THE HUNT FOR R.E.D OCTOBER

 

The hunt for a Retired Enjoyable Driving job starts in October! So far I have identified a position which I believe to be ideal and perfect for myself.

33 miles up the road from Dolores is  the 5 Star Wilderness Resort, Dunton Hot Springs, which is open year round, and requires full time and part time drivers to meet the resort and guests needs.

Initially I saw this opportunity shortly after I retired from school bus driving back at the end of May. However I was committed to my summer gardening and cycling and did not wish to pursue the post. By the time I was ready the position had already been filled but on checking with their web site they were still in need of a part time driver.

Full of enthusiasm last Monday morning I attempted to upload my application  on the  computer only to discover I was on battery  power as the nice cat had chewed through the power cable!

Not deterred I drove up to find the establishment on Wednesday armed with my most recent resume. I’m familiar with the first 20+ miles of the run as I used to drive it as  sub for Dolores School District. After 25 miles it becomes  gravel road, but well maintained, and smooth. A nice colorful drive at this time of the year. Resume left, I was told to ring later as the GM was in an all day meeting.

The quest begins

Well maintained gravel road

Scanning the terrain  ……. “what are those people doing in that mud hole?”

“Its a hot pool Sir”

“Good God man, …  its an awful color, …..and they pay to do this?”

“tally ho……. the entrance”

A phone call on Friday to the GM and I’m invited back for a chat type interview on Saturday morning. Sarah, the GM, tells me she has the owners coming Sunday through Wednesday so please give her a call this Friday when she will have more time. Having spent an hour with her I’m quite hopeful.

The main building

The weather has gone into rain mode and we are looking at the left overs from “Rosa” a Pacific storm that is currently pounding Phoenix with torrential rain and moving Northwards towards the Four Corners and should be with us for the next 4 days. As I’m not riding in the rain I’ll continue with my story and some in depth research.

On arrival at the site impressions are not of a 5 Star Resort, mainly due to the rustic appearance of the buildings. Indeed it has that look of an abandoned ghost town until you research a little of Dunton’s history and upgrades into the 21st century.

Tuesday was indeed wet and miserable with a steady rain and then periods of heavy showers. More rain overnight and now bright and sunny so perhaps a ride might be in my future. Currently the total stands at 4229.72 for the year.  The day warms up nicely, the wind stays calm and quick 15 miles pre lunch and a second helping in even warmer conditions in the afternoon topping off at 25.65 miles. So, two unexpected rides in what I thought would be a busted flush week weather wise. Seeing Facebook pics of Phoenix it would seem Rosa decided to linger a little longer down south and there are some unusual pictures of “waterfalls” on Camelback mountain, something I don’t remember seeing in my 13 years in the city.

More overnight rain and a brief lull before the next downpour at 1000 and then windy and blowing leaves to remind me once again its only just October.

The Bathhouse and hot pool

Back to Dunton then, an interesting read of all that transpired through the years from 1880 when mining for gold and silver began and the miners built these buildings, and finally stopped in 1919. More history up until 1990 when the current owner bought the property and spent 7 years rebuilding and changing the ghost town to its present luxury high standards while retaining all the charm of an age gone by.

The bar has kept a lot of the history, and some say the names carved in the bar top are supposedly genuine dating back to 1885 post his first bank raid over in Telluride.

It could be true ? …. after all his major hideout was just over the state line in Utah at Monticello and the mountains just behind the town.

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

FALL AND OCTOBER THINGS

Fall colors again

September flashed by and now some serious work needs to get completed and a part time job found to stop me becoming brain dead watching TV.

This last week has seen the finals of both our 8 and 9 ball series which have been running since early January. The 9 Ball Final was    on Wednesday but unfortunately Brenda was out of it with a vile flu like cold. I started well with 2 good wins and with only 16 qualifiers only needed that 3rd win to be in the money!

