December 23rd, Mirande, France,

I haven't yet got around to putting together a note of the things I've been doing since my last update.  I haven't done a lot so really I've no excuse! 

I'll maybe do something after Christmas.......

Meanwhile, I have a house guest.  Her people are away visiting family in the UK for Christmas.  She likes climbing trees. Even Christmas trees.

My very best wishes to you all for a super Christmas and no matter what sort of year you had in 2009 I wish you the very best for 2010, happiness, health, prosperity, success, everything you could possibly want.

David Barker

10th January 2010

I've called this my Christmas update.  I know it's after Christmas, but I did actually think about doing it before Christmas.

Since I returned from my tour of the Pyrenees last summer I haven't done a lot.  I didn't do much at the end of the previous, year, 2008, I've done even less at the end of 2009.  I like it that way.  So I've got a list of things I haven't had time to do.  Now, if I just got on and did them instead of listing them...............

Early 2006, after I had finished improving Eleanor's bedroom, I used some left over insulation to completely close off the fireplace in my bedroom and pulled down some rotten timber that was the fireplace surround. I propped some temporary timbers to hide the very rough plaster exposed when I pulled away the old timbers.  I've got the wood to rebuild the surround.  Just not had time to do it.  Too busy relaxing.  As you can see it seriously needs fixing.  That is definitely not up to standard.

When I bought the house the bedroom floor was a funny yellowish colour although a very hard smooth surface.  I painted it with a nicer grey colour.  Unfortunately the floor paint I used did not adhere to the old surface, and after a while started peeling off in patches.  You can see this bottom left in the above photo.

It was I think early 2007 I replastered under my bedroom window and decided I needed to repaint the bedroom, and repaint the floor.  I bought the paints, and for the floor bought some expensive floor paint in the hope it would stick better than the cheap stuff I used before.  So that I was ready to start I put them under the window together with a few tools.

That was 2007.  I took this photo a few minutes ago.  The things have been there for 2 years.

During 2007 I noticed on one of my balloon instruments, one that gives rate of climb and also altitude, the display giving the altimeter reading, was turning black. 

This is the photo I took at the time.

Now I've had this happen before with a similar instrument so I know what to do.  Just fit a new display.  I bought a new display from the US supplier, $30 plus $30 postage.  Ha!   There are 40 terminals on the display, 20 each side.  It is 2 inches long.  This is the new display, I got it before Christmas 2 years ago.  Note.  Each of those terminals is 1/10 inch away from the next.

So, snip off all the legs on the old display, unsolder them one by one, suck of the solder with a solder sucker, then solder in the new display, and it's done.  Piece of cake. I've had the instrument parked next to my television for two years  to remind me to get on to it.

I suppose now is a good time to remind you that if you are not interested to read this stuff, please drop me an email, I'll drop you instantly. Of course the flaw in that remark is that anyone bored by this info won't have reached this far.  It's like saying turn right 100 yards before you reach the church.

To keep you in suspense I'll ask.  Will there be a Christmas Update, part 2?

Continue to part 2                       Back to Updates