Saturday, 31 January 2009

Being Saturday I wasn't in any rush to get to work and was pleased to hear on Radio Scilly that the Gry was running late.
The Gry was bringing in my work with her in the form of carpet and underlay, also some vinyl adhesive so I could finish the job at Prospect house flats.
She wasn't due in till 10ish and when she gets in they concentrate on getting all the frozen food and perishables sorted and off to be delivered to their various destinations.
Carpet and other non perishables take a back seat.
I had an easy morning and headed down at about 11.
Sure enough all I needed was now accessible and no vans in the way of me or me in the way of them more to the point!
So I loaded the car and headed off to Prospect house to finish off.
I stuck down the bathroom vinyl and fixed down 2 more door metals, fitted a doormat into a mat well, and was almost done.
I just need now to put some clear silicone around the edges of the 2 bathroom vinyls to seal them and I need a different type of metal edging to finish off the matwell.
So about half an hours work there.
I shall do it when the new metal bar comes in...
After lunch I went just around the corner to Roy Astens house and did a good bedroom carpet.
The job was fairly straight forward, the only obstacle being a typical council house floor that was rather uneven.
I had a go at sorting this out by way of planing down a ridge on one of the adjoining floorboards.
This went ok but I managed to get a nail caught up in my electric planer and a fair few painful noises were being made by the planer as I continued to plane the floor.
I also noticed that the door was going to be too tight with new underlay and carpet so had that off and planed that down too.
It was still working although its now not right...
So now I could get started with the job..It didn't take too long to get the underlay down.
Then I got the carpet in and started fitting that.
It was looking good, but took a while to fit, what with drinking tea and chatting to Anita the time was flying by.
I finished the carpet and went to put the door back on...but it was still too tight.
So off it came again and then I took it downstairs to plane it again.
This time it was more or less spot on and went back on a treat.
So a quick tidy up and off I went.
Last job was a quick call into measure up for a landing, stairs and lounge at a house in trench lane and I was done for the day as far as work was concerned.
I arrived home to discover we had chicken pie ready to eat for tea but nothing to go with it.
So a trip o the Co-op was in order to fetch some shopping.
It wasn't long before i was home again and tea was eaten and I was off out again to drop the boy at panto again.
Tonight wifey and mother in law were going to watch.
They said it was very good, but apparently we were a better audience last night!
I'm sure they always say that!
So it was just me and the youngest boy, so I put him to bed and had a quick nap myself!
About 10 ish wifey and Brandon were home and half an hour later I needed to pick up Mike from the after show party!
It was getting late for him and we though 10.45 is late enough for a 10 year old!
He has his final performance tomorrow afternoon and I hope he can manage to get an early night tomorrow.
Had some fantastic news this evening...while surfing the internet and looking at the weather it seems we have a good chance of seeing some snow on Monday into Monday night and maybe Tuesday too!
I am really looking forward to this and I hope it settles for a couple of hours so we can have a bit of winter magic.
You really need to see Scilly in the snow, it looks amazing!
I have got pics of the website because I bet no-one reading this will believe it!
So another good day and although I now feel tired and have a headache,I'm really upbeat about the possibility of seeing some white stuff here in less than 2 days.
It fees like it is getting colder already here........
A bit late posting today and now it says that it is already Saturday!
This is my day on Friday...
All started as normal, but today I dropped the boys at the school gates rather than walk them all the way.
I needed to drop off vinyl pattern books that I had brought back from St Martins with me yesterday off to a couple of people.
The first customer actually chose exactly what they wanted in 2 minutes flat.. so I could move straight on to the next one.
With that done I had plenty of time to get to the quay to catch a 9.30 boat.
I got there at 9.22 and the other passenger was also there so we left then.
On leaving it was grey with rain in the air, but visibility was OK.
Half way there our speed increased from just under 20 knots to a seemingly very fast 30 knots.
On asking why we had suddenly changed speed, it appeared that we were racing the Lyonesse Lady to St Martins quay in an attempt to get off before she started to unload her freight.
Now I consider myself a pretty good sailor, but I have to admit doing 30 knots in a fresh easterly wind going up to higher town isn't much fun.
We were thrown around all over the shop and it was definitely a white knuckle ride!
We passed the Lyonesse a few hundreds yards before reaching the quay and had got off and the Lightning was on her way before the Lyonesse was just starting her approach to he quay.
After such an exhilarating ride, my adrenalin was pumping a bit, I had certainly woken up!
A quick walk up the hill and I was on site to continue yesterdays job.
I started off by repairing the hole that was made in the carpet.
This didn't take long and then the second job was to find out what the small lump that was under the carpet right in the middle of the room was?
I had to pull up half of the carpet so that I could get my hand in underneath to find out what this lump was.
It turned out that a bit of hard rubber that hadn't quite been turned in nice soft sponge had made it into the roll of underlay and I didn't notice until the carpet was done.
I pulled out the lump of rubber and fixed the carpet back down.
Next up was preparing the landing for carpet.
I needed to take up the existing carpet and underlay and also move a desktop computer from the area.
I had the landing done by lunchtime and sat there and ate my sandwiches.
After lunch I went straight to work on the stairs.
I had 15 to do with 2 of them being winders.
I have taken pics!
The carpet was no easier to fit today than it was yesterday,and for the stairs needed to be cut spot on or there would be buckles across the tread of the step.
I cut up the carpet precisely using scissors, it takes a while but you can be sure that its right!
I only had one chance on this so it had to be right too!
With the new underlay down and the carpet cut it didn't take too long to hammer in the straight steps.
And then it was the winders.
Until now I hadn't needed to bend this carpet, but when doing winding you invariably need to turn in the edges to prevent fraying and also it looks better..
This was tricky with such a stiff carpet.
But I go it in eventually.
It did take a while and at 2.50 I was done.
I then had 10 minutes to look at a big job that I will do end of Feb or beginning of March that needed to be measured.
I was running out of time as there was a boat leaving at 3.15 and I wanted to be on it.
I was all packed and we jumped in the van and headed to lowertown quay.
We just arrived at the same time as the boat.
Perfect timing and off I went.
We had a much calmer ride home., the wind having dropped a bit and we were cruising along at 16/17 knots far more sedate and comfortable.
We were back on St Marys in about 10 minutes and I went to see what had arrived on the Gry yesterday.
I had 2 rolls of underlay,1 carpet and some door metals.
The underlay was nicely buried under my competitors 12 rolls,so I left them there and will fetch them and the carpet tomorrow.
I then headed back to Prospect House to carry on the ongoing job.
There was just time to put down 3 door metals and a hallway carpet and it was 5.30.
So home for tea and then out again to drop Mike and panto.
Tonight was the first performance and I had seats!
I took my middle son Brandon ( Hello Brandon!) along with my niece and we had a lovely time.
It was a very good performance, but they have 2 more to do and there are some twists and surprises, so no pics until the performances are done.
I don't want to give anything away.
It was very good with some top performances by our talented locals.. well done guys.
Michael made two appearances one as a child and the other as a garden gnome, (very cute!).
The panto finished about 10ish and we waited for Michael to change and we were home for 10.10.
They went to bed and I finally had chance to chat to darling wifey about each others days.
And here I a now at 12.40 still typing away!
I will add some pics in the morning now as I am just to tired to do anymore on this laptop!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

