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... the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves ...
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gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1636
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 18 2:56 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

I arrived at work at around 5.30 to be greeted, after I had gone in with a snow and rain storm for 15 minutes about 6am. I was expecting the worst, but it has been lovely, though a bit windy all morning and a little cool, but pleasant, for the time of year-I just hope we don't pay for it later in the spring. Jam Lady's frosts are doing a lot of good, our warmer temperatures are harbouring various unpleasant diseases no doubt. I just hope we have a burst of cold weather before anything says its spring lets get out there. I have nothing planted or expecting anything to show anyway, but there will be plenty of people who have stuff waiting to appear if we get a 'false warm' start.

My Australian friends have just got back to Brisbane after a few weeks in Tassie visiting their son. I hope the 'boy' is ok, not sure whereabouts he is, and everyone else living there too. They are coming over to visit me later this year-well we are meeting up in Chipping Campden again for a week in May, as we did last year. I am pleased that Cassandra has been in touch with the world-we know she must be ok!

I still have to remember to make an appointment with the doctor who is to sort out my brain and its info. retention, MR. I did the nurses test a year or so ago and no problem with the reverse counting and months of the year. For me it is going upstairs at work and forgetting what I want for whoever. I sometimes made a couple of trips before I got it right. Now I tend to write it down, but that takes time.

I am going to take the tyres off my Massey tractor tomorrow and take them to my local man to have new fitted-£200 plus fitting later. It will involve jacking the tractor up and blocking the axles to remove the wheels, First time they have come off, if they do come off, in at least 15 years. I will do my best and hope it works. Loading them onto the trailer will be the hard part I will be collecting the bits I need tonight and making a start to at least get it off the ground.

Going back to elm I have 6 pieces laid up for around 25 years with the intention of making a new refectory dining table, around 8ft. by 3 ft. and 2 inches thick, par 3 sides. I am not capable of doing this myself, it will have to go to a proper cabinet maker; at the time it cost around £60. Just getting round to it-time flies.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9708

PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 18 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Husband often forgets what he has gone into a room for, but there is supposed to be a 'portal effect' which means if you go through a door, perhaps up stairs as well, it means you are in a different space. That's his excuse anyway, but I think he doesn't concentrate. And he says I have a bad memory!

The elm sounds lovely Gregotyn. It will cost rather more to have made into a table now I am afraid, but will be worth it.

Helped at food bank yesterday, and we had all the stuff in from supermarkets that had accumulated over the holiday, so lots to sort out, but we also had 15 parcels to make up, so a busy day. I do one side of the room, and ended up having to look through the stuff that came in for tinned meat like corned beef. Somehow the rice and custard had become mixed too, but considering the chaos that was our last day, when we gave out 118 hampers (3 unexpected, so we just did the best we could for them) for Christmas, not as bad as it could have been.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1636
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 18 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The husband, MR, is in very early stages of "gregoism". It has taken me years to be able to develop the technique of putting stuff down, looking for it, only to find it is literally on the desk/bench/arm of the chair or wherever I am at the time. Occasionally it is due to an outside source, but those are who I blame!!

Yes the table made today will cost at least two thousand I would estimate, primarily due to the availability of elm and secondly, I have to find to right cabinet maker to do the job and I would then be beating him down to that price. I will either have a go myself but that may take longer than I have left, or just sell the wood. An idea, perhaps, as highly unlikely I will have a property to take the table when I finally retire.
The current retirement theory is that I will apply for planning permission to convert a building on the holding, then sell the rest to my 'grazing' couple, who want to buy, but we will see, it is all about money! They look after me as it is in so many ways. And their little dog, Ivy, loves me to pieces! If she is out when I go down the lane to see them, she looks, then when she realises it is me, she races to come to get in the motor and cover me with licks.

I have to go to a Massey dealer to get some new oil filters for the Tractor which appears to be starting well every day. I don't want to use it is earnest till the 15yo oils have been changed! So must go a bit sharpish I guess they will close about 12 today.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9708

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 18 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

He has always been able to put something down on an empty bench then lose it Gregotyn.

If you have the elm, that is the first step. It may be worth a bit now, but will be worth a great deal more made up into a table, even with the cost of making it.

