The Battery, A Stethoscope and First Cassis

Yesterday evening I ordered a stethoscope off The last time I ordered on time for next day delivery it got here at 8am. So, we set the alarm. The people here don’t just chuck stuff over the fence and bugger off they usually wait for a signature. So, I waited behind for the delivery whilst the wife went and got our click and collect order. It is after 4pm and it, the stethoscope, has just arrived.

We have a plumbing problem that needs fixed before we press on with the decorating. Shall we say that the plumbing here has “evolved” { my euphemism} over time. There is a mix of copper and steel piping and one of the steel pipes has corroded. Checking which pipe is connected to which other is a matter of magnet and stethoscope. One can tap a pipe and then listen to another pipe. Hopefully we will be able to figure out the connectivity.

The previous owners had fitted a laminate floor so tight to the pipe that each morning when the heating came on there was a lot of noise due to thermal expansion.  I cut some of the floor away with my pen knife and now there is silence. {This pen knife was a leaving present from when I left Bern over two and a half decades ago.} I suspect that this thermal expansion through a concrete floor has caused the pipe to chafe and corrode. The plumber has given us a somewhat painful initial quotation based on a wrong connectivity.

When the wife got back from click and collect and tried to start the car, no joy. After watching several you tube video and with multi-meter in hand it looks like the battery is dead. Given the car is a Peugeot, it should be simple to source a replacement battery. But one has to check carefully because this one was bought in Basingstoke. I think we should be able to get a battery down at the local hypermarket. This means that the battery which failed is a decade old! Apparently, this is unheard of longevity.

Last year the pesky blackbirds and friends devoured all the blackcurrants up in the “orchard” before we got to them. Today I found the first cupful of ripe fruit. This is pretty early for cassis. It is a shame that I can’t emanate the smell of freshly picked blackcurrants through a blog post. Just think a cup of Ribena made with near boiling water. My fingers still carry a faint odour. We have some two-year-old “wine” made from the ’19 vintage and it has developed a stunning Pinot Noir colour and packs a punch both of cassis and alcohol. I used some ninja style high alcohol tolerance yeast which I sourced from a brew store in Belgium. It is without doubt the biggest and most impressive home brew outfit I have yet come across.

Another day here on the compound…