(1) Pampered pooches and possibly the
worlds most expensive dog bed.
had cause to go to al Fayeds Bazaar (aka Harrods) recently. They have a petshop
on the second floor where one can purchase all the usual requisites for ones
beloved pooch. The Harrods shop stocks a comprehensive range of goodies for the
little dears, including faux diamante
crowns (honestly) and jewel-encrusted Gucci collar and lead combinations. I was
even tempted to purchase a matching set of Foggy
Mountain formal velvet dog coats - triple lined with a plush black velvet
exterior - just right for the Maplehurst mud! The price tag put me off a bit,
though (£60 upwards).
also noticed that Harrods were selling a designer "dog temple" in
their pet shop. Architecturally, this "palace" is a sort of Hawksmoor
meets Blackamoor effort, classic lines with a rather oversize domed roof above.
The palace measures 42" high by 29" wide by 23" deep. It looks to
be constructed out of MDF with some of the cornice detail and other
architectural features cut from softwood. The whole structure is lined in rather
gaudy purple velvet with gold piping around all the edges. The inside of the
unit is finished similarly, there is even a little cushion (complete with gold
braid edging) for your little canine darling to sit on. I rather liked the look
of these things and was tempted to buy one as a treat for our dogs. Then I saw
the price and nearly died. They aren't exactly a snip at £9,999.
reckon that materials (excluding upholstery) for this dog palace come in at a
touch under £50. Although the joint work would be a little bit fiddly, you are
not looking at much more than 2-3 days work to make the unit. That means a
rather tidy little profit for our Egyptian grocer friend. When I have more time
in the Spring I am tempted to tackle making a few of these units. I shall let
you know how I get on.....
On the above website, make sure you check out the English bull Terrier
"Stanley" - dogs don't come much finer than this!
Good neighbour award
month I was heading to the tip at Horsham when I spotted one of my neighbours
standing at the side of the road in the pouring rain. I don’t want to name him
here as I know he would be embarrassed to be in the spotlight!
stopped my car and asked him what he was doing. He explained that he had seen
somebody acting suspiciously at the council depot on Bar Lane and had called the
Police. He had parked his car in such a way that he totally blocked the
“suspicious” persons vehicle. I asked him if he wanted any help and he
declined politely, saying that the Police were already on their way.
it transpired that this person who had been seen at the Council Depot was there
in the legitimate course of his business but the police were grateful that they
had been called due to the number of burglaries in that area recently.
done to that neighbour – Britain needs more people like this!
never rains but it pours – at least that is what November felt like! After the
first few rainstorms of the month I began to get nervous about my lawn ending up
like last winter. My fears were confirmed when the water that had settled on the
lawn refused to drain away. By the middle of the month, I decided to take action
and spoke with Kevin Black about a plan of action.
decided to hire a trenching tool and use it to excavate a series of drains
across the lawn. These were intended to be deep enough to penetrate the layer of
clay which sits beneath the topsoil. The trenches would then be filled with
gravel and the turf re-laid back on top.
the day we had chosen to carry out this operation was during one of the wettest
spells of the whole month.
decided on a hasty change of tactics, which saw us borrow a 2 man auger. We used
this to drill a series of 8” wide holes, 3 feet deep.
Whenever the bit hit a stone Kevin and I were thrown sideward by the
power of the engine on the auger. Eventually, however, we developed a tactic
that seemed to prevent us being thrown around the place – Kevin took charge of
the throttle control! Rather surprisingly, the majority of the boreholes we dug
threw up subsoil that was absolutely bone dry. It appears that the clay in this
subsoil became “polished” before the topsoil was replaced last year, which
created an impermeable barrier.
holes were filled with gravel and the turf replaced on top – time will tell if
this helps the soil drainage until we are able to get the trenching tool on the
The Wey and Arun Canal
was alerted to the restoration work being carried out to The
Wey and Arun Canal by a newspaper article recently – this rather
impressive project aims to eventually re-establish a link from Guildford
directly to the South Coast via Surrey and West Sussex.
of the canal has fallen into serious decay over the last hundred years. Many
sections have now been filled in and lock mechanisms removed totally. The
restoration work began over thirty years ago and is not likely to be completed
in my lifetime.
issue interests me – that of the legal status of the canal itself. If the
canal had fallen into disrepair so long ago and had effectively been given up by
its owners who now owns the canal? The laws of adverse possession (i.e squatters
rights) are fairly complex but as long as any tenant has had sole use for at
least a dozen years then the property will revert to him. I don’t know what
the deeds to the land occupied by the canal state, but I wager there is a pretty
penny in there somewhere for the lawyers! The website states that a lot of the
“towpath” exists on private land where there is no public right of way,
I always thought that there was a presumption of “right of way” on an
towpath but perhaps I was wrong. It would be a shame if the canal had no path
over large sections of it – perhaps Gina Dixon and Brenda Shaw would like to
offer themselves out as legal researchers on this case! They certainly have a
pedigree in this type of work (NB for those who do not know, that nice Mr.