An early start for me today.
Well I was out of the house at 8a.m. I needed to pick up some milk for breakfast as we had none.
That's bad planning as I needed to get breakfast sorted before the boys went to school and that meant a trip into the co-op just for milk as nothing else is open.
Straight after breakfast I went to pick up my tools from Prospect House Flats and take them and some underlay down to the quay to go up to St Martins.
I hadn't organised a boat, so when I called to see what time it was going up I found that it was off at 9.10.
So I went down to school to see the boys into school and went back to quay to catch the boat.
The Gry Maritha was in and there is stuff for me to pick up, I will pick it up tomorrow now as I didn't have time this morning and didn't realise that my underlay had arrived, as I was expecting it Saturday.
On the walk down the quay I spotted this gull acting strangely,looked as though it was having a fit as I approached.
But getting nearer, you could tell it was just preening!
So off we went to St Martins on the jet boat "Lightning".
She cruises at 20knots so the 3 mile trip to St Martins takes just over 10 minutes, but seems a lot less because there is so must to see on the way, the time just flies.
I was picked up at the quay and driven to the house where I was working.
The job was looking good, with only a sofa in the lounge...
I had to take up the old carpet and underlay and put down new it was all going well until I unwrapped the carpet to discover a hole in it where it had been damaged in transit at some stage.
Something had clearly hit the carpet hard and left a nasty tear type hole about half a metre into the roll.
Because the customer has 2 young children and the fact that the old carpet had been cut into 2 bits and thrown out, I had to fit the new carpet even though there was a hole in it.
I moved it about a bit and got the hole in the least conspicuous place (under a coffee table) and we will wait and see if they can get it replaced.
I then moved on to the hallway.
The carpet was quite a tough one to fit as it was a carpet from alternative flooring, that was made with wool to look like sisal.
It looks very much like sisal and was about the same to fit...very stiff with no room for error because of the total lack of stretch.
I took my time and got it right!
It took me until 3ish to get the lounge and hall done.
There is also a landing and stairs to do but I'm going to do that tomorrow now.
It will be fiddly again.
I finished in plenty of time to pop down the road to see a couple of people that wanted carpet to be done in March/April.
Got that sorted and headed for the quay to catch the boat home.
By now the weather had changed and we had very low cloud and light drizzle and mist.
Not very good visibility and I was wishing I had taken more pics this morning when the weather was better.
The trip home was quite bumpy until we got into the lea of St Marys and then it was plain sailing.
These jet boats are awesome and just go through any sea you decide to throw at them.
I will be returning on the same boat tomorrow and apparently in the same rain we had today will be coming back from the east, after passing over us heading east today.
Funny one that.
Low cloud and mist is no problem for modern boats though with GPS chart plotters,radar and depth sounders, use them all together and you can't go too far wrong, so long as you know how they work!
On arriving back on St Marys I had time to catch the boys parent evening.
It was a good one, as they are both doing well and was good to see their work.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

