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  1. Very nice, well done. I used to love going with a couple of mates when I was younger. Used to be a great laugh, nothing like the anticipation of waiting for something to bolt, hearing the rabbits thumping underground under the silence of a beautiful crisp autumn morning. Hopefully when my kids get bigger I may be able to get some ferrets again and see if I can get them into it. Keep the updates and pics coming
  2. After 2020 I thought this year was going to be a lot better, the world was opening up, cases were down, I just joined a new shooting association and was looking forward to the year ahead. All over Christmas and the beginning of this year I suffered from vertigo, never had it before but it was horrible. Still now it's affecting me on and off. My wife became unwell earlier in the year and the doctors still aren't sure what's wrong so she keeps going for tests and x-rays and God knows what. My 5 year old son had an accident just before the summer holiday and that's ended up involving surgery, a metal rod, hospital stays, then more emergency surgery and hospital stays because of an infection. And now it's a trip up to the Royal London hospital every few weeks to keep an eye on his recovery as well as physiotherapy which is going to continue for the foreseeable future. It's been a **** year. Didn't really notice the background drama of idiots panic buying and crappy politics and blaming Brexit for everything. The monotony of work seems to be my only distraction lately. I'm lucky I have my loving wife and kids to keep me sane, nothing else really matters.
  3. I live in sunny Essex and have to commute to East London every day to work. Sometimes I have to travel into Central London to various garages for various reasons. I hate the place, other than sightseeing why anyone would want to go there is beyond me. I only work in London because it pays a lot better than the same job where I live. But I hate it, I know some people love the hustle and bustle and the fact it never switches off but I can't work out why. Good luck today, I hope it all goes well.
  4. Good for you. I can't offer any advice but I admire you. I've been a diesel fitter since I left school, I loved it, lived and breathed it. I used to rent a small yard and restored cars as a hobby after every shift. Eventually the kids came along and mortgages and bills and all the other things that came with life. The yard went and the mundanity of life set in. I work in the psv industry now preparing vehicles for mot. Always up against the clock and constantly changing regulations as well as rapidly changing industry. Exhaust emissions, hybrid vehicles, fully electric vehicles, mild hybrids, stop start and adblue technologies, ultra low emission regulations, DPF, EGR and SCR tech, generators, electric motors and all the electronic junk that manufactures insist on fitting to everything. Not to mention all the extra work covid and driver/passenger protection systems have brought. Then all the DDA and TFL compliance rubbish to deal with. I hate it. I long for the days of my own little yard again. I often dream of jacking it in, risking it all, setting up a little garage and restoring vehicles to the best of my ability rather than trying to scrape everything through a test because they are short of vehicles. Trouble is with a young family and a mortgage and being the only bread winner it is only a dream. I'd love to do what you are doing but the way the world is I can't afford to take a chance. I wish you every success and I honestly hope you enjoy the challenges and opportunities that it brings. I hope to follow in your footsteps one day.
  5. I honestly believe that he would have driven it with 3 wheels if it would have saved him the 4 quid.
  6. I once sold a fiesta on a popular internet auction site. It sold for a mighty £254. The buyer arranged cash on collection and that was that. Eventually the weekend after a friend of the buyer turned up to collect the car. Tried to pay me £220 because it cost him money for the train fare to get to me. I refused and sent him on his way. A little later he came back offering £250. Again I refused, told him I was not haggling over 4 quid and either pay the full amount or I'll sell it to the next highest bidder. Eventually he coughed up the whole amount. Had the money on him the whole time and was just trying his luck. Decided then I will never sell a car online again. Too many idiots and trying beggars thinking you owe them something...
  7. Nice read, excellent write up I enjoyed that. It's been a while since I have been out and I'm itching to go again, when I read about days like this it makes me want to go all the more. What do you do with the corvids?, I have loads of them on my permission but I have always been reluctant to go for them as I don't like to see things wasted.
