Sunday 11 August 2013

A Nip in the Air

Although we are still in August, after the heatwaves of July, we are feeling a definite autumn chill in the air, particularly after about 20:30. We have been lighting the range some evenings to retain the coziness indoors. My thoughts inevitably start to turn to autumn jobs like stocking up the wood store ready for winter as well as the need to 'finish' some of the livestock.
Patience for the moment though; we are still in summer and we have not yet got through our burst of visits - we are still due, possibly, one from the Sparks and the Dublin crew and, more definitely, one from the Kent 'lot', Mazy, Diamond and John. I am also due a quick trip over to the UK in early September. We will worry about autumn jobs after that. The Hubbard chicks, seen here doing a fine impression of "dunhill chickens" will be around even longer, not due to make their 84 days to target weight till late in October.
The 2CV has had something of a reprieve; we have decided to spend some money and keep her on the road, if we can. She has been into the garage getting her corrosion and bodywork issues sorted and the electrics/lights fixed. Aaron at the garage also tried to fix the emissions but in turning down the carbon monoxide to the ridiculously low level of 0.03 % by volume (which is a pass), managed to rocket the hydrocarbons up to 1500 ppm (which isn't!). That used up my re-test "wriggle room" but at least we know that this is all that is wrong with the car and how to fix it. We need a Solex carb service kit at £29 or so which includes the long tapered needle-valve required to allow fine tuning of gas mixtures. Unfortunately I have to then re-submit the car for the full test, which means they could find something else, but we feel like we are getting there.

I have created the sheep feeding trough pictured out of the planks salvaged from the old TK-Min kitchen internal door. This door spent some time as chicken house door before being retired when K-Dub renewed all our outbuilding doors. Recycling to a band playing! This wood gets several jobs before finally going into the range to make heat.

I believe I have missed mention of another visit which happened before the Silverwoods, this one from a very long time friend of mine, Anna P from Sardinia. I have known Anna since college days, when she was the penfriend of a cousin of mine who found herself living in the same city as I was for a while, Cambridge. She is a linguist and language teacher, I was doing some research sponsored by the then MAFF (now DEFRA). Her work and language skills take her all round the world. She has spent time teaching in China (she speaks Mandarin) and Russia but now lives in Malta where she teaches Italian. She has made friends all over the place (including me, of course) and often jets around catching up with them. This trip was to an Athlone-based friend, Neil, and brought her to within an hour of us, so she phoned me and we invited them up to eat. She had a good look round and saw all the animals including the mini-horses on their final day.

It occurred to me that we had not recently posted a picture of the two of us, so here are Liz, myself and Julie B taken by Dave B at our picnic in Kinvarra harbour. There you are - curiosity satisfied?

No comments: