Archive for June, 2011

You may have read my recent post The “Mechanics” Hour which ended “To be continued….” well, read on for the continuum …

Fast forward one full week, two more guests (from Yorkshire this time) and one more motorbike.  A lovely day, damp evening and…yip…the bike refused to start in the morning!

Keyfob for Motorbike

“I don’t believe it, are you doing something to these things at night?” asked our neighbour incredulously.

The mechanic duly arrived, much more quickly than the last and with only one phone call for directions.  He declared the bike “fit” and after much deliberation between the three men decided the problem was with the immobiliser.   It wasn’t in his remit to fix immobilisers so didn’t have the correct sized battery but he did offer to give our guests a lift to the nearest town as it was on his way back to base.

Our guests  returned a couple of hours later, having scoured the small town but failing to find the correct sized battery – they’re really odd shaped dinky little things – the batteries that is, not the guests!

Howard at Glen Trool, Galloway Forest

Whilst we ladies chatted over a cuppa, warming the old battery in an attempt to breathe life into it, the chaps hunted through boxes of junk on the off-chance of finding something useful amongst our cumulative collection of old electrical equipment and spare parts.

Neither tactic was successful.

Eventually, Mr Fix-it, aka my beloved, came up trumps again.   Getting out his soldering iron (he never misses an opportunity to whip out a gadget) he jerry-rigged a 6V battery and soldered it directly onto the connections inside of the immobiliser itself.

With the words “s**t or bust” being muttered by the male contingent, the motorbike was approached and zapped.

Low and behold, it worked!

Now, if  you’ve never seen a 15 stone, leather clad Yorkshireman bear hug a fellow compatriot I can tell you, it’s a sight to behold!

With the motorbike running and profuse thanks, our guests declared themselves founder members of the Easingwold Branch of the Howard Galley Fan Club and drove off into the sunset.

Come and meet the man himself ;0)

Copyright © 2011 by Cordelia

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I arrived home from work surprised to see 63 emails in my inbox yesterday … I had no idea until then that I’d been “Freshly Pressed” … which is not as painful as it sounds!!  A hundred more have arrived today.  I’m completely astounded!!!

I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has taken time to look, like or comment and I shall reply to each and every one as soon as possible.  I’m new to WordPress and not yet learned to navigate my way around but hope to catch up on your own blogs and stories in due course.  Please don’t think me rude if it takes a day or two to get through the backlog.

A few of you have even subscribed to the blog [gosh…thank you so much!] and commented that you can’t wait for the next post …no pressure there then!! [oh, hold on … that’s this one!! *mops brow* Phew!!]

Thank you so much, Cordelia 🙂

Click here to check B&B availability, view special offers and promo codes and to book online.

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Out of focus lonely earring

Today I’m sad ….

I was brushing my teeth last night when I glanced in the bathroom mirror and I noticed only one earring.

“How long have I been wearing one earring?” I enquired of my beloved.

“No idea, I hadn’t noticed” he replied.  Oh how the love fades 😉

How could you possibly be sad over an earring I hear you say.  You are thinking that, now be honest!

It’s not just any old earring … it’s one I’ve worn almost every day for the past 25 years … a pair of pretty Celtic knots that were bought in Stirling on a visit to an old school friend who went to University in that beautiful city.  I remember buying them like it were yesterday.  It’s been on holiday with me, on dates with me, on honeymoon with me, features in treasured photos of me with my wonderful children … and grandson … you get the picture!!

Me with my grandson aged 4 weeks

25 years? Yes, I hear you say [again? I must be cracking up!], it’s about time I bought a new pair.  I have more earrings; some beautiful ones costing 10 times the price that come out for special occasions … but you know … I feel naked without these ones.

I’ll have a good hunt around the house and scour the grounds at work and I just know that I’ll keep its forlorn partner pictured above for about another 6 years and eventually discard it precisely 3 days before it turns up in the sock drawer or an equally obscure place…!

Copyright © 2011 by Cordelia

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Afternoon Tea in the Conservatory

It turned out to be a foul summer’s day.  The rain, although admittedly warm, came down like stair rods all morning.  The guests, whom we were expecting in the evening, arrived a little after lunch.  They had given up on sightseeing and decided warmth and comfort were a better option.  This is even more understandable when you consider that they lived in beautiful, sunny Barcelona and arrived on a motorbike!  With leathers hung up in the laundry room to dry, guests showered and changed and the offer of putting the bike in the garage declined, our guests made themselves comfortable in the conservatory with a cup of tea, scones and biscuits and a book each to read.

