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Author Topic: A foul wind a blowin  (Read 216169 times)
biff
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« Reply #1470 on: April 08, 2018, 09:18:47 PM »

Then we looked up,

  and saw the sky pushing down hard on the roof of the shed,  I knew then that I had done an immense engineering  job in building a shed that could tear the bottom out of the sky rather than bow to it and collapse under the weight of it..Bands of deep reds are pouring down into the sea..I may have overdone it, i am afraid.
                                              Biff
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« Reply #1471 on: April 12, 2018, 09:37:56 PM »

Yesterday was a decent day,
                         I dug out the founds for a retaining wall. My new digger is working beautifully on porrige and the odd chicken and ham pie.
...........I almost removed the last of the encasing concrete from the old sewer line and stored the pipes and fitting away out of the road. The concrete was broken up into long lenghts of approx 45mm /500mm long and these will span the base of the founds. I am down to the hard bottom but the glar is impossible to remove completely, So i just gather up as much as i can in buckets and shovel fulls and set the lengths of concrete down into the water side by side across the trench. They will slip into place as I walk back and forth, This will allow the water to drain away and also give me a firm base to set my screeds and pour the concrete. I could hire a pump and have fun with the glar colgging it every 5 minutes and again i also want the water levels to be the same either side of the wall, So i will be leaving a honeycomb course. Interestingly, towards the last few meters of digging, I landed on a green stone, The most  beautiful green amid the tide of brown water it filled the bottom of the trench for the last 2 nmeters and yet i know that rock was there because years ago, i jacked out a very large old ash tree stump with the ex60 and hit that stone with the teeth of my new bucket and , Yes,,It is dam,d hard, then 20ft towards the fruit trees the rock is a dull brown and quite easy dug with the digger.
  This was a brutal job but had to be done and the concrete will have it,s use. The 138vdc dump load cables from the solar and the wind turbine are safe inside that black water pipe, they will be redirected when the little manhole is removed and the pipes lowered into the ground. I have a ton of cement coming tomorrow afternoon and a 5 ton scoop of ballast just after that. I may have to wait for a decent spell of weather but now is the time to do the concreting , while it is nice and cool and ideal working weather that does not send the concrete off too soon. There is great saving on sleeping tablets with a job like this and losing weight comes naturally.
     Till tomorrow,
                      Biff
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« Reply #1472 on: April 14, 2018, 08:01:08 PM »

It has been a bit of a battle getting up out of the bog but the concrete  haunching has served it,s purpose well,
Just a few moments ago, I was finishing up and emptying a few small rocks down into the founds, I was next to a blooming gorse bush and suddenly i heard the air brakes going off..Very close. I looked around and expected to find an artic or large truck pulled up on the street but the gates were closed,,I turned back to what I was doing,,scraped the barrow once more and again the air brakes went off very loud and very near. I could see nothing in the gorse bush but the cover here is incredible. I remember back in the days of 4 legged Biff and his gal Xena, They had cornered something under a cage tank and were not letting it get away. They knew better than to try corner Mrs Hubs, I knelt down to have a peep under the tank and saw the brown body at the same time as the air brakes went off..It was a mum mink with a kit and not in the mood for socialising.. But I saw nothing this evening. It must have thought that I was a right idiot.
This area used to be rotten with mink. The mink farm is only a mile away and years ago the animal rights folks broke into the caging quarters and loosed 2,000 mink into the wild. So we do have a few odd colored mink about the place. It is a beautiful sunset.
                                                 Biff
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« Reply #1473 on: April 14, 2018, 08:28:05 PM »

Loathsome destructive creatures Biff and pure vicious when cornered. We had a problem here for a while. lost lots of hens and the Missus was so scunnered she wound down the free range egg business. Shot a few and trapped a few but their appearance coincided with a spell when we stopped keeping pigs. Since we started keeping the pigs again we've not seen any mink. 
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« Reply #1474 on: April 15, 2018, 04:55:23 PM »

Very strong wind here today,
                             It is not a good idea to be mixing concrete in strong wind. The inexperienced will give it a go and then they are looking for the eyewash with the sand and cement ending up everywhere..
  best to keep everything covered up,,including the ballast. If not covered,,the sand blows away and you are left with an irregular mix.
                                                          Biff
                 
