Archive for the ‘house’ Tag

Garden Chairs and Bunny Repairs   4 comments

 

We worked on the garden a bit this summer… I’m fairly pleased with the way the table and chairs look in Cubbie Blue.  In the States, I’d probably look for an umbrella for the picnic table with a Cubs logo on it, but here in England I think I’ll have to settle for something plain (or, maybe I can stencil a blue W into it…).

 

Jackie wanted red for the dining chairs so I went with something I could use for the Cubs logo but I think I found Cardinal Red instead.  The seat upholstery came from a journey to Shepherd’s Bush Market.

 

 

Now, for the bunnies….

 

 

I last painted these cast iron bunnies 30 years ago when we lived on Mecaslin Street, Home Park, Atlanta. The rivet in the tail of one of these broke in-transit to Arizona in 2005 and the one through that one’s nose snapped off this past winter leaving it in two pieces: bunnies on the half shell.  It’s now high summer and I can hang out repairing them on my new Cubs themed garden furniture whilst listening to a game streamed via MLB.com.

When did WGN lose the broadcast rights and why isn’t Old Style still the sponsor?  Foreign fans want to know.

 

 

 

These guys are about 70 years old (maybe 80…they were making them then but I know these were at the house when it was a fishing camp for the well-to-do in the postwar 1940’s) and it was nice to inspect one on the inside after all this time. The layer of rust is probably protective so I left it alone then drilled and tapped some M6 holes to effect a repair.

 

 

 

The tail I did by sight, but once that was anchored I wired the two halves together to pull them together and to immobilise them while I drilled the nose hole through then tapped the hole so that I had one side threaded and the other started.  Then I cut the wires and finished the second half so that a bolt started in one would pick up in the other.  This is harder than it sounds…if the threads are even slightly off, the screw won’t mate and it will cross-thread.  Most blacksmiths will tell you to fuck off if you ask for this and even the instrument engineers I consulted said it was about a 1-in-20 chance I would manage this.  Haters gonna hate, though, and this worked a treat.

 

 

I borrowed the lab Dremel and used a cutoff wheel to finish this part of the repair (nose and tail).  Look closely at the confluence of wheel, bunny, and bolt and you can see some of the sparks:

 

 

Then, for both bunnies I needed to take off the paint we put on 30 years ago and that which we painted over from another 40-50 years back.  I used the lab heat gun for this step despite having easy access to some sublimely suitable (and horrendously unfriendly to the environment) solvents which would have made it short work.  Still, heating this to near ignition and whacking it with a wire brush exposed the textures cast into the metal — and previously obliterated by the layers of enamel.

 

 

I used an epoxy styled paste to fill the gaps in both of the little guys.  Here they are (below) just before the sanding and otherwise ready for the primer layer.

The broken ear on the one on the right happened when I was about 10 years old (so, about 45 years ago).  Me and a cousin (the one referenced in this post) used to play this game where we would fling the bunnies at each other daring the recipient to catch the projectile (these are about 15 pounds in Imperial measure or 7 kg in modern money, so kudos to our youthful good sense).  We never did grab one in flight but this one time (of which we now reminisce) it hit the tarmac driveway, driving the severed piece of ear into my relative’s face.  I think the beating I received had more to do with fucking up the bunny than sending my cousin to the hospital, for the record, but six-of-one and half-a-dozen of the other.

 

 

Next, the primer coat was applied:

 

 

and, a slow build-up of colour:

 

 

The former Chinese Sex Chair (and now BBQ table) isn’t weathering well so I also decided to fill in the notches at the top and repaint it, too.  The spackle has now been sanded but the new paint will have to wait until a warm, sunny weekend.  In the meantime, it served as the bunny finishing studio.

 

 

Bunny details took ages, with this only one of the interim attempts at completion:

 

 

But, now in November, they have a clear coat and a home back out in the garden.  The colours are more even than they look in this photo (glare and haze … Tim and Kesey still look — in person — like they did a couple of years ago, for comparison; I just couldn’t be bothered to walk back out there for a better picture), but the grass really does need a trim (even worse so than in the pic).  But for now it is wintery out and the garden is forlorn.

