Thursday, 18 June 2009

Bringing on the wall, Day 12 -Wednesday

Sorry about last night. I needed to send a couple of emails, but googlemail was playing up mightily and it took ages, and it was impossible to get Blogger to let me write yesterday's posts. I didn't have time this morning either, as the day started with a phone call which sent the Sage out across the field and resulting him walking a mile, clutching a pitchfork and driving a black bull, whose ownership he didn't know, well away from our cows. He phoned one farmer, but this chap, though charming in person, resolutely never answers his phone - so the Sage put the bull in his field of heifers anyway (it probably does belong to him). One shaggy Highland-type cow had settled herself on our field, so we've left her there .

Meantime, I was babysitting as Al had to go out early and Dilly leaves for school at 6.45. Then I had Pugsley all day, so couldn't get to the computer. Anyway, back to yesterday.

Dave decided to keep going on the pillar one-third of the way down the longest stretch of wall, having sketched it so that he could replicate the pattern twice more in due course. So I built up the brickwork to support it. Probably, this is as far as we're going with this pillar for now; we'll next raise the end pillar and the wall in between to the same level and then start to put in the decorative bricks. We're going to put them in 1 row lower than we did before, so that there's 3 rows of bricks and then the capping on top.

I wished the Sage a happy birthday, but we'd decided to postpone celebrations until his present, which I was buying from eBay, arrived. He knew about it - I'd found it but needed him to decide if it was suitable for his purpose. He had two to choose from in the end; one was in Cambridge (60 miles away) and the other in Torquay (more than 250 miles) and he chose the latter. The cost of carriage by courier was only £16, however, which I thought was reasonable. I could have paid by PayPal and he'd have it by Friday.

So, imagine my surprise when he casually mentioned that he was driving down - which will, of course, cost considerably more and take an awfully long time. Up to him of course, and soon I was quietly planning what I'd have for dinner the night he was away - I am quite obsessed with food and it can be an opportunity to eat something that's more of a treat for me than him. He said that the owner could meet him part way - it turned out that meant Honiton, which is still in Devon and still must be 200 miles from here.

Back to the wall - here are yesterday's pictures -

After Dave had left, I was clearing away the lunch things when the Sage called me to see a moth he'd rescued from a spider's web. I didn't know it, so quickly took photos while it was still resting and looked it up.
Isn't it beautiful? It's an elephant hawk moth. Apparently it's not uncommon, but I suppose it normally flies at night? - neither of us recognised it. The adult particularly likes honeysuckle nectar; fortunately there's a sweetly-scented honeysuckle right beside it, and the caterpillar lives usually on rosebay willowherb or lady's bedstraw both of which are in our fields.

Later, having talked to the vendor of the piece of furniture, they agreed to meet at 4 pm and the Sage rang my sister in Wiltshire to bag a bed for the night. "Just ringing to finalise details," I heard him say, to her bemusement, as this was the first she'd heard of it. It took me half the evening to get the email to work to let Dave know - by the time I was ready to give up and phone, it was well after 10 pm and he wouldn't have thanked me for the call. I couldn't rely on having time to ring or email this morning.


Dave said...

You could have texted me - I leave my mobile downstairs when I go to bed, so it wouldn't have woken me (had I been asleep, which I don't think I was).

Nora Johnson said...

Just came across yr blog via Miss Whistle‘s great site and had to comment after reading a few previous posts! Love its title and images. And anyone with a penchant for Tom Lehrer AND Crime & Punishment gets my vote...!
Hope to be back again soon to take a closer look at earlier posts!

Take care,


Z said...

I wasn't sure if you'd have it upstairs, Dave - anyway, I got the email to work in the end.

Thank you Nora, and you are most welcome.

Christopher Campbell-Howes said...

Are you planning to have a topping-out ceremony? And a celebratory dance, with walltzes and bricksteps?

zIggI said...

Just reading your posts makes me tired! I must try and do more!

wall-tzes? Oh ha ha ha, CCH you will be giving Rog a run for his money!

Z said...

Heh heh - splendid, Christopher. I sort of have got it in mind, actually.

Well, Ziggi, it was the Sage who (unwillingly) expended all the energy this morning. I was certainly glad he'd taken a precautionary pitchfork; apparently the bull wasn't all that willing to be driven. I'd have been very scared - I mean, once you're facing an impatient bull, better to drive it ahead of you than retreat and risk it following, so I'd have done the same as the Sage, but very anxiously.

Rog said...

I'd rather look after the elephant hawk moth than the bull myself.

I thought you said "I'd have done the same WITH the Sage".

Z said...

Driven him along with a pitchfork? It's not normally necessary, Rog.

Dandelion said...

Well, if moths weren't revolting disgusting creatures that give me the willies, I'd be very impressed and pleased for you. As it is, I had to look away.

Now, about this wall: why are we having pillars again?

Dave said...

To strengthen it; to stop it from being blown over.

Small print: the writer disclaims any responsibility in the event of a slight breeze toppling the structure. Walls can go down as well as up.

Z said...

If we'd chosen not to have pillars, the alternative would have been for the whole wall to be two bricks thick to make it strong enough for its length and height.

Indeed, Dave. Leaning on it may not help of course.

The Preacherman said...

The moth is magnificent but why are you building a bloody wall?

I wander off a few weeks and everyone starts building walls. Well you do anyroad.

I will persevere and discover why.

To keep out the Mongol Hordes? The Scots? The Romans? The German? Me?

Z said...

Look flower, I'm a middle-aged woman with time on her hands. What should I do with it but decide to build a wall? If I didn't do that, I might get into mischief. As it is, I'm constantly supervised by two good-looking men.

Rabbits, BTW.