Monthly Archives: September 2013

Barley the Lurcher, a Week in His New Home

Barley the Lurcher has now been with us for one week.
We adopted him from Stray Aid in County Durham on Friday the 20th of September 2013.
He has settled in well, he’s very affectionate and playful, and he seems happy to be with us. We’re very happy he’s part of our family, it feels like he’s always been here. 🙂
Lurcher
Afternoon nap time.
Lurcher
Still and in motion. Barley goes crazy for his toys.
Lurcher in bed
A bed fit for a Lurcher.
Barley the Lurcher and Purina dog food
Everyone loves a freebie and Barley was happy with the free sample of Purina dog food that arrived in the post. He just wishes it was a larger sample. A 15kg sample 🙂
Barley the Lurcher
The sofa got a big ‘thumbs up!’
Barley the Lurcher
Getting toasty. It’s a dogs life!
Barley the Lurcher
Shopping expedition.
Barley the Lurcher

Barley is a lively dog, but he also likes to chill in front of the TV.

By Richard Randall

Bosch TWK8633 Styline Collection 1.5 Litre Cordless Jug Kettle

We needed to replace a crap electric kettle, that I had purchased from Asda when we first moved in to our house.
I did a lot of online research before deciding on the Bosch TWK8633 Styline Collection 1.5 Litre Cordless Jug Kettle, which had very good reviews on Amazon.co.uk.
It’s a decent looking kettle, the black and silver colour goes with our kitchen. All of the controls are on the base of the kettle, not on the kettle itself.
I liked to fact that you can select several temperature settings; 70c, 80c, 90c, and 100c. Being able to choose a certain temperature is very useful when you need hot, but not boiling water for certain recipes, and drinks etc.
The only downside I can see is that our new Bosch kettle makes a very loud beep when you turn it on, and again when it’s reached the desired temperature. This could be an issue when you are making your morning brew, if you live in a small apartment and don’t want to wake up a partner etc.
Other than the loud beeps, we like the Bosch TWK8633 Styline Collection 1.5 Litre Cordless Jug Kettle.
Speaking of which, it’s time for a cuppa.
Bosch Kettle
By Richard Randall

Asda Electric Kettle Review

When we first moved into our house, the first appliance we purchased was an electric kettle from Asda.
We needed lots of hot coffee in the mornings to keep us going during the house renovations.
Unfortunately our new brushed steel electric kettle from Asda had other plans for us. After only 24 hours it started malfunctioning. It kept turning itself off before reaching boiling point.
It would take 7-8 times of turning it back on, before it would finally reach boiling point. Ridiculous!
In summary our brand new electric kettle from Asda was a piece of junk.
I would have taken it back to the shop, but the time involved, and the cost of fuel made this a counterproductive exercise. Lesson leant. That is the first and last time I will ever buy a non-food item from Asda.

The best place for the Asda Electric Kettle ~ In the bin!
Asda Electric Kettle
By Richard Randall

Barley on the Beach

It was a glorious day today. The sun was shining, and the air was very warm for the end of September. As it was such a nice morning I decided to introduce Barley to the local beach.
He walked very well on the pebbles and stones, and did not seem afraid of the water, while also showing enough intelligence by not to wanting to venture into the North Sea. 🙂
Barley the Lurcher
Barley the LurcherBarley the LurcherBarley the LurcherBarley the LurcherBarley the Lurcher
Video of Barley on the beach

By Richard Randall

We adopted Barley from:
Stray Aid Ltd,
Stray Aid Rescue Centre,
Cornforth Lane,
Coxhoe,
Durham,
DH6 4EJ
http://www.strayaid.org.uk/

The Beach at Easington Colliery

While the beach at Easington Colliery is not a ‘sunbathing’ beach it is a nice place to walk and admire the Durham coastline. This was my first visit and it is only a short walk from our house, so I’ll be visiting it often and taking photos of it, over the changing seasons and in all weathers.
Beach at Easington CollieryBeach at Easington CollieryBeach at Easington CollieryBeach at Easington CollieryBeach at Easington CollieryBeach at Easington CollieryBeach at Easington CollieryBeach at Easington CollieryBeach at Easington CollieryBeach at Easington CollieryBeach at Easington CollieryVideo of Easington Colliery Beach