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« Reply #1475 on: April 16, 2018, 08:50:52 PM »

Being one of the inexperienced ones,
                                    I grabbed the chance this morning and went concreting with my toys and adult wheelbarrow. It was nice and sunny about 9am, The hounds had been walked and fed, the screeds were in place and a route for water storm water was established along the outside of the screeds. The stops on the end of the planks are to let me know when to tip the barrow. It is rather unpleasant to overshoot, so a simple stop on the end prevents that from happening.,  and there it was, all ready to go, All went well for until about  10am and the wind got up, in no time it was blowing a force 8 with empty buckets and tools subject to sudden departure. walking the runs became tricky but only for the last few feet above the founds as the gable was in the lee of the south winds, there is excellent stability in a barrow full of concrete but once it is offloaded, the return journey was a bit of a dance. Then at 10,30 am Mrs Biff rang to say that she would need to be collected from town around 12 noon, so the pace picked up. Then around 11 am, the wind was gusting like mad, i had left the mixer tipped  over above the barrow just for a few seconds and a gust gave it just enough of a push that the lot tipped forward,,drum and all,down on top of the barrow..I danced and jiggled to reach the red button,There must  be a hundred ways that you can break a leg handy but fooling around with a lecky mixer running live on the ground is as good as any. The mixer still had a small half load inside the drum,,so in order to keep the frame from spinning, i had to hold it firmly with one hand and push the button with the other. By now,,everything had to be weighed down,, buckets kept full of water , etc.
It was the kind of excitement that i could well do without but 15 minutes later,,with the drum dug out and the mess cleared up,, no damage,,the show was back on the road.. It was upwards and on wards. I
 finished around 12 after inserting two 26ft runs of 20mm twist steel and with everything all washed out headed off to town for Mrs Biff. It sets quickly and when I arrived back from town and had lunch, i laid a step on the side nearest the camera,, just a 100mm step to match up with the existing founds.
  The rain does not seem to be doing it any harm, Thankfully it has had a good 2 hours to go off and the step is up above the water line. It is giving good weather for Wednesday, so i will haul out the forklift and leave a few pallets of blocks ready to lay. Once it is up, I can relax and backfill. I intend to dig out the old moss/bog and fill it with a few feet of good clean fill, then slab the lot in 1mtr x 1.5 mtr x100mm sections. after haunching the pipes. It is a job that will take me through the summer and I look forward to it.


    Till next time,
               Biff
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« Reply #1476 on: April 19, 2018, 10:30:05 AM »

This past week has been as windy and as stormy as any week that i can recall,
                                        It was giving good weather for yesterday the 18th but all over the west of Ireland was a washout, Dublin they say, was in a heatwave. I walked the hounds at 6am and again at 6,30am, then after they had a small breaky, We locked up and slipped off into the dawn, The roads were wet and slippy over the Bluestacks but after Donegal the good tar made for good speed, Sligo in just 75 minutes obeying the speed limits through the towns, Through Sligo and then branching off through Ballysodare and descending the mountains past Beltry and on to the long undulating plantation roads that sectioned Mayo in time gone by. There is history here, Of valuable land, Of valueless land and names that entered the dictionary to mean trouble and strife world wide.
And you would wonder why,,because there was plenty for everyone and yet battles were fought up and down the west. The Spanish came here. The French came here and of course they left their mark from Belmullet to Dingle. We were going to Castlebar and of course one of the most famous battles of the lot was called the "Races of Castlebar" leading to the short lived Republic of Connaught just 220 yrs ago.
 Along the canal in Balina,where Jack could cast his fly and call for a breakfast at the same time. There was a danger that Jack would push St Patrick off the popularity stakes and the pope would have to make him a saint but Jack was already a saint so there was nothing for the pope to do but look on as Jack,s team took on the world. Through the confuddling streets of Foxford under the shadow of Nephin where your grandfathers used to get your car blankets from. It showed what the combination of a Protestant Freemason and a Sister of Mercy can produce and of course there would be a touch of the Magdalene Laundry there as well. Then Straid and Castlebar itself. Castlebar is a lovely town with the most friendly people. It seems neither east nor west. We had a quick breakfast.  Our zany host was all the way from Chicago but explained that she could do the local accent if we preferred that. She was great gas and a pleasure to meet. Our business was over and done and we were back on the road north by 12noon.
Times have improved. They are back to building barns again, big double fronted barns with annexes either side, I thought that we would have learned by now. 2008 is only a decade ago and the last lot of big barns will never be paid for. There should be some kind of law against this kind of stupid reckless building. It blew a gale the whole journey down and up and when we arrived back our tanks were full of nice hot water with the hall rads not cold to touch. It had threshed rain on the bog all day and the mountain roads had been flooded in places leaving debris of dead rushes and peat in places. They could see us, unlock the gates at the head of the drive but they were still sleepy in their welcome. A quick walk in the yard shook away the cobwebs, a small fire in the stove, smoke out of the stack and everything came back to life.
                     Biff
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« Reply #1477 on: April 21, 2018, 08:47:35 AM »