And wonderful guests they were.  They were touring the country, as they had done for a number of years and their English put our three words of Spanish to shame.  They were pleased when I presented them with a Spanish feast for their evening meal and we all chatted by the fire long into the evening.

The Log Fire

A full Scottish breakfast was requested and, with the sun beginning to break through, on their bike they jumped.  And that’s where everything stops, literally, for a while at least.  The motorbike refused to start.

As his lordship knows as much about motorbikes as I do we called a recovery service!

“He’s on a job at the moment Mrs Galley”, said the operator when they phoned back an hour later “but will be with you in an hour”.

You have to remember that these are “mechanics’ hours” which are quite unlike any measurement of time that you or I are used to.  As time went by the guests progressed from the conservatory, to sunbathing on the lawn, to seeking shade from the mid-day sun.  The recovery service did eventually arrive, having phoned twice for directions despite being confident that he knew the area … three and a half hours later!

No, the saga doesn’t end there … after two hours of blowing pipes (whatever that is?) and lengthy calls to the bike manufacturer, the bike was officially declared ‘sick’ and needed to be taken to the nearest main dealer – 90 miles away and “no, it won’t fit into this van, I’ll have to call for a recovery vehicle which will take about an hour”.

Yes, a mechanics’ hour once again! By then, the sun had vanished behind the storm clouds and thunder was rattling around the hills above Balkissock.

Knockdolian Hill

The guests had retreated to the shelter of the summer house to continue reading their books and I was preparing the tea when the recovery vehicle arrived.  Not a good advert for our automobile recovery services!

As I said earlier, lovelier guests we couldn’t have asked for, they remained upbeat throughout “it’s only one day, we’re fine” their parting words following profuse thanks for the extended hospitality.

To be continued ….

Copyright © 2011 by Cordelia

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I’ve been learning to teach for almost 20 years now … I say “learning” because every day brings new challenges and just when you think that you’ve conquered this whole teaching malarkey someone or something throws a spanner in the works and you’re back to the drawing board.

Now normally it’s the Government … but I’ll save that rant for another post!!

I’m currently teaching out of my comfort zone … having trained in Design Technology I’ve taught Product Design, Electronics and Engineering for 15 years but have been doing long-term supply, teaching Home Economics in my current school.  The children are quite surprised to learn that I have a welding certificate!!

This particular spanner was completely of my own doing … I thought that all eventualities had been covered: bowls, sieves, wooden spoons etc. lay in nice neat piles for collection by the pupils.  All the ingredients that I required for the demonstration were strategically placed on the centre table and the whiteboard displayed a carefully crafted recipe:

  • 50g margarine
  • 2 x 15ml spoon (tablespoon) of icing sugar
  • 50g plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1 x 15ml spoon custard powder

…complete with learning intentions and success criteria and a beautiful picture of what the end product was going to look like:

My Delicious Empire Biscuits

Things were going as well as could be expected … the children had creamed the fat and sugar and were waiting expectantly for me to impart a few words of wisdom.  Gathered around the centre table, they’re hanging onto every word and I picked up what I thought was the dish with the specified quantity of plain flour and sieved it into my mixture.  Picking up the other dish to add 1 x 15ml spoon of custard powder … I realised that I’d mixed the two up!!

To be fair, at this point I could have bluffed my way through … they didn’t know what was in the dishes!!  My old Head Teacher always used to say, “Cordelia, you’re too honest for your own good!” … I was never really too sure if it was a compliment or not … but I’ve always maintained that, “honesty’s the best policy” and if you expect it from children then you have to lead by example…!

“That’s what happens when you talk and work at the same time, but of course you’re not going to make that mistake because you’re not going to be chatting!!” I said emphatically as they giggled.  Then, taking heed of the poster on the wall:

Picture courtesy of the internet

…I completed rolling and cutting then put the biscuits into the oven (150 °C / Gas Mark 4 for 15 mins) and the pupils completed their recipes using the correct ingredients!!

You’re wondering what they tasted like now aren’t you? Delicious (if I do say so myself) … I also appear to have inadvertently discovered Millie’s Cookies secret recipe for gooey white chocolate cookies 🙂

Copyright © 2011 by Cordelia

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