 

 

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Posted November 3, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in art

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Box Steam Funnel Blower: Advent Calendar 2016 Day 14   1 comment

box-steam-funnel-blower

 

Name: Funnel Blower
Brewery: Box Steam
Rating (1-5):  5 out of 5 Office Party Jackasses

office-party-5-of-5

Notes: I skipped the lab Christmas party this year.  It is tonight at the Anchor in Oxford, which is supposed to be nice and probably is.  But, on my visit it hit me wrong and I vowed never to return.

When I got home, I found a florist’s package addressed to the two of us.  What the hell?  Oh, it is from the couple we rent the flat from.  How nice!  A bottle of mulled wine to warm up, a box of Belgian chocolate, and a poinsettia.  They are really nice (but, then again, we’re paying them a fortune for this little place).

All we ever got from our last Swindon landlord was our rental deposit but only AFTER we proved to the Housing Ombudsman that the place was actually in BETTER condition than when we moved in (not due to any effort or expense on his part.  He also fucked us out of the £50 he said he would pay for the tumble dryer we left behind but we have since found out it has a fault that causes it to burst into flames.  The Box Steam Brewery, which produced tonight’s Advent Calendar selection (a rich porter which tastes a bit like a Belgian chocolate), also hails from Swindon (so it isn’t ALL bad).

 

 

“The Slug and Whip-It” is the new house bar   2 comments

Slug and Whip-It Ruislip sign hanging

It was the Public Bar of the Drunken Bunny in Swindon but the new digs means that, as we start preparing the bar for the Autumn Drinking Season, we are also going with a new name.  This time, it is

The Slug and Whip-It

because that’s the primary debris I see on the walk to the Underground station every morning.  Garden parasites and hippy crack, literally, but I also like the puns: a ‘slug‘ as a unit of alcoholic measure and the iconic working class dog.

Posted September 1, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in 1PumpLane, Booze, Drugs, Made Me Laugh

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Life in Metroland   4 comments

Ruislip Gardens tube stop

 

We’ve been in Ruislip a week, now, and it seems a good fit so far.  Largely, this is due to Jackie’s commute shrinking from 2 hours (or more) each way to 35 minutes door-to-door while mine diminished from over 1:30 most trips to just under an hour (although the walk home is a half mile farther than was the one in Swindon).  Also, it is exciting to have new territory to explore and (as regular browsers of this blog might already have noted) new pubs to tick off my list.

One other bonus: there’s a poetry connection courtesy my favourite of the UK Poets Laureate…John Betjeman (whose plaque-marked locales I have chased down and whose poetry I have misquoted ever since I moved to England) actually included the new buurt in his poem Middlesex, one of the Metroland trilogy of poems:

Gaily into Ruislip Gardens
Runs the red electric train,
With a thousand Ta’s and Pardon’s
Daintily alights Elaine;
Hurries down the concrete station
With a frown of concentration,
Out into the outskirt’s edges
Where a few surviving hedges
Keep alive our lost Elysium – rural Middlesex again.

There’s more… look it up.  But, better than that: read it aloud.  It has approximately the same meter as “The Raven,” by Edgar Allen Poe.  “Rural Middlesex again,” so close in beat to “Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore.'” Splendid.

August Pub Per Day / Garden Plans   1 comment

2016-07-31 garden 1

It will be weeks before we recover from this move.  Whilst making the house live able, we dug out some Atlanta music to get us back into the semi-urban groove.

Unpacking with Opal Foxx Quartet

 

I repaired the BBQ and cooked out some burgers and came up with the idea of hitting a Pub Per Day for the next month.  This differs from a Pub Everyday in that it is an average and allows me to do things where I don’t have to find a new pub one day and make up for it with two on a subsequent day.  Stay tuned.

