-*- Home   2022   2021   2020   2019   2018   2017   2016   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010  

 Little Old Man Weekly


 Little Old Man Weekly

 In the year 2011

 Little Old Man Weekly:   Issue 20    8 December 2011

Rocket man

The Little Old Man has been busy all week re-modelling the bathroom. Now this gives space for quiet introspection while the the routine and repetative jobs get done and one of the things he has been thinking about has been the discovery of another earth like exo-planet, Kepler-22b.

As it is 600 light-years away, a period of suspended animation will be required of those who would go there. In this issue, we show how you can make your own suspended animation pod.

Little old rocket man ready for blast off

Fowler's Household Helps

Details for appliances

Details regarding these kitchen appliances and other gas appliances, such as fireplace kindlers, furnace kindlers, coke box kindlers, garbage burners, gas steam radiators, gas water radiators, safety garage heaters and ironing machines may be obtained from your Gas Company. Telephone them, for their salesmen are always glad to serve you.


Most gas companies have a practical and expert demonstrator whose services are free. When any gas appliance is not giving perfect satisfaction in every way, or once a year on general principles, you should ask the demonstrator to call. GAS LIGHTING

 Little Old Man Weekly:   Issue 19    1 December 2011

Storage for the bow saw

The bow saw was one of the first things to be added to Cribbit's inventory. A vital piece of kit, in constant use in the winter to reduce the dimensions of every bit of firewood so that it will fit into the stove. The current one has had several handles and even more blades.

It has always been a nuisance as it is sharp and has never had a proper home, sometimes lurking behind the stove and sometimes in the rain in the bow well. Now we have our own resident little old man, we can have a handy little old man solution for it.

The obvious place to store it is behind the stove but the only place where it would fit, missing the frying pan and the wok, is high up under the window. Wok and frying pan hang by the stove to reduce their propensity to rust so they had to stay where they were. The problem with the space under the window is that the saw teeth would be just in the right place to gash the knuckles of anyone operating the curtain. The solution, hang it under the projection of a piece of angle iron.

Bow saw hanging between frying pan and wok

Of course, if you do gash your hands on the saw, Mr. Fowler has the remedy.

Fowler's Household Helps
Starch for Removing Blood-Stains

To remove blood-stains from material which can not be washed, cover the stain with lump starch that has been dampened to about the consistency of very thick paste. As the starch dries, the stain will go.

 Little Old WoMan Weekly:   Issue 18    5 November 2011

Little Old WoMan Weekly

Just occasionally, the Little Old WoMan exhibits Little Old Man tendencies and this bumper issue contains two of them.

The first is a directive to the Little Old Man that his profligate use of paper from the refrigerator shopping list pad MUST be curtailed. From henceforth, all shopping lists are to be written from the bottom of the pad upwards and just the length of paper occupied by the list to be torn off.

Economical shopping list

Fowler's Household Helps
Old stocking tops for dusters or dustless mops

Old stocking tops make good dusters when sewed together. They also make good polishing cloths for oiling and rubbing down floors and furniture.

Several old stocking tops cut into strips and dipped in paraffine oil make a fine dustless mop for hardwood floors.

The second concerns the refrigerator door. In our aging refrigerator, the springs that are meant to close the door have become weak. This means that the door does not always close properly. Apparently, this is more likely to happen when the Little Old Man has been using the refrigerator than when the Little Old Woman has. To improve the Little Old Man's door closing ability, the Little Old Woman has attached a 'refrigerator door check sheet' to the door and this must be checked whenever the door is operated.

Refrigerator door checksheet

Fowler's Household Helps
Worn-Out Broom for Floor Polisher

When a long-handled broom becomes worn out, instead of throwing it away, tie a piece of felt or flannel cloth around the head and make a good floor polisher. It will make work much easier and also keep linoleum in good condition. Footmarks can be rubbed off at any time without stooping.

To Clean a Slender Flower Vase fasten a piece of an old sponge onto a stick and push it down into the vase; this will also be found useful for cleaning decanters and water bottles.

 Little Old Man Weekly:   Issue 17    27 June 2011

Fowler's Household Helps

I have recently bought myself a -*-Kindle , and like everyone else with a new Kindle, I have been busy downloading all sorts of material to read on it. This has included a lot from -*-The Project Guttenberg website. The Kindle is great for reading these free e-texts and is so much more convenient than the other ways I have tried in the past.

To my utmost pleasure I have discovered -*-Fowler's Household Helps, a collection of hints and tips, each one a gem well worthy of inclusion in Little Old Man Weekly.


Over 300 Useful and Valuable Helps About the Home, Carefully Compiled and Arranged in Convenient Form for Frequent Use
Published by
Household Publishing Company
132 Jay St., Albany, N. Y.

