Sunday, 21 July 2013

A long & full weekend

I'm not sure whether I have been too hot and tired to sit  at a keyboard and write recently or whether I have just misplaced my blogging mojo. I feel that the entries are becoming a little samey and my lack of inclination to write means my entries are certainly less frequent than usual hence this one is a case of three days in one ...

Friday; Hot Dogs anyone?
Today we were out of the house early and spent the day at the CLA Game Fair at Ragley Hall near Alcester, Warwickshire. We had a splendid day wandering around the various retail stands and exhibitions but Christ was it Hot! The sun was shining from a cloudless sky and out in the full sun temperatures were well above 30 degrees centigrade.

We took T&M along, as dogs are welcome, and they coped well in the morning but seemed grateful when we doused them with water at lunch time in an attempt to cool them down. As the temperatures continued to climb through the afternoon, soaking the dogs became a regular activity to keep them comfortable. Fortunately there were dog baths and showers all over the showground and we even found a dog swimming pool, so this was never a problem. However, as we tired and headed back towards the car, it was apparent that Tyson had had enough of the heat as she insisted on walking in the shade of the trade tents wherever possible.

We also noticed that, despite the presence of dog water bowls at most of the stands and stalls, T&M refused to drink from any of them; waiting until we got back to the car to drink from the water we had brought along. I find it interesting that they will drink from puddles and ditches out around the Three Miler but turn up their noses at a bowl of water that some other dog has used.

Saturday; Pushing a couple of projects forward
Saturday started cool and overcast which was a relief after yesterday's scorcher. I made the best of the lower temperatures and decided that I would load up the trailer and take the debris from last weekend's studly demolition to the tip ...

... How wrong was I! The humidity levels were high and it was still very warm. TP and I were dripping with sweat after lugging the demolished fireplace from the study to the trailer. On arrival at the Tip it was apparent that very few individuals were stupid enough to be undertaking manual work on such a warm day. We soon had the rubbish unloaded and were headed back home.

In the afternoon I continued my debris clearance theme and took the chainsaw to some lengths of hardwood timber that had originally formed the mantel shelf of the study fireplace. It seemed wrong to be hacking up 60mm thick hardwood but the realist in me knows that I will never find a use for it and it is far better cut up in to chunks and added to the wood pile.

Having made a lot of noise and saw dust I headed over to the DIY store to pick up some hardware for the bench project and stopped off to see BMS & SMS on the way back home. I filched an extra length of oak board for the project and caught up on their news whilst drinking tea and playing with a very excitable Tilly.

I arrived back home to find that 30% had been busy in the garden but had had to abort her pruning activities after a falling branch had caught her eye as it fell from a laurel she was trimming. She wasn't making a fuss but having had a scratched cornea a couple of years back I was extremely conscious of how painful it can be and would not be surprised if a visit to A&E is in the offing.

I filled the remainder of my afternoon and early evening planing and trimming the oak boards that would form the seat and back for the restored Victorian bench.

Sunday: A trip to A&E
Unfortunately it came as no surprise that 30%'s eye was no better and a trip to A&E was necessary. My amateur diagnosis was confirmed by the professionals and it looks like 30% is in for a few painful days sat in a darkened room until the cornea heals.

Fortunately A&E was fairly quiet but I will make mention of the couple who brought in their baby for medical attention. They were obviously sufficiently concerned enough about their infant to decide that a trip to Casualty was warranted. However not so concerned about this emergency that they couldn't afford the time to pop through McDonald's Drive Thru and pick up a couple of coffees on the way to the hospital! I kid you not, they swanned in to A&A in their Sunday best with a Latte in one hand and the other on the bars of the baby's stroller! ... is it me?

We arrived home shortly before midday and 30%'s plan was, understandably, to not do much more than snooze in a darkened room. We therefore lunched early and she was about to disappear upstairs when Steve and Helen arrived ...

... it was only a fleeting visit from Helen as she had a supermarket visit on her itinerary but she called in to say "hello" and collect her gate-cum-wicket that I had made last weekend. It was a relief that my design aligned with her concept and all she has to do now is apply a chalk paint and decorate ... Steve has promised photos of the finished article.

Steve expected to be at The Pile somewhat longer as it was planned that he would repair the scratches on the Ducati's fairing. Unfortunately his visit was fleeting too as  a colour match could not be found. He did recommend a Body Shop a few miles away and it looks like I will need to get them to order paint from the manufacturer rather than go with the colour match approach.

The rest of my day was spent routing and sanding the timber for the bench and I managed to apply a few coats of exterior furniture oil before returning to the house to prepare dinner under 30%'s beady eye.*
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* Note "beady eye", singular. The other one was less beady and more sort of weepy.

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