Keeping the flag flying

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I had an amazingly good night’s sleep on Monday  and woke up very refreshed for a change. If my readers remember I’d had a very restless Sunday night and didn’t get much sleep at all. No electrical work again so the day was mine but I had to take the stone slabs to the guys working on somebody’s driveway close to home. They had offered to cut them for us when we asked them on Saturday. After breakfast I took them round together with their preferred payment, some German beer but they couldn’t cut them immediately so we arranged that I should collect them between one and two o’clock. I left the stone with them and returned home. It was a nice day and I decided to sit out on the patio playing my guitar for a while. E was having a late shower. She had offered to take our neighbour to her doctor’s surgery in order to have her annual ‘flu jab. She does drive but the injection has too strong an effect upon her to drive safely for a couple of hours. Usually her son takes her but he was at work. I wondered why she doesn’t use the same surgery as we do which is only a half-mile distant. Her doctor’s surgery is about a mile and a half away. It was around noon when E drove off and I put on my overalls and mixed some cement screed to level out the patio floor adjacent to the large new flowerbed where is was prone to leaving a puddle of water after rain. The puddle was much larger before I built the flowerbed over most of it. The floor should have been laid perfectly flat when it was originally laid but that is another story. Anyway it didn’t take me long and when I had finished E was back home having returned a minute or two earlier. I asked her if she would like to dine out. She changed her clothes and we went out in my van for we had to collect the stone beforehand. We arrived to find them about to cut it so we had to wait a few minutes then we drove off to the pub. After an hour or so we returned home to find the flag, though not the one shown in this picture but a union flag which had dropped to the ground leaving the rope stuck at the top of the flagpole.The Flag Unfortunately the rope doesn’t have enough weight to allow it to drop down the pole by itself. The weight we had fitted together with the flag had separated from the rope. The flag was the problem, its rope eyelet had worn through! The only way to get the rope down was to erect some scaffolding either to the top of the pole or at least half-way up where the two sections of pole slide together. I erected the aluminium scaffold past the half-way point and found it was easier than I thought it would be to lift off the top section and lower it to the ground. It was easy then to pull out the rope and it was also convenient to have the top of the pole at ground level to find out why the top had ceased to rotate to allow it to follow the wind direction. So I was able to resolve both problems. The hardest thing was in erecting the scaffolding and dismantling it afterwards! While I was doing all of this E was busy repairing the flag by sewing two new loops of rope to act as eyelets to attach it to the rope and weight. Now when I erected the flagpole last year I wondered why there was no weight to attach to the bottom of the flag so I made one but when I was pulling out the rope from the lowered section of pole out came a plastic-sleeved chain. It was the weight supplied with the flagpole kit and had been stuffed inside the pipe. Why it didn’t drop out when we were erecting the pole initially is a mystery. E finished her sewing and I was able to attach the flag and hoist it aloft. It now follows the direction of the wind as it should. I went into the rear garden and checked on my cement screed which had hardened during the afternoon. The laying of the stone capping would have to be done the next day. That scaffolding has proven to be worth purchasing. We bought it last year specifically to do the drain pipe work for the bathroom refurbishment and it was useful when we had to clean out a gutter a month later too.

Shirley Anne

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