  8. A truly horrible horrible incident. As a parent to young children myself I couldn't imagine anything worse. My heart goes out to anyone who is affected by this tragedy. It also highlights how as shooters and licence holders although we have to jump through hoops to gain our tickets we always have to be on our guard and look out for each other. Clearly this person had some mental issues and was going through some problems. It shows how we all need to look out for our friends and fellow shooters and anyone else in the community who may need some help or even if we may need to intervene and alert the authorities if we suspect someone has issues. I know sometimes police forces can be overzealous with reactions but when horrible things like this happen it shows that we all have to be on our guard. I know for me the only people who know I hold a licence are other shooters and the same goes to some of my friends. I would hope that if I was not of sound mind that my friends would not be afraid to intervene or even alert the authorities, even if it compromised our friendship, and vice versa. We all have a duty of care to our fellow shooters and I hope for some people lessons can be learnt from this. Such a waste, again I feel for everyone affected, I know we can't stop every tragedy but in this day and age things like this should never be able to happen.
  9. I got mine from B&Q, when I moved into my current house it was very 70's and had a horrible peach/pink suite which was all shaped like clam shells, the top of the toilet, the sink basin and the bath ends. If it was plain white I could have suffered it but the colour was awful. Anyway within about a week of each other the toilet mechanism failed, the sink tap started leaking and the bath started to leak. We bought the Bodmin suite from B&Q as we didn't have a lot of money and just wanted to get it done. The lot came the next day. The quality is ok, toilet and sink are ok but as you pointed out the bath flexes a bit as it's acrylic. I can't comment on the shower cubicle as I didn't get one. You get what you pay for at the end of the day. I would recommend it if you wanted something cheap but will work. I installed it about 3 years ago and no problems so far.
  10. Two weeks ago now my little boy had an accident in the garden and badly broke his arm. Ended up calling an ambulance as he was in a bad way. Just so happened it was the day the hospital's up London were flooded so the ambulance service was even more stretched than usual moving patients from Whipps cross to other hospitals round London. An agonizing 2 and a half hours later the ambulance finally arrived. The two paramedics were amazing, patched him up and made him comfortable and got his arm stable enough to be moved. Then it was a ride in the ambulance to hospital. All the way the poor paramedic who was with us in the back was filling out forms and ticking boxes. When we got to the hospital it was straight in to the fracture clinic and into x-ray. Then onto a ward where he was put on IV antibiotics as he had an open fracture, had covid tests and continued pain relief. There they dressed his wounds, put a temporary cast on his arm to stabilise it and onto more x-rays. The doctor came to tell us that we would have to go to the royal London hospital as the fracture was too severe and that's where the specialist are based. The whole time the staff kept us up to date and although nothing happened quickly the doctors and nurses couldn't do enough for you. A few hours later we had another ambulance ride from Southend to the royal London hospital, again the poor paramedic was filling in forms the whole time. We got to the hospital, it was straight to the fracture a&e, straight into x-ray then put in a room on the a&e. A nurse came and done another covid test as well as continue his antibiotics and pain relief. A specialist came and explained he needed surgery to repair the fracture, he also had a dislocation which would need repair and his surgery would be in the morning as it was gone midnight at this point. Every 2 hours the nurse came and continued the antibiotics and at about 3am we were moved up to the pediatric fracture clinic and put on a proper ward. It turned out that while all this was going on the hospital also had to accommodate about another 100 patients from Whipps cross and had to open extra wards. That's why it took us a while to get on the ward as all the porters and such were already stretched. Anyway the next morning comes and at 11 he was taken down for his op. In the time before it we had visits from the anethatist explaining what was happening, a member of the 'play team' to get my son books, toys and films or whatever to keep him occupied, a person from catering giving us menus and orders for lunch and dinner. And the nurses keeping his antibiotics and pain relief going. When he went for his op the nurses were reassuring and as soon as it was over they brought me down so I could be there when he woke up. Then after the op as we were in recovery and back on the ward again the nurses couldn't be helpful enough. The surgeons had to realign and pin one bone in his arm, refit the other bone that was dislocated in the elbow and wire it in place as well as wash out the wound where the bone pierced the skin. Up to the point he was discharged the staff were all brilliant. The people who work for that organisation don't get paid half as much as they deserve and I know it's not perfect, and the politicians do their best to screw it up but for my