Water, Water Everywhere

I haven't blogged for the past week.  I seem to have had a bit of brain fog and, although I have been reading, and making brief comments on, other people's blogs, I have lacked the wherewithal to string together sufficient words to make a coherent blog post.

I blame the weather.  For the past week or so we have had constant, incessant, rain, rain and more rain.  As northsider Dave says, it is monsoon weather up here.  Wave after wave of steady showers followed by brief interludes of blue sky then sudden, drenching downpours.

The garden is waterlogged and the house has started leaking in new places.  We have asked the repairman to come and fix it but he needs a couple of days of clear, dry weather so that is not going to happen anytime soon.  Lots of newspaper and towels being used at the moment.

It's enough to make anyone feel down.

Ironically, last night we suddenly discovered we had no mains water.  Turn on the taps and nothing comes out.  Looking online at the Manx Utilities website we read that there was a burst water main just around the corner.  

Perhaps we should have popped outside to brush our teeth. There was plenty of water out there.

Autumn Leaves

We are collecting quite a crop now.

A bright morning today after some fairly breezy weather and the garden is starting to snuggle down beneath its leafy duvet.

Solar Power - For The Isle of Man??

I have just read this article, published yesterday.  Interesting, but I am not sure how successful a solar power facility would be up here given our less than favourable weather .. hmm.... 

"Proposals for the first solar farm to provide affordable green energy to residents and businesses on the Isle of Man and begin the decarbonisation of electricity generation on the Island launches today (20 Oct).

The plans for the Billown Solar Farm in Malew, near Castletown are being put forward by Peel Cubico Renewables (PCR) and support the Isle of Man Government to realise its Climate Change Plan and its commitment for the electricity sector to be 100% green by 2030.

The plans would help to provide long-term stability and independence for the Isle of Man’s energy supply with less reliance on and exposure to volatile oil and gas prices.

It would also generate enough power to meet more than 5% of the Isle of Man’s current electricity demand.

Island residents are being asked for their views on the new facility which would be built on 84 acres of agricultural land to the west of Malew Road (A3) and south of Douglas Road (A7) with a capacity around 26MW – enough to power up to 7,700 homes per year, almost 20% of homes on the Island.

An onsite substation is included in the plans which would connect to a nearby grid network. A battery storage facility would also store electricity generated during periods of low demand and re-distribute it to the grid when demand is high, or the network is down.

The project represents an investment of around £30m across the 40-year anticipated life of the project, at no cost to the public finances.

It would offset at least 11,000 tonnes of carbon – the equivalent of approximately 6,500 fewer car journeys per year.

PCR is a joint venture formed a year ago between natural resources and energy business Peel NRE (part of Peel L&P) and Cubico Sustainable Investments, one of the world’s largest privately-owned renewable energy companies."

(Nathan Spencer. Director, Built Environment Networking)


After a glorious Tuesday, the promise of mild, sunny autumnal weather was cruelly snatched away the next day and Wednesday threw wind, rain and more storms our way.

P had been feeling unwell all day so we decided to have an early night. It was too early for me to drop off to sleep so I just lay there in the dark gazing up through the rooflight windows above the bed, watching the top branches of the Scots Pine thrashing around in the wind.   Around 10:30 p.m. I saw brief flashes of light in the sky.  A thunderstorm had begun to dance enticingly around us, just like Salome and the seven veils.  It gradually grew in intensity until, at midnight the lightning was coming thick and fast, as though a ghostly search party were flashing their powerful torchlights directly through the windows.

I assume there must have been thunder to accompany this firework display but, of course, I couldn't hear anything.  I eventually dropped off to sleep so have no idea how long the storm had lasted.  P told me at breakfast that there had been a heavy downpour at the height of the storm and many of our garden plants have been flattened.

This time of year it is usual for us to have storms and gales but I do wish Tuesday's weather had hung around a bit longer.

Hill Ploughing

 Looks risky to me!

Copied from the Manx National Heritage i-museum...

