Welcome to my Home Page

To quote an old Multics document "This is my page, I wrote it, if you don't like it see figure 1".

I retired from City University, in London, in April 2001. We, Mandy and I, have lived in the UK since 1986 when I took an expat assignment with Unisys. We live in Richmond, a suburb of London, in part of an old mansion that use to be the billiard room, during most of the year and now spend the summers on Peaks Island, Maine at our cottage Shear Delight

When we are in London, I spend one day a week helping to restore the worlds largest working steam engine. In our first steam weekend in fall 2005 I was allowed to drive it. To get some idea of the size click  here. And an other day restoring china.

Collecting

I collect antique folding knives. I now have over 300, mostly made in Sheffield during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They range from miniture multi blades that were part of a fob watche to foot long daggers and include medical and trade knives as well. For other knife collectors see the multi tool site . I also collect antique books on measurements and engineering handbooks.

Traveling

We travel extensively both back to the US and throughout Europe. Long weekend trips to various places to visit friends in Brittany and the Jars region (west of Toulouse, France) are common and we usually spend the Christmas week in a major european city such as Rome or Paris where we hire a furnished flat. And of course we now spend all the summer and early fall on Peaks Island.

On Peaks

During the summer of 2001 we spent most of the time reassembling a summer cottage as a shed. The cottage had been carefully taken down by Chad Oliver, our local carpenter, and stacked in 3 large piles in our back yard. Chad and I, working together, reused the old wood as much as possible and after 11 weeks of steady work (8 AM to 5 PM) we had a 2-story shed / summer cottage (24 ft by 14 ft). And along with assembly we hand scrapped all of the siding boards (1" x 12" T&G 12 ft long). So now we have Shear Delight, our cottage, and the Delightful Shed. Luckily we managed to get some pictures - see below.

Each summer, since them, we have completed more work on the shed. During the summer of 2002 we puttered about with minor chores.  During the summer of 2003 we replaced the plywood doors at the front and side with real doors (found by the side of the road), rebuilt the side entrance way and paneled the lower portion of the structure with exterior plywood. During the summer of 2004 we put on the battens which cover the T&G joints and put a roof on the front deck. During the summer of 2005 we floored the rafters of the second floor and paneled the front of the ground floor with remianing T&G from the two (were 3) wood piles. In 2007 we added an outside stair case and finished the work on the back of the shed.

2006 was the summer of the boats. I had been given (this is Peaks) an 18 ft Lyman inboard skiff to restore a few years ago. There is little progress to report about this boat which will involve fixing a hole in the bottom and installing a new engine. So when an island friend told me he was selling a 16 ft aluminum fishing boat with a 25HP outboard, I bought it. And then what did we find "by the side of the road" but an inflatable zodiac which we will use as our dingey. 

We are using the boat to explore the other islands and to organise an inter island lunching club with our new friends on Little Diamond.

2008 was slow year for boats and improvements. We relocated a window in the guest bedroom. It took two days. Changes are quick when you have no inside walls. And the boat engine required an expensive electrical repair - but that is boating.

2009 was a lost summer - it rained for all of July. And we found a new home for the Lyman after deciding that it was just too big a job. And an other window was relocated.

In 2013 we replaced the  cottage roof, after removing three layers of shingles. A real mess as dust and roof grit  fell into the house through the gaps in the roof boards. Luckily, we were staying in a friends house while the work went on. And the island car died of rust as they do so we have replaced it with a Volvo estate (station wagon) with only 302K miles, and no rust.

In 2014 we sent Little Muggins further up the coast to Harpswell to stay with friends.

Boats:

Picture

Description (double click picture for more detail or see below)

Shed platform

A view of the new dingey, Little Muggins, and me from the club dock

Shed side and back

A view of the boat, a basstracker, and Muggins from the club dock. Muggins is tied to our mooring.

 

Shed:

Picture

Description (double click picture for more detail or see below)

Shed platform

View of the platform on which the shed was built.

Shed side and back

Side view of the shed set on the wooden platform that is both a foundation and a storage area. The rear door is the primary entrance.

Chad and I Inside

Chad and I inside. The chop saw is one of the tools along with various nail guns I learned how to use. Note the second floor joists. They are a future phase of the project.

Shed side and back

A side view of the shed. The dormer is an addition. I learned how to do wood shingles here. And roofing as well.

Shed side and back

And this is a front view of the shed after painting and landscaping. The large box on the ground contains a replacement boat engine, which as of 2009 is no longer there.

And if you prefer the originals in all their glory and size they are here as well.

Little Muggins        BassTracker

Chad and I inside   Shed Side View    Shed Back View    David at Work 1    David at Work 2 

How to Contact me

Well you can Email me or call me +44.(0)208.940.5723 in London or +1.(1)207.766.5840 in Maine. We are normally in Maine from mid June till the end of September.

Figure 1

There was a figure 1 but like Caesar's wife when I was employed you needed to be very clean. But now I am not so figure 1 can reappear.