The weather station is another step closer to being in place. Yesterday we popped over to Forest Lodge garden centre where I grabbed a post and a support for it to sit on. And then today, before taking the poodles to Hankley, we popped into Homebase for a bit of wood, a packet of nuts, bolts and washers and, most important, a bag of quick drying, post fixing, cement.
Hankley was lovely, as usual, with lots of other people dotted around the heather. Annoying but not so bad we didn’t have long stretches without having to say “Hello“.
The weekend has been rather grey (the sky looked a lot like the side of a naval vessel) with no rain, it should be noted, but Hankley still looks beautiful. I’m pretty sure, it doesn’t matter what the weather is like, Hankley is always beautiful. If we moved away, it is somewhere that would be seriously missed. By all four of us!
I noticed an old canister on the path. There are signs everywhere warning people not to pick things up. Hankley is used by the army for training purposes and it’s not difficult to find empty bullet cartridges (.303 they look like). This canister was a grenade smoke screen simulator. Odd that it was just sitting in the path. Ignoring things like bullets, the army usually leaves nothing. Clearly this was an accident. But it was very obvious.
Also very obvious was the horizontal porta-loo. We noticed this last weekend and it hasn’t been righted! What that means is that the one that remains vertical, has not been emptied because, I assume, if the truck had been, the driver would have fixed the inclination of the other one.
The porta-loo thing is interesting. As the soldiers are wandering all over the heathland, they must sometimes feel the call of nature. Naturally in a real war situation, they’d just go anywhere but here in the English countryside, a tree or a bush just isn’t good enough and so they get a porta-loo. How British is that. And they move them. I guess that depends on where they are wandering around.
Anyway, having walked around large swathes of heather laiden hills and sandy paths, we returned to the house. Mirinda proceeded to plant some tulips she’s been promising to do since 1999 and I started the construction of the weather station pole.
All was going well until I realised the bolts I’d purchased were too short…by about 10mm! Annoying. The sun had set and the light was almost completely gone as I switched bolts from one part to another. And finally, in the pitch, I spilled the packet of nuts, bolts and washers all over the ground, just before finishing. And a little strong language did pass my lips.
I managed to finish stage two of the weather station construction (stage one was testing the wi-fi with the base station on Boxing day) and packed everything away – I’m pretty sure I managed to pick up all the nuts, bolts and washers but I cannot be certain.
We have had a lovely weekend but tomorrow I am back at uni for a new semester and I have an essay to finish (STILL) by next Friday. And, of course, football with Nicktor on Tuesday…
By the way, I was joking about Mirinda waiting since 1999 to plant the tulips. It was 2005…