Monday, 24 June 2013

Dr. Jenny Butler.

Our Honorary  E Granddaughter to whom we gave that accolade several years ago has recently achieved a dizzy status and can now be referred to as Doctor Jenny Butler Ph.d however, to us she will still be known as HEG, the E standing for 'educated' of course, though at other times it might also stand for evil :) ! We are immensely proud of Jenny and send her through this medium our congratulations on a study well done. 

I have watched the video many times and do declare that during the x amount of years knowing her, her youthfulness has rubbed off on me and today I look much younger than on the video.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Power for the UK & desecration of IRELAND'S landscape

There is a big row going on in my part of Ireland over Wind Energy: the proposal to build giant wind generators in areas of natural beauty.

One of the developers, Element Power, says the plan would save UK consumers around £7bn over 15 years compared to other renewable sources.

But concerns are now growing that the turbines needed to provide the power will be of a size and scale not seen in Britain or Ireland before.

Because the bog lands are relatively windless, the company behind the scheme says they will need to stretch high into the sky to catch sufficient wind to generate power.

"They will be spread around 40 clusters in five counties," said Element Power's Peter Harte.

"We felt it was better to built slightly larger turbines but fewer of them and that's the best way to minimise the impact on the local area."

But opponents say that local people have not been consulted and few actually realise just what an impact the turbines will have on the landscape.

My gripe is that as all of this power is going to the UK then the UK should build them on there own land. Am sure the people of the Somerset and Devon would welcome the investment as would no doubt the folk on the Yorkshire moors and other areas of northern England? 

Simplified sketch of giant wind generator

The red line is my addition: to show an under-water power cable passing between the two countries it is purely graphical and is probably not in the correct geographical position. 

Saturday, 8 June 2013

The Shipyard


I started the day by thinking about my first job and of how it shaped my life in various ways. My working life started in a small shipyard, Morgan Giles Ltd, in Teignmouth, Devon.  
Before going into the shipyard I attended Newton Abbot College of Art and all was going well until a family crisis occurred in 1959 and I was sent out to work. My first wage was £2-15 shillings a week and after I signed my Indentures it was reduced to £2 - 9 shillings for a 48 hour week.


I was apprenticed as a Marine Engineering Draughtsman and spent the first two half years on the shop floor in various departments, starting in the fitting shop. My very first job there was to polish the bronze propellors of a 52ft Monaco Cruiser which was being readied for the International Boat Show at Earls Court in London. The firm designed and built it's own trailer to carry the boat which was to be towed by a heavy tractor, of the type that Showmen use; because of it's size and slow speed a special route had to be found to avoid low bridges and tight bends. Shipyard workers walked alongside the trailer. It took five days and countless pairs of shoes to transport the cruiser to London!


The Monaco Cruisers were luxury motorboats with an impressive turn of speed,built and fitted out to a high specification. They came in three lengths 36ft,42ft (later a 48ft) and 52ft and powered mainly by Caterpillar diesels. 
All of the fittings and furnishings were designed and made by us, for example the double ended fridges and electrically warmed toilet seats for those with delicate posteriors. One regular customer always had swiss silk curtains, another always wanted his boat to be a foot longer than anyone else's, so a 36ft became a 37 ft & of course he would be charged for our inconvenience. However, one year this customer wanted a 42ft craft to be extended to 43ft which made life extremely easy for the design team because our 42 footer was actually 42ft - 10 and 1/2 inches long. We merely redesigned the bow roller plate out by one and half inches. I have no idea how much extra he was charged for those one and half inches!

Today I spoke with Jos Moorman in France who recently spent ten years equalling 12 thousand hours restoring a 42ft Monaco Cruiser, which I helped to design. He has done a magnificent job & you can see her here if you paste this into your browser >

unknown yacht built by Morgan Giles Ltd

We also built various yachts for private owners and many types of inshore craft for the Ministry of Defence. The six years that I spent at Morgan Giles were not wasted and all that I learnt there has stood me in good stead throughout my life.

A ketch rig yacht which I believe was built for
Major Walcott of Torquay circa 1963

On the site where the shipyard once stood now stands a block of luxury apartments with superb views of the River Teign and the English Channel . I often wonder whether late at night any of the occupants hear the ghosts of the old shipyard men still working away because I often revisit the yard in my dreams.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

The Weather !

I just felt that after having gone through two extremely wet summers and last year being one of those where we never got three dry days in a row. That I would share with you as much as I am able our good fortune.

For those of you who might be thinking where we live ? Our home is roughly beneath the the second 2 of the middle 22 and in case you cannot figure out which of two two's then take a look a tomorrows forecast and we are under the 3 of the 23 situated roughly in the middle of Ireland.

Mrs H and I hope that where ever you are in the world that you too are being treated kindly by the weather!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Variety the Spice of Life

Down to the Wood

I declare that it is now officially summer because we have had no rain for two days and as you can see my barber, Khalid, has me trimmed down to the wood.

The other evening after a very hectic and busy day I took a remedy to relax and chill myself out, it worked almost instantaneously; so much so that I asked Mrs H for a glass of chilled white wine and a Leonidas single dark chocolate, a CERISE EMBALLÉE which is :
A spicy marriage of cherry liquor and dark bitter chocolate. A whole morello cherry and cream liquor hides beneath a dark chocolate shell. Wrapped in dark red, this is a delectable mix of crunchiness and sweetness, enhanced by a cherry liquor taste.

The nearest shop is only 50kms away so it would not have taken her too long on her pushbike… 
- but no !
Instead of satisfying my dream I was brought a large mug of our own chilled spring water followed by a big bowl of semolina with a good dollop of strawberry jam, suffice to say it did the trick.

Homemade Tarka Dhal

This evening the good woman has surpassed her self by cooking for us Tarka Dhal accompanied by Naan Bread, it was absolutely deliciously spicy and hot, shortly it shall be followed by fresh peaches.

Tonights Dinner