Woodworking!

If the word ‘woodworking’, bores you to tears, I would move on, it is my passion, and I am happy to sit and talk about it all day.

I have been continuing work on the dog crate, with a few distractions, it appears that the finished crate will probably be donated to Pepe, sad as it is, we have heard not a word from Oreo’s Owner, she had our phone number, and knows where we live, so we can only think she has changed her mind.

The crate is to be a combination of dog house and household furniture, so we talked it over and decided to burn it, rather than stain, however Marcela wanted it a lighter colour than the bunkbed, so after a couple of samples, it turned out like this

Pepe seems to have already laid claim to it!

I then gave it a couple of coats of varnish

That’s the crate finished, and now for the top, which I want not only to be the roof of the crate, but a functioning table top.

later last week, we went to Rionegro, so decided to see if I could find a laminated wood ready made top, which I could trim to size, I found them alright, but the price was just stupid, so I decided to go through my wood pile, and find some hardwood, and make it from scratch.

Whilst in Rionegro, we went to a Sports shop that sells Traumatic weapons, firearms, but non lethal, I have a Pistol for home invasion, it fires rubber bullets, unfortunately the Government in their wisdom have changed the law from the end of this month, they will be classified as Firearms, and will need licensing, the same as any other firearm. The General Public are up in arms, and rightly so, the Police and Authorities do nothing to protect us, and then take away what little we can use. We went to the shop to try and find out more, but they have received no information, and state that until they do, they will continue to sell the weapons, and advise people to use them! Those already in possession of traumatic weapons have six months to get a permit, or surrender them, I will keep mine for the six months, and then take my grinder to it, unless I can get a permit.

It looks like I might have to look for some other form of weapon, maybe I should become like one of my Countrymen, and learn how to use a Bow and arrow or Crossbow, Robinhood had the right idea!

In between time, I had a Doctor’s appointment for my High Blood Pressure, I had lost another 4kg, and was pleased with that, but the Doc wasn’t he wants me to lose at least another 20kg, down to 80Kg that would have made my Mother proud, as I would probably weigh less than I did at birth, so I told him what he could do with that idea, but he still had to harp on about not overdoing it with Christmas food… Christmas, that’s still three months away!

Back to my Crate, I found some Chanu 2x4s in the wood pile, I think they were bought as beams for the workshop roof and never used, ideal.

Firstly I cut then into oversized lengths to make them easier to work with

Then I ran them through the planer

So now I had one side clean and flat, I needed the sides perfect as well, oh what I would have done for some of that machinery I left in Spain! However you make do with what you have got, and I have a table saw, so onto Youtube, and found exactly what I needed, and made myself a jig.

which allowed me to trim one side flat, and with that I could spin the wood round and cut the other… done.

I can’t do a lot more, because I need some special screws, I could use ordinary wood screws but it would be as strong, so I am waiting for them to arrive from the US.

This morning I decided to prepare for the screws, I am using the pocket hole method, but I need to take my own advice, I was always taught, that whatever you do, measure twice, cut once, and with woodwork, that applies to a lot of the processes, but I rushed, I don’t know why, and this was the result.

The first board, and I put the screwholes in the top, not underneath, so after a bit of cursing, I filled the two holes with pockethole plugs, and started again.

This time I got it right. By the time it is finished with glue and screws, it will be stronger than any bought board!

Mid morning we had a visit from Jaime, I want a quote to roof in our outside quadrangle, so we can make more use of it, both when it is hot, and when it is raining, that also allows anyone staying in the Cabaña to walk to the house without getting wet. He came, he measured, he went, and now we wait!

To pass time, I decided to make wooden chanu dowels from leftovers, I already had the jig, so the first order of work, was to cut up the scraps

Miracles do happen, I still have all my fingers!

I started by using my drill to spin the blanks through the jig, but then decided that using a hammer did a better job, if a bit slower.

Below are the cut blanks and above the finished dowels, not that straight, but they dont have to be, I can cut them to the length I want, and use them to join timber saving myself a fortune by not having to buy them.

That’s me finished for today, tomorrow more dowel making, and Thursday, its back to see the Orthopaedic Surgeon regarding my knees and hips, so we’ll see what he has to say.

Change of Plan

We were both up early this morning, as the arrangement was that the owner of the dog Oreo, was leaving home at 7am to walk him to our house, and after a short introduction, she would leave him with us for the day.