2016-07-31 garden gnomes

 

The garden has come together.  I have hauled the trophy in the photo around for years intending to melt it down and cast something in the silver.  The recipient was an evil sack of shit who fucked his daughter and sired a child in the bargain (which would be my oldest nephew if I hadn’t disowned the whole white trash lot of my sister’s brood).  In the meantime, I’m using it as the Third Gnome in the garden.  Edie seems to approve:

2016-07-31 garden 5

 

Gardening   Leave a comment

2016-05-08 cilantro basil parsley and gnomes

We got a late start on the garden a couple of weeks ago.  We’re moving house, soon, so we aren’t fucking around with the bedding plants and instead are focusing on some cilantro (coriander), basil, and parsley guarded by Tim and Kesey, above while we survey one of our final spring afternoons here, below.

2016-05-08 first gardening day

Posted May 20, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Food

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Gnome Improvement   3 comments

Tim, the day before smartening up began...nice ass for a gnome, eh?

Tim, the day before smartening up began…nice ass for a gnome, eh?

 

For the first twenty years after we met, every time I walked past a display of gnomes with Jackie I would insist on stopping to inspect.  “Just BUY one, already,” she pleaded but they were never right; “nah, they aren’t gnomey enough.  I KNOW what I’m looking for and these ain’t it.”  To her credit, she instinctively understood my aversion to the Disney Seven Dwarves styled versions and I would try to explain that a good gnome needed to be doing something gnome-esque but also had to have a gnomish knowingness to their countenance.  I had something specific in mind but avoided describing lest she think anything matching the description would work or even that it might be the only option.  Eventually, I was able to say, “you know, like the evil duck,” which we got in Holland in 2002; thereafter, she finally seemed to get it.

 

eendtje

 

And, so it came to pass that my birthday present in 2006 arrived in the form of Tim (named after Professor Leary for the sake of the mushroom and the dilated eyes); he was perfect.  Tim supervised our gardens lo these last 10 years; he is made of cast iron and the intense sun the first 3 years had already faded his colours before the damp of England started corroding his sub-structure.  I have been threatening to paint him for 3 years and finally got around to buying some acrylics and brushes.  Here he is after the rust and oxidized bits of paint were abraded with a wire brush and some coarse sandpaper:

 

Tim rust removal

 

Day One was plagued with intense rain so the primer coats had to wait until Day Two.  The first coat highlighted the manufacturing flaws that were probably filled with household putty at the gnome factory; I used some epoxy putty for a more permanent repair but allowing time to cure meant ending the day with only the final coat of primer (which had to dry 4-6 more hours) done:

 

Tim primer and putty

 

Day 3, morning: For the first paint layer, all the large areas would get a coating but I was anxious to go ahead and do the hair and beard detail all at once.  I got a nice shade of gunmetal grey by mixing the almost black “Paynes Grey” equally with titanium white; once that was tacky but not dry the brush was dipped in each of the two components and darker and lighter highlights applied for the salt-and-pepper look.  All the other colours were as they came from the tubes except the blue jeans which were a 1:3 mix of phthalo blue and blue lake.  The flesh tones don’t want to adhere so they may need three coats before the detail work starts.

Tim first coat (sm)

 

Finalizing:  Tim took a creepy turn as the details got started:

Tim creepy

 

But, now he’s as finished as I’m capable of making him with my meagre talents.  Drying overnight, sealing with a clear coat tomorrow and let that cure for 24 hours then he’s back on duty in the garden:

Tim finished (sm)

 

—————–

 A lifetime ago (or, two, as it turns out), a close friend — who committed suicide later that year — stole a plastic gnome-riding-a-rampant-goose and gave it to a recently wheelchair bound friend (who, coincidentally, committed suicide a few years later).  That goose riding gnome and Tim seem to have the same mischievous look about them.  The little freak in the wheelchair told me that if anything happened to him he would want me to have the goose/gnome but I guess he never really thought to put it in a last will and testament.  Damn my luck.

 

Posted March 27, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in art, Drugs, Made Me Laugh

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