I’m now playing Nancy (a regular tournament player) and I win Game 1 and we are playing best of 3. She wins Game 2 with a super combo on the 9 and we start into Game 3. No opportunity for a combo shot anywhere along the way and Nancy is in good shape for the win. She has the 9 parked midway along the top rail and just needs the 8 and a follow on with the cue ball for the 9. She sinks the 8 but the cue ball is rolling along to the top left pocket. I have visions of the cue ball going in and getting “ball in hand” for a simple pot on the 9 but, the cue ball stops right on the lip of the pocket and is behind the corner lip of the cushion. Again I can’t see her hitting the 9 let alone making it but somehow she just brushes it ???? Well no matter I have a relatively simple shot …… highish angle and 9 tight on the rail. Remember all the good advice and keep repeating the sage words to myself over and over again. “Don’t aim at the ball aim at the cushion, ……. don’t aim etc” Nice soft shot and it rolls to the pocket but bounces off the jaw! I can’t believe it!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, Benda is better and I’m still fuming over my 9 Ball loss, but here we are for the 8 Ball Final where I’m the No1 seed. As such I get a “bye” in round 1 but win my next two games. I need one more game to get in the money but can’t sink the Black on my first attempt and the opposition cleans up for the win. I win two more games from the loser’s bench and finish with a consolation prize in fourth place, but at least I got in the money!

The weather forecast is all doom and gloom for the coming week with a lot of rain for five days. We have a lot of things that must be done as there is also a threat of the first frost. The No1 job is this awful backwash valve thingmejig that we were forced to install or the Town will turn off our water!

It’s marked it’s spot!

After spending $2000+ on this ugly little bugger we now have to build a “Doghouse” that it can shelter in and keep it from freezing with heat tapes and mega insulation. Newest development on this nuisance valve is that it also has a pressure relief valve which is constantly in flow so more expense as we need another drain so that it doesn’t soak all the insulation.

Second job is replace all the Shower and RV Dump signs before the hunters arrive for the first session of rifle season.

Badly faded and buckled

Bent and wind ravaged

They have lost their colors and have been subjected to mega winds and look decidedly tacky!

Third and last task (hopefully)  of the day is a LEVEL pad for the Beemer to deploy it’s center hydraulic/electric stand on as it has an onboard sensor that won’t deploy the stand if the ground isn’t level. Germans think of everything!

Slabs ready ……. get digging!

A couple of spare slabs should do the job, now back to the Dog Box for that backlash/wash pest thing.

Section of the floor to become the front door

First step is to cut a section of the floor out such that it will go over the ugly pipe assembly and will also become the Dog Kennel front door to keep the wind out.  Brenda assembles the kennel while I measure up the section to be removed.

Sides and roof of the kennel for our waterhound

Front door which now needs blocking off

The cutting begins but like most things there is always a small problemee insomuch that as fast as I cut the panel the plastic rewelds itself and I have to go over it a second time before it will separate.

Drill the holes to secure the front door but the screws I have are 1/2″ too short. Never mind Brenda will now complete the heat tape lashing to the pipes and then apply the insulation. Well nice idea, but it seems we have used ALL the electrical tape or misplaced ALL of them ??  …… looks like a quick trip to Slavens in Cortez for bolts and tape.

40 minutes later and I’m back and work resumes on the water valve thingey  which is getting a good lashing! In my absence Brenda has replaced all those outside signs so that’s one job complete.

Much better

The Beemer pad was completed before lunch and is now working well.

Done

It seems both wheels have to be level before the sensor will allow that stand to deploy worked on the premise that if it lifts the bike YOU may not be able to push it OFF as it weighs in at 850 lbs.

Back to the dog box and finish the door and Brenda adds a seam of insulation around the doorway to stop cold winds.

Door screwed in ready for final construction

Final bolting up and its an “up and over” and the kennel is in place.

WOOF!

Jobs for the day complete. Now about that part time job?

 

TONY DOWN

FOLLOWING FLORENCE

It seems this monster hurricane had a track distance of 4544 miles as it crossed the Atlantic before crashing into the Carolinas.

Having past my personal 2018 goal of 4000 miles it was interesting to see what 4000 miles looked like on a map and this Florence map intrigued me. As Mother Nature has much to catch up on I think we can expect some serious rain and snowfall this coming winter to make up for the drought and wildfire conditions of this past year. All our local lakes are way down and its going to take a considerable amount of precipitation to address the shortfall.

