Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2012

Lieutenant Frank Whittuck

In 1880 the British army were in Afghanistan and another rebellion was brewing. Lieutenant Frank Whittuck was with the 1st Bombay Grenadiers at Maiwand when it boiled over.
Frank was born in Keysham Somerset 16th July 1856. He was the fifth son of William and Matilda. Keynsham is a village between Bath and Bristol where a friend of mine lives today. This appears to be where he grew up.

Frank's father was a Captain so it seems he was born into the military. He attended Lansdown and Sydney college (later called Bath College and after that bankrupt in 1909). Later he attended Sandhurst the officer training college. While at college in Bath he played Rugby. Here he is featured in an account of a game played against Clifton.

That was 21st November 1874 and in the next six years Frank would graduate attend Sandhurst and be shipped off to defend empire in 'the great game' in Afghanistan as part of the 1st Bombay Grenadiers. Here Britain was defending empire against Russia.


Table Project (updated and completed)

I recently found an online source of cheap green oak. I ordered some for some garden projects. I was soon in possession of some 4x8 green oak sleepers and some 2x8 planks. In my mind I formed the idea of a backyard dining table.
Here is the progress made so far. I have formed the legs and cut the mortises and tenons to join them.

The table top consists of four planks which are glued and I am in the process of planing flat.

And here it is completed.

And some details. The cross piece on the trestle is held in place with wedges or 'dogs' as they are often called are the carved heads of dogs modelled after Vicki's dogs Elliot and Bessie.



Garden Project (updated July 15th)

This last Spring Vicki and I planned an ambitious garden project for the back yard. It started out as some simple rectangular raise beds but took some inspiration from more formal gardens. Eventually I drew up these plans.

A central diamond raised bed with four triangle-shaped beds separated by paths. I ordered the pressure treated 2x8's and cut them and assembled them in the garden. They were placed directly on top of the turf and once assembled and placed they formed the pattern for the project.
Vicki wanted to add a rock feature to the garden and we visited the local stone supplier. Suddenly she wanted a water feature as well. After some consideration we came back again and purchased a upright stone with hole bored down its length and a sump and a pump and some stones to cover the sump. (this is typical of this project as our imaginations got engaged we would extend the project into more complications).
We opted to haul the stone ourselves in the back of our SUV and after the st…

Redington visit Clappers Walk

In May Redington came out for a week to the UK to visit with friends and mother and I. I took a day off work and we visited the Sharpenhoe Clappers in Bedfordshire. This is an area I had seen many times before when I used to carpool with Dave Hutton the VP of Sales. The route to his house took us right by them. Redington and I started out early at the Harlington train station and walked the route prescribed by an online guide parallel to the railway line. Soon we had a view to our destination.

The Clappers is that heavily tree covered ridge top. I don't think anyone knows why it is called that. The fields were of wheat and the rape was in bloom. It is the nature of English countryside to appear much larger than it is. It has a way of using compact features and folds to fool me into thinking the distances are much greater.

Our track would take us up to this hillside soon. Here is Redington. It still looks early in the morning for him.

Soon we climb the ridge and move away from the…

The Naze

Vicki and I went explore a part of Suffolk called the Naze. It is located on a lump land on the east coast just below East Anglia.

Below is more detail. The Naze means nose as this spit of land implies. There is a small village there and a good walk around the perimeter of the nature sanctuary and some farm land. Behind the Naze is Ramsey island and wilderness of estuary streams and smaller islands. It is easy to see the value as bird sanctuary.

Walton on the Naze is a typical seaside holiday town with a pier and amusement park. Below are the brightly coloured sheds common in seaside towns where the owners can sit in poor weather or store their gear when on holiday. Some are quite sophisticated with a place to sleep or facilities to make a cup of tea.

Here is a view down the pier.

The weather was windy that day.. Here is Vicki bundled up against the windy weather. The ocean here on the North Sea is typically very churned up and brown and looks more like a lake than the sea..

Here a lon…