Having restored my studio, I decided to buy a bigger torch with an oxygen concentrator this week. I had a shortlist of 2. Madeline Bunyan offered to let me try her 2 torches so Monday I trotted down to beautiful Dawlish to take her up on her offer. I had a great time and my mind was made up – for once I didn’t go for something purple and named after a cat; some days I surprise even myself. I rushed home to place my order and arranged delivery for today.

Yesterday I went to Barnstaple – I’ve visited a lot of new places in Devon this week – for a bead coring course run by Mango Beads. Another great day, checking out all sorts of bead coring tools and falling in love with the one that Manda and David are making.


Today is ‘new torch and oxycon’ day. Husband was duly dropped off at the railway station an hour before he needed or wanted to be there, in case the delivery came when I was out. It turned up mid morning in a massive box. The man from Parcelfarce left it on my doorstep and I can understand why, it was heavy! He was gone before I could say ‘oi, give us a hand, mate’.

The new torch uses the same hose as the old torch, but darn if I could get the O ring off, or obtain another to replace it. In steps Kevin the plumber who hadn’t a clue what I wanted to do but had the right tools and know-how to sort the problem – for a fee. I hadn’t been totally happy with the way I’d done the ventilation last week and a trip to the supplier on Monday, they were on the way home from Madeline’s, explained I was doing it all wrong. Following instructions, I’ve fought and battled with the acoustic ducting, been covered in the fibreglass inner and more ‘called a truce’ than ‘won’. I’ve tested the ventilation with smoke matches, great fun, works a treat but the neighbours might be a tad hacked off with the smoke effects.


So now we are up and running again. There’s not a lot of room for the gas and the oxycon – he’s called Andrew according to his name tag. I trust he’s not got a male temperament. I would have assumed it to be female and called it Roxy the oxy, but I guess being named after the patron saint of rope makers has a bit more kudos. I think there will be a phase 3, when the gas moves outside, but not today.


And the pictures of flowers? Well, the garden is looking good at the moment, if a little purple. With a splash of pink or white.