That having been said, the question then is when? Snow can arrive anytime from October onwards  and indeed our first year up here in permanent residence saw snow on the ground from the end of October to late in May! If that is the case this year, then my furious pedaling will be shutdown in about 6 weeks, so perhaps 4500 is my next reasonable target.

First, back to another round of gardening, yes, the dreaded arsebine is back everywhere, and the edges need cutting along with some pruning of the roses. Strimming and mowing, all get completed and the Waterfall bed gets a once over. Edges recut on the Scuffy beds, but its hurting my shoulder as the ground is so hard. Hoses back on and try again tomorrow when its softer.

This morning and the weather has indeed changed, overcast, much cooler, and now its started to rain and the forecast is 50% chance of rain for the rest of the day! So my planned cycling rest day is now on 3 unless I can get out this afternoon.

Great!

After lunch the skies are a little brighter, but still cool, so long non thermal pants and matching long sleeve with a light weight rain jacket in the pocket. 2 miles into the mission and it starts to spit so time to slip on the rain jacket. A little later at the furthest point from home it gets substantially harder verging on downright unpleasant! Set course for home and arrive just a bit damp but its another 10.86 in the books.

Thursday and its brighter and yesterday’s rain has moved on. Still that awful wind so elect 19 miles around town as I forgot to put my phone on charge. After lunch finish the job off clicking another 25.10 onto the total.

Now time for the first ride on the Beemer since October 2015 when I was going through the pneumonia debacle. Still windy, but 850lbs is more stable than the 16lbs of the Roubaix. Into Cortez, bright, full sun, but very windy. Slaven’s is the store I’m after and now armed with BMW blanks hand the “key lady” a couple and the Beemer remaining ignition key. A short while later she hands me the pair and tells me “No charge!”

Back home one works, the other doesn’t? …… but it was free! So no complaints.

Friday and a better looking day but cool to start with and the infernal wind is still blowing. Again not a day for riding up the main Telluride road as it will be a non stop headwind!

Sunday and to add to the fun the computer is on “low light” which means the power cable has usually come out, but in this case the devil cat has chewed through it!!!    they tell me this is a normal thing that cats do as in the Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation film when the visiting puss eats the Christmas tree lights.

 

Aunt Bethany brings her “gift wrapped cat” for Christmas

The tree catches fire ……   “It was an ugly tree anyway”

The replacement tree

Its a Cat thing!!

“wasn’t me”

The computer goes in for repair and I carry on with the cycling and finish the month on 4202.27 compared with last year’s 2976.27 and now the weather is beginning to change.

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

TARGET IN SIGHT

Just a picture to give you an idea of the distance

Closing in on another “near” target en-route to the planned 2018 Banner at 4000 miles. Today if this wind abates a little I should be through 3900 and its only 9/12/18.

The wind is not to my liking with a strong SW direction, gusting 25 mph, so I elect to stay in town and creep my way ever closer to the target. Well at least I’m not in the Carolinas facing Florence!! The day finishes on 3907.03 which is already 305 more than last year’s total.

Still watching the Vuelta a Espana in the mornings and two more days of mountain top finishes before arriving in Madrid. Always a bit different from the Tour de France and usually unpredictable as to who will win each day.

While I have the upmost admiration for these riders, fortunately for me I have never had any desire to ride up and down mountains as they do. I am quite happy to push myself on the distance bag and be relatively pleased with my own accomplishments knowing how hard it can be maintaining motivation.  As the 4000 challenge is now in sight time to try to get the bodyweight back down by about 12 lbs as I’m up again to 207.2 and feeling low again on energy.

The riding is still going well and here we are on Sunday morning 9/16/18 and despite those never ending winds I’m up to 3977.45 and all that is required is that little push to get there.

Not feeling at all motivated today ………, however I feel I have to do something so I reluctantly (don’t know why) push out of the house and knock off 15.36 in yet more blustery conditions ……..

Now I have the incentive “to get R’ dun” with only a smidge under 8 miles to go. A little lunch first then the Broncos Raiders game to watch and then it will be Champers Time again!!

