Thursday 30 August 2018

Cloud Dart

Sat in my garden the other day and noticed the clouds, one looked like a dart

Or maybe on a closer look a feather 

The frog did not care  away 

Happy Skywatch

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Story on my Desk

This item has been on my desk at work since I started working at Diamond Light Source. It has a little story behind it. The Name Murphy which you see on the hammer was given to me on the first week I started at Oxford Instruments and has been with me all my working life

This was given to me to mark 25 years at Oxford Instruments which was a big occasion because if you had been there that long you were taken out for a meal at a place of your choosing. The trophy you see was made by my friends for me

So what is the story behind it

The one thing you might not see at first is the Botley Road sign which is slightly bent, the story behind that is a bit of a legend in Oxford Instruments.
Oxford Instruments rented an industrial unit in Minns estate where they wound magnets and tested some of the low temperature equipment. Once finished it was transported back to the main factory at Oxford Instruments in Osney Mead Indutruial Estate to be cleaned and packed before shipping on to the customer. On one occasion my apprentice (Jaffa) and I went down to Minns facility to collect some equipment to be shipped. It was taken apart and roughly assembled and put in the back of a Sherpa pickup truck, the largest part, the cryostat, was tied to some hoops by the cab. I drove down the access road of Minns industrial estate to the Botley Road and pulled out into the road before turning right to go towards Osney. Just as I turned the cryostat went out the other way and started rolling down the Botley Road towards Seacourt Tower. I had hardly stopped and Jaffa was out chasing it down the road where he caught up and managed to turn it towards the gutter by the time I had reversed up. We threw it in the back of the truck and headed back to work where I told the supervisor what happened. Before he could look the MD walked out and spotted it where he said something obscene and walked off. Two hours later he came back and told me to fix it. It was shipped three weeks later. I might add it came back for an upgrade and was shipped back to Berlin where I went to help install it. The last time I saw it, it was in Denmark.

Now this item is Called a VSM or Vibrating Sample Magnetometer something I used to make at the time and install them, above it you see a Hammer. Now this could be one of two story's. First story:- I picked up a bit of a reputation using a hammer which was duly noted one day when I found some of my Colleagues trying to fit top plate on a magnet about the size of one you would find in a Body Scanner (OI came up with the body scanner). They were fighting it with clamps and beating the hell out of the plate to fit  it in the tube. I came along and see what they are doing, I then jump up on top of it and ask them for a mallet. (The mallet was the size of a sledge hammer that would have made Thor proud) and with one over head swing I hit the plate in one spot and it falls into place much to every ones surprise. When asked how I knew what to do I told them I worked for a blacksmith before I started working. I think I went up in their estimation that day.
The second story:- this could take came a short time after when some posters were put on the wall of the factory, one showed a photos of a VSM with the words Highly sensitive VSM. I wrote under it "Not after Murphy has hit it with his hammer" my boss walked past it and was shocked and said I'll sack who ever wrote this. He was even more shocked when I said I did. he walked off and never spoke to me for two weeks. Needless to say I did not get the sack and outlasted him at work.
So that is a little piece of my life that has sat on my desk now it will go with me when I retire the end of the week

Sunday 26 August 2018

St Mary Chalgrove Pt 2

This week on the Church Explorer I take you around the inside of St Mary Chalgrove to see the amazing wall paintings in the Chancel. Take a moment to have a look.

Thursday 23 August 2018

Mikes Cottage

So while in Chalgrove the other day visiting the church I drove up Chapel lane to see if this Thatched cottage was still there. I used to belong to a friend of mine who I worked with called Mike. He moved on eventually to a newer house near Oxford. The sky behind set it off I think .

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Empty Pond

After last weeks photos of the Elan valley I thought I'd share some of the ponds at Fforest Fields camp site. Normally this is a flowing stream with a small dam to hold back the water to form a pond. The kids love playing in it

After the lack of rain we have had the stream has dried up and in all the 20 odd years I have been coming here I have never know the pond empty
The fenced off the area for wild flowers a few years ago to stop kids falling over the dam no doubt where there is a culvert on the other side of it
It also allows a little refuge for the animals, the only thing that seems to have thrived here are the plants. I hope the water flows again as it does not seem right having no water flowing through.
I can only hope it is not too long before the water is flowing again
Taking Part in Our World Tuesday

Thursday 16 August 2018

Cloud in the West

Heading off down the M4 to wales last week we noticed this cloud formation appearing before us. Lucky my phone was at hand

Tuesday 14 August 2018

The Drought

In the UK we have had very little rain for most of the summer from June to August this has resulted in a hosepipe ban in parts of the UK. So far this has not affected us where we live and over the last few days we have had a bit of rain. So I was interested to see how the Elan Reservoir was holding up being as it supplied Birmingham. I had seen a few photos but wanted to see myself and over the weekend I went there while we were in Wales. Before you look at the photos I suggest you look at my Blog on the Elan Valley for some background on it or just go through the photos. and it will show you the places I visited in this blog

This is the Caban Coch Dam

The outflow you can see below

This is what forms the River Elan that eventually flows into the River Wye
Below it is the old turbine buildings and visitor centre

Next along is when you would think is a bridge but below it is a dam, you can see it in a photon in the blog I linked. The water is low

Showing the banks of the reservoir

Makes me wonder how much lower it can go

The Foel tower the pick up point for the water going to Birmingham

The next Dam is reached by going over a bridge first, looking over I was surprised at what I saw below

Looking towards the dam you could see how the water had cut through the rock over the years
Thousands of years of the water running has done this and its not something you see often here
Look up and you can see the dam in the distance

The water behind it was very low

The whole bank was on show

Looking towards  Point Elan

Looking down from the dam you see the where the river has cut through the rock
Looking further along you see an island has begun to get bigger, the first time I saw this it looked like a clump of trees in the middle of a mass of water now it looks like you could almost walk to it from one side. I went away felling quite shocked at what I had seen and often  wonder what this place would have looked like before the flooded the valleys
Taking Part in Our World Turesday

Sunday 12 August 2018

St Mary Chieveley

This weeks Church Explorer blog comes from St Mary Chievely 
A pleasant looking church which unfortunately for me was closed,  hopefully I will get inside another time 

Please visit the blog to see more of the church

Thursday 9 August 2018

Sunray Sky

Last week I was watering the plants as the sun was going down and happened to look up and noticed the sky, I just had to get my camera and took a few photos of this amazing sky

I was not the only one who spotted it as the next day I saw peoples phostos on the BBC site 

Happy Skywatch