To the many efficient and up-to-date housekeepers of our land this book is respectfully dedicated, in the hope that they may find something herein to further increase their efficiency. While the author does not guarantee the reliability of these household helps, they have been carefully compiled from reliable sources and are believed to be efficient if directions are carefully followed.

Copyright, 1916 By A. L. Fowler

It is my plan to include one of these with each new issue.

For this issue, I present:

A Novel Match Scratcher

To avoid matches being scratched on the wall-paper almost as much as on the match-scratch, try the idea of removing the glass from a small oval or square picture frame and framing a piece of sandpaper just as one would a picture. Put a small screw eye on top of the frame, thus allowing it to hang perfectly flat against the wall. The frame prevents the match from being carried over the edges of the sandpaper and onto the wall.

Quoted from -*-The Project Guttenberg eBook, Fowler's Household Helps, by A. L. Fowler, Published by Household Publishing Company, Albany, New York, 1916.

 Little Old Man Weekly:   Issue 16    14 June 2011

Plant protector

Following on from yesterday's report of the antics of one little old man in Greece, here is a manifestation of the same phenomena in little old ladies in Whitegate.
Here in Pat's own words, we have a handy plant protector:

I've enclosed some pictures of my plant protector - using the wire frame from a glass carboy basket. I realised that the urn on the patio was too close to the bird feeders and the birds, many of them, were using it as a launching pad to fly up to the feeders - well that was OK when the urn was empty but when I put in the little plants they were getting flattened by little bird bellies - hence the wire guard.

The wire frame

Now they perch on that and provide added interest to what looks a bit like a piece of modern art which I rather like.

The urn

 Little Old Man Weekly:   Issue 15    13 June 2011

Washing Machine

I'm just back from a week in Greece with Terry which enabled me to observe at first hand the antics of yet another old man.
Now Terry has an automatic washing machine that has done stirling work for over 20 years but which lately has taken to automatically opening its door in the middle of a cycle, usually when the the drum is full of water.
To me, a machine that automatically washes clothes and the floor as well sounds like a good amenity but Terry had other ideas.

Terry fixes the door

His method is revealed, a luggage strap and a wooden batten secure the door.

The luggage strap and wood batten in place

  Little Old Man Weekly:   Issue 14    14 May 2011

Bouser 2

Some time ago, the little old man was delving in a skip, a favourite occuption, and recovered a very handy plastic tub. On the way home with it he was musing as to how it came about that someone could throw away such a handy item. When he got home, he realised why, it had two splits in the plastic rim. No matter, it was still completely functional. Of course this tub has now become an integral part of my allotment bousering system and is subject to a bit more wear and tear so the splits were likely to get worse. Clearly it needed a little trip to the workshop.

Two pieces of plastic waste pipe slit along their length, clipped over the rim and pop rivetted in place did the trick.

Ready to 'carry on'

This dry weather has meant that the bowser has been getting a good workout and numerous trips over the bumpy allotment with the tubs full of water have tested it well. The wheels are well tucked under the body and the narrow wheelbase makes it a bit unstable so it came for a 'little trip to the workshop' also.

Inserts were turned for the rear wheel axles to extend the wheels slightly wider than the body.


Axle ready for its insert

 Little Old Man Weekly:   Issue 13    9 April 2011


In the dry conditions last year on the allotment, it was quite evident which plot holders watered their charges and which did not. I am afraid that I was one of the latter group, proclaiming that "I didn't want to develop a dependancy culture in MY plants". Now to a certain extent, this was true but it was also partly determined by the distance from the water supply and the difficulty of carrying sufficient water to make any difference.

I was quite pleased with my two plasterer's buckets for carrying water but if I filled them to the brim, I could hardly lift them and the water slopped out all over me as I carried them. This left a meagre third for the plants. I soon cottoned on that just filling them a third full would enable me to carry them and to stay [relatively] dry. Of course, this meant three times as much trekking to the tap.

The previous year, Margaret bought an antique bowser which had seen duty at the garden of some stately home. This was doing good service for her especially as I suspected that it had come with the ancient retainer who operated it.

What I needed was a bouser.

The Bouser

I'm very pleased with this arrangement. Most of the water reaches the plot and when it does spill its not on me.

 Little Old Man Weekly:   Issue 12    29 March 2011

Even more Red Stripe
'You really don't have to be a little old man to behave like one, Number THREE'

When I took the pic of the cans and a 'random' piece of Red Stripe fabrication last time, I had an inkling that this might be a part of a project in gestation. And so it turned out to be!

So in this week's issue we see how the raw materials are transformed.

Cans are flattened and holes drilled ready for pop riveting

This is also a good way of producing an artistic arrangement of small holes in your kitchen worktop. Could be a feature for future issues of Little Old Man Weekly.