The 1stHalf is all Raiders and its not lookin good, but a big change in the 2nd half and Broncos come back and take the win 20 to 19. Well better get on with my task and punch in 23.75  for the day and giving me a total of 4001.20 miles for 2018.

Made it !!!

Here are some distances of 4000 miles, The Nile, Great Wall of China, and for my European Friends a picture they can visualize in local terms.

Ready to dismount

Job done!

Garden time, Brenda has the Champers open

Still a couple of months to go before the snow and cold will shut my operation down so maybe just enough time to see if I can hit the distance that windy Florence travelled.

543 miles to go !

TONY DOWN

LAZARUS THE BEEMER LIVES!!

 

Hard to believe, I know, but dogged determination has finally won through and we are on the road again. Not an easy victory but one that we are pretty proud of when all seemed impossible.

The last ride on the Beemer was when we were at Napa in 2015 and it was noted that it was beginning to run a little rough on start up and could probably do with a plug change.

2016 and all resources are turned to Brenda’s return to boating and all the work that’s involved getting one serviceable for the lake.

1st attempt “Scuffy” becomes a garden ornament as she is not seaworthy!

2nd attempt, Plan B, is lovely

V nice!

The winter of 16/17 is cold and miserable………  very,  miserable!!

By the time the school bus driving comes to an end the poor Beemer is looking a real mess with rotting leather on the seats and speakers.

Depressingly sad

Severe mechanical depression sets in until I give myself an arse kicking and get into the business of sourcing the necessary parts for the resurrection.

Rear seat for Brenda’s throne

Matching front seat for me

New seats are found as a “take off” up in Canada, new speaker and backrest leather covers come from the UK, while Ebay provides the plugs and plug wires. By now the battery has died and won’t even accept a charge.

Toast I’m afraid

A good one at last

New plugs and wires …….

It all arrives, it gets fitted, ……. and all that happens is it will start, but won’t accelerate. Well clearly this is not good and I’m almost at my wits end with this issue and the electrical problem with the alarm system which blows the fuse controlling the horn and the rear lights every time the fuse is put in ?

Eventually I am forced to seek help as these modern bikes require all manner of specialist tools and knowledge that I don’t possess as its not a machine I’m familiar with.

The replacement trailer is purchased in Durango and, although needing a little work, good enough for the Beemer and the 2 remaining trials bikes. The dead 850 lb BMW is duly loaded up and strapped in and we set off for “Out West” motorcycle shop up in Montrose about 125 miles away.

Mark, the owner, is a BMW certified tech and knows what the bike will need including new fork oil seals and the 12,000 mile service but I will need to send him my internet research on the electrical problem.

About a week later Mark rings to say the bike is ready. The price is discussed and I’m off to the bank for the required cash which is not unreasonable at $1600 in my opinion.

The cause of the poor starting was not gummed up injectors caused by the dreaded ethanol ……. but something else that ethanol had decided to munch and destroy.

The power of ethanol

The BMW fuel system has the fuel pump and filter in the cavernous 5 gallon tank and ethanol had eaten through the hoses in the filter as it was sitting which only allowed “gravity feed” to the injectors!!

That was all replaced, new fork seals and the complete 12,000 mile service got the engine back up and running. The alarm circuits are jumped as per my plans and the rest of the bike is buttoned up and the test ride completed. Mark rates the exhaust system that I fitted as the best he has tried and was well impressed with the present performance.

Brenda has reupholstered the speakers

Back home and time to refit speakers, back rest, top box, aerial,  and glass in the left rear view mirror. Brenda has been working hard on the upholstery for the backrest and the two speakers. These little devils take a full team effort to get on with their 10 mini screws!

Better to do speakers first

Seems we must fit the top box, then the speakers, and finally the back rest, getting all the wiring carefully in place.

Top box and speakers on …… tags 6/16

Mirror is the easy job at this stage, just some glue and a clean

Now I see you !

Lets see what else we need to do starting with some major cleaning

Not bad ……..

Oh dear, that’s only a model

By dawn’s early light

Next step is a visit to MVD and attempt to retag it as it expired in 6/16. Colorado is pretty good on tags but there is no escaping the penalty of $100 for 2 missed years!