personal experience, I know nothing happened quickly but I cannot fault anyone who helped. We had to go back on Friday for a check up. While we were there he was x-rayed, they replaced his cast and re dressed all his stitches. Even then the doctors were helpful and even let my son pick out what colour he wanted his cast. We have to go back again next week for another check up and unfortunately in about 9 months time he will have to endure another operation to remove the pin from his arm so it can grow normally as he ages. I know the NHS is not perfect but I am sure glad it is there. I feel for all the staff when you walk outside the hospital and you see all the smackheads outside smoking and drinking, still in their gowns and think it must be soul destroying when you try to help people and they can't help themselves. Some pieces of equipment in that hospital are amazing, as are some of the staff, and as the vaccine rollout has shown us, the NHS can do amazing things when the proper investment gets to the proper people. It is such a shame that that investment and innovation cannot be done for the rest of the NHS as it could be the amazing operation it deserves to be. Sorry for the long post but that's my 2 pence worth.
  11. Thank you, I am always happy to receive any advice or criticism, good or bad, it all helps. I have been reading what people recommend and I have been watching a few videos and nosing on people's days on here and it all helps. I haven't invested in any Rotary's or flappers or anything hi tech yet, I can't afford to splash out too much on myself so it's just going to be bit by bit I'm afraid. So far I just have a few shell decoys and a few flocked ones on the way. I am always looking to try new things and I'm enjoying getting out and tweaking things each time. As I said this type of shooting is still new to me and I am enjoying the challenge so far, and weather ( and wife) permitting hopefully I should be out again on Tuesday after work to give it another good go.
  12. Nice write up, I enjoyed the read. Well done and I hope you all continue to have days like this, I look forward to your next report.
  13. Well where to begin... My wife has been a bit unwell lately so I have been taking up some of the strain so she can relax and recuperate, luckily now she is feeling a bit better so it gave me a chance to get out and see what's about. I had all good intentions to do some recon and get some better flocked decoys but as life gets in the way I haven't managed any of it yet. I drove to the farm straight from work. Since my last visit the farmer has been busy. He has cut the clover fields, some wheat and has made a start on the rape. As I drove up there were probably a few hundred pigeons on the fresh cut rape. I pulled up on the track in my car and the pigeon didn't batter an eyelid. As soon as I opened the door and got out they all fled, some to a tree in the field, the rest to the horizon. I sat and watched for a bit as the bird flew to and from this tree into the fields. Ideally I would have liked to set up under it but it was surrounded by uncut rape and even if I could have made it to the tree without trampling the crop I would have never been able to retrieve any dropped birds. I decided to set up a pattern on the edge of the cut crop and see if I could entice anything out. I sat in my car with the boot open with the idea being that I could shoot out from the back as the birds didn't seem bothered by the car. Half an hour later and nothing. Birds were leaving the tree and following a line to a massive pile of manure in the middle of the fields, there they seemed to disperse and go their separate ways. They didn't seem to settle in one particular area, I think as food was so abundant they just landed wherever in their ones and twos. I packed up and made my way over to the lovely smelling pile and set up a pattern under the flight line and then I set up my hide as close to the manure as I could stand. It did lead me to wonder if pigeons have much of a sense of smell as everything seemed to make a beeline towards it. Anyway I sat and waited. Today I had my franchi alcone one field. I thought although my pump can carry the extra load, the instant second shot would give me an advantage over me fumbling to pump my trusty huglu. It proved a good decision as the first bird ducked out of the tree and dived straight towards me. It wasn't bothered by my decoys but just was traveling towards the pile. I lined up and pulled the first shot, totally missed but lined up perfectly for the second. I got it and the bird spun down to the ground, landing just shy of the pattern. Pleased I reloaded and waited for the next one. It wasn't long before another bird fell in the same way, crashing to another nice clean kill, this time just to the top barrel. I reloaded again to a rumble of thunder in the distance. I looked up to an ominous dark sky closing in. As the clouds grew darker and the thunder nearer I managed to get one more bird between a couple more missed. I picked up my prizes as the clouds closed in overhead and as I was sitting on top of a hill holding metal in my hands I bravely decided to pack up and run to the car like a little girl and wait it out. Just as I got in the car the heavens opened and after ten mins or so I realized it was going to be here for quite some time so I called it a day. Another learning experience and now I have some new decoys on order, hopefully I should be able to get out a bit more often now just in time for the harvest.