I suspected there might be a delay, as it was pouring with rain, but shortly after 8am, the phone rang, and it was Oreo’s owner to say she was ill, and either had flu or covid, as she has only had one injection, so the meeting was cancelled, and we wait to hear from her, when she is better, or not, as the case may be. Sad, I have to say, I was looking forward to another family addition, but I guess it still might happen.

I decided that rather than mope about, considering we had done our Sunday chores yesterday, to keep the day clear, I would get started on the dog crate, even if there is no new addition, Pepe might like a place to retreat away from Tito, who can be annoying at times.

Yesterday, I finished my new outfeed rollers to sit on top of the saw horse, and support timber being cut on the table saw


the one on the right, was my old version, made when we were at Copacabana, and doesn’t fit well on my new saw horses, the one on the left, is just a block of wood, cut so it can be clamped to the saw horse, and has bearings instead of roller,s so will take wood from any direction.

Firstly I had to plane the timber down to size, which meant taking about 1/4″ off the thickness…yes, most of the time, I still use feet and inches! So out came my planer, and it was time to make shavings!

That done and cleaned up, it was time to cut all the pieces, just because it is quicker, I had found a plan with material and cutting list, which was a time saver.

Out came the table saw, it is far easier to clean up if I move the big tools outside

With all the pieces cut, I now have to pocket hole them, and that will take some time, but once done it should be a piece of cake to glue and screw the whole frame together, and then using some left over plywood from the staircase project, finish it off, before painting or staining it.

I think now I have hit lunchtime, so will see if Marcela fancies sitting and watching a film this afternoon!

Ouch!

I decided that it was time for some manual labour, and the first thing on the agenda, was to stop ending up on my backside so many times when negotiating the orchard. It depresses me to watch Marcela’s business Partner working the Avocados like he is a mountain goat, and yet I struggle to get up and down, or vice versa!

I still have a pile of old tyres, from when Jaime and his Crew retrieved them from underground when putting in the new parking area, so it was time to get working.

I have decided that rather than try to create steps from the top to bottom, it is better, and looks better, to put them in ‘short bursts’ on the steepest sections

There was a lot of digging and levelling, albeit it doesn’t look much, but I am still suffering with my hip and back, after the recent fall, so by the time it was finished, my body was aching all over. However if the new section blends in like the one below it, I shall be happy, it will take a few weeks for the grass and weeds to grow back, but it will get there.

Now for the next one….

Yesterday lunchtime, Marcela was browsing her cellphone, as is her want, and suddenly showed me a couple of photos.

It turns out that this is ‘Oreo’, apparently he is a year old, and looking to be rehomed, only living down the road from us.

We talked it over, and to my surprise, Marcela was very keen, I agreed, enthusiastically, on the condition, that the final decision was not ours, but that of Pepe and Tito, and Oreo of course!

So Marcela made contact with the Owner, who said she had had Oreo for eight months, and was going away for an undetermined length of time, so wanted to rehome him, he is fully vaccinated and castrated, ready to move.

We have arranged for a trial day, tomorrow! to see how he gets on with our two, my concern is Tito, he is so possessive and jealous, not very social with other dogs, having been rescued himself, he wants the attention. The Owner is bringing Oreo first thing in the morning, we will take them all on lead for a walk, and if all goes well, she will then leave him for the day, after which a decision will be made, by our four legged family members, so watch this space!

At Last!

Monday, I started off by going down town, to buy more stain for the the bunkbed stairs, I realised the colour problem had been my fault, if I had bought what I wanted, I would have bought, Wengue, which is dark, how I mixed up Nogal, I have no idea. However this time I went to a Paint Specialist, and after reviewing the colour examples, decided that Teca (Teak) was the nearest colour match.

Yesterday morning, I painted over the parts I had coated in Nogal, and then painted the outside of the frame, the contrast looks quite good.

Whilst it was drying, I went down the orchard with my Father-in-law, and we trimmed off the dead fronds from the Platano (cooking bananas), we certainly have ample supply of wildlife!

The trunks of the platano and bananas are made up of fibrous tubes one inside the other, and this retains water to feed the plants, these worms love it!

Unfortunately as we were making our way down the slope, my feet went from under me, and I landed flat on my back, not only knocking the wind out of me, but doing something to both my spine and hip at the same time, fortunately Henry was there to help me back to the house.

A couple of painkillers later, and I was back out late afternoon, waxing the boards and frame I had stained.

This morning, it was time to put this project to bed, it has certainly dragged on long enough, thanks to medical appointments, family visits and other commitments, I enjoyed designing and building the beds, but the stairs have been a chore. This is certainly my last big project.