Little Old Man inordinately pleased with his handiwork

The finished article installed on The Growler

 Little Old Man Weekly:   Issue 11    19 March 2011

Red Stripe
'You really don't have to be a little old man to behave like one, Number TWO'

This issue features tw in the guise of the Little Old Man, so that covers both my children in two consecutive issues of little old manliness, and its about the use of available resources.

Now it may be that the resource we are speaking about here is in more abundance at his house than at others across the land, so this hint may not be of universal application to those households not so well enriched with a thick seam of Red Stripe lager cans.

He has used them for all sorts of things, Tin Man fancy dress outfit, bike mudguards and so on.

A rich seam of Red Stripe cans

One might think that the latest application extends their use beyond the mundane. Here they are craftily beaten into an electronics panel to hold the cut-off switch for the central heating boiler.

Little Old man controls

 Little Old Man Weekly:   Issue 10    11 February 2011

'You really don't have to be a little old man to behave like one'

I got this e-mail from sj the other day:

From: Sj
To: Tom Leadbeater
CC: Chris Leadbeater
Sent: Tue, 8 Feb 2011 14:53
Subject: 2011 calendar
Just like last year, I have not yet managed to acquire a 2011 calendar. (mostly because I haven't been anywhere near a place that sells 2011 calendars and at this point all of the calendar stores have shut down and as such I find myself out of luck and already planning a detour to a canal side giftshop so that I can acquire one at some point this summer.)

This is of course very annoying as a calendar is quite a useful thing to have hanging around. As last year's calendar is still hanging on the wall next to my desk, it occured to me that it's a very nice canal themed calendar and other than the fact that the dates are all wrong - not really in need of replacing at all.

As such, a moment ago I took a white out pen to it and renumbered all the days - apparently I no longer need to visit a canal store!

On Tue, 8 Feb 2011, chris wrote:
this is NOT good news, it reduces the urgency of your visit!!!!
any news on this??? oh and will we be needing two tickets?????? arghhh

love c

Sarah Leadbeater wrote:
well I couldn't visit until this summer anyway.... those calendars are still expensive! I have to wait until July if I want another one for 50p.
Also, since it's feb now and as such too late to turn jan 2010 into jan >> 2011.... I turned it into jan 2011.....

On Tue, 8 Feb 2011, Thomas Leadbeater wrote:

surely you mean jan 2012??

From: Sj
To: Thomas Leadbeater
CC: chris
Sent: Tue, 8 Feb 2011 22:58
Subject: Re: 2011 calendar

yes, that. exactly.

On Thu, 10 Feb 2011, chris wrote:

ahhhh! me *smuger-more*, I saw that but was able to extrapolate to what she meant!!!

come on sj!! send us a pic

love c

there's not really much to take a picture of, after all, it LOOKS like a 2011 calendar.

 Little Old Man Weekly

 In the year 2010

 Little Old Man Weekly:   Issue 9    24 November 2010

Handy handles

I am trying to keep the lawnmower going though it tries its hardest to fall apart quicker than I can mend it. Managed to scrounge the push handle off Frank's derelict mower and used it to replace the original when it succumbed to metal fatigue.

The recoil starter has been through several succesive re-builds as more and more of the original has fallen to pieces. Each time the repair has been a bit more substantial than the original, baked bean tins being in short supply in England.

The last re-build gave the opportunity to add a handy handle to help lift the mower in and out of the car when I take it up to the allotment.

The handles

A 'andy 'andle

 Little Old Man Weekly:   Issue 8    23 November 2010

Car wash

This morning, Rosemary suggested that I should clean my car as she was getting dirty when she got out of hers when parked next to me. She didn't appreciate being told that this was the little old man's way of getting a nice clean car and could she park on the otherside next time as the driver's side also needed cleaning with her winter coat.

Washing the car by hand is not a job much beloved by the little old man. The car wash is his preferred method for having a cleanish car.

Now one advantage of the car wash is that you have to sit still for a few minutes while it does its work, this is fine as it gives time for deep reflection on the universe and your place in it.

Last time my deep reflection was on pondering how good it would be to develop a similar machine for cleaning the inside of the car, for a moment the little old man even considered buying a convertible.

Well to-day he was able to give it a try as the silly little old man was unaware that he had left his window open and great spurts of sudsy water cascaded all around him before he could get the electric windows to operate.

As he always keeps a supply of kitchen roll in the car, this wasn't too difficult to mop up AND the inside is cleaner now than it has been in years. The little old man got a bonus shampoo as well so it can't be all bad!

 Little Old Man Weekly:   Issue 7    21 November 2010

Muddy Boots

For some reason, the poor little old man is excluded from the house when he is wearing his muddy gardening clogs. He has been told that there is a simple solution to this which is to take them off. Now this is alright except that when it rains his left-outside-shoes get wet!!!

Not any more they don't, the little old man has made a shoe rack under the catslide roof, where his shoes stay dry, but cold.

