Friday 10 February 2017

Last Logs and First Fixes

The Pulmonaria in the woods start into flower
A nice, compact, portable, user friendly, post today as we are in that quiet time between all the excitement of recent posts, and the burst of activity which is Spring. I have done a bit of planting in the tunnel and we have been buying seeds but the main (outdoor) garden is developing an "Elephant in the Room" status. It is THE BIG JOB this year. Fighting back into control of the 25*100 foot patch of ridged soil which I shamefully lost control of in 2016. I keep looking at it but the frosty weather, the rain and today's bitter wintry showers have so far stopped me getting the knee pads on and making a start.

The last bit of black spruce from the 2016
felling project, finally gets dragged out of
the woods and sliced up. 
If I feel bad about that, then I have been doing some bits outside lately to balance the books. I broke out the chain saw today and went round finishing off some jobs that had been on the list for a while too long. The last piece of black spruce trunk left from the 2016 'trees-on-the-lawn' felling project finally got dragged out of the woods and sliced up. Various fallen branches which had been lying in the sheep field and used as scratching posts and 'mineral' nibbles (sheep will nibble tree bark and twiggy bits when grass is not sufficiently nutritious) were chopped up so that they can be barrowed home as logs.

An elder and its neighbour growing from our boundary
bank at 45º were starting to impede our progress round to
the tunnel. (Base stump arrowed)
There were also a few branches stashed under the log store that needed dealing with - the bits were too long to go into the range (16" maximum) and the last of the "telegraph pole" sections and some big gnarly bits which needed splitting (too big diameter).

The dogs enjoying their daily off-lead time
Finally there were a couple of big, overgrown elders in the hedge by the poly-tunnel which had grown out of the bank at 45º. Each year they delight us with flowers and berries at easy-pick heights BUT they had begun to impede the progress of anyone walking dogs round the 'estate' or trying to get to the tunnel. I took these 'lads' down foot by foot and generated another useful stack of barrow-able logs, all be it elder is not that good a species for firewood.

Kitchen electrics 'first-fix'
The only other news is that we had our new 'Sparks' round to first-fix the electrics in the kitchen. It's not a massive job - we only need a light in the ceiling and a couple of double sockets with the new worktop. Only the latter bit gave the guy pause for a while - the plan had been to run a spur off a Sitting Room socket by drilling through the back of that socket to emerge in the kitchen.

When our original Sparks tried this he had the modern 'SDS' drill but had to buy a 1m long bit to get through our 50 cm walls at a 30º upward angle - he was installing 'carriage lights' out front. Conferring with this guy we decided that rather than buy another bit, we would take our spur from the old kitchen and 'chase' it through at one end of the new. This is now done and K-Dub and I can now proceed with the slabbing etc.

One of the marmalades makes short work of a chunk of
roast chicken pelvis. 
That is pretty much it. If you are feeling deprived (ha!) and in need of more 'Care Brothers' waffle, then let me point you at the blog of my younger bro', Mark. If my version of the retirement dream was to buy the 'farm' and keep livestock, then his was definitely to travel the world. He is a keen writer about these missions and packs his 'travelogue' posts with plenty of lovely photo's of the places he and his good lady have visited.

Most recently they have done a 4-weeker in New Zealand in which they drew heavily on the advice of a 'consultant/guide' for the itinerary. They went pretty much EVERYwhere and did lots of different things, so they have a wealth of pictures - scenery, cities, restaurants and food, a cathedral hit by the recent earthquake, dolphins. albatrosses and sea lions, 4 x 4 driving on dirt roads over the mountains, kayaking, even dropping in on 'Hastings' the town named after our own birthplace. The highlight for me, though was when they managed to do a light-aircraft "Sky Safari" over a superbly beautiful range of snow-capped, glacier-iced 'alps' on what must have been the blue-est sky clear conditions you could only dream about.

Go take a look at . Nice one Mark!

1 comment:

Care Towers said...

Still catching up on the printing for Mum, and reading up along the way... so I've just caught up with this one and the 'recommendation' and link - for which many thanks! glad you've enjoyed the story, obviously, but it'll be interesting to see if new readership arrives...