Assembly
Finished
Drawers all work
Fitted in situ with about 5mm to spare either side at the base
Weight Test… Passed!
Yes… Even the Boss has given them a try!

Now that the project is completed and people don’t have to play at being Tarzan and Jane to get to the top bunk, I will have to think what is going to happen next, but I am taking a bit of time away from serious projects, and going to work the land for a bit, weather allowing.

Another Week Bites the Dust!

Work on the staircase is progressing slowly, I now have all the parts cut, routed and sanded

I had bought the stain, and the imunizante to protect the wood from insects. I bought Nogal, which is walnut, and supposed to be dark, unfortunately I mixed the two, before trying it, and it’s orange, much the same as every other colour Impra do. I have done the treads and risers (drawer fronts) with two coats, it still isn’t dark enough, so will now wait for Monday, to go and buy some different stain.

On Wednesday, we woke up to probably the coldest day this year, I decided to change the dog covers on our lounge furniture, but Pepe was having none of it!

A case of ‘Move me if you can’, he thought being wrapped up nice and warm was very appropriate, and stayed there!



The work over at our house in Bello, is finished, instead of three weeks it took one, we went over on Thursday, and checked on the work, there were a couple of things that needed tidying up, and they will return to do so. We went and placed an order for a new shower screen, which they have been to measure up, and hopefully will be installed on Tuesday, then the work on the house is finished for now.

We then met up with my Father-in-law, who came down from Caucasia for Medical appointments, so he is staying with us for a week, then will return to Bello for a night or two, before returning to Caucasia.

I had bought a solar powered security camera to put down the orchard, as I suspect people have been entering at the far end and helping themselves, I just want the evidence, and my Trail camera runs out of battery juice too fast. However on reading the manual on the new cam, it says to keep away from trees as the blowing leaves will activate it, which totally defeats the object, so I decided to install it above our main gate, so we now have a view in both directions.

It’s not a bad camera, and was easy to set up, I did it whilst Marcela was out at an appointment with her Father, and sent her this screen grab, so the first thing I had to do on her return was install the App on her cellphone.

Today, I have been down the orchard installing new boundary posts, on the new neighbours fence, I think they have been using this area as an access point to help themselves to our produce, but until I have the evidence, I shall say nothing.

Once that was finished, I painted the imunizante that wasn’t mixed, onto the rest of the staircase, and once it had dried in the wind and sun, my Father-in-law helped me move it back under cover. He is only a year older than me, so we are more like Brothers, but it still fells strange even after ten years.

Pepe and Tito are telling me that it’s time for their tea, so will sign off, before they take umbridge!

Try Again!

We received another call from the Solar Engineer, saying that he wanted to come on Friday (yesterday), and would be here between 6 -7am as he would be travelling up from Cudinamarca overnight, so we re-arranged our plans, and called our Electrician, who agreed to come, as he wanted to at least oversee the work, with regard to isolating our electric showers from the Solar system.

So yesterday morning, I was up at 5.30am, which to be honest is my usual time, organised and ready for the Engineer to arrive, which he did, the wrong side of 9am, which was no surprise, followed shortly by the Electrician, after they had conferred, the Electrician got on with isolating the showers, which it turned out, that he was able to do without damaging any walls, he floated new cable (I had to go down town to get some more) along the existing conduit.

The Electrician brought a colleague with him, who moved a neighbours electric meter on the roadside pole, it was high up, and the men who come to read the meter kept walking on my flowers whilst trying to read it, despite numerous requests no to, now they have no excuse.

After all our moaning, it turned out that the problem with the solar system, was the Engineers fault, he had not wired up the panels correctly, as a result the Invertor had closed off contact with the panels, and we have not been receiving any benefit from the system. You should have seen his face, when I asked if his Company were going to reimburse us for the last electric bill. To be honest, I am just glad he found the problem, and hopefully our next bill will show that it is now working.

We were told that the solar panel, that has frosted, is working fine, but since we paid for a 100% system, it would be replaced under the warranty, now we will just have to keep on top of them until it is replaced.

This morning I was assembling drawers for the bunkbed stairs, the pieces had all been cut and pocket holed, now they are assembled.

Now I will attach the drawer slides, then cut the drawer faces, and the steps, once that is done, I have to do a bit of burning to the top platform step, where it was cut, then stain and varnish the rest, after which it can be installed. It sounds easy, but it’s still going to take a bit of time, as long as it’s finished before the family come for Christmas!

Time Flies!