Another week rumbles by with Brenda away in LA visiting Phil and having a great time at Band venues, bars, restaurants, and generous wine tastings. The return flight is on time but she is well tired after a week of non stop entertainment. During her week away I’ve been suffering the afternoon thunderstorms and downpours limiting my bike time and Beemer polishing. Today its Friday and the forecast afternoon weather is beer drinking and Beemer detailing!

The all new leatherwork

Very nice

It gleams!

The Blackcat is back

All the “splash” debris from the rain is removed once more and generous coatings of leather and wax polish sprays are given and buffed. NEW stickers replace all the first sets that were applied back in 2005 and she is back to near “Showroom”.

I’m back !

I’ll be test riding soon, thanks to all my helpers

 

TONY DOWN

 

ALL THOSE MILES

 

Approaching the end of August its time to reflect on the cycling miles covered and where this is all going? You may remember that after the pneumonia deal back in Sep/Oct 2015 I found myself a new Doctor in Durango who told me the “good news” that the vicious bout of pneumonia was over, but I had COPD Stage 3 and needed nighttime oxygen and the daily inhaler.

Smoking ends!

Stopping smoking IMMEDIATELY was the first step on 11/11/15 and about one month later he told me I was back to COPD Stage1 but I was still on nighttime oxygen and the inhaler ……what fun!

My bedtime companion the “Iron Lung”

…. and the $25 a month puffer

2016 saw the beginning of getting the lungs back to work and the Giant Mountain Bike was pushed to 2031.22 on the roads around Dolores at 7000′ before the snow shut me down.

First time out …… a dismal 3.39 miles

2017 and the riding begins again on Superbowl Sunday (5th Feb). The arrival of the Specialized S Works Roubaix in March expands my horizons and daily distance totals, such that I finish the year on a respectable total of 3602.09, and I’m also done with the oxygen tank and $25 a month of inhalers.

 

IT  tastes VERY Good!

Having exceeded the 2017 plan of 3000 miles I decided that 4000 might be on the cards for 2018 and looking further ahead maybe I can pedal around the Equator of the 3rd Rock from the Sun, a distance of 24,902 miles, in my lifetime?

Every passing milestone is a good excuse for another bottle of Champers and at the end of August the yearly odometer stood at 3694.12 compared to 2017’s numbers of 2802.39

Here is a pictorial presentation of approximately how far I have cycled since I started this mission and I can safely say I would not wish to either WALK or RUN the same distance!!!

DISTSNCE FROM PERTH AUSTRSALIA TO HEATHROW LONDON
MAIL ONLINE GRAPHIC

 

TONY DOWN

 

“IN A WORLD OF STRIFE ……………. “

This summer has certainly been full of problems and generally a lack of get up and go to fix them! Must be old age and the general loss of energy and willpower.

First there was my trailer that the lady ran into and destroyed, and the ongoing problems of  trying to get the new title.  Then along comes a 70 mph wind and takes down the sign that we had only just got the electrics  renewed on!

Trying to get a NEW sign is not easy, and just like plumbers who don’t dig trenches, sign makers don’t erect their product!!

Next we have this ridiculous lunacy of the  “water backwash valve” which is state or federal law and requires us to dig an enormous trench 6′ deep and connect to main water. So absurd that we have to have this valve in case WE can generate MORE PSI than the Mains system of 120 psi and therefore push OUR water back into the Town’s system???

Trench digging Round2

Six feet down!

During all this, Mercury is retrograde, and what is making life worse is that our local restaurant/pool hall is continually OVER pouring my Gin & Tonic and Brenda’s Vodka Soda ……. the results of this are AWFUL, with a lot of drunkenness and falling down and well as the brain and mouth getting into gear and saying things that should never be said!!!

The results of all this alcohol abuse is that I’ve switched to BEER and Brenda has changed her tipple to something equally less fierce and with a lot less sugar.

Yes, there is “Peace in Beer”

The change in refreshments have done nothing for the “pool” but the social life has returned to acceptable standards, the bashed trailer has been replaced, the Beemer returned to her former glory, and the backwash nonsense is in place, and the trench backfilled.

 

TONY DOWN

 

MORE FROM THE GARDEN

With the sign demolished time to get back in the garden for the  next phase of weeding and removal of that arsebine!

Finally the second round of weeding is finished and more water is added to beds and grass.

The hanging baskets of toms are nearly done but the other bucket rescued from Walmart is ripening and the radish and lettuce I planted are going well and we should be harvesting them soon.

Coming to an end

Nearly ready

Radish and lettuce coming along

A replacement trailer was located over in Durango and an easy decision to buy followed and now its home and a few extra tie downs are all fitted.

Not bad for the money

BMW duly loaded up and off to a Beemer techy to fix the dreaded ethanol gummed up injectors/fuel pump and anything else it has ruined in the last 3 years.

Trenches dug,  but still no pipe!

Still major problems with finding our main water pipe which we have to connect some sort of backwash assembly to …… don’t ask but if you don’t do it the nice town will turn off your water???

A day off the garden to take the Beemer to Montrose and discover a couple of the tie down brackets already fitted are not strong enough so another minor job to get on with.

Dean, the plumber turns up ….. (you have to remember plumbers don’t dig trenches) and the next phase of discovery begins. 4′ down in the trench another wire appears?   and below that some sand which is often used as the first part of the “backfill” over water lines and other plumbing mysteries! This seems to be the best clue yet to the buried treasure.

My birthday comes and goes, nice chocolate cake, and a cold water bottle that actually stays cold!

Next event, other than the Plateau Fire which is getting bigger by the day and only a few miles away over the ridge, is Escalante Days. The Parade runs as usual but the bike race venue has to move due to the fire. Arm wrestling and chain sawing take place as normal.

Let the sawing begin

Bill of chain saw and pool cue fame!

Grandson, Jake, puts in a very impressive time and thinks he has won!

Enter  “The Master” as Grandad Bill beats Jake by 5 seconds!!!

More diggers for the trench have a “go” and eventually the pipe is found en- route to Australia so now the work can continue!

Long way down but here it is

Don’t fall in!

A huge storm contains the fire and the recently sown second row of radish germinate in 3 days. The Walmart recued “toms” are all changing color and have a good taste ……. and the surprise of the year is the 5 year old trumpet vine has finally produced some blooms

Row 2 on the radish

Ripening toms

More of natures bounty

Blooms after 5 years

More to come

A disturbing tale on my birthday down at the Brewpub when a  local teacher who lives up the road at Stoner, 14 miles up river, tells me of an event “near and dear” to my heart. He says he often sees me cycling and always gives me the 3 feet clearance and one day in the recent past was looking back in his rear view mirror when he saw a bear loping across the road right behind me!!!!!

I thought this was photoshopped!!!!!

At close of play on 18 th August the cycling tally was 3412.12

TONY DOWN

HERE’S YOUR SIGN!

Many of you may remember Jeff Foxworthy’s comedy show with Larry the Cable Guy, Ron White and Bill Engvall. Bill’s no1 line was always that stupid people should have a sign………

Well, after Saturday’s Pool session where I once again finished 3rd we came home around 1800 and I immediately put on the TV and of course fell asleep.

Some time just after 2000 I wake up to an horrendous wind coming from the East ! With trees bending and debris blowing past, I would estimate the wind speed to be around 70 mph, and even that could be on the low side!!

15 minutes later there was an almighty  crashing noise as a major fir tree just up the road split in two and ripped down the power line plunging us into near darkness  ……… then the garden swing gets hurled across the driveway and the seat becomes detached in the crash.

At 2027 Brenda take a picture and another at 2030 as yet another almighty crash happens as the gale rages on. Getting dark, and far too dangerous to even venture out of the building I elect to go to bed!

So up early and survey the damage which is extensive with branches everywhere from that “gift that keeps on giving” the Cottonwood, plants toppled over and debris in all directions.

Branches everywhere

Blown over plants

Not good

Here’s Your Sign!!!

Better start the clean up!

Fortunately the sign is covered by our insurance, but as we have seen so far this summer nothing is quick or easy. Eventually an assessor comes out and of course he agrees its toast. Now we need estimates for demo and removal, and for the rebuild. 2 weeks on and still waiting.

