High winds and gales

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Night 'n' Gales

Night ‘n’ Gales (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Friday afternoon on my return from the pub having had a meal there I found the house empty. E had gone out somewhere and had forgotten to set the house alarm. She may have thought I was still at home instead of checking that I wasn’t. I suppose part of that problem is mine because I slipped out without letting her know. Anyhow it was a lovely sunny day and I wanted to make the most of it by being outdoors doing something. It wasn’t too warm however, a mere 9 deg. C but because there was little or no wind it felt much warmer than that. Saturday’s forecast didn’t look promising at all, we were told to expect high winds and gales coupled with lots of rain. In fact that was the forecast for many days ahead. I mowed the lawn on Friday morning for that reason and was glad I did for we did get lots of wind and rain overnight and into Saturday morning. However although the wind was high it wasn’t as bad as had been forecast, here at least. With that in mind I decided to lower the flag on Friday afternoon until the worst of the weather had passed. In winds exceeding 35 mph it is recommended the flag isn’t flown. I guess we had winds of around 25 mph but I didn’t wish to take that chance. I wanted to carry out some maintenance on the loop of rope which holds the bottom of the flag when it is flying. The top of the flag is held by the main rope itself which is inside the flag pole and emanates at the top. The loop of rope needs to be weighty so that the lower end of the flag is held down and also to allow the rope to fall downwards when both the flag is fitted and when it is not. When the flag isn’t fitted I attach the free end of the rope to the loop so that there is enough weight to allow the rope to fall. If I didn’t do that there is the possibility that the rope would remain at the top of the pole and out of reach. The loop I had made a few months ago needed to be heavier and I had it in mind to alter it the next time the flag was lowered. That is what I did on Friday. No special loop of rope is supplied by the manufacturer of the pole or flag but the flag is supplied with a short length of rope attached on its lower corner. This is supposed  to form the loop to circle the pole at the bottom of the flag whilst the top is held by the main rope. If this method is used however there is little weight to hold the bottom of the flag down and in high winds this prevents the flag from opening fully sometimes. It also means there is no way to hoist the rope up the pole to keep it out of reach when no flag is attached. A separate heavier loop of rope is a better idea so that the main rope can be fixed to it and hoisted up out of reach knowing there will be enough weight to allow it to drop when required. The other end of the rope is of course locked inside the pole and is only accessible by removing a locked cover plate. As the very high winds didn’t materialise I re-attached the flag on Saturday afternoon. It was windy and although the temperature was 12 deg. C it felt much cooler than the day before because of that wind.

Shirley Anne

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