Blimey, I didn’t realise I had been neglecting my updates, two weeks have flown by, and to be honest, I haven’t got a lot to show for it.

There have been no further updates on my Passport, so true to form, Government Departments working at a snail’s pace, thank goodness I don’t need the passport urgently.

I have been working on and off on the bunkbed staircase, I certainly wish it was going faster, but I keep having to drop my tools to undertake other duties, the outer carcase is now complete

My current phase is the building of the drawers, I had cut the treads for the steps, but then realised I hadn’t allowed for the drawer fronts, so will have to recut some more, that hasn’t caused a problem as such, because I can use the first attempts, to make the drawers, it just meant kicking myself! It is certainly one of the setbacks of not working to plans.

Last Saturday, I gave in to family pressure, and went for an influenza vaccination, I had been receiving texts and emails from my Health Provider to go, but I haven’t had one in years. When in the Police I had a couple, and then during the winter caught flu, I said never again, and had never really suffered more than a ‘man cold’ since, but as age creeps on, maybe it was a sensible decision. I have had no reaction to the jab, and hopefully I am not protected for a year.

We had notification of our electric bill this morning, and it wasn’t good, it had risen again, partly due to the Service provider raising the price for the fourth time this year, but with the Solar it should have reduced if only in part. So Marcela being Marcela, contacted the Installer, who spoke to her civilly this time, and told her that someone with a similar system, had had similar problems, and their showers had blown the Invertor, which is totally contrary to what he had told us, but at least it’s a step forward.

The Engineer said that as a case would be raised with our Service Provider, he wanted to come on Monday, to look at the solar panel that needs replacing, to replace all the supply cable with heavier cable, which makes me think, he should have done that in the first place, and he wants us to change the showers, and gave us two options, one to install solar showers, which would mean at least one tank on the roof, and a lot of plumbing work, including retiling the shower cubicles, which I wasn’t prepared to do. Second option, to take the three showers out of the solar system altogether, and wire them via a separate fuse box, direct to the main breaker in the street, and at the moment that is the way we are going, he did tell Marcela he would do the work (at a cost), but no thanks, I’ll have my own Electrician do the job, so he has been spoken to, and will be here on Monday morning, then we will see how easy it is to do.

Last week, we took my Mother-in-law home, and whilst there had a Guy we have used before come to give a quote, to repaint the whole house inside and out, and install a new main bathroom/shower room, when the quote came through, I gave the go ahead, so last Monday, we went back over and purchased all the materials, ready for them to start work, which should have been this morning, but his son who is overseeing the work, had an accident on his way ( he sent photos to prove it wasn’t an excuse ) so is starting tomorrow instead, at least he made contact, most just wouldn’t turn up.

It is certainly one of the problems of owning a second property, some distance away, not only fuel and time, but here nearly all the main roads are covered by Tolls, and it gets expensive, however it’s time to do some more updating, last year we put in a new kitchen, so it’s getting there.

Today, I took the boys down to the Doggie Peluquería, for a wash and trim, but as the temperature has dropped, Tito is just having the bath, and Pepe is having a Schnauzer cut, so at least part of him will be warm! I am just waiting for them to ring and say they are ready for collection, then it will be another trip down to town.

I think that about brings me up to date, I’ll try not to be so long next time.

Back to Work

Yesterday, morning I received an email confirming that my supporting documents for my new passport, had arrived at the Centre in the UK, which was a relief, I now wait to see how they intend to send it back!

I then had an appointment with the pain Specialist, regarding my knees, she is happy that the injection I had to block the nerves is still working for me, she thinks the effect will last about six months before I need another, which takes us until December.

She told me, that I can keep having the injections until they no longer have any effect, and then they will have to look at Surgery again, whether there is a problem with my bones or not, and if she decides that is the best option, she will make the decision. What a difference from the Vertigo Specialist, this Doc, is friendly, talks at a pace I can follow, and is interested, I have every confidence in her.

Following my appointment, we went for lunch, and then my Mother-in-law and I, went and did some shopping, whilst Marcela returned to the car for her telephone medical consultation. We are certainly getting our monies worth out of the system!

On our way back home we carried on to El Santuario and picked up a couple of parcels that had arrived for me, and then back home, whilst the girls took the Dogs for a walk, I got started on marking and cutting the staircase.

As with all the wood I buy in Colombia, I am not happy with the plywood sheets, I found that one has obviously either been damaged, or had a construction defect, because is had been filled twice with filler, fortunately I can cut around this, or position it so that the damaged area will be on the inside of the staircase and not seen, but it doesn’t make life easy.