A much better day today,probably the best day weather wise this month.
Started quite grey, but soon brightened up and with hardly any wind at all made for a very pleasant day.
Luckily I had plenty of time this morning to enjoy it too.
For my brother in law Martin had his auntie and uncle arrive today, their first time on Scilly.
They are only here for one night, so I gave them a tour of St Marys.
We went around the whole island, starting at the airport, down through Old Town, up to the Garrison,back through town, down to Porthloo and up to the golf course,
Then down to the viewing point at the bottom of Mcfarlands Downs.
Came back up and went down to the duckpond at watermill, and then around the rest of the island.
The whole trip took about one hour and a half and I reckon I enjoyed it as much as they did!
Maybe a future job for me if I get too old for carpet fitting....
Either that or photography.
This has been the best day since Christmas for taking pics, and my new camera hasn't let me down.
The zoom is huge and it is getting good shots every time.
Sure I could get better overall quality from a DSLR, but for me this little beauty (Canon SX10is) is a surefire winner and I recommend it very highly.
It just makes you want to go out and take more pics!

So after a spot of lunch, I went back to Prospect House and today it was a large kitchen vinyl,bathroom vinyl and hallway carpet.
This too more or less all afternoon.
With a quick break when I went around to Nundeeps guest house to pick up some underlay that I left behind..
All in all a good day and a good mix of business and leisure!
Tomorrow it definitely St Martins and an early start.
I will go down to the quay at about 8ish and see what boat I can jump on.
I'll be up there all day and may need to go back on Friday.
We'll have to see,one thing for sure there is no better way to travel to work than going by boat!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Today started at a much more reasonable time of 7.30 and a look out of the window revealed a very foggy start to the day.
Wasn't too bad though so we still walked to school.
Not much to see on the way and all was very peaceful,as it normally is when its foggy.
First job today was to drop off some pattern books just around the corner, and then off to the new policeman's flat to quote for carpet and sort out what kind of carpets the new PC and his wife might like to have.
With that done, it was down to quay and finally I had my underlay and some carpets.
I sent 2 off to St Martins for a job I'm doing on Thursday and then took the rest up to my job up at Carn Friars.
It was the dining room today and was quite simple with the floor all clear and I just needed to put down carpet and underlay.
It was done by lunchtime.
So after lunch headed back to Prospect house flats to do 2 hallways.
One in carpet, one in vinyl, a doormat and stick down the bathroom vinyl that I had fitted yesterday and not stuck.
This took me all afternoon,as well as a trip home to pick up some door metals...

I stopped by school at pick up time and quickly checked the pitch to see how wet it was after all the rain we have been having and discovered that it completely waterlogged and now very muddy after the children played football on it today in P.E.
I think we as a football club will give the pitch a rest until it dries out a bit.
It would be nice to have some grass left for our summer fixtures...

This evening it was pool night.
We played at home against the eagle who are our B team for the Atlantic Inn.
The eagles,I think its fair to say...are not quite as dedicated as us and enjoy their night out rather than worry too much about the technicalities of playing pool.
We won 7-2 I think...may have been 6-3.
As usual it was a good evening, made better by the fact I won my singles and doubles matches and I felt I played well tonight.
It sure helps when you win!
So tomorrow will bring better weather apparently and I am hoping to finish off Prospect House and also take my brother in laws auntie for a tour of the island.
I'm looking forward to that.
Its always good showing someone who hasn't been here all the sights of St Marys.
They are only here for one day so I hope I can show them lots and lots.
Hopefully I should have some pics tomorrow from the "tour"...

