On Monday I decided to push on to see if I could finish capping the new stone walls this week. That would be about 90% of the job done as there will be pointing and ‘stuff’ to do for some time yet.
I decided to top them with a curved mortar capping to match other stone walls in the garden but the big disadvantage is that it would take yet more mortar mixing. We are doing all that by hand – fine, except that it has given me something akin to tennis elbow.
I managed to cap the first 4m stretch just before the rain started. The next bits were beneath the trees, so I kept going on the basis that would be fairly dry.
As the rain came down harder I realised that beneath the trees was not all that dry. As it became a torrent, I realised that it was not at all dry. As the lightning started, working beneath the trees seemed to be an even less sensible idea so I hurriedly finished the bit I was doing and retreated indoors, soaked to the skin.
It’s surprising how large drops of water falling from trees, and the sheets used to cover wet mortar, can spoil the immaculate finish achieved by a true craftsman (or, at least, that’s my story).
I spent the day dodging the rain and capping 5 stretches of wall, having to go back frequently to repair rain damage and, on one occasion, cat paw prints (and we don’t even have a cat – ours, a female called Brian, died a few years ago … RIP Brian).
Back for a stint at the charity pop-up cycle shop on Tuesday morning – and then another (unplanned) stint in the afternoon, playing mechanic. Wednesday was dull and wet but I capped the final bit of wall and attended to a bike I brought back from the shop to fix at home.
Gym on Thursday for a very good hour and then in the garden, mowing, fixing crazy paving paths and working on a path area by the newest bit of wall. All followed by an extremely windy run on Friday 7.2km (4.5miles).
Bournemouth at home
In 2017 and 2018 we invited two sets of friends to Bournemouth for a long weekend. Last year we were bold and went for ‘Bournemouth in the Alps’ by inviting them to France. This year the pandemic means it’s ‘Bournemouth at home’ but the 6 of us had a great weekend of walks (a total of about 21 km – 13 miles), pubs, picnics, ice creams, a trip up the Folly Tower and home suppers. We cycled to one of the pubs for lunch – a very gentle 48km (30 miles) on the mountain bike.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: He who eats the peas forgets, whereas he who has to throw away the pods doesn’t.
2. Highest temperature on earth: What could be the highest temperature ever reliably recorded on Earth – 130F (54.4C) – may have been reached in Death Valley National Park, California.
Wow – I remember stepping out of an air conditioned car when we got to Stovepipe Wells many years ago. I thought I’d put my head in an oven … and that was pleasantly cool in comparison.
3. Proposed dog legislation in Germany: Under the planned rules, dog owners would have to take their dogs for walks twice a day for a minimum of one hour in total, would not be allowed to keep their dogs chained for long periods of time and would not be allowed to leave dogs alone the whole day.
Wow! (or should that be bow wow)