By Richard Randall

Durham Coast at Easington Colliery

Finally,  I’ve been out walking on the Coastal footpath, with my camera.
The coastline at Easington Colliery is stunning, and only a couple of minutes from our house.
The walk was really pleasant, the sun was glinting on the sea, there was a nice breeze, and it made a good change to use my Nikon D3200 DLSR camera instead of my usual photo taking gadget – my iPhone5.
It will be interesting to see how my view and the landscape change as the seasons progress. Hopefully I’ll be out getting lots of exercise and taking many more photos of my new stunning surroundings.
Easington Colliery, Durham Coastal Walk

Easington Colliery, Durham Coastal Walk

Easington Colliery, Durham Coastal Walk

Easington Colliery, Durham Coastal Walk

Easington Colliery, Durham Coastal Walk

Easington Colliery, Durham Coastal Walk

By Richard Randall

K9 Shopping

The day after we adopted Barley, our rescue dog from Stray Aid Rescue Centre, we needed to go shopping.
The shopping ranged from a few items of D.I.Y., sensible outdoor dog-walking clothes for the imminent cold Winter weather, (Barley may already have a warm fur coat, but we haven’t), and most importantly lots of supplies for Barley.
The supplies for Barley included a bed and cushion, assorted toys including a rubber Kong, a new lead, dog chews, a 15 kilo bag of Maxi Royal Canin complete dog food, food and water bowls, a food and water bowl stand, dog shampoo, a brush, and a plethora of other stuff.
Barley enjoyed visiting the Pets at Home shop, where he gave everything a good sniff. He seemed especially interested in the glass tanks which housed lizards, and the furry animal section which was home to gerbils, guinea pigs, and rabbits. He was so pleased to see the rabbits he started salivating.

IMG_2311Despite the floor of the shop being slightly slippery for his feet, we think Barley liked the shopping experience. He was even happy for the nice man in the shop to weigh him, so that we could purchase the correct dry dog food for his age and weight.
All three of us left the shop happy, with the trolley piled high with dog paraphernalia.
Shopping finished, Barley was eager to return home so he could play with his new toys, and eat some treats.B&QGo OutdoorsPets at Home
By Richard Randall

Doggie Tales – Day One

Friday was a strange day for us. We visited the Stray Aid Rescue Centre in Coxhoe to look for a dog to adopt. What we had not really planned on was actually leaving Stray Aid Rescue Centre with a dog on the very same day.
Soter the Lurcher cross
We thought the process of adopting a stray dog would take at least a week, and involve a home visit. But all it took was a few forms to be filled in, and a small fee.
Formalities over with, we introduced Barley to our car. He was happy to jump into the back of our estate car, but because we did not have a dog guard he was also happy to climb over the rear seats to explore, and then also into the front seats. Needless to say this was all done while we were stationary.
Soter the Lurcher
With Barley comfortably introduced to the car we set off for home, with Laura and the dog sitting in the rear seats. He was a little frisky, but not too bad, and Laura managed to keep him under control during the 25 minute journey. Barley was interested in everything, intently looking out of the windows as we drove.
Once home we gave Barley some water, and then showed him the rooms in his new home.
When we’d finished showing our new dog the house, we took him on his first walk over to the old Easington Colliery Mine Lift monument. He enjoyed the walk in the country and seemed very relaxed, so instead on going straight back home with him we walked up the High Street (Seaside Lane) to the pet shop to buy him some toys and treats. The people and the traffic did not seem to bother him.
Soter the Lurcher
Once back at home Barley settled in and had an enjoyable afternoon destroying two ‘chewable’ toys. Toys that the label specifically stated as ‘strong toys, tough rubber’. Within a few minutes the toys were unrecognisable, so at least we know he has good teeth.
In the early evening we made dinner for Barley, an after his food had gone down, we all went for a long walk, during which we started the process of teaching him to walk well on a lead. He is a Lurcher and likes lurching. This we managed to temper a little after 45 minutes training. It was a full and tiring day for all of us, but also a very rewarding one.
The hardest part of the day for Laura and I, had been trying to come up with a name for him. The Stray Aid Rescue Centre had named him Brogan, a name that we were not very keen on, and one that the dog didn’t respond to either.
We spent a lot of time during our first day trying to think of name for him. Every time I suggested a name, Mrs.R said no. By early evening we had finally settled on Soter. We both liked the name Soter, and thought that was the end of name idea, but it wasn’t.
For some reason Mrs.R just couldn’t remember the name Soter. She often came close with variations, such as sot, and sober, which probably says more about her than the dog name we’d chosen.
Anyway, as it was pretty obvious Mrs.R was never going to call the dog by the same name twice, we decided a new name was the answer. And so it all started over once again. I’d suggest a name and Mrs.R would say no, although she would initially say yes to some of my suggestions, but after a few minutes would say no because of whatever random connotations had popped in to her head about the name.
It wasn’t until just before lunch today that our new rescue dog finally had a permanent name.
I had said I wasn’t going to suggest any more names, and that Mrs.R would name him, but as I stood in the kitchen making lunch, and drinking a beer, a name popped in to my head.
Barley! Well, if it’s good enough for beer, it’s definitely good enough for our new dog.

Soter the Lurcher

A short video of Soter destroying a couple of new toys during his first hour in his new home.

Stray Aid Ltd,
Stray Aid Rescue Centre,
Cornforth Lane,
Coxhoe,
Durham,
DH6 4EJ
http://www.strayaid.org.uk/

By Richard Randall

Ikea Furniture Assembly

The furniture that we had ordered, during a hellish visit to Ikea in Gateshead, arrived early Monday morning, and Mrs. R feverishly set about assembling it, while I looked on.
To be fair to myself, I also had jobs to do so I was far from idle, unfortunately. There is nothing I like more than sitting with a glass of wine, while I watch Mrs.R at work.

IMG_1441

Ikea Furniture

Mrs.R seems better at self assembly furniture than I do. OCD is partly responsible for this as Mrs.R always lays all of the screws, nuts, dowels etc. out in neat little rows before she begins assembling furniture. No doubt the methodical order makes assembling easier, as I didn’t hear any shouts of frustration as she continued to construct all of our new stuff.
I can assemble flatpack furniture I just prefer not to, and being a man I loath to read instructions, and lack patience, so that could be the reason. 🙂
Mrs. R was like a Whirling Dervish, with a screwdriver in one hand, and an Ikea Allen Key (hex key) in the other. The flatpack furniture started appearing in its finished form at an alarming rate. It made me tired just watching.

Ikea Meltorp Table
Ikea Melltorp Table
Ikea Melltorp Table
Ikea Melltorp TableIkea Melltorp TableIkea Melltorp Table

The house soon went from more or less empty, well, apart from a camping chair, to pretty much fully furnished.
As our furniture grew, so did the piles of empty cardboard boxes, paper instruction leaflets, and left over Allen keys.

Ikea Karsfors Sofa
Ikea Karsfors SofaIkea Karsfors SofaIkea Karsfors Sofa

Ikea Karsfors Sofa

After a morning spent assembling our Ikea furniture we had a dining table, two dining chairs, 2 coffee tables, 2 chest of drawers, 2 kitchen units; one with a drawer unit and one with a cupboard, and a sofa, which was great as we were both knackered and eager to sit down.
There was only one more piece of furniture to assemble, and that was a wardrobe, but Mrs.R said it was one piece too many for that day, so she’d do it tomorrow.
All in all it was a successful day and the house was beginning to feel comfortable.

Ikea Udden Kitchen Unit
Udden Kitchen UnitUdden Kitchen UnitUdden Kitchen UnitUdden Kitchen UnitUdden Kitchen Unit

Ikea Rast Chest of Draws
Ikea Rast ChestIkea Rast ChestIkea Rast ChestIkea Rast Chest