Monday, 26 January 2009

It seems like this week came around very quickly.
Must have been something to do with working Saturday, going to bed late(as usual..) and being woken up far too early by the youngest son at some ungodly hour at 5 something!
Well I guess it not bad to start the day early and it seemed like ages before it was time to go to school with the boys.
It was a good walk today with an offshore wind at Old Town there were some nice swells rolling in and it even looked surfable on a couple of waves.
After the short walk home wifey had a couple of quick jobs to do and then it was off to my dad to check out his LCD TV that had sound but no picture.
It seems that it is broken although he was convinced he had pushed the wrong button by mistake..
On googling the problem it seems that it i quite common.
Very annoying as the TV is only 4 months old, it will have to be sent back to the mainland now I guess..
It was about 10 ish now so though I'd better get to work!
First stop was to quay to try and locate that underlay.
It definitely wasn't there and I finally managed to get through to my suppliers and it will be here with me tomorrow.
So my trip to St Martins was off.
I went instead to Prospect House Flats, I am doing 2 whole flats right throughout here, so there was plenty to do, and on arrival it turned out that I had left enough underlay here to finish this job.
Well that was a stroke of luck!
So I got straight to work and had the lounge done by lunchtime and even managed to fully prepare the kitchen for vinyl including leveling a part of the floor.
Feeling quite happy with that I happily drove home for lunch.
It was a good day today, despite a very fresh northerly wind, the sun was out and we had no rain all day, a rarity of late!
After lunch I popped back to dad to try and see if a quick reset might work, I had read on the internet that leaving the TV unplugged for 4 hours can fix this problem...
It didn't make any difference!
One other guy online suggested you leave it for 24hrs, so we are trying that now..
I remembered that I needed to go and pick some carpet pattern books and measure up to do a quote at a guesthouse down Porthloo way, so popped in to do that.Didn't take too long.
So then it was back to the flats and a kitchen vinyl to do.
First up was a washer dryer to uninstall and take out of the room and then take up the old vinyl.
Prepare the floor and fit the vinyl,stick it down and tidy up..
A doddle!
It took about an hour and a half which left time to do the bathroom vinyl...
So I got that ready and fitted it but then it was 5 o clock, o decided that I'd finish this job later..they don't have anyone in until March/April so no real rush!
Tomorrow I'm back up to Carn Friars to do a dining room carpet in the morning and then back to the flats in the afternoon.
I have take a couple of pics on my phone of today's work so will get them on..
All in all a good day, apart from while I was moving the washing machine I got up too quickly without realising there was a kitchen unit sticking out right behind me and I caught my back on the corner of the unit whilst standing up.
Very,very sore.
Wifey says it even bled, so must have been as bad as it felt/feels.
Not very comfy sitting here typing this I can tell you!
Very annoyed with this injury as I did the same thing 2 weeks ago and it was just getting better!
Ah well probably time for bed now really, so might turn in soon!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