I have been storing the plywood in the covered area between the workshop and our drying area, but last night, we had the mother of all storms, rain was lashing down in all directions, and I was rightly worried about the plywood, I ventured out in my pyjamas, and moved the plywood, which was getting wet, into the workshop, I thought I was going to get a soaking, but ended up just a bit damp!

This morning, it was back to work, and I managed to get both sides cut, I actually shortened the first side, because when I tested it alongside the bunkbed, the extra large post was blocking the top step.

Anyone using it, risked falling back down the stairs, I decided that a double width platform gave people room to then climb the last two feet into bed, I hope to reduce this by an inch or two, by using some of the thicker left over timber, from the bunkbeds, to make the top platform. I will also put a hand / grab rail at the top to make it safe.

Some of the ‘waste’ will be used to create a support at the back, and front of the stairs, the rest will be used when building the drawers, nothing will truly go to waste.

It was then time to clean up!

Myself, included!!

Now it’s time for a snooze, I got into the habit of afternoon siesta’s when living in Spain, it’s not so common here, but why break the habit of a ‘lifetime’.

Stay safe!

Twenty Weeks until Christmas!

That made you sit up, ha! ha! ha! It’s just that time flies, don’t get worried, I can’t believe how fast this year is going, even with all the problems the world has thrown at us!

Pepe, has claimed his outside space, he likes the sun, but isn’t so keen on being a dog, when it comes to lying about.

He perches here in the morning sun, and returns when it is in the afternoon shade, he’s no fool!

Our problems with the solar haven’t been resolved to our satisfaction, the Engineer threw a dickie fit, and said if we weren’t happy, they would come, rip it out, then give us a refund, and if I thought it was a cure for cancer, I was wrong! Wow! so much for Customer service.

As I pointed out, I didn’t leave the original solar batteries charging in a Hotel car park, only to have them stolen, I didn’t tell the Client that it would take two days to install, and then take four days, and I didn’t give the Clients a quick half hour instruction on using the system, and then leg it, to get the last bus back to Bogota. We just want a system, that works as contracted, and to have confidence in it. We have heard no more, and I don’t intend to contact them again, until we have had a couple more electric bills, to see if it goes down or not. Also to chase up the replacement solar panel.

We have had ten days of summer, it has been lovely, the early morning mists are lovely to see.

Albeit, there is no point in asking Marcela, they have been and gone before she wakes!
Unfortunately it looks like other parts of the world, we are about to have a change in the weather again, the forecast is for storms starting mid week, that having been said, we had rain all night last night, so it may come sooner.

Wednesday, was work down in the abyss again, I was reasonably happy working down there, I had the walkie talkie, also Joaquin was picking avocados with a helper, so I knew there was someone within earshot, if I had knee trouble.
I had gone down with my mini chain-saw, and was cutting dead and wild trees along the fence line.

Joaquin came over when he heard the chain-saw, at which time I was trying to cut the dead tree to the right of centre in the photo, he said he thought it was too much for my saw, and he would cut it the next time he was down, he was right, and I am grateful for his help. So I cut the others, then cut them smaller to put on the rubbish pile and called it a day.


Thursday, we had a run out to Guatapé, if we go mid week, we don’t have traffic problems, it only takes 30 minutes from here, and without the traffic, it’s a pleasant run. So Marcela, Maria Elena (Mother-in-law), and I had a nice lunch out., albeit, we ate in the Town Square, because the wind was blowing a gale on the front.


Being a Tourist town, most of the Kiosks were shut, they only open Friday to Sunday, so after a walk around after lunch, we made our way home, in time for the Mother-in-law to watch her soap operas!

Friday, it was time to do some work again, this time grass cutting.

Cutting the grass so short with a brushcutter is an art, if you are not careful, you end up with a patch of dirt and no grass, I much rather have a hover mower, but they don’t sell them here, and an ordinary mower would be too dangerous in the incline. After ten years, I am finally getting this off to a tee, and on Friday, for the first time, I finished, and had no knee pain, things are looking up.

Today, I have been preparing to start my bunkbed stair project, the treated timbers are still not dry, but I needed a raised platform to cut my 8ft x 4ft Plywood panels, the days of me crawling around in the floor with my circular saw, are long gone.

I have the two home made saw horses, so half the job was done, I am using timber left over from other projects, so it’s not true and square, which created a problem, as I need the panels to sit on top, flat. Therefore for the two long side pieces, which had to be cut to sit on the saw horses, I clamped them together so that the squarest sides would be on top, and I would cut the notches on the uneven side, that way, they would sit level, or as near as I can get it.