Today is promising,
                    My Marshalltown and Stabila , lump hammer and lines are in my bucket. Today I am going to be a brickie. My trowel is a disgrace, rusty and neglected but a few rubs on a block and a few hours on washed sand will polish it up. I stacked out yesterday and picked a nice trailer load of sand that turned out to be quite sweet and fatty, running well off the trowel and allowing the blocks to slip down into place without resorting to whacking them with the hammer. I mixed a small batch yesterday and laid 20. There is a cold breeze in that same area even when there is no wind blowing. Mrs Biff came out to watch for a moment and we both agreed that i am enjoying myself. It is good to be able to shape to it and it does give immense satisfaction.
The weather here is trying hard to improve but down south the weather is fantastic. House prices have increased by 88% , if you can believe that. Some poor soul gave himself a heart attack kissing the blarney stone and had to be whisked away on a helicopter to hospital,,Local news ,was about a chappie drinking in Strabane , who seemed charming to the company, so charming that when he later invited them back to his house in Lifford to continue the nights drinking,,they jumped at the chance,,two ladies and another man accompanied him back across the bridge to his house. The two men began to argue in the chappie,s kitchen,,whereby he became suddenly uncharming,,lashed out and started to batter the bloke. One of the woman decided to try and escape but got punched in the back of the head so violently that she got concussed on the spot, the other women tried to reason with the chappie and got a broken nose and is now missing two front teeth. So it was one hell of a party and the Judge told the chappie that he was going to have to pay compensation all round.. His defense barrister explained that he was actually in the middle of his behavioral therapy and needed constant therapy to keep on the straight and narrow.
So if you happen to meet some nice blokie bloke in a pub, you could ,if you could remember,,ask him if he is receiving behavioral therapy and take evasive action if the answer is positive.
My luckybag mixer sprung a few leaks last night, I intended to give it a decent clean but realised that the metal was so rusted and thin,,I had peppered it with holes in some places. A quick trip to the shed last night around 7pm ,produced a full unopened tube of liquid metal and it,s hardner and 10 minutes later , i was the proud owner of a solar/wind powered,brand new battered out Chinabest mixer. Pics later,
 So to the grindstone,
                           Biff
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« Reply #1478 on: April 21, 2018, 01:55:59 PM »

 The red rust is lavished on this machine, I decided that the automatic tipping facility was just that little bit too exciting and fitted the extras that included the strong and stable anti-tip kit..There are those among you dear members that will encourage me to patent this device but NO,! I want to share it with the world..There is a little bit of advice on what kind of suitable footwear but for god sake ,, don,t wear flip flops or carpet slippers or soft brown sandals..Those items do not lend themselves to the company where the handle can shoot up and jerk the block around sideways and up.. I have absolutely no idea why this is happening to this mixer now,,where it never was a problem before, I suspect that the frame is tired because the drum does lean forward as the frame bends.So that is not right.

 Grommet and Our Diesel were playing snap the hall and your ladyship decided to slide down the banister to impress Grommet because of his TV fame. It was not a good idea.
                                     Biff


« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 01:57:59 PM by biff » Logged

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« Reply #1479 on: April 21, 2018, 04:58:03 PM »

Then we looked up,

and saw the sky pushing down hard on the roof of the shed,  I knew then that I had done an immense engineering  job in building a shed that could tear the bottom out of the sky rather than bow to it and collapse under the weight of it..Bands of deep reds are pouring down into the sea..I may have overdone it, i am afraid.

