I didn’t intend taking a walk on Sunday morning (26 th) because I hadn’t had a good night’s sleep or that’s how I felt. I must have had plenty of sleep though for I couldn’t account for the hours I was in bed! Sometimes it goes like that I know for there has been many a time when I have woken up feeling tired even though I’d had the sleep. After breakfast I felt much better and more awake and I considered taking the walk but left it for a while to allow my breakfast to digest a little. It gave me some time to check emails and other things. Finally I opened one of the windows to get a feel of the conditions outside; it was cold but it was dry and there was hardly any wind to speak of. It meant I had to wear something extra to keep me warm so I put on a scarf and took along a pair of gloves just in case. I had a long-sleeved warm top on beneath my jacket and decided boots were the order of the day once again. I wear heavy woolen socks when wearing the boots but still insist on wearing a skirt rather than covering my legs with trousers or jeans which I never wear anyway, don’t even posses them. It isn’t my legs which feel the cold when it is cold, it is my hands mainly and of course my body but that I make sure is kept warm. It sounds from all of this that it was biting cold on the day but it was actually 14 deg C at the time. Had it been really cold of course I would have been wearing heavier clothing beneath the jacket. It is after all still summer and not likely to freeze all of a sudden! I took a slightly different route than I normally take but still ended up on the seafront. That night there had been a full Moon and it shone faintly and rather eerily through the heavy cloud covering the sky over the sea. A couple of miles off shore stands an oil/gas rig and the faint glow of the Moon was above it looking like some alien craft hovering menacingly with evil intent. My imagination runs riot sometimes. It was whilst I was on the seafront that I put on the gloves as my hands were beginning to feel cold in the breeze such as it was. When I got home it was still dark but just about sunrise time. I hadn’t noticed the flag lying on the ground instead of hanging on the pole. It was after I had watched some catch-up tv and had a coffee I happened to glance out through the window and saw that something was missing.
I put on my coat and went to the flagpole. The rope had severed and the flag had dropped. I opened the covered cleat where the rope is secured using the key and pulled out the rope from inside the pole. Ours is the type in which the rope runs up inside the pole and out at the top down to the flag and the weight to weigh it down. The flag itself was looking a little tired and worn so I ordered a new one and a replacement weight, one which would look better than the original supplied which is a plastic-covered heavy chain.
It meant of course that I would need to erect the tower around the pole in order to lift off the top half in order to thread the rope down inside. I have done this once before and it isn’t that easy because of the weight of the pole; even though it is aluminium. It would be a week before I could to that and then only if the weather permitted. Happy days.
I got up late on Tuesday morning, something of a rarity for me. I had no work scheduled though there is always something to do at home. My problem with home projects is that I am happy doing the major aspects of the work but tire easily at the thought of doing the ‘fiddly bits’. I wasn’t much in the mood to do any work at all if the truth be known and once lunch was over I felt even less inclined. I missed breakfast of course as I didn’t get downstairs until eleven-thirty! I asked E if she would like a coffee as I was about to make one for myself. I took mine outside with me into the front garden for I had decided to re-attach the flag and hoist it. If you remember I had taken it down because of the high winds we have been experiencing lately. When I purchased the pole and flags last year I couldn’t figure out how to set it up. At the lower part of the pole is a locked plastic lid which fits over a base in which are two holes. The rope is supposed to pass through one of them and onward to the top of the pole emerging over a roller and down to the flag. The lower end of the flag however has to be connected to a rope too and on poles where the ropes are exposed there will be two ropes or rather the same one going upward and returning down the pole. The system I have isn’t the same, the idea is that the rope goes to the top as I described above and the bottom part of the flag is fitted to a loop of rope which encircles the pole. That loop of rope though must have some weight to it in order to keep the flag hanging taut and also to enable it to be lowered because of the weight. The flag itself is not really heavy enough to allow it to drop down from the top when it needs to be lowered or removed. The rope inside the pole is heavy enough to counterbalance the flag unless some form of a weight can be placed at the lower part of the flag were it is attached to the loop around the pole. One of my flags has a length of rope attached at one corner and has a brass ring fitted in the corner above it whilst the second flag is fitted with two rings. Evidently the flags are designed to be attached to the ropes in a different way. Initially I made a small alteration to the arrangement which allowed the rope to enter the pole inside and emerge at the top and drop down to the bottom in a continuous loop but it caused problems when the wind changed direction as the flag became wrapped around the pole sometimes. On Tuesday I decided to arrange the rope as I think it was meant to be, totally inside the pole with the flag attached only at one point and the lower end of the flag attached to a separate loop of rope around the pole with an extra weight attached to enable it to be lowered easily. Without the weight it would be difficult to lower. There were no instructions with the pole when it arrived so I have had to work it out for myself. The extra weight I have used is an old handle that used to be on a curtain (drapes) rope. It was pulled in order to close the curtain. On it was a short length of waxed rope, ideal for use outside and the weight, whatever it is made of is covered in white plastic. So now the flag is flying again though when I purchase a replacement for the other flag (see post a few weeks ago) I may have to alter the arrangement I have at the lower end of the flag to enable the flags to be switched from one to the other with ease. That was basically my day! I did little else for a change.
If you click twice on the picture you will see the arrangement I had used previously with the rope but now that rope is not seen on the outside until the flag is lowered.
The weather has been awful lately, mostly windy, wet and cold or at best cool. We have had but only a couple of hours of respite and sunshine during the past week or so. Last Summer I purchased a flag pole together with one flag. Later I purchased a second flag different from the first but recently I took down the second flag which we had been flying for some months. The first flag, the flag of St. George the patron saint of England is of better quality than the second flag which is the Union Flag of England, Ireland (Northern Ireland) and Scotland.
The problem with the Union Flag is that it has begun to ‘shred’ and come away at the edges and is obviously not up to the job whereas the other flag is made of sturdier stuff. I will have to purchase another Union Flag but one of a better quality this time. However for the time being neither of the flags have been flying because of the high winds. We are advised by the manufacturer of the flag pole not to fly flags whenever the wind speeds get too high. They quote an advisable speed over which flags should not be flown and that is thirty-five miles per hour. We have followed that advise by monitoring the weather forecasts. Both flags are two metre flags by definition and are consequently quite large though larger ones can be purchased. The two metre flag is that recommended by the flag pole manufacture for the seven metre pole we bought. As I write this on Monday morning it is still windy though the flag will remain indoors for the time being until the weather improves more. I might wait until I purchase another Union Flag before I fly one again. I hope to purchase one soon. It will cost me around £65 for the better quality flag.