They turned out to be a pretty good fit. I then had to cut the notches for four cross pieces, this didn’t go quite so well, because I didn’t check the back piece before each cut, and on two of the notches, I hit knots, anyone who knows anything about woodwork, will know getting a knot to cut square, is near enough impossible, but in the end, I got them near enough, albeit they are not a tight fit, and they work.

Now I am ready, to start cutting the plywood!

Solar or No Solar?

It has been a mixed week, as I guess it is for most of us, on Thursday the Electric Bill arrived, this included a week of the Solar system, and yet the bill had actually risen, and the Kilowatt hours were similar to previous usage, so it was time to look into it some more, there was always the possibility it hadn’t been read, and they had guesstimated it, which does happen.

I went and read the meter, which is due to be read again next week, and sure enough there was similar usage, and no sign of any reduction, as I had been suspecting, we were not running on solar at all, but still on the Power Company, so Marcela spent the afternoon talking with the Company, the Engineer who had installed the system was on holiday, so it was a case of talking to whoever was available, which wasn’t ideal.

The advice, was to isolate our electric use for forty eight hours, using only solar, apparently we should have been told to do this from the start, this kicks the batteries into use, and ensures they are fully charged, however although I still don’t understand the screen information on the Invertor, I believe it is telling us that the batteries are at 100%, which after a month, they should be, especially if they have not been providing power.

The only problem with this, is that the Solar system, is not strong enough to power the showers, which are 6.5Kwh each, and the system is 2.5Kwh, so as soon as the shower is turned on the system trips, I decided that for two days, I would switch back to the Power Company in the early morning whilst we showered, and then back to solar.

However what they were telling me was the battery indicator, and states ‘Load’, to me is the power transfer from the panels to the batteries, and is backed up by the fact that when the sun was out, the numbers shot up, when a cloud passed, they went right down again.

I decided that I would get the ladders out, and see if the panels needed cleaning, those that know me, know I hate ladders, I have known too many people who have had accidents, so if I can avoid them I will, but up I went, and started dusting them, with an extendable window cleaner, suddenly it dawned on me that we have a major problem.

The panel on the top left, is totally frosted, in other words broken, producing nothing, and maybe why we had been getting the wiring fault light, from day one, which the Engineer had insisted wasn’t a fault at all, unfortunately by the time I had found this, the Company have closed down for the week-end, so we will see what they say on Monday.

This isn’t the only problem, I still believe the wiring is not correct, because we were told that we would be running on solar, and only if the power used was greater than the system, would it automatically switch to the main grid, and then back again. At the moment, the only time we use solar, is if I turn off the connection to the main grid in the street, and then I have to turn it on again for showers, or to work in the workshop… not ideal, and will have to be sorted, if the Company honour the guarantee, and there lies the worry, as Marcela suspects they wont, I hope she is wrong.

The work in the guest bedroom is coming on slowly, on Thursday, I cemented the holes I had used to inject the damp proofing, then Friday, I repainted the wall, and yesterday, put in the new shelving, cleaned up, and it’s ready for use.

Now I can get on with the stairs for the Bunkbeds, I went with the trailer last Wednesday, collected a load of treated timber, to use as framing, I wanted treated, so there is no insect problems, it wont be seen, so I wasn’t bothered how it looks, and it’s a shade of green.

I’ll have to ensure before I start that is has dried out sufficiently to use.

When I returned with the trailer, I had literally just pulled in through the gate, when I was cornered by the organiser of the local Residents Association, it goes by another name here, but in effect that is what it is. Our access road, if you can call it that, is little more than a mud and gravel track, in some places wide enough for two vehicles, but in the wet weather it suffers.

With the heavy lorries delivering Building materials, the local Bus etc, there are many times when a 4×4 is needed, or at least easier, so he had arranged for a Dumper of gravel/mud mix, which had been dropped off at strategic points, but unfortunately not quite as close to each pothole as it could have, so he needed help, I grabbed my barrow, pickaxe, shovel, and rake, then joined him, we worked solidly for a few hours, I had thought after doing those outside our house I had done my bit, but no, he needed more help, unfortunately walking to and working on the second stretch, finished me for the day, I couldn’t walk another step with my knees.

I honestly don’t think he realised, what he had done to me, my neighbour, who knows me well, says I should have explained and refused, but I need to do my bit for the Community, and that’s my bit done for now.