Oi, Biff, Nick Cave is using your login to post!

(seriously though, I love your writing.  genuflect)
« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 05:04:11 PM by azps » Logged

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« Reply #1480 on: April 21, 2018, 09:43:04 PM »

Ah , Thank you AZPs,
                       T,is heartening. I am now looking to let loose some very posh poetry. I feel encouraged and gifted,nay,,inspired, like the great McGonagall the greatest of all Scottish poets after Burns.
 But first some artistic photos of blocks on their flat and i will leave the poetry for later,,much later.some might say,,the later the better.
  First the artistic patch on my mixer drum, It was not as simple as it seemed..You could see the holes from inside the drum but be dad,,it was impossible to see them from the outside. So I hatched a clever plan, I acquired a pencil and by sticking my head inside the drum and my fingers on the outside, I was able to block the sunlight coming through and mark the spot on the outside of the drum with the pencil in the same hand. Then I mixed the gloob over the guilty area and it was an instant success with an immediate turnover,,so to speak.
  Some arty blockwork with a slight dogleg to follow the fencing posts,
   In a more serious vein, it was good to get this retaining wall built at last. It was not so long ago, that I could not even think of building it but those days are behind me. So in a way it is cause for celebrations with my mobility and stamina improving as the weeks go by. I now have to dig out some of the top soil or bog ,, put another block on edge on the existing founds for the new conservatory,, Haunch the sewer pipe to the little manhole on the lawn and then level across with good clean hardcore and slab the lot. It has been sitting waiting for completion for years and should make a terrific difference.
We had planned a 2 story conservatory on the north facing gable to the sea. The founds are in. The internal bricks are here, The large double glazed units are here, It just needs the steel and the hollow beams, But I am thinking too far ahead. First things first. The slab for the summer.
                                                       Biff
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« Reply #1481 on: April 22, 2018, 04:56:54 PM »

biff, delighted to hear that your getting fit(ter), enough to wield a trowel and lift blocks.  Power to your elbow.
Andy
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« Reply #1482 on: April 23, 2018, 12:33:37 PM »

Thank you Andy,
              Horrible day here today, A driving damp fog, soaks everything in minutes. freeze
                                     Biff
                                                                 
     
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« Reply #1483 on: April 26, 2018, 10:44:37 AM »

The weather is so unsettled,
                             Strong winds and rain every half hour, Most of yesterday was force 6/7 and the occasional stormy gusts that sent everything flying helter skelter. My labors continue,,wrapped up against the wind, I have dug down and removed a few cubes of bog next to the new retaining wall, built a manhole and pile fresh soil all along the march which will take multiple packets of wild flower seeds very shortly.I need to haunch the sewer pipe today and give it a few days to go off before backfilling and levelling off. I have to clear the deck for a large load of hardcore that should go a long way to changing the whole appearance of the place.
     Our turbine has been belting out the amps non stop. It,s dump load in the hall, a 2kw x 138vdc immersion in a S/S 210ltr thermal store has never been as busy with the hall controller blowing off night and day. It all adds up. The constant driving wind, show no let up and hour after hour it dumps the heat into the tanks. We have a coat rail over the thermal store and the coats also act as insulation and keep warm also..In the very cold weather the hall is noticeably warmer. The hall is 25 x 8ft and the ceiling rises with the stairs, so it is a large volume to heat, yet the thermal store seems to release just enough to take the chill away. It is difficult to measure the financial benefits of such a set up but it must be considerable on a day like to day, with driving wind and little sunshine it is left to the turbine to produce the goods and yet the solar does produce a steady effortless top end stream of power. from now to the end of September, the house will never be cold and the smallest fire in the stove heats the rads because the heat is always in the water.
The north wind is lashing rain of the gable veranda door, Earlier,,while walking the hounds, I could taste the salt on the wind from the Atlantic. Yet the ground dries out quickly in the windy spring. Every plant and tree, flower and shrub conspires to suck the water in a race to produce their fruit and seeds. The drying wind carries away the rest..I need some 4 dry hours. The weather here is due to dry up later today and stay good to Monday. That,s more like it.
                                                     Biff
   
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« Reply #1484 on: April 27, 2018, 11:41:34 PM »




      On the way to town , in this evening,s setting sun


                                        Biff
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