Saturday 15 June 2013

Jam Today and Jam Tomorrow

Depending on one's current turn of fortune, "God is in the small things" or "the devil is in the detail". Fortunately this blog entry is a minor "God slot".

I had some lovely castle visitors today. While a mutual friend showed them around, I tried to lick the kitchen into shape and made some scones. In a ruined castle, restoration has to take priority over housework. :-)

Anyhow, it turned out that one of the vistors was the production manager of the jam (MacKay's - made in Arbroath) that I had served up with the scones. She explained how the label design had recently changed to a white lozenge to make the name of the product stand out more, and that on her next visit she would supply the jam as long as I still supplied the scones.

One of my favourite phrases in the software industry is "to eat one's own dog food". The basically means that software one writes for external customers, is also used in-house. This is a mark of quality. I am delighted that MacKay's eat their own dog food. :-)

Perhaps, the only reason for this post is to celebrate my inaugural use of the phrase "jam today and jam tomorrow" in a non-figurative sense.

today's jam looking expectant of tomorrow's

Friday 14 June 2013

Beam There and Done That

Dry rot has an insidious quality. One of the drawing room beams looked OK from above,
but after clearing away the surrounding rubble, it turned out to be rotten to the core. How could I possibly replace this massive 8" x 5" beam, given the cost of new timber and the unobtainable imperial sizes?

Suddenly an even larger beam which had toppled from the floor above, came into my view. This was even more rotten at one end but considerable longer. "Could we", I suggested to my builder,"cut this big rotten beam down to make a new smaller one?". Anyhow, thanks to Bill Pitt of Kirriemuir, this is precisely what was done. He cut the big rotten beam down to fit into the position of the small rotten beam - note the intricate cutting to fit a stone corbel at one end and an iron slot at the other! The re-fashioned beam, which we treated against future rot, dropped sweetly and sharply into position this morning.

It was a good conservation karma moment, enjoyed by all.

old beam looked OK from above

but was rotten to the core

replacement beam (cut down from large rotten beam) cut to fit iron slot

replacement beam cut to fit stone corbel