Saturday 24 January 2009

A Few More Pictures

By 5:30 pm, the wind had dropped quite a bit so I ventured outside to have a look a little further away from the house and to round up the escaping plant pots etc.

Down by the pond a quick look at the tedder left me thankful that poplar isn't a particularly heavy wood or a tree that produces lots of heavy branches. I think once I remove the tree the tedder will be fine. The ground is very wet there and consequently soft so I'm hopeful that the damage to the tedder will be minimal.

Keeping well away from or at least up wind from any trees I wandered round the field above the pond. Three small trees/bushes have had largish branches snapped off so I'll need to clear them next week too if possible.

This picture shows the two poplars from above the pond and also gives a good view of the oak that came down before Christmas. I need to clear that sometime too but as it's on my neighbours land I have to be very careful to pick my time so as to not damage his wheat crop in the field.

Coming down the other side of the field from the pond this run off from the neighbour's field is heading for the pond but gives an idea of the amount of rain we've had over the last couple of days. There's more rain forecast over the next couple of days, some torrential so I don't know when the roof will be fixed but the winds which were the strongest recorded in this area, have gone.

Oh and all the chickens made it back safely too, and my red shoes are staying very firmly in the shoe rack.

And The Wind Did Blow

And blow, and blow, plus another 20.5 mm of rain to add to the 39 from yesterday. Added to which the power went out at around 8 am but was back on at 2 pm – I was battening down for the day without electricity as the winds haven’t let up so there must be some pretty tired people out there battling away to restore the power.

Link to BBC report here.

Last night we were just on orange alert but it’s been upgraded to red alert this morning – now I’ve got onto the computer. Apart from the wind coming in off a depression in the Atlantic, there is another depression coming down from the north and that is bringing much colder weather so possible snow flurries and ice.

The farm has taken some damage; on the windw
ard side roof tiles have been lifted so rain is pouring into the rear storage area. I’m hoping that it won’t get much worse or it might start to affect the lived in part of the building. It’s far too windy to risk going up to try and fix the roof.

Down by the pond I have 3 young poplars that I thought would be fine. Wrong; when I looked out this morning, one of them had snapped and by lunchtime a second had also snapped and looks like it’s fallen onto my tedder, which is stored down there. I’m really glad I wasn’t tempted to go and look at the damage after the first tree came down and yet again I’m so glad that the 3 over large and rotten poplars round the house are down.

Elsewhere, the large plastic patio table has had the centre section broken – I tried removing the parasol but the base has swollen into the holder and everything was just too heavy for me to do anything about. I do now realise why wooden furniture is so popular here.

One of my wild cherry trees has also taken a battering; it’s not that tall so I was a bit surprised to see it leaning but the ground is so waterlogged, I guess it just couldn’t hold on well enough.

The chickens stayed in when I opened up this morning but when I went to give them their grain at lunchtime some of them decided to venture out – or rather ran past me. So I hope they are feeling strong or goodness knows where they will end up. The roof of their hut is also taking a battering and I’ve had to weight it down with more bricks. So still here at the moment and waiting to see what the rest of the day brings.

Friday 23 January 2009

Picture Catch-Up

First a couple more pictures of the flooding this morning – the little brook that runs along the bottom of the slight valley just couldn’t cope so water meadows were the order of the day.

There is a mega storm forecast for early tomorrow morning too so more rain plus 70 mph winds – oh joy, I think I’ll keep the shutters bolted, thankfully there are no longer any tall rotten trees to fall on the house. There are also warnings of power/telephone failures due to trees falling on lines.

So what have I been doing during this last week of blog silence? It’s been lots of little things and time-consuming things. I did some baking as I had lemons to use up and the bananas I’d just bought had been in far to cold a place and when I got them home and they warmed up they went soft. So I now have lemon cake and banana cake. If anyone is wondering, there is no added colouring in the lemon cake, just free-ranging chicken eggs.

Time has also been spent going to the tree nursery, ordering and then two trips collecting the next batch of saplings. There are only 166 this time and I’m really hoping that having ploughed the ground I should be able to plant much more quickly than last years.

A rainy day earlier on and I decided to fit the oak workbench. It didn’t need a lot of work, battens on the wall and the other workbench cut back to give it room. Once I got started I realised that I had to cut out a section for some pipes; that was tough going, while the workbench might be made out of bits of oak, they are solid bits of oak, really tough and the bench its self is really heavy. So here’s just a selection of the tools.

The circular saw is on the floor having already trimmed most of the workbench by the sink. It could only get to about 4” from the wall, and then it was the turn of the jigsaw. That got to about an inch from the wall and then it was the handsaw. Having got that done, I set about the small cut-out for the pipes. Thankfully I had a corded drill as my battery one would never have had enough power to drill the guide hole through the worktop. The jigsaw took out the bulk but it still needed rasping and that felt like it took forever especially as despite my very careful measuring I hadn’t realised that the two walls weren’t at right angles.

Why I thought this corner would be a right angle when the other corner that gave so much problems putting up the corner cupboards wasn’t I don’t know. So a little trimming and a little bodging and it finally fitted and had its first coat of oil, just don’t ask how long it took, I really don’t want to think about that.

I Thought I Heard Rain

The view is of my neighbour's field at the end of my road; maybe I should start building a boat.