestos, Continue reading

Gibraltar revisited

How time flies. I returned to Gibraltar today, some 44 years 33 days since my last visit. I was on my way to a university friends reunion in Medina Sidonia, Spain.

The Rock looms majestically as you step off the aeroplane, just as the warmth hits your skin. A heart-lifting double whammy; a confusing, delightful product of air travel. This place is only 2½ hours from gloomy Manchester!

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