Sunday, February 26, 2006

Bikers - check your brakes!

Biking in Scotland has many pleasures, but not many of them are to experienced during winter. As the council shovel mound after mound of salt onto the roads to keep them frost free bikes become caked in death-muck, eroding and corroding all your most sensitive extremities. Ouch.

So this week when I found it was taking a mightier tug on the brakes to slow the bike I knew it was brake cleaning time. Right enough, both front calipers were seized as the pads had been corroded into 30 minutes spent lovingly with WD40, a brass brush and some copper grease turns a solid lump of no-confidence into the mean stoppers they should be.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

New set of wheels

Pramtastic...we've made the leap and bought a Speedi SX. In the first picture is the basic chassis, without the hood or rain cover. The second picture shows the car seat clicked in and ready to go!

It will now sit folded by the front door for the next...62 days. Or thereabouts.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Sun shines in Nairn

We took the bump on a grand tour of the Highlands this week, including a visit to the building site Gran is curently living in. It was really nice to see her, and to see how pleased she was with Lorna's choice of cakes...

We then went for a walk along Nairn beach before lunch in Dornach and back to Tain. The A9 south on Friday was as frustrating as ever, but having a car which can actually overtake was a not bike, car not bike as Lorna kept reminding me.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

It's not my fault I'm fat...

It's Lorna's! New Scientist has at last given me the information I need - a study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's National Primate Centre revealed that males gain an extra 10% of their body weight during the pregnancy of their partner. Possibly a store of energy for when the baby is born, the gain is probably triggered by higher levels of prolactin, a hormone produced during the latter stages of pregnancy.

So, see? It's not my fault. Maybe this hormone is also present in biscuits and cheese. I think we should be told.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

eBay lesson learned

Fan of eBay? PayPal the answer to all your internet financial affairs? Be very careful if you are a seller!

I recently sold a digital camera on eBay, bought by a guy in the States. Hooray! Received the money through PayPal (minus their huge percentage), packaged it up and posted it off. This is where I made my first mistake - not registering the post, so the camera could not be tracked. Lorna posted it and had to write the contents on a sticky label on the outside of the package..."Digital Camera"!

So it went missing - some light fingered postal worker on one side of the Atlantic. Or maybe it arrived and the guy thought he would double his pleasure. He complains to PayPal (fair enough) and they contact me, freeze the account and instruct me to make sure funds are available to cover a full refund. I didn't realise, but all the responsibility lies with the seller. The buyer is believed without question that the item didn't arrive...

The result? A 9 DAY wait for funds to transfer into my PayPal account (they left my bank on 3rd Feb and haven't been seen since), 3 emails from eBay telling me to pay up (I can't, the funds won't transfer!), another eBay seller getting cross with me as I have bought something and can't pay for it (my account is frozen until the funds are in!).......blah blah blah

The lesson? Use registered post, no matter what the extra cost it. Use any postal service that allows you to trace a package. I always will now.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Blog the First

Well if it's good enough for Kane in Japan, it's good enough for those left behind in Edinburgh. Welcome to the pages where you'll be able to find out more about my growing family, and keep up with baby and biker talk.
Here are our first batch of pictures then, from a weekend of jobs.

The baby car seat is our first serious baby purchase, and was riding high on our list of priorities - something to bring it home in. The colour is Hot Orange, in case you were wondering.

The shelves are All My Own Work, and will still be standing when the house has fallen down.

The hall in now half painted, thanks to Gillian, and will get finished by next weekend.