Yesterday was a consolidating day. We awaited a delivery from the local builders merchant, so were not able to progress some jobs until the goods arrived. The weather was four seasonal: wet in the morning, hail showers at lunch time, cold all day and glorious bright sunshine for parts of the afternoon, which also limited our choice of tasks.
In the end, I elected to continue to trim back the Rhododendron ponticum which is rampant across the site and which we need to eradicate as it is a nuisance plant, spreading easily and casting dense shade which hinders the rejuvenation of the woodland undergrowth. Many of the plants are on sheer cliff edges down to the river and we will need to employ specialists to deal with these whilst on the top of the hill or the shallower approaches we are trimming them back and will stem-inject with chemicals later in the year.
Of course, we will need to burn the waste, so first I needed to move the last 15 sets of mattress springs on the old bonfire site and put these into our now full skip, to make room for the ponticum trimmings.
Meanwhile, Mike managed to get over his natural resistance to change and actually try out the pipe freezing kit he purchased over a week ago. His confident that the science would not fail him had grown and, as his other options were limited due to weather and availability of stuff, he bit the bullet. He put the jacket around the pipe, a quick squirt with the special aerosol and hey presto the water in the pipe was solid and he cut and sealed off the pipes without having to drain the system. Ingenious, and impressive – and so is Mike! Pretty soon we hope to be able to remove the radiators and piping, and knock through from the bar into the cellar.
A major plus following wet weather here is watching the river level. Since we arrived it has been unusually high, according to neighbours, and so we have seen our fair share of kayakers testing their skills against the rapids. This morning the hail from yesterday has made its way into the river and the rapids are living up to their name. If I remember, I will post a shot in a few days time to show you how the river looks when peaceful.