Papa Legba vector veve

Papa Legba is the loa who facilitates communication so represents a powerful force in infomancy. I use his veve as a technomantic sigil and my current iteration is a digitally native vector format: as a set of instructions it is literally drawn out by the computer.

Legba veve



Second compost bin

We’ve now got two compost bins, one (right) is the working bin and the other (left) is the maturing bin.

Two compost bins - left full, right empty

When the working bin is full it is turned over into the maturing bin – i.e. the top of the working bin gets put into the bottom of the maturing bin leaving the oldest compost at the top.  We can use this compost from the top whilst the bottom of the bin continues to compost.  The working bin can then be filled up with new material and the process can be repeated.

Nice compost at the top, ready to use

Big lumps of grass cuttings don’t compost very well, they tend to turn into layers of anaerobic slime.  Normally I try and cut the grass often, taking less than a third off the blades means I don’t have to use a grass box and the cuttings will break down in the lawn giving the nutrients back.  When the grass is growing faster and opportunities to cut it are less – mostly in spring and autumn – then I’ll collect the cuttings, put them in a pile next to the boxes and then put them into the working box in small batches so it gets mixed through.

As a bonus, some of the potatoes we’d put into the compost had grown so we have an unexpected harvest.

Compost heap potatoes




Trabi trip

Had a ride along in a very nice soft top Trabant, with 26hp it’s very similar to a 2CV (with 29hp) in that it’s all about the conservation of momentum!

Soft top Trabant

This car dates from 1983 and the soft top conversion was done in 1994. There are rails down the side of the car that were added during the conversion and you have to step over them getting in and out of the car. Numerous parts in the interior are from a Golf – including the front seats.

The engine is a two cylinder, two stroke – inline and transverse.

Trabant engine

Trabant engine

The black box at the back with the red diamond is the fuel tank, it’s gravity fed and there’s a control inside that turns a stop cock on and off for the fuel flow and a third position for reserve which opens a lower fuel pickup.  This has an additional fuel level sender behind the fuel cap.

On the left of the bock it has a crank driven fan that’s blowing under the jacket and out through the heating system. Seems that the main causes of overheating in a Trabi are under maintenance and/or over driving. back in the day K’s grandad drove his to Romania for a summer holiday with no issues.

Trabant engine

It’s not got the magic carpet ride of a 2CV but it’s sprung to ride rough surfaces and the owner was similarly loading it up into corners.  As an air cooled two pot it has a similar rasp but being in line and a two stroke it doesn’t have the whirring hum of a 2CV.  Bit hard to see but it’s got a transverse leaf spring across the two front wheels.



Climb classifications in the Le Tour de France

Apparently the climb classifications (4,3,2,1,HC) in the Le Tour de France are based on the gear you’d need to use in a 2CV to get up that hill. This is quite clearly horse poop and – as the owner of a 2CV – I have a 100% subjective personal anecdote to prove it:

The Le Tour has been past the village were I grew up twice (’94 & ’07) and both times there was a 4th cat near by. There’s no way you’d get a 2CV up those hills in 4th – they’re solid 3rd and maybe a quick dip to 2nd near the top if you didn’t get a good run at them on the way in.

As for HC (which is supposedly impassable to a 2CV) I similarly call horse. 1st gear in a 2CV is so low it won’t even get you half way across a set of traffic lights without needing to change up – you’ll run out of grip on the tyres long before you torque stall the engine. (Admittedly the grupetto would be faster up the hill but that’s not the point.)

Generally your biggest problem on hills in a 2CV is some idiot in a modern car in front of you that slows down for the corners – it’s all about conservation of momentum, as this person ably demonstrates.

FACT.