Wonderous Radish

The Flying Frog!

Ages ago I offered a painting in a charity auction.  The winning bidder requested a camping scene from Garth Nix's Old Kingdom books.  I sketched two possible ideas, and the painting below was the result!  Lirael and Sameth by the fire, with Mogget glaring at the Disreputable Dog from a distance, and the boat Finder in the background.

Here are the two sketches:
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Soon may the boilerman come

Well, I hope he will, anyway.  We have an F75 error and the boiler will not boot up, which means no central heating!  It did the same thing yesterday, but that was too high pressure, and I was able to get it to start by bleeding the radiators.  But now although the pressure is only at 2.1, no heat :-(

It's moderately cold, by Cornish standards (around 2 degrees C in the day time and maybe 2 below at night)  so hurray for the gas fire and electric shower to keep us moderately warm until the boilerman come.  I remembered the existence of the immersion heater, having checked my previous boiler posts (I knew this journal had a practical value) and have just turned it on.  With luck this is a minimal level of competence which will avert the Sarcasm of the Boilerman.

We'd probably be comfortably warm if we had got round to getting the back doors properly sealed (draughty!) and if it wasn't windy enough that the catflap keeps flapping, bringing an added chill to the utility room.  I like the new curtains that I bought for the back doors, but I bought them in the summer, forgetting that winter-weight curtains with draught-excluding properties are a boon. Hey ho.

In theory, we get to buy the new house on Monday.  However, the seller of the house that our sellers are moving to has apparently had a tantrum and cancelled her removal company, so who knows. *holds up hands in bafflement as a statement of surrender to the elements* 
dog knotwork

I paint a box

I bought the wooden box unfinished (it's made of pine) and painted it.  It might look a bit better if I had not packed the electric sander away somewhere that I now can't find, but I am still quite pleased with it.  It is painted in burnt umber (because I have a giant pot of that) with bronze and rich gold accents, and then a coat of clear pouring acrylic to make it glossy.  It's painted as a dice, and will be a dice box (the dragon is a big number 1 spot).  I used an inkbrush to paint the dark parts of the dragon-spot, but this was a mistake - I should have sealed the box first before putting ink on it, it ran a bit, but you can't really see it now.
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Probably Ritual

This Stick Man was erected last year in the first wave of enthusiasm during lockdown when lots of people put up banners and flags and so on supporting key workers, particularly NHS workers who might be passing.  This was a bit of an odd outlier from the first, because it's down a very minor lane with very few people passing, but gained popularity because it's on the route of a circular walk from the nearest large village, and the owners of Stick Man left out slices of tree-trunk and encouraged people to pick them up, paint them, then bring them back and hang them on the gate.

After a damp winter, both Stick Man and his votive offerings are now starting to develop all sorts of interesting fungi.
If you know the local story of him, he's benign enough, but I imagine if you are far from home, (as, for example, a visiting NHS ambulance driver might be) and stumble across this randomly by the roadside, he would be rather disturbing :-D 
Trust me

Google sent me an email this morning telling me to change my passwords

It had a long list of passwords that it thought it knew and wanted me to change.

I assume that it got them from some very ancient data dump.  There were a bunch of things on there I'd forgotten I ever had a password to, and of the things that I actually still use, none of the passwords was even close to being up to date.   I wonder why it assumed that I was still using passwords from... idk, probably around 2010, at a guess?  Maybe earlier. 

A dull update

New dishwasher arrived and was installed and they took away the old one very efficiently, all masked and with the windows wide open for a healthy draught. This year has been all about the healthy draughts so far, the whole thing of 'keeping the heat in' has rather blown away...

It seems they don't make the kind of dishwasher with a sort of 2/3's door and the controls on the outside any more : modern dishwashers have the controls on the top of the door.  So the old door panel didn't fit.  Of course it didn't. I bought a new one: it was cheap, and I didn't attempt to match colours, it's a dark shiny grey, whereas the rest of the kitchen is cherry wood.  But the dishwasher works and I fitted the new panel and handle yesterday. I don't think it looks too weird.

