Lazy Days.

Struggling as I do these days … with my health, I can still sit on my backside and enjoy the hobbies I have. Today I was trying out some new camera techniques. Before I did however I had to take one as it was happening at our place today 🙂 You can clearly see the one doing all the work.

Lazy Afternoon

Wood Turning

I’ve had several emails asking for a few more details regarding that lovely Boxwood creation I shared yesterday.

I’m delighted to include a direct link to the man himself HERE.

You’ll see many creations, but here as an appetiser is a truly remarkable Sycamore Dragon Plate.

Dragon Plate

This UK weather!

I am truly fed right up with all the ‘grim-reapers’ that are saying …” oh we will be all so glad when this heatwave finishes.’ Or … “Oh we so desperately need the rain.” 

Am I the only person in Blighty that is more than happy for it to carry on as long as possible? Yeah, I know it is a bit grim sleeping for some; not for me, I have me tablets and don’t know nuthin until those ‘Crooks’ start up at silly o’clock.

Just saying!

Temperatures Here In Somerset

Forecasts by the Met office are always I find fairly generalised. here today it has been rather (for us) warm and slightly oppressive. We live betwixt Bridgwater and Taunton and I suppose are tucked in a tad. Anyway, the wee terracotta thermometer which is permanently in the shade popped a gasket today. For us this is pretty warm. Everything is relative; I just hope my buddy in Phoenix USA doesn’t see this post. They had according to him closer to 50C.

Here we are untouched and taken at 15.48 hours.

Temp 13:07:2013 1 Temp 13:07:2013 2

Mr Carrot!

Nothing Bonsai related on this post so if that is what you were expecting I should move on now. On the assumption you’ve started so you’ll finish … this post then is just about ‘Mr Carrot.’

I first saw Mr Carrot on eBay and knew then I had to have him, with his charming and somewhat rugged features including those feet; oh those feet; in went my bid and then he arrived. From ‘Views of Life’ he is their ‘Green fingers’ release. I was and remain delighted. I can see some more being collected at some stage.

‘Mr Carrot’ as we call him here stands at 21cm tall or eight and a quarter inches in old money. Here he is snapped yesterday evening with the sunshine pouring down over him!

Carrot Man reduced

Checking Wire Thickness.

I often wonder what gauge of wire I need when replenishing and for many other uses I decided a digital thickness tool was in order. Looking around they were ridiculously priced, until …. until I came across and Allen Bentley.

I placed my order and within a couple of days it arrived. It is hugely accurate, comes in its own lined box and to be honest I have no idea how they do it for the price. I’ve noticed some rather nice products on their site and I for one will certainly return. I can now check wire in seconds and see exactly what I need to order. It takes the guesswork away permanently.

Tool gauge

All metal construction with a plastic casing that houses the electronics. I note there is a lightweight version also. Less than 10cm in length x 5.5cm wide. Yes, fits in the pocket rather splendidly.

A hearty five star recommendation for Digital Micrometers

A Stand For The Siberian Elm

I’ve been very fortunate; and to some degree, rather privileged to have had my Siberian Elm selected to be shown at the 2013 Swindon Winter Image Show.

Having never shown this tree in public other than a local Taunton & Somerset event, I must be honest and say with knees knocking I am I think, really looking forward to it. As the tree is really much larger than people imagine, I need a good quality display stand for said exhibition. The Swindon club very kindly through Paul the Chairman, offered me the use of a stand. Yes, it would have worked well but being a tad stubborn and determined I felt I must al least make every effort I can – to make one myself!

So with money and arthritis a serious problem my attempts to secure something cheap from a second hand furniture shop failed miserably. My stock reply when I asked how much they were asking for old cack that we have thrown better away was … “Are you having a larf mate?” I mean seriously the stuff I was looking at like small drop leaved tables with gouges and stains was going for like sixty quid and more!!!! Anyway, off to B&Q and their Richard Burbridge Oak wood was partly in the sale, and well reduced. So for what should have been £98.60 I handed over a paltry  £21.80 for several lengths and bits … and ‘bobs.’

Here we have then a few images of some lengths stitched together and work in progress. I’m aiming for around twenty-four inches side-to-side; and, around seventeen inches front to back. Plan is make a top and ‘square’ it off with smooth Oak mitred around the edge. Then Mount to a rectangular frame which I have made by cutting down a length of architrave and skirting. Finally I will have a support at each side with a brace running from left to right underneath for strength. This then is the plan. I have included my AWFUL sketch I made to give me a start. Then follows work this far.

I will update as I progress.

Wish me Mrs Brown LUCK 🙂

S-elm stand 1 S-elm stand 3 S-elm stand 4 S-elm stand 5 S-elm stand 6

This RAIN!

Much has been said about the current (late November 2012) weather situation. I can’t really imagine anyone not being aware of just how awful it is … unless you happen to have been on the moon in a Branston Rocket! Yes I know, I added a T.

Clearly Somerset has indeed taken a pounding, and here where I live in a small village outside Taunton, we have been cut off twice already. Many properties flooded, and today (Saturday) it starts yet again on already swollen rivers, canal and fields. Drains cannot cope, the wet weather we endured during the summer means the water has no real place to go.

By now I hope everyone has their Bonsai tucked away. Forecasts suggest … maybe, some 100mph gusts coming! Get those trees away in the garage, or wherever is safe but do what you can to protect them. Show caution when using the greenhouse as many have been blown down or away if poly-carb type. I’ve  got all the deciduous varieties in my garage; (they DO NOT) need any light during dormancy; just be mindful if the garage is heated not to bring them out of a winter sleep too quickly!

Evergreen varieties such as pine or coniferous will be fine in the dark for a few days. DO NOT bring them into the heated home. An unheated porch etc will be fine, but if closed in watch the sun (when it arrives) as a glass porch, gazebo, conservatory can indeed heat up very quickly.

This week I couldn’t help getting my broom out to help out during torrential rain and flooding. I made myself extremely ill as sadly my arthritis and digestive disorders are not good at all. Still, one feels so helpless, and I am glad I was able to do something, rather than nothing! Be mindful of any old folk that live nearby, they would without doubt appreciate a friendly face checking on their well-being. If you do feel helpless during a flood and you feel it is safe to do so, just use a broom to keep drains clear, they soon block up with leaves, sometimes in seconds. It is a continuous job during a flood. Be cautious on the water quality too, it is in some instances likely to contain sewage and other unwanted ‘stuff,’ and as one Policeman (Phil) in my all time favourite Police show ever, used to say, “Hey, let’s be careful out there.”  ABOVE AND BEYOND everything though please stay safe. Here is my village this week with a final one from me just before I collapsed.

This one is taken from the bridge looking towards Bridgwater. It is rarely clean and clear but seldom this Red-brown mix. Levels are high too.

Well, clearly anyone who knows me will recognise my cheesy grin. Hidden though is the fear from millions of gallons of flood water roaring in the background. I just thought I would include a ‘non-action’ man ( I wish) image as it happened.

Sunny Sunday Afternoon



Oh well I thought; after a nice cow pie, loads of brussel sprouts, it seemed only right to make a nice flask of tea and take in a couple of local walks.

Both feature the Somerset Levels. On the way home I had to stop at the wetland centre and take a picture of the eighteen feet high wicker watering can! YES, you read that correctly!

Prior to this one we had stopped, at one of our favourite wee spots to enjoy a cuppa and home made shortbread. So just a few including the monument to celebrate King Alfred. You can see his church in the background and I have included the monument erected many many years ago. He was a popular fellow for certain.

So here we are then. Part of the Somerset wetlands to enjoy as we did this afternoon 🙂