I'm away on another short trip. I haven't
yet decided whether or not
to write this email. Well obviously, I have decided to start it but if
it will get sent is a different matter.
Although if you are reading this I obviously decided to send it out.
What a waste of words all that was. But I'm not going to delete it! I
wrote it! It's engraved in stone.
on the road again. That's a link. Click it to listen to the song.
It might work. It might take a while to start though. (Maybe you
First I'll bring you up to date on
what's been happening at home. I have finally decided that I WILL start work on
the repair of the balloon instrument. That's the one been sitting
beside the TV for over 2 years. Definitely, I will start it. Soon.
However I really did do a couple of things. The wall under the main
beam of my garage was showing a crack, presumably because when I
built it I had not reinforced enough under the beam. So I raised the
beam using 4 supports and built a column which I filled with concrete.
It was actually quite a lot of work but I neglected to take photographs
of the work. Here is a finished photo. Of course, in the photo I
have yet to take
out the supports.
Doesn't look like I did
but I had to cut out all the old blocks and replace with concrete, and you can barely
see the new
column. Oh well. I didn't do it to be photogenic.
Before I bough my house there were problems with damp in walls. A
ditch was made all around the house, a drain was put at the bottom of
and the ditch was then filled with largish gravel. This seemed to
work, but not terribly well at the front of the house, there were still
patches of damp in the walls. I noticed in heavy rain, the water was
not draining through the gravel as it should. Over the years earth had
filled the spaces in the gravel so it was not operating fully as a
water barrier. I dug out all the gravel, several tons of the stuff,
and noticed that the ditch had been dug too far from the house. There
is a concrete path in front of the house, water was running off the
and into the earth below instead of into the gravel and then the
drain. So the ground stayed wet and the walls stayed wet. So I
extended the ditch towards the house, washed all the gravel, and put it
back. Took about a couple of months, working about an hour in the
morning and evening. It gets too hot during the day to do heavy work
like that. For me anyway, and there's no rush. It's not as though I've
other stuff waiting to be done!
Here is the start. The thing standing against the wall is the sieve I
used to wash and clean the gravel. The chairs and the sun lounger are
the things I use in between working on the gravel.
And here is a slightly later stage. There's a lot more still to do.
Notice the barbecue has now arrived in the garden.
I bought a new camera with 26x
Here is a photo I took behind my house.
If you look carefully at this photo, way in the distance about half a
mile away, you can just about make out a whitish line just to the right
the barn more or less left centre of the photo. It's really hard to
This is what I got at full zoom.
Paparazzi here I come. But,
better. I worked
on it, just a little,
You can even count the tiles on his roof. And you can't even see the
building on the main photo.
The camera is an Olympus SP-590UZ. Cost me
less than $400. There is a
newer model but it doesn't have a viewfinder.
We had baby swallows again. Here they are.
I think they tried for another
brood, I later
found 3 dead babies under
the nest. But the first 3 were OK as you see above.
We had kittens, it was planned. Eleanor wanted a cat for Paris, Pica
was obviously too used to the countryside to live in a Paris apartment,
so kittens it had to be. Pica you may remember is actually Eleanor's
cat. Eleanor was to have first choice, and wanted a girl kitten, then
choose a boy, then Eleanor had friends who wanted kittens 3 and 4.
We had 3 kittens. One was stillborn. Pica had trouble feeding the
remaining 2 and soon after I took them all to the vet one died. So here
is the remaining one.
Here he is in a
tree. Older by now.
He's got this great way to get down. It never fails. He climbs
to the end of a branch and cries until I rescue him.
Pica, his mother, hates him. She growls when he goes near. I think
she's scared of him too. I know that's not normal. She only comes to
the house to eat, and then she prefers to be fed on an outside window
sill, too high for kitten to reach. Eleanor has now spent the summer
travelling, in between looking for a job, and now thinks kitten is too
used to living with a garden to go and live in an apartment in Paris.
I guess she's right. Also, it's now looking like she'll need to work
overseas for a while more, there are limited opportunities in Paris for
specialists on Human Rights law and those that do exist want more
So now he's with me. And travelling with me. Gives his Mum a bit of a
break, and I like his company. And he's now got a name. Little Cat
the second. He's got some big boots to jump into but I'm sure he'll
This email is already far too long and I haven't
yet started on the account of my trip!
Continue to Summer 2
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