Friday, 14 November 2014

A Good Job Jobbed

New 'telegraph' pole slotted in between
the existing cables.
We were impressed this week by another example of the local engineers getting stuck in and completing a job in double quick time. Yesterday lunchtime saw us visited by two guys in hi-viz jackets with a clip board asking if it was OK to locate a pole they needed to replace. I call these 'telegraph poles' (old habits die hard) though I guess they've not held telegraph cables for ages; they are probably just 'electricity poles' now as they carry the mains wires. We were pleased to be able to steer them in the direction of the pole we knew to have been condemned (see also my July 11th post on )

and also to steer them towards accessing it via the big open 5 acre field to our west, rather than having to mash their big digger all across our garden, poly tunnel, pond and orchard fencing. I was delighted when they saw how much easier it would be from the west. "Sound!" they said. I also asked them for the old pole and they were more than happy to leave it. "We certainly don't want it" they said. So off they trundled in their van and I guessed we'd not see them again that day, they'd just be surveyors or the foremen, maybe. I relaxed and went off for a 30 minute kip in the chair.

Christmas cake mix under construction. We now have
the food mixer!
I woke to make a coffee and could hear the noise of a tracked digger out in the likely field. "Coo!" I said to Liz, "We have a digger - they must be going to do the pole" (Like a school boy I still get excited about watching 'diggers' and, in this case, I wanted to see the corkscrew auger, with which they dig the hole, in action). I rushed outside and could straightway see that the new pole was already erected and the digger 'noise' was the sound of the machine being driven back out of the field and loaded onto the low loader, job done. They'd done the whole thing in 30 minutes while I snoozed. Fair play to them. A neat job they have made of it too. Now we await the notice from the ESB of a disconnection "for maintenance work" which will be them rigging the cables across from the old pole to the new.

More cake making.
I am not sure why I wanted the old pole; maybe it is the magpie in me. It's a big impressive baulk of timber which we might be able to use for some kind of garden feature or raised bed or maybe fence posts. It has me reminded of the huge wooden spars which went into the rebuild of the Sailing Barge Cambria (the bow sprit is 38 feet long, the topmast a good 43, and the mizzen mast (45') and the mizzen boom are up there too). Assuming they can drop it somewhere sensible in our 'garden' it will probably sit there untouched for ages while the weeds grow up around it. You are not advised to log them up and burn them because they were soaked and treated in some pretty obnoxious creosote-y mixtures back in the day so that they'd last 50 years or so, and the smell and smoke in your house is not that clever, apparently.

The puddles are joining up!
We have been heavily rained upon over the last couple of nights, with torrential rain in the wee small hours, so we are Puddle-Central at present. I am not complaining - I am not trying to align myself with the poor souls who have had real flooding, inundated houses and flooded out cars. We are on top of a rise here, so we just get inconvenient puddles and some days when it is good to stay off the land; you'd smear the grass to brown mush, poach up the tilled soil and wreck the drainage. I am pleased that we do not currently have sheep or pigs. We retreat indoors; hence all the cake making and, today, a mountain of ironing beaten into submission.

'Philae' comet lander descending (mock up pic from
the internet)
We have also been gripped and enthralled by the stuff coming in on the news, the internet, Twitter, Facebook and the European Space Agency website about the Rosetta / Philae landing onto comet 67P. We both love all this stuff and we are in awe of the technology. The comet is so far away (500 million km, I think) and moving so fast, that the precision and the maths involved by the 'flight dynamics' team has been likened to trying to hit a bullet fired from one gun with another bullet fired from a 2nd gun.

More puddles. Sunny today though
so they are draining fast.
The 'flight' was launched ten years ago (I only vaguely remember hearing of it) but they got their man, getting the orbiter (Rosetta) into position back in August this year close by the comet and then 'firing' the lander (Philae) down to the surface this week. It is 'sort of' going OK but the lander apparently bounced twice on impact (the first 'bounce' was actually a 1 km hop taking 1 hour 50 minutes as the comet is only 4 km long and does not have much gravity) and is now a km off 'target' and may be in the shade of a low cliff. This is not much use for the solar arrays which need to 'see' the sun. Ah well, we are impressed anyway by the amount they have achieved and we would say that was another 'good job jobbed'.

Home made dog treats. Some of the 2013 pig bits get roasted
and broken up. These are tails (the dogs have already had
the tips!) 
Meanwhile we are still frantically trying to clear some space in the freezer(s) ready to take our lamb meat which we collect from the butcher on Monday. We have, though, the offer of some space from a knitting chum of Liz, so we do not think we will have to buy the 5th freezer. Phew.

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