Wulf's Webden

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Sunday 16 July 2017
by Wulf
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Finding My Way

Getting down to tonight’s monthly jazz jam at the Red Lion in Brightwell cum Sotwell might be interesting. Apparently there is a cycling event in Wallingford with some road closures in force. I think it won’t affect the roads I need at the time I need to travel but I’d better allow a little more time than usual just in case. The jam itself continues as per normal – 7-9pm.

Saturday 15 July 2017
by Wulf
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Mint Cordial

In a moment of panic during last week’s plum glut, I rushed out and bought lots of extra sugar for preserving but ended up not needing as much as I thought I would. There will be more preserving to do before long but I’m trying to gradually work though it so not all my storage space is given over to bags of the stuff.

This weekend’s experiment has been mint cordial. Several handfuls of mint fresh from the garden, washed and then steeped in enough boiling water to just about cover it until it has cooled down. The liquid is then collected (squeezing the last drops out) and an equal weight of sugar is dissolved in it. Finally, the mixture is boiled for a couple of minutes before transferring to a sterilised bottle, capped, cooled and then kept in the fridge.

The resulting syrup is more of a yellow-green than bright green (I eschewed the suggestion of food colouring) but it works very nicely; I’ve tried it so far with sparkling water and soda water. It is sugary but you don’t need much for a subtle taste. I imagine several of the other herbs I’ve got growing would also work well with a similar treatment.

Friday 14 July 2017
by Wulf
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Bendy Rail

After living without it for months, we have decided that we’re not going to refit the full-length rail we took down when we decorated the stairs. The function is covered by fitting on the opposite side and it is useful having a bit more room when moving things like double basses and amps up and down the stairs. Therefore, I decided that this afternoon would be a good time to push ahead with the plan of fitting it in the music room upstairs, where it can be used to hang lightweight instruments and coiled leads.

The biggest challenge was getting it straight. It is such a long piece of wood that it naturally curves under its own weight and I discovered that even my metre long spirit level didn’t give a reliable reading. After two misplaced holes, I had to get Jane to come in and guide me in marking up for a third, which worked much better. The alternative would have been to measure from the ceiling to the top of the rail.

Fortunately the new drill I picked up recently made pretty easy work of making the holes so at least that part of the job didn’t leave me sweating for too long. Now I’ve got the fittings in place, I’ve put a fresh coat of paint on the rail (outside – it ended up being easiest taking it out of the bedroom window) and I should be able to pull it back in later this evening and either fit it back on the brackets or at least put it out the way, since rain is forecast tomorrow morning.

Thursday 13 July 2017
by Wulf
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Foreshortened

I’m not sure I quite get the concept behind this film – the vehicles seem simply shortened rather than foreshortened through perspective and, for some reason, cardboard structures start appearing towards the end, which is an entirely different effect.

However it is short and beautifully done; perhaps just to be enjoyed rather than analysed too closely. I picked this up from the Colossal feed but I see that the director, Fernando Livschitz, has a range of other, similarly surreal-looking videos on his site.

Wednesday 12 July 2017
by Wulf
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Ghostly Game

I had a meeting down in town this morning which finished earlier than planned so I decided to detour via the public library on the way back. While the Westgate Centre is being redeveloped, Oxford Central Library is a shadow of its former self as far as volume of stock goes, but you never know what you will find.

It turned out to be a good call as I turned up a copy of A Game of Ghosts, the most recent addition to John Connolly’s gripping and macabre series about private detective Charlie Parker. I’m not too far into it yet, but it promises to be on good form.

I look forward to to the central branch re-opening with a larger range of stock in the not too distant future, but sometimes it is just about finding the one book you have been keen to read, so I’m a happy bibliophile today.

Tuesday 11 July 2017
by Wulf
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You Can Tell How Dry It Has Been…

It struck me that one of the ways I can tell how dry it has been recently is that today has been the first time we’ve had the kind heavy rain that really demonstrates the benefits of the Rotaire dryline that I posted about last month and had put in a few weeks earlier. The clothes still needed to be hung inside for finishing as they were picking up the dampness of the air but that is a far cry from being sodden or even out-of-the-washing-machine damp.

Monday 10 July 2017
by Wulf
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Piddocks

I found an opportunity to use that new word, piddock, that I learned last week. I saw a cloud which appeared to have a neat hole drilled in and and thought…

Okay, to be honest, I thought, “what was that new word I learned last week – this would be just the time to use it”. I got partway to remembering it although it wasn’t until a couple of hours later (by which point, the cloud formation was long gone) that it fully came back. Still, maybe next time I’ll be ready to comment on a piddocked cloud. I don’t know if piddocked is a word, but I feel that it could be.