Jackson – late of Sedgwick Park – pleaded guilty to more charges relating to
his tenure at the big house. He was bound over to keep the peace)
Were we ripped off by Seeboard??
anyone remember the extensive power cuts a few months ago, courtesy of SEEBOARD?
I certainly do.
who do remember will almost certainly recall the days of “half power” in the
Nuthurst area. Apart from being a pretty reckless thing to do (it causes motors
to burn out etc.), it conveniently classed as “restoration of supply” which
let SEEBOARD of the compensation hook. Apparently compensation is payable by
power companies for each period of 12 hours that power is restored.
news – we get a dribble of electricity for a few minutes each day and the
power companies don’t have to pay us a penny. I smell a large rat somewhere
Christmas I shall write to SEEBOARD and ask for some answers to the points
raised above. If anyone kept a diary of the times of the power cuts can they
please let me know – there could be some money in it for all of us.
SEEBOARD are on my radar screen, I watched their adverts with some irony –
apparently their mission statement is “New ways to save you money” or
something similar. I guess cutting off the electricity supply is a pretty novel
approach to achieve this.
few days after the cuts I read all about the financial problems suffered by TXU
energy and Drax amongst others. These electricity generating giants are both
suffering due to weak electricity prices (although one could be forgiven for
disbelieving this given that National Grid has just paid £10,000 per KwHour
!!). Excuse me for sounding cynical, but I don’t seem to have benefited very
much from these supposed weak prices at all. Perhaps this point will go in my
next polemic to SEEBOARD.
One for the Taliban.
think just about everyone has had a bit of fun poked at them recently on this
site, now it’s the turn of our erstwhile “freedom fighter” friends in
Afghanistan, or what’s left of them, anyway!. Take a look at the Taliban
Reunited website – it’s a blast!
Bodyworlds (aka Korperwelt)
anyone else been to the Bodyworlds
exhibition in Brick Lane, London apart from me? I was invited there in October
by a friend who expressed an interest in going. The exhibition consists of a
series of corpses which have had their tissue and organs stripped away and
replaced by resins of various colours. The resultant effect is nothing short of
have labeled the exhibition perverse and ghoulish. All I can say is go and judge
for yourself. Judging by the sheer number of schoolchildren attending the
exhibition who were busy on project work it seems that parents are happy to let
their young ones attend.
exhibition has been arranged by a German national, Professor Gunther von Haagens.
He is the flamboyant character who conducted the public autopsy last month and
who has netted himself the tidy sum of $40,000,000 from his work.
displays are exceptionally informative and show the workings of just about every
aspect of the body. There is even a display of a pair of lungs taken from a
heavy smoker, probably the best anti-smoking propaganda I have ever seen. A few
sections are a little bit gory but overall the show is well worth the effort to
go and see. There is even a part of the website which shows you the approximate
waiting time to get in and see the exhibit. Take a hint from me – buy your
tickets online, it will save you hours of hassle when you get there.
is a lot of building work going on around Cisswood House Hotel at the moment,
does anyone know what they are up to there? I haven’t noticed any planning
signs around the area recently.
Partridge in a pear tree
mind about the proverbial partridge in a pear tree. Last week Janie took
delivery of some Friesian Bantam hens to complement her existing stock. These
have obviously never been in a chicken coop before. The first night they
arrived, one managed to find its way 12’ up my oak tree where it stayed firmly
out of reach until about 10.30 pm. I eventually grabed hold of it, having spent
the previous fifteen minutes gingerly negotiating my way up the tree by ladder.
The ensuing noise would have wakened the dead!
I returned it to the coop amidst great protestations where it now happily
resides come twilight!. Next time I’ll send Jasper up for the little sod.
received a large number of complaints (i.e. moans!!) about the last competition
I set in the last Nuthurst Society Newsletter. Despite this, many correct
entries were received and Colin Cutler was the lucky winner of a bottle of
quality sparkling wine.
month, I have set two slightly easier problems that could easily be attempted by
any thirteen-year-old schoolchild. Entries have been literally dribbling in over
the last week. If you are a member of The Nuthurst Society and you fancy winning
an easy competition, have a go and send your completed entry form to any
committee member. I have also donated a separate prize of fine French Dessert
wine this month, which relates to the last competition
- students of geometry will have a field day!
The competition is only open to NutSoc members. If you are not already a member
of The Nuthurst society and you would like to join, contact me for details.
all for this year. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
month, be sure not to miss the following exciting items:-
New Battle of Britain
Micro surveillance gadgets
Pesky Nigerian Conmen
And much, much more.
Simon McClean 12th December 2002 last months MR's
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