Murder on the SS Titanium

My sister booked a cottage in North Wales for us all to have one big family holiday. Well, I say cottage, but it’s more like a mansion. It’s an amazing house just south of Blaenau Ffestiniog.

The Mansion
The View from "The Mansion"

We just had to take advantage of the beautiful surrounding and host a murder mystery dinner party…

The setting was the SS Titanium.

The SS Titanium has launched from New York on its maiden voyage and the specially invited passengers prepare to celebrate. But, before the first cork can be popped, disaster strikes. Captain E Slost is found overboard, floating on an iceberg with a bullet in his chest!

OK, nothing to do with North Wales, or mountains, but the house was a perfect setting for a dinner party.

The guests included:

  • PRINCE TON-AKADAMEE – Rich Arab (educated and wealthy his investments are stealthy)
  • WILLETT FLY – Plane designer (he can’t keep anything up for 30 seconds!)
  • EMILY AIRHEAD – Adventurer (she’s flying planes and hanging from trains!)
  • HAGATHA TWISTY – Mystery writer (only a criminal could plot this well!)
  • FARLEY HATPIN – Silent film director (…!)
  • DR HEINRICH MANOEUVRE – Austrian doctor (if you start to choke, he’s one handy bloke!)
  • IZZY GONYETT – Wealthy widow (the weaker the pulse the more she’ll convulse!)
  • FANNY SHAKER – Showgirl (she’ll shake her thing for a small shot of gin!)

Everyone took their parts very seriously, and came appropriately dressed in character. It was a great night, and lots of wine was drunk. I won’t give away who the murderer was, but as usual, we all had motives!

Izzy Gonyett (Caroline) and Dr Heinrich Manoeuvre (Malcolm)

Farley Hatpin (Andy) and Fanny Shaker (Angela)

Prince Ton-Akadamee (Nick) and Hagatha Twisty (Saskia)

Emily Airhead (Laetitia) and Willett Fly (Pete)

and with extras ... Sailey Rope (Maddie) and Stan Leigh Waters (Laurence)

Project in Copper – Part 5

A restful afternoon was called for after an exciting 19 mile run in the morning (exciting due to sighting a flock of flamingos), so work on the copper project progressed with Dr. G. in Shropshire.

The item is slowly beginning to emerge from it’s hot water cylinder origins and will hopefully fit the purpose splendidly.

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If only I could get the small bits of wire wool out of my fingers!

Secret Mission

Next weekend is a big search excercise (East Cumbria Search Panel) involving Mountain Rescue Teams from Penrith, Kirkby Stephen, Teesdale, Swaledale and SARDA Lakes (search dogs).

I was on a mission to check a suitable location for hiding some ‘bodies’.

The following picture doesn’t give too much away (I hope).

Secret location
Secret location

Project in Copper – Part 4

The home brewing kit/solar heating system is taking shape. Richard G. and I spent the afternoon metal-bashing in his freezing cold garage. The structure is not finished, so no jumping to conclusions … and for the record, I don’t like garden ponds.

Canoeing perhaps?
Canoeing perhaps?
anyone for a spot of ice climbing later?
anyone for a spot of ice climbing later?
Richard G. and a watering can
Richard G. and a watering can

No-one on Skiddaw!

With everyone in Keswick doing last minute shopping, Kelda and I took the opportunity to have a walk up Skiddaw. We were well rewarded with the mountain to ourselves for much of the time. The weather was mild, still and with high cloud; not like Christmas Eve at all!

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Kelda was definitely going better than me, as Anna had persuaded me to go to the Wigton Runners last night. My legs only just loosened up in time for them to get tired……….. I had about a 30 second window when they felt fine. Disappointingly I was stood still at that moment having a coffee. The views though were well worth it.

Keswick from Skiddaw
Keswick from Skiddaw

Mind you, its surprising who you bump into on the Lakeland fells. This guy appeared out of nowhere on the top:

Appeared from nowhere on Skiddaw
Appeared from nowhere on Skiddaw

And then he was gone!!!!

(Well I thought it was more interesting than another dog on fell picture!)

Project in Copper – Part 2

Following the hap-hazard hacking of the copper hot water cylinder, it was time for some real metal work. Aided by my good friend Richard G. we set about some metal bashing. We snipped, blow-torched, quenched, bashed and buffed before producing an artefact surprisingly close to what we imagined. After spending an entire morning hack-sawing the cylinder, it was good to have the help of a man with more power tools, for more operations, than you could ever imagine.

After completion of the pictured artefact we retired on the basis that we needed a plan … this was somewhat lacking except for an overall impression.

The plan is now in place and we await the next metal bashing session.

Project in Copper – Part 1

A once-in-a-lifetime construction project has started.

A friend, running mate and heating engineer by the name of Jon Pitts (http://jonathanpittsheating.co.uk) kindly offered me a hot water cylinder and hence my plan is in action.

The cylinder travelled from Ilkeston back to Birmingham filling the whole of the back of my little car. My car is pretty noisy at the best of times, but with the seats down it is even worse. Add to that a copper hot water cylinder with something loose inside that clangs and reverberates every time the car goes over a small bump… I put the radio on almost full blast and the cylinder acted as perfect percussion at times.

Arriving home, Richard was rather amused by the sight – I’m sure he wonders what the hell I will evetually manage to make out of it. He didn’t thankfully mind bits of insulation falling off it in the house … he was even amused by the crunching sound under our feet.

Construction starts… or is that destruction?

The whole of Saturday morning was spent ripping off insulation and hack-sawing off the top and bottom of the hot water cylinder. This was relatively straightforward, although took about 1hr 30 in total! The less straightforward step was hacking through the side of the cylinder to produce one big sheet of copper. Eventually this was also achieved by a variety of methods.

The aim of the project shall remain a secret … until the big reveal – for those who think they know … shhh!

I shall chart my progress over the coming months.