My ex-colleague Mike and my uncle Karl have shown skepticism about the so-called "work" that really gets done up here so I know you've heard it all before, but things are busy up at As Plos - honest like.
For a start, we've been closing the pool for winter which in itself feels a bit odd. We laboured for so long on it from winter into early summer this year that I've grown a bit attached to it. A bit like putting an animal to sleep - sad but necessary I guess.
The cover is the coolest winter cover I've seen (I've only ever seen three up close but "meh") and, after tentatively drilling 24 holes in the delicate travertine tiles, stretched bungies tightly to their anchor points it only left Jim and I to test it out. When I say test, I mean actually get onto it to simulate a wildboar, deer or even a small child falling onto it. We can both confirm it does indeed work and we managed to successfully commando roll onto and off of the cover with childish glee.
When we've finished messing about on top of it, I still need to drain and winterise it before the real cold weather hits but it will soon be sleeping soundly until spring next year.
With the first cold snap of the autumn the question of wood arrives too. We've got a good supply of our own oak trees all over As Plos but for various reasons or excuses, we haven't been on top of cutting, splitting and seasoning enough of our own for burning this year. Nevertheless we've been trying to catch up for future winters so we've been cutting and processing trees and buying uncut logs locally for this year.
When your chainsaw isn't blunt or not working for some reason, this job in itself is great fun. Jim and I, and a select group of family members, love splitting logs and it has become a bit of a "thing". However, everyone knows that any job is made easier/better/more fun with tools or equipment. If this involves petrol, welding, and driven vehicles then ALL THE BETTER!
Discussions were had, deals were done and a lot of work went into fixing up and improving this little monster:
It's a high/low geared, partially articulated and ugly beast of a machine which was originally put together 20 years ago by our neighbour using a few old lawn mowers. It's been left standing for most of that time since so needed a bit of love, attention, adjustment...and lots of grease. It now runs perfectly and the 8HP Kohler engine is a bit of a brute - perfect for dragging logs out of the woods, hauling rocks and generally messing about on.
See guys? Well busy!