Had a house viewing on Friday: I assume if they had wanted to buy they would have sent us a message by now.  Hey ho.   We air the house out and clean it, then go out for the morning so the estate agent can let the viewers in, so we never actually see them.

Theo is enjoying Virtual Dog School and is getting quite good at walking to heel.  He and Fankil the Grey Cat are good friends at the moment: they both like to come upstairs together in the mornings to wake us up at breakfast time.  They don't tend to arrive too early, so I don't object.

Made squash soup, walnut bread and apple crumble today.  Mum was supposed to be coming to bubble for lunch, but the roads were icy so she decided not.

Need to decide whether to sign up for Worldbuilding Exchange. I sort of want to finish some of my long WIPs, really, but they all feel a bit draggy at the moment, so it's tempting to sign up to do something new instead.  On the other hand, that sort of attitude isn't going to get the WIPs finished!

I keep thinking that at last I am being Efficient and Getting Stuff Done, and then I find something I have utterly forgotten that seems like the kind of thing I'd normally remember.  Today, it was the live session of Dog School, which I forgot was at 11.  And I am astonishingly behind on comment replies, which usually don't seem like anything at all.   Still, at least the laundry is clean. 

Today's Mood

Oscilating wildly between fury at people declaring we should all 'get over' Covid, stop making such a fuss and accept that deaths happen, and fury at people who cheerfully report their neighbours for imagined lockdown-breaking offences and think that people should be arrested (how??  By whom?)  from travelling more than two miles from their house.

Side order of fury at people who cannot conceive of other human beings walking more than half a mile or so, who therefore assume that other humans who are a few miles from their house are Up To No Good.

It may be time for a social media break. No doubt all these people are a bit tired and fractious, as am I.

The owners of our village pub have had Covid. They don't recommend it. Feels like it's getting closer.  But my Mum has had her first vaccination, so that's something. 

State of the Hound

At the moment, at about one and a half years old, Theo's actual recall is OK. He knows about coming when called, he enjoys the 'come and get a treat' game, he loves interaction and he doesn't want to lose me.
BUT - he is easily distracted. If he sees a rabbit, fox, or worst of all, deer, he will go deaf and chase. If he sees a dog, I sometimes can't get him back in time before he greets. He'll come back eventually, but I lose control and this is not OK. If he's all comfy in his bed, he sometimes won't want to get up, even for a treat!
I don't think this is unusual for a dog of this age, particularly a hound, so my plan is to keep working on it with loads of practice, and in the meanwhile do shorter offlead sessions with lots of practice recall-release rather than expecting him to be able to keep his brain together and focussed for the entire walk.

I am bad at this! I want to just bimble along and let him do his thing, but I don't think he's ready for that yet.
Rosie Down Hole

January continues unabated.

 Yesterday I was a bit worried because Theo reacted to several dogs we saw. Lockdown fever again.  He's still getting walks, but because of the need to stay very close to home, the walks are not so varied at the mometand have fewer dog and people encounters, so when he does meet a dog he wants to fling himself at it yapping joyfully, which looks terrifying, so I have to haul him away, which leaves him even more frustrated.  Then we get home and he's all mournful and bored and whiney.

Anyway, I decided this wouldn't do, so I have signed him up for Online Dog School, and decided to make an effort to walk further, while still sticking to the immediate area. 
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Still no news on house move, which still seems to be tangled in an immoveable knot of paperwork and solicitors, though at least the knot is showing some signs of wishing to eventually become untied now.

In the meanwhile, our dishwasher has given up the ghost and can't be repaired, which is annoying, since it will have to be replaced to sell the place, and dishwashers are currently like hen's teeth due to 'supply issues' so we had to buy a new and reasonably good one because there are no cheap ones.  Oh well. Perhaps someone will buy the house for its dishwasher.