At last a rest day, although because of recent weeks today felt more like a Saturday, I think it will be a struggle tomorrow morning!
Today was pretty good after last nights torrential rain and gales.
We still had the winds, but it was more like force 7 or so.
I had a nice lie in and didn't get out of the house until about 10.30.
We did the usually Sunday drive up to watch the football on the garrison.
The field was very wet, I would say waterlogged to be honest and had puddles of water in places all over.
It made for some funny moments when tackles were made, and shots being saved.
While watching the football, I was talking to Phill, when a Sea King helicopter came into the airport.
I went back to the car as it was starting to rain a bit and it wasn't long before the helicopter was heading our way, low and looking like it was up to something...
Phill was off like a shot to investigate.
I thought we should take a look..
Very glad that we did, because the heli was just about to start a practise airlift manoeuvre.
They did three I think, I am in the process of uploading a video onto YouTube of the procedure...
The skill of the pilots and winch man is really quite something to watch.
Just how they manage to get so close to the lifeboat with a man dangling on a wire without any trouble is amazing to watch.
Particularly when the sea is rough and it is windy too.
Very impressive.
We must have been watching these guys for about half an hour, when we realised that it was lunchtime and as Mike had a full dress rehearsal for panto at 1p.m thought it was best to go.
We left the lifeboat to it and went home.
After lunch and dropping off Mike, we popped out to feed the ducks at Porthloo and Watermill.
The ducks were pleased to see us as normal and seemed very happy with their very full ponds!
We then went around for quick visit to mother and father in law up at Maypole and before we knew it was time to fetch Mike again.
By now it was high tide and the wind had hardly abated, so with that in mind and remembering how big the seas were before lunch, we went down to the quay to see the waves.
We weren't disappointed for they were BIG.
The tide wasn't the highest I have seen but the wave size and speed sure made up for the lack of volume!
There some very impressive thumps over the quay wall.
You can really feel the tremors when those big waves hit, again nature showing her powerful side to us all once again!
Happy with the pics I had taken and starting to get cold hands, and by now it was getting dark we headed home for tea.
I have to say, that it was a great day with many photo opportunities, showing that Scilly really can be a place to be in all seasons.
Just so long as you don't mind the odd bit of rain and gales!!
Well we are in England after all!
Its been another busy day for me today which has lead to this late update...
Seeing as it is the weekend I didn't start until 9.30.
I went down to the quay to see if my underlay was here for Monday's job, but it looks as though my suppliers have let me down, as there was no sign of any delivery at all..
I guess it will be here on Tuesday now then....
I'll have another look on Monday morning when the quay is clear of all goods and maybe I'll find them tucked away somewhere..but I doubt it.
So then it was off up to the new head teachers house to finish the job in hand.
Today it was a bathroom and stairs.
It took we a while to take up the old gripper in the bathroom from the previous carpet that had already been removed and I then set to work on fitting the vinyl.
It wasn't too long before the bathroom was done and all stuck down...I think about an hour .
Then it was on to the stairs.
I needed to take up the old carpet in order to put down the new one.
This was fairly simple and then I went about cutting the carpet to go on the stairs.
By this time the head teacher and his wife and daughter had arrived and I was introduced and had a nice chat.
It turns out that they came from Totnes in Devon and this is where I am going in 2 weeks so we had plenty to talk about.
They seem like a lovely family and I reckon they will get on just fine here.
They have a great attitude and I can see them making the most of what Scilly has to offer.
Good luck to them!
So back to the job, and by now with all my chatting it was getting on for lunchtime.
I got 6 steps of the 10 done and off I went.
After lunch it was straight back to the stairs to do the "winders".
These are the kite shaped turns that most flights of stairs have if there is a turn....
They are slightly more complicated than a straight step and take a bit longer to fit.
Today I tried out my new staple gun that I just bought from Screwfix.
I have to say it was excellent and really saved quite a bit of time...
It was about 2.30 ish when I was all done, so a quick tidy up and it was off to the next job.
The next job was the lounge up at Carn Frairs that I couldn't do last Thursday because of the dodgy floor.
It had all been sorted now and was all ready for carpet.
I started off with a nice cup of tea and a chat.
I realised that time was getting on and buckled down to work.
It was a top quality bit of carpet and went down like a dream, and with the new underlay it also felt like the best too!
With that done it was nearly 5 p.m and definitely time for home and tea!
When I got in, there was a message from my mate Mez, asking if I wanted to go to a scalextric evening up in the airport buffet room.
Nigel,now famous for catching a lobster on Island Parish was the host and tonight had set up a really good track.
It turned out that tonight was "finals" night and we were playing for a trophy!
I played last year and got to the final, but was beaten (Just) by the other finalist!
I had a quick practise and then it was straight into the first round.
Names were drawn out, and I was up against Nigel.....
Great, he built the track,owns the cars and everything and probably has played more than anyone I know.
So it was no surprise that I didn't win!
He beat me hands down, I think I gave up after he lapped me twice and my car was on its roof!
So the finals went on without me, but there was plenty of food and drinks for the spectators, so it wasn't bad, even though I didn't win.
The good news though, is that my mate Mez got to the final beat Nigel's' better half Carol.
She is also very good, and I have the impression that they play quite allot, for they are much quicker than anyone else...
Anyway somehow, Mez managed to be quicker in this race, took the fastest lap and won the trophy AND a bottle of champers and chocs!
We all had our pic taken and apparently it will be on the Radio Scilly website...
On the way home the weather had really worsened and it was blowing a howling gale up the airport with plenty of rain to go with it...
It fact I recall saying last week that i had never driven at night in such bad rain....
Well tonight it was even heavier and had hail in it too!
It was like a tropical downpour, the likes I ave only seen a few times in my whole life.
There certainly seems to be some real bad weather coming off the Atlantic at the moment.
Very powerful...anyway I have been typing for half an hour... so time to go to bed.
Need sleep now after a busy old week...