Tractor ploughing a 1 in 1 gradient hill, Isle of Man

Date(s): February 1961

Creator(s): Manx Press Pictures

Scope & Content: John Cannell watching over Raymond Griffin on the Massey Ferguson 35X tractor & 2 furrow plough in the Len Grubbs field at Ballacarnane between Stockfield & Chester. The field was sown with grass seed and 'harrowed in' by driving a flock of sheep across the field. The field has now returned to gorse. The photograph is believed to have been taken by the tractor manufacturer.

This Is Winter exhibition (House of Manannan, Peel, 5 October 2019-1 March 2020).

Language: eng   Collection: Photographic Archive

ID number: PG/13633/1/1961/41/1

Gloriously Autumnal

At breakfast this morning I was entranced by the sun streaming in through the stained glass window in the east wall, which faces my seat at the kitchen table.   My little 'phone's camera doesn't really do justice to the light ...

I walked into town for my hairdresser appointment this morning.  It was bright and sunny; a very mild 13C.

Afterwards I strolled across the harbour swing bridge and along to the park to book a table at the hotel for our Christmas get-together with friends.  It was such a lovely day that I strolled home the long way, enjoying the beautiful view. 

One Good Turn

Our doorbell rang this evening around 5 p.m. It was our next door neighbour with a rhubarb and ginger crumble she had made with rhubarb from their garden.  My favourite!

Yesterday P had given them a pair of locally caught trout that we didn't need - we already had four in the freezer - plus a bag of apples. The neighbour had given P a new chain for our chainsaw as it didn't fit his new one.

The trout had been given to P by an ex neighbour of his father as P had helped him with some odd jobs around the house.   The apples came from the tree of our ex neighbour as we had given him a stack of firewood from our recently felled tree.

Bartering is alive and kicking over here.

Putty In His Hands

 After the recent stormy weekend we had even more puddles on our windowsills and had to stuff towels along them to soak up the leaks.

There are two arched windows on the north facing wall which have plain glass square leaded panes that have only now started to leak and, as these are much simpler to fix than the original church stained glass windows, we called the local specialist glass restorer to ask if he could help.  He had carried out a small repair on the similar leaded kitchen window back in the spring so we knew he would do a good job.

He turned up at 8 a.m. this morning and immediately got busy raking out all the dried out and friable putty from the lead cames  and replacing it with a new putty mixture, pressing the lead back into place, which should hopefully now make the two windows waterproof.

We asked about leak-proofing the stained glass windows which is obviously a different matter entirely as to take them out to restore them would be vastly too expensive, in the tens of thousands of pounds.  We need to think about that as a separate project.

Oh, the pleasures of living in a period property.

The finished windows, taken from inside...

Out With The Vikings

 An interesting snippet here this morning from Culture Vannin.

Around 400 years of #Norse rule in the Isle of Man came to an end on this day 1275...at the Battle of Ronaldsway.

Before sunrise on the 8th of October 1275, the Scottish army landed at the area now occupied by Ronaldsway Airport. They overpowered the Manx forces and a rout ensued. The result was that the forces of Godred Magnusson, and with him the last remnants of the Viking dynasty in the Isle of Man, was finished forever.

The defeated Manx were buried (we believe) in mass graves on the site. These lay undetected until the airport was created in 1936, when they were uncovered where the runway now stands...

Which is probably something to think about the next time you're flying!

More about this fascinating moment in Manx history 747 years ago can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Ronaldsway

Villages By The Sea

As Tasker commented on my previous post,  BBC2 is currently showing  a series called Villages By The Sea, showcasing various coastal locations around the British Isles. 

I happened to catch the recent episode about Laxey, here on the Isle of Man, when browsing the iplayer options on my Samsung tablet.

Although much of the information was already familiar to me I did learn some new interesting facts about Laxey's history and mining heritage and it was amusing to watch the presenter enthusing about the local attractions we take for granted. 

It was an enjoyable way to pass a dark and rainy evening.

There are several other locations visited in the course of the series  but if anyone is interested in seeing our local Village By The Sea  here is a link to the episode...