In that?

On Friday, yesterday’s post mentioned that I had decided not to take my usual walk in preference to completing the concrete screed laying in the outside toilet. I said I might take the walk today instead, that is Saturday but that was before I realised we were in for some nasty weather. The latest storm was on its way and was currently over Ireland in the west. Although we were not supposed to be getting the worst of the wind we would still experience gale force winds. I went to bed early just in case the worst of the weather had passed over by the time I was thinking of going out. It hadn’t and in fact was just reaching its peak and it was raining heavily too! There was no way I would be going for a walk in that so I decided to eat breakfast and later work out on the gym equipment instead. I had eaten breakfast and was standing at the kitchen sink looking out of the window when I saw something which alarmed me.

The mixer was standing in the same spot as in the first picture but covered as shown in the second picture, that is when I left it on Friday. As I looked out of the window it was still in the same position but lying on its back in front of the bench! The bag covering it had been blown away and was now behind the large greenhouse diagonally across the lawn. The same place gets filled with leaves very often when it is windy. My first thoughts were of astonishment and unbelief. Then I realised just how strong the wind had been and was wondering if there had been other damaged but then realised also that the wind had most probably blown inside the bag which forced the mixer to fall backwards. Had I simply placed the mixer facing the opposite direction it would have remained standing. Then I thought, ‘I hope it isn’t damaged’, which would have been a catastrophe. I need not have been concerned for when the mixer is lying on its back as how I have to put it to allow the stand to be inserted into the base before lifting it upright, the motor is just clear of the ground. My main concern was that the motor wasn’t damaged. I am truly amazed it was alright after testing it. Needless to say I moved the mixer near to the side gate where is is sheltered from the wind and I also placed it with its front facing away from the prevailing wind. Furthermore I tied the bag through its handles around the base of the stand. So it was now standing where the large bags of sand had been just outside the outside toilet entrance. Whilst there I looked in the room to see how the screed had set. I wouldn’t be going in there again until Monday. I did exercise on the gym equipment later using the cross-trainer, the treadmill and the cycling machines. I get more exercise using the equipment but it isn’t quite the same as going for a walk in the fresh air………………….. Shirley Anne

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Flags for flying

Flagpole

Flags are designed for flying them or so you would believe but there are times when it is impossible. I frequently fly the flag at home and in fact I only take it down if the wind is too strong. That means unlocking the cover which hides the rope so that I can do it. When the flag has been lowered it is an easy thing to unhook it from the guide rope. The rope is tied into a loop through which the toggle that is attached to the flag passes through. The toggle on the flag is itself fixed to a rope which is stitched into the flag to emerge at the bottom of the flag. The loose end of that rope is then attached to a weight to hold the flag taut when hoisted up the pole. All might sound too involved but in practice it is very simple. So the routine is to lower the flag and detach it from both the rope at the top and the weight at the bottom. What I do then is attach the weight to the rope and hoist it out of reach up the pole and then push the excess rope at the bottom back inside the pole before replacing the cover. Today was a day for doing just that. It is Sunday 10 th March which happens to be my youngest son’s birthday, he is now 34. The wind is high and the forecast tells me it will stay windy for a few days but not just windy , very windy, windy enough to have to lower the flag, which is what I have just done. As per usual whenever I do this I find there is some maintenance to carry out but is is most often the rope which needs attention. This time it was showing signs of wear near to where it is attached to the top of the flag. I suspect it has something to do with the finial, which is where the rope emerges at the top of the pole. There is a wheel up there in which the rope sits and perhaps it rubs on it thus wearing it out. It shouldn’t really happen but I cannot gain access easily being as it is at the top of the pole. It requires lowering to the ground which isn’t practical or erecting scaffolding to reach it. I did that last year when installing a new rope as the old one had sheared off and couldn’t be lowered.

I am thinking I need a sturdier rope and I will check that out later. The existing rope is still serviceable in the meantime but needs keeping a watchful eye on. A new rope can be pulled through using the old rope if it is attached properly. All this just to fly the flag. Well aren’t flags meant for flying?

Shirley Anne