Lovely your neighbours dog is so attentive. My grandfather was 'looked after' by a neighbours dog. As he lived about 1/4 mile away from them, and was the last house in their rather rural road, we were rather pleased about that, as we knew if anything happened, like a bad fall, the dog would alert someone.

We had our Volunteer Group yesterday. Nice lot of brash clearance done, and some more useable firewood and charcoal wood extracted, and good fun had by all, which is the important thing. It didn't rain, and as we were in a valley, not too windy, although it was quite cold for us, but nothing like as cold as our US friends.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9708

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 18 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We finally managed to get going on the coppice yesterday. Husband and son went out with chainsaws and cut some very large hazel and got a few ash stems down from coppice stools that were going to fall over if they weren't cut, and I burnt brash again. Managed to cut one small hazel stool, but no rods out of it as they were all short and bent.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1636
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 18 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

"It" has to be under or attached to my nose, MR, or it is lost". In spite of new glasses, I still don't "see" the obvious.

I have to ask the question,"Is a rod a length of hazel suitable for a fence panel? I ask because I don't know. I wondered if it may even be a length that will do at least 6ft long and split down the middle. I always wonder if the splits in a woven panel are all kept to one side-the neighbour's side, and you get the bark side,twisting the rod as you turn the corner? I have watched this done so many times and thought I would have a go but I doubt it now. For such panels I also guess that the lengths of hazel have to be straightish at the least. I have a large hazel bush which is growing into electric wires and I am thinking it would be better to reduce this in height and decide what to do with it later. There should be a book about it somewhere-I'll get my library staff on the case-unless you, MR, have the answers?

The Elm is in a shed maturing. I watched a weekly country style TV. programme many years ago and it featured a round elm table, which was superb, and I thought that is for me! Funnily enough I went to the horse trials at Badminton and there were the 'folks' off the TV show with the table-which made me determined to get it done.

I went to the Massey dealer and got the filters for the tractor. Then got the tyres off and I took them to the local man who is going to put 2 newish tyres on the rims-£200 later-and they don't look a lot better than those I have taken off, one being very green! I am hoping to collect them and reshoe the tractor so that I can at least use it to take 'stuff' round the place. My neighbour is going to start cutting some of the trees I have for logs for next winter, so the tractor will come in handy for that. I already have a tipping trailer.

I must go as the nets are flying out of the shop faster than I can net them up. I was hoping that as they are bigger nets there would be less of them to do but looks like not to be an easy winter for me!
I have been invited out to Sunday lunch with a difference-it will all be organic and from home grown produce, except the chicken-organic but not home produced!

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1879
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 18 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yesterday I did a lecture for a master gardeners group about an hour away. Started home and as I reached the highway it began to drizzle. Roads were fine. Got home and driveway is coated with black ice. I trudged up to the house through the snow alongside the driveway.

There's a thin skin of snow on top of the black ice. Mr Jam Lord will try to sweep some of it away so the sun can get to the frozen layer beneath.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9708

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 18 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hope Jam Lord manages all right without coming a cropper himself. That is even worse than snow, so careful driving seems to be the rule for the foreseeable future Jam Lady. Glad it wasn't too bad when you were out anyway.

Gregotyn, a rod is the stem of wood you get from a hazel. If you have a good stool you may get over 20 rods per stool. Ones for hurdle weaving are usually about 1" diameter. Slightly thinner ones are not split and called 'round rods.' They are often used for the bottom and sometimes the top of the hurdle. The others are 'splitting rods' and are split in half before using.

You start with a frame or mould to put the 'sails' or 'zails' in; the upright rods. This is slightly curved, but if you want to just stick the sails in the ground to make one, it would save the trouble of making the frame. You then need to weave the round rods in the bottom to make sure that it doesn't fall out. Best to use a book for this as it is a bit complicated. Then carry on with the split rods. Some people put all the split side one way, and some like a band of round rods or split rods with the bark side to that side at the top as a contrast.

We had a call for another 50 log sacks yesterday, so I will have to do some more tomorrow. We are expecting an order for another 50 some time soon, so looks like my time is well ordered for the foreseeable future, although I still have to cut the birch for my besoms.

