Newark 2015

The latter part of last week and the weekend saw the annual gathering of classic camping stove (and lamp) collectors and once again we were there with our humble collection. This year the weather could have been warmer but as always we had a good time and came back with more than we left with.

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Our Display looking out across the field

Open letter to the Labour Party – why I couldn’t vote for you

Not having a firm allegiance to any particular party I’m precisely the sort of voter that you needed to attract…

At this election (May 2015) I didn’t vote for the party whose policies I wholeheartedly endorsed, nothing could be further from the truth. No, I voted against the party I least wanted in power and that party was yours:

1) Very quickly the constant populist references to a “bedroom tax”, when anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows that it is NOT a tax, grew pretty tiresome. If you want to win my vote then don’t treat everyone as though they are idiots. It’s a benefit cap – call it that!

2) Then there was the threat of politically motivated, ill-informed, legislation in the private rental market. Interference that could do untold damage to that market and only serve to worsen the housing shortages. We rent our own home privately and like many thousands of other people up and down the country we more than happy to do so, we do so through choice because we want the flexibility that renting offers.

3) My wife and I are also landlords, so we see both sides of the coin and have been angered by some of the guff instigated by your party and others that paint private landlords as money grabbing ogres getting rich on the misery of others. As both landlords and tenants we recognise this slander for what it is.

4) Whilst many people are more than happy to see banks and bankers hit, most intelligent people would not be so keen to see people’s grandparents clobbered simply because they have lived for a long time in an area that has now become “fashionable”. To use your own tactics here; your “envy tax”, which actually is a tax, is grossly unfair; it bears no relationship whatsoever to either income or expenditure. This is precisely the sort of left wing claptrap I thought had been left behind at least a decade earlier – the politics of envy have never been a vote winner for me.

5) Divisive and frankly sexist rhetoric from your now “acting leader” is not going to win my vote either. Like any decent person, I want to see genuine equality of the sexes in our country and indeed the rest of the world. However that is never going to be achieved by division and pursuing the policies of a mumsnet puppet like Harriet Harman. She has long been one of your biggest liabilities and as for her patronising pink bus, I don’t think I need comment further on that.

6) Finally NO, you could not be trusted to maintain a stable economy. Indeed I genuinely feared for our country, our future and our jobs had you got in…

Chris

First lamps of the year

My first lamp finds of the year… The lamp on the left is a Coleman 295 which did come with a glass globe but unfortunately not the correct one for the lamp. The other lamp is a rather nice chrome Bialaddin 300x which has a temporary top that will be replaced with the correct one as soon as one turns up. It’s original top is rusted away beyond repair. The Bialaddin needs a new set of washers before it can be fired up, but I’ve already had the Coleman running without the mantles fitted.

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Chris

Good Friday – Baking and a Bit of Cheese

So here we are – the start of the Bank Holidays for 2015, and it’s a nice early Easter.  The recent sad demise and subsequent emergency replacement of my iron meant that my holiday started with a full ironing basket, but once that was out of the way I headed for the kitchen.

Dessert for Easter Sunday will be a ‘tidy’ pavlova style dish – Hazelnut & Baileys Meringue Cake I baked the two meringues today (the mixture tasted like nougat which is no bad thing as far as I am concerned) and on Sunday morning I will fill them with the Bailey’s cream and raspberries.

As is the way with meringue, the next question that arose was what to do with the five remaining egg yolks… A quick telephone consultation with Mother ensued, and I now have a bowl of lemon curd in the fridge, swiftly prepared in the microwave.

The final bake of the day was a batch of 12 mini Victoria Sponge cakes, made in my loose bottomed mini sandwich tin (sadly they are about to discontinue this, but there is still time to get one for half price if you’re quick!).  The cakes were filled with buttercream and the above mentioned lemon curd, and dusted with icing sugar – so cute!  Tomorrow the plan is to produce two dozen Easter cupcakes, also for Sunday.

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After all that sweet stuff, something savoury is required, so this blog is being typed in front of the cheese-fest that is the Eurovision Greatest Hits on BBC1.  Some of the previous winners are showing their age, although Lordi don’t look a day older than they did when they won, and some of them are still just plain wrong, but Graham Norton is co-hosting with is usual irreverence, and has just introduced a Eurovision legend.  No, no, not Abba – Johnny Logan of course!

Emma

Lamp Pages Added

I’ve now added a few pages about one of my other hobbies -Lamps.

For a few years now I have been collecting both wick and pressure lamps and have built up quite a collection. Further pages on these lamps will be added as and when I get around to it. We now appear at several events each year displaying our lamps. Some of these events go on into the evening when these lamps can be seen at their best. We hope to bring you pictures from some of these events in the near future.

Chris

As the clocks spring forward

Yes that biannual madness is upon us as the clocks change again this weekend; just as it’s getting lighter on the drive home anyway.

Some people including RoSPA want us to adopt single/double British summer time. In support of their case RoSPA have published what they call a “Fact Sheet”.

There’s a lot of spurious argument in the RoSPA “Fact Sheet” but in my opinion very little in the way of reliable statistics or “fact”…

For example this:

“A move to SDST would reduce opportunistic crime facilitated by the cover of darkness – over half of criminal offences take place during the hours of darkness in the late afternoon or evening and, of the small proportion of offences occurring in conditions of semi-darkness, far more occur at dusk than dawn (Home Office British Crime Survey 1988-1992).

As well as reducing crime itself, it also reduces the fear and cost of crime.”

There are EXACTLY the same number of hours darkness whether you put the clocks back, forward or leave them as they are. Is the suggestion that criminals won’t bother because it means going out later?

I’d also assume that crime must be absolutely rife in countries that experience three months of darkness each winter!

Chris

‘Our Wedding’ Pages Complete

The complete wedding website has now been transferred to its new home, including all the photographs.  We’ve also kept the original page header images, as they matched the colour scheme from our ceremony.  I must say it was nice to revisit the memories :)

Little Downham Bygones and Organs Extravaganza

The 23rd annual Little Downham Bygones and Organs Extravaganza will take place on 28 March 2015 at Little Downham Village Hall from 13:00 – 17:30. The event is in aid of Magpas Lifesavers, the charity that provides emergency medical care to those with life threatening injuries.

Emma and I will be there exhibiting some of our lamps including a Tilley floodlight…

The Village Hall is situated on Main Street, Little Downham, Cambridgeshire.

Yesterday’s Eclipse

Like thousands of people across the country we were hoping for good weather for yesterday’s Eclipse. Whilst it could have been kinder it could also have been a lot worse and we managed to get some pretty decent images…

Our images were taken using a Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000 webcam adapted to fit a telescope. The original lens has to be removed and a proprietary adaptor fitted in it’s place, but it’s a very straightforward modification.

A TeleVue Pronto with a 0.5x focal reducer gives an near perfect solar image size with a webcam.

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The remaining pictures will be posted in our eclipse pages at a later date. Basically once we have some eclipse pages to put them on!

Chris