  14. Thanks for all the pointers, I dare say like anything with experience I will (hopefully) get better... I used the woodland for cover because to be honest I wasn't very confident with my hide building skills and it was easiest to sink it in against the woodland rather than attempt to build one on an empty field margin. As my confidence gets better I will try and build in better positions. To be honest the best part was just getting back out into the field and watching the world go by. It's been far too long since I have had a shoot where I can just sit back and enjoy the view even when nothing is happening. Any good chances on top is just the icing on the cake.
  15. I have been lurking in the background for a while so I thought it was about time I joined and contribute. I have shot for a good few years now. Mostly only allowed at night so lamping mainly for rabbit and other than that just pest control in warehouse and workshops, usually for ferals with an air rifle. Well times change and permissions come and go and I found myself in a position where all my shoots changed hands or management and for one reason or another I lost all my farms and I have spent the last year or so only able to pick off a few ferals with the air rifle in a warehouse. Well this year I managed to get a new permission on a farm but it's day shooting only. Also just to mix it up a bit there is not a problem with rabbits so it's pretty much winged quarry only. Only trouble is I have never really shot pigeon with a shotgun on a farm, only with an air rifle so I have had to do a bit of learning. Anyway last week I finally managed to get out, the farmer had cut and bailed some green wheat for whatever reason so I had one cut field with plenty of woodies on it. I pulled up and watched the field for a bit. On the southern edge there is a wood that the birds were flying over and onto the field on a line so I wandered down and set up. I put my net up in a cut out within the trees so I could see the birds flying over and catch them as I was hidden by the trees. I set up a pattern in the field, the wind was blowing straight towards me which obviously wasn't ideal but I thought I would try and see what happens. I only have 6 plastic hollow decoys and a couple of cheap nets as I didn't want to invest loads in something I may not enjoy or be any good at. So anyway I set up the pattern, hid in the trees and waited to see what happened. After a while I watched as the pigeon came over the woods, dropped down low over the decoys to have a look and then carried on onto the field. I sat and watched for about half hour and eventually a few pigeon started to land on the pattern, I must admit I got a buzz out of just knowing I got that right. By now I was ready to try my luck. I removed my gun from the slip, a huglu atrox pump 12g. Not an great gun but it's served me well. As for rounds I was using some lyalvale pigeon power no.6. I loaded some rounds and waited. A few mins later a group of 4 swooped over the trees, down and landed on the pattern, I pulled the trigger and with a puff of feathers the first woody came down, the other 3 took off before I managed to compose myself for another shot. So happy with myself I reloaded and waited for the next group. And I waited, and waited, and waited... And that was it. After nearly an hour not even a single lone bird came over. Disheartened I collected my only prize and packed up. I don't know if it was dumb luck or if I spooked them or maybe it was too late in the day but that was the end of my luck. Either way my first time out decoying was memorable but I'll give it a few more tries before I invest in some better gear I think, but I am definitely looking forward to getting out again.
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