Just down the road at Aerie apartments a giant fir came crashing down crushing cars and boats in their parking lot and just missing the building.

Just missed!

While we are waiting another monster branch gives way in the park and takes me a full afternoon to saw up and clear away.

This all takes  place on 12th July so yet another day of no riding as the clean up takes priority. I do finish up the week on 2880.55 and at pool Brenda buys another pool stick by Judd, a local well renowned cue maker, which was owned by “Bell Bottom Bob”, one of our old friends who died a few years ago. Brenda gets a 3rd place with her new toy while I finish in 2nd.

By Tuesday we get the approval for the sign demo and I have to start the work on Wednesday which takes 6 days to complete as the project is somewhat dangerous due to the precarious position and huge amount of lumber involved! Where to start???

First step, those 3 big legs

I saw off the three major support posts first as its one less thing to stop walking into!  Then bust up the concrete on the bottom of the legs and pick up the obvious other pieces that broke off in the fall.

Legs off

First load of debris

A lot of thinking and minor experimentation to see what will fall where without involving me as the object in the dead fall trap. Take out the lower of the two roof assemblies and the left side sign board.

With this lot out of the way saw through the cross braces and it should all fall flat …… we hope!

It drops nicely

That goes to plan, and now its time for the other roof piece and sign lights which, with its shingle covering reminds me of a bar of Toblerone!

More big pieces of lumber and the lower sign board get removed and then its on to the big  Chocolate Bar.

Enough for today

Chunk after chunk is sawn off and I’m nearly ready to expose the rocks and waterfalls.

A chunk of Toblerone anyone ?

Getting down to the last few pieces, should complete this today.

Almost there

My ever present friends throughout the operation ….. WASPS!

Finally its done and time to look at the last bits of damage including my ceramic frogs.

You will be missed

My frogs didn’t fare too well ….. and they don’t taste like chicken!

 

TONY DOWN

 

JUILLET DANS LE JARDIN AVEC TONY

Aujourd’hui  nous desherbons et plantons. Yes, its back to the Rose Bed for round 2 of the weeding and then some planting of the plants I bought yesterday. In case you were wondering its also July and that means “Tour de France” or as Bob Roll  always says “Tour Day France”

The day does not get off to a great start as Brenda tells me that one of the boat trailer tires is flat. Next problem, the Jack is becoming difficult, but I soldier on, and eventually the wheel is off and the spare is on. Looks like a valve problem to me.

Start the morning with the new “Tom” and arrange drippers etc while softening up the hanging basket toms that were getting the yellow leaf problem.

Good looking Tom !

Now for the seed planting of lettuce and radish which is one of those things I’ve been trying to get to but have been running out of puff before I’ve made it to the veggie bed.

Seeds planted at last

With seeds in and a quick check on all the veggie drippers time for another attack on the rose bed where all the thistles have migrated to after all the early season weed spraying. The poor old wisteria that had sat on the stump is now lying on its side as the stump has rotted through.

A bit sad for the Wisteria

With the rose bed complete the afternoon becomes another gardening session and the planned cycling gets ditched in order to complete the mission. Two hydrangeas that have become toast in the side Scuffy bed get hauled out and a happy Mr Wisteria is in place along with some companion dianthus.

Mr Wisteria happy again

Now its the 4th! time for a ride, then plant all the dianthus and salvias and cut those edges……. and we do have the new blue umbrella for the shade garden which matches the dragonfly cushions perfectly.

Planting goes well but Brenda is not enjoying the “4th” as nothing is happening anywhere, no parties, no music, and hardly anyone out and about.

Planting gets finished, the afternoon monsoons are here, but morning riding continues and the week finishes on 2739.43 as I don’t get a ride on Saturday as its Day 1 of the Tour and I’m not looking too good having had a Bee hit me on the head at about 20 mph and as a last resort it must have stung me on impact! I think I’m becoming allergic to these little devils. Being on top of the skull the sting had nowhere to go and started moving down my face swelling up any flesh it could find on the way.

It was dark glasses to hide the disfigurement for Saturday pool where I added yet another 3rd place before the GT took over!

TONY DOWN