How the earth moved for us!

Welcome back to the World of Refurbishments for the Overenthusiastic (Wales) Unlimited! You may recall last week we had applied a non-explosive chemical to our inconveniently placed Rocky, to little effect. What a difference a day makes.

When we looked again last Thursday morning, large cracks had developed and Rocky looked a bit like a Terry’s chocolate orange which had been ‘tapped’ but not yet unwrapped. Some segments were visible, but the whole was still holding together. We realised that there must be still more Rocky below the surface which is holding the ‘segments’ together.

So Mike picked up the pick and had a go at separating things… with only limited success. So we turned our back on this problem and took delivery of…

…our new oil tank. A mere 5,000 litres, and fully bunded, it’s Mike’s new pride and joy.

After some clearing of the route, on Tuesday we welcomed our socially distanced and masked workforce to push it into position. We rocked the tank until it sat on two aluminium ladders which worked admirably as a surface over which to shove the tank. We had four workers shoving the tank, and one worker re-positioning the ladders each time we reached the blocks at the end of the ladders.

Since ordering the tank, there has been some anxiety because its width was listed as 2120mm, but the gap between the wall on the left, and the electricity pole on the right, is 2110mm. We gambled on the tank having some form of stiffening rim or lugs listed within this width, which fortunately turned out to be the case – so in fact the tank slid through relatively easily, once we had oriented it precisely between these two ‘limits’.

Once through this tight spot, person-oeuvering it gracefully about two feet downhill and onto the centre of its concrete base was really simple.

Voila. This is as far as we can get until Rocky has been moved, which will free up the digger to dig out a channel for the oil pipe and so forth.

For the last couple of days, I have returned to my first love – painting. The cloister corridor is now half painted…

…with the mist coats on the walls and undercoat on the woodwork, so I can gloss it soon. Mike has been working in the gents, putting in the pipework (both soil and copper) and the electrics. In between, we have drilled some new holes in the fragments that broke off from Rocky and poured in more chemicals to try to get pieces small enough we can actually move them.

Here’s hoping we can soon move these fragments out of the way. We have also drilled holes to break the next foot-or-so off Rocky, and also cross-drilled this to break it into three or more pieces. Hopefully by early next week, we will be able to move the rubble and see precisely how far we still need to dig to reveal the rest of Rocky and reduce this to fragments, so that we can finally mechanise the clearing of this area.

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