Shoe rack under the catslide

Muddy boots

 Little Old Man Weekly:   Issue 6    25 October 2010


We have finally broken down and got ourselves a webcam. This is so we can keep in touch, using Skype, with Rosemary's daughter Katy who is cycling round the world with boyfriend Ant. Website of Ant and Kate's world cycle trip

The first time we connected with Katy, Rosemary was in the shower, but this was such an excitig event that she rushed out and carried on her usual high volume conversation with her daughter, completely naked but for a few drops of water.

This seemed to make her even more determined to get a webcam which is what I have done to-day.

The Little Old Man soon got the thing installed and running and then considered the small problem of what happens when it actually works. Fortunately, it comes in a handy and well made box and you can see how to modify this to construct a webcam modesty guard below.

A handy modesty guard for a webcam

Viz readers who have converted their cars into taxis by sticking a cornflakes packet with TAXI written on it on the car roof, will be happy to know that they can easily modify this for use as a webcam modesty guard as well. Just turn the side with TAXI to the back and write WEBCAM on the side you see from your monitor.

 Little Old Man Weekly:   Issue 5    23 October 2010

Letter of complaint

Call yourself 'Little Old Man Weekly', you should be ashamed of youself! No issue for months, just what sort of Little Old Man do you call yourself, Sir! It's high time you regaled us with more of your little old man tales AND there had better be lots of them if we are to believe your assertion that you have been too busy to write them up.

 Little Old Man Weekly:   Issue 4    8 May 2010

Little Old Man Weekly roving reporter Ann Shirley reports that her Little Old Man has made her a very nice strawberry cage out of Father's old frame tent.

Two generations of Little Old Men conspire to keep Ann's strawberries safe

 Little Old Man Weekly:   Issue 3    28 March 2010

The Little Old Man is busy planting seeds at the moment and needed some seed trays this morning. What better than a plastic milk bottle cut along it length. A quick stab or two with the trusty Swiss Army Knife for drainage and away we go! You may laugh now but wait until you see those strips of sweet peas.

Ready for the cold frame

Some seeded directly and one strip with delphiniums in individual newspaper pots

 Little Old Man Weekly:   Issue 2   March 2010

Do you have an old broken kitchen knife that is just too good to throw away? If you do, here is what to do with it. Turn a replacement handle, hone it up on the grindstone and you have a handy tool for use around home and garden.

Riding on the rotavator

What better tool is there to clear the tines?

What gives me especial pleasure about this is that tw made it as an early wood turning project. Clearly, he can't wait to join the ranks of the 'little old men'.

Confound him! He claims otherwise, I didn't think it was quite up to his standard.

His e-mail is below:

-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas
To: chris cleadbeater@netscape.net
Sent: Thu, 1 Apr 2010 13:27
Subject: Re: field patterns

"What gives me especial pleasure about this is that tw made it as an early wood turning project. Clearly, he can't wait to join the ranks of the 'little old men'. "
Actually inherited from grandpa - little old man!

chris wrote:
now for something completely different, the low angle of the sun is showing the medieval field pattern in the field behind us...i havn't noticed this before

oh AND stable beams!!!!

 Little Old Man Weekly:    Issue 1    23 March 2010

This week's handy invention has been in almost daily use for over 15 years and has been a constant source of pleasure. When a certain person saw this for the first time, he was most concerned that its addition might make the boat un-saleable and that a prospective buyer would to have its use explained.

Installed on Cribbit

A close up

And here it is in use!

Website links


☀ Allotment
☀ Boating
☀ Computing
☀ Cooking on Cribbit
☀ Family and friends
☀ Labeller
☀ Little Old Man Weekly
☀ Mouldy Oldies
☀ Natural Philosophy
☀ Projects
☀ Recipe list
☀ Walking


☀ Alex's Mutterings
☀ Alex's website
☀ Alex on facebook
☀ Peter's website
☀ Jim on Ruskin
☀ cribBlog
☀ Little Old Man Weekly
☀ theBloG


☀ About this website
☀ Contact me
☀ Site history


News & views

♉ Mother Jones
♉ Boing Boing
♉ Londonist
♉ Gothamist


♉ Large Hadron Collider
♉ Last word on nothing
♉ New Scientist

Personal sites

♉ 10 Century
♉ Wise words
♉ Mind Hacks
♉ Roger Marchant
♉ Ant and Kate bike trip
♉ Gaping Silence


♉ Sam Pepys
♉ English Russia
♉ Questionable content
♉ Money not art
♉ Canals
♉ Bats
♉ Laughing Squid
♉ Food timeline


♉ Unicode Map
♉ w3schools
♉ Guru99
♉ Notepad++
♉ FamFamFam
♉ chrispederick
♉ A list apart
♉ Filezilla

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional

Valid CSS!