Hope your tractor is all right. Our little tractor is playing up, which is a nuisance as we really need it to extract in the coppice. The oil pressure light keeps coming on, so husband has to see if there is a real problem or just the switch.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1879
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 18 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yesterday's high temperature was 42 degrees Fahrenheit so where the sun could reach the black ice it melted. Of course last night's low temperature was 18 degrees Fahrenheit so we'll see what it is when I leave for my Wednesday knitting group in a little bit.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9708

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 18 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Is that normal winter temperature for you Jam Lady? I know there has been a very cold area over the US lately, but haven't heard if it has moved. We are back to mild weather at the moment, at least it was yesterday. We had sun too, which made it nice. Husband and son managed to do a lot of felling and extracting while I went shopping.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1636
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 18 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We too are in a mild spell this afternoon, very sunny. Not so much fun this morning at 4.30 as I went to work and overtook the gritting lorry; it must have been icy, but I thought it was warm and was going on a bit if it was icy-oops. I hope all turns back to warm for you soon Jam Lady, walking up driveways with black ice is no fun except for onlookers.

Good, MR, the 'rod' for hazel is as I thought, but didn't know. I assume the rods all come out of the stool, which I guess comes about from cutting rods from it year in and out at the appropriate time? I am also assuming that you sell the rods to hurdle makers.

My tractor is ok now I have 2 tyres for it, which will go to be fitted at the weekend. I have to get some stuff to put in the diesel tank to kill any of the dreaded micro organisms which feed off red diesel. There would be no problem if it were run solely on white diesel, but as it is not going off the road it may as well get a dose. This w/e should see it working, well I am hoping so. My friend said it needs to go on a good run to a friend's farm about a mile away, I'm not so sure yet. I would prefer it to get over any teething troubles at home before I embark on trips aboard the red machine.

Have you heard from Cassandra, MR.? I hope all is well with you all.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1879
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 18 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The weather is seesawing from colder than typical to warmer than normal. Average it out and we are where we should be. Overcast today, rain tomorrow.

Many (I'd even go as far as "most") of the forums seem to be in hibernation. Lack of interest? Moving on? No idea. Even Cassandra has become an intermittent, very occasional presence here. As gregotyn says, hope all is well.

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 6244
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 18 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Blame the dreaded facebook, Jam Lady,it is sucking the life out of many forums and blogs.
People don't seem to realize that archives on fora and blogs are accessible and useful. Just living for the minute..nay,the second

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9708

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 18 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Gregotyn, hazel is cut every 5-7 years, depending on what you want to use it for and how fast it is growing. In some places in our wood 7 years seems to be a bit long, but if it is shady, or a few years where we have less sun, then it needs the longer time.

I would agree about your tractor; make sure it is all right before taking it for a run. You don't want to have to be towed home by a larger tractor.

Cassandra is posting on FB and seems all right. Last contact I had with her she said she hasn't been on her computer much. I think she uses her phone for FB and her computer for here.

Yes Gz, it does seem that more people are taking to FB rather than forums like this. Shame. I belong to a couple of groups on FB that do have archives, so you can look up queries from the past, but haven't quite got that worked out. Afraid I don't really understand FB that well, and sure I could get more out of it.

Yesterday was a busy day as I filled 30 log sacks. We had 50 on order, with 20 filled, then we contacted our other large outlet and they wanted 50 too, so 50 down, 50 more to make next week. Husband and son did 2 firewood loads and put another one on for today, and cut and split me some logs for the sacks. I still had to split some of them with the axe, so a rather heavy day. Strangely I am rather tired now.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1636
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 18 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I agree that face book seems to be the current flavour. I went to it when RC closed, but found I couldn't understand how it worked very well. I kept getting friends saying it is so easy-well I am old and thick so I didn't pursue fb. I hope this keeps going as I enjoy reading a lot of it, and posting where I think I can contribute. I have learned a fair bit on this forum in particular about growing things.

I am just reading yesterday's post and realise I forgot to get the anti-bug liquid for my diesel tank; never mind Monday, is not so far away.

Tomorrow is tractor tyre day and I will fetch them early in the morning and they will be fitted after I have come here mid morning! I will just need a few implements and I'll be a real farmer. I have the academics and a fair bit of practical, but to be honest I am just a bit too old to start keeping cattle and pigs. And I enjoy the neighbour's horse grazing my patch and us having a chat over the fence as we do-he is a perfect gentleman of a grey horse, about 16.5 hands and built big.

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