Sunday, 31 July 2016

Weekend Round Up

It was another busy weekend here at The Pile which, unsurprisingly, featured further efforts to transform the garden.

Saturday started with 30% disappearing off to the Supermarket for provisions. I wanted to mow the lawn, but needed to wait a while for the overnight dew to dry.  I therefore wandered out to the garage and tinkered with The Shitter; oil levels were checked, the engine was warmed and levels were checked again.

This token motorcycle maintenance didn't take very long and the lawn was still damp, but I reasoned that it had been cut wetter than this, so set about trimming the sward. About an hour later I had finished and rewarded myself with a coffee out in the garden where I surveyed the results of my efforts.

Directly after lunch I headed over to inspect the hive at the Tweedy residence. It took no more than twenty minutes to see that the colony was performing superbly. The Queen was sighted and the frames were packed with eggs, larvae and sealed brood.  I was unsure about available space in the hive, so added an extra Super  just in case. I then headed home via a couple of hardware stores to pick up a pair of edging shears and some concrete ballast.

The rest of the afternoon was spent preparing a site for the hive that is currently in the Tweedy's garden.* The selected site is in a sunny spot in the, now cleared, briar patch. I marked and dug out a shallow footing for a 3' x 2' concrete slab and had just about finished when 30% reminded me that I needed to tidy up before dinner.

The evening saw the arrival of the Mr & Mrs Tweedy. We had a splendid meal before settling down to tweak our route for our upcoming US road trip. I am really looking forward to the trip, but found the planning session somewhat frustrating.

30% and the Tweedies insisted on using a map and then asking how far point A was from point B and how long it would take to drive the distance. I much prefer to use the Mapquest website which is very much click 'n drag with automatic generation of routes and statistics.  As a result, I left them to their map and input their requirements in to the Mapquest website. On a regular basis I emailed them a url which would allow them to pull up the route at the click of a mouse button.

I felt very much like I was holding a blow torch, watching Homo Neanderthalensis sweating over a bow drill in an attempt to make fire.

Moving on to Sunday, I started the day at the site for my second hive. A reasonable quantity of bricks, concrete and stones were collected and a merry hour was spent with a sledge hammer, creating a hardcore sub-base for the concrete slab.

I realised that I would need a finer ballast to fill some of the voids in the hardcore, so headed in to town to pick up a couple of sacks ... An hour later I stood back and was satisfied with the foundation. The mixing of the mortar and the laying of the slab can wait until later in the week.

In the afternoon more gardening took place before I retired to the sofa for a kip.

As five o'clock drew near I headed out to the garage and extracted TP's little Yamaha and the Shitter. TP has been trying to sell his little 125 for a few weeks and has finally attracted a potential buyer that is a) local and b) making all the right noises.**

We headed in to Worcester and met up with the potential purchaser at his place of work. He wandered around the bike, asked a couple of questions and then suggested we head in to his office to complete the paperwork and transfer the payment. That was it, no haggling, no nit-picking over the condition of the bike. It was the most straightforward vehicle sale ever.

As TP was sorting out the registration documents I realised that I would not be able to give him a lift home on the Shitter, as it has as single seat.  I had not expected the deal to be completed this evening, so I had to race home and swap to the Honda and return to pick up TP.

So now I have more space in the garage, but also have a son with a motorcycle license, but no bike. How long is it going to be before I hear "Dad, can I borrow your bike?"
* It is doing really well, but is sited under fruit trees and, consequently, want to bring it back home before the wasp season.  Wasps are notorious for robbing hives and honey is going to attract them like proverbial flies to a bucket of manure.
** Prior to this weekend he has had his time wasted by clueless seventeen year olds, making ludicrous offers and expecting TP to courier the bike to the other end of the country.

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