Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I was pointing this afternoon

Well, either pointing or jointing, one or the other, whichever takes your fancy. Now that I have some sand here I was able to mix up some lime mortar and so I spent much of the afternoon on the roof of the lean-to filling the joint between the new lean-to roof and the stone wall of the side of the house. There were a few big gaps too, but I put some plastic sheeting down - the type with nylon reinforcement - and filled over that.

Tomorrow I'll need to put a second coat on there, as well as putting some rubberised paint over one or two of the galvanised nail-heads that are exposed. And that will be the roof finished.

For the rest of the afternoon I cemented up the joint in the outside wall. The rendering on that wall went, of course, up to the old wooden chevrons that fell off a long time ago. I've put stronger timbers on the roof and so the chevrons are higher up the wall, if you know what I mean. I infilled with a load of brick ends, stones and so on but the rendering still needed to be brought up by about 30 cms, as well as a few cracks making good, and that's what I was doing until I noticed the time - 19:10. 10 minutes after knocking-off time. You can tell how much I was enjoying myself.

That will need finishing off tomorrow and when it's all dry I can treat all the new woodwork.
... "what to?" - ed ...

And then I can push on and build up the side wall to the roof beam, leaving of course a space for a window. The aim from there on is to put a balcony there, so that I can enjoy whatever view I might have. But that's something of a longer-term project.

This morning though, I was working on a few web pages of my voyage to Canada just now. There are three days' worth, namely -
Day One
Day Two part I
Day Two part II
Day Three
You may not think too much of the content, especially Day Two, because what with me being in an airport terminal or three I let loose some pretty good and pretty explosive rants. You ought to know just how stressed out I become in airport terminals. It's a good job that I always travel alone.

You might think that when I calm down and review everything that I write, I would moderate many of my comments (I dictate the events of my voyages onto a dictaphone as they are happening or immediately thereafter) but I won't ever do that. The whole point of what I do with the rubbish that I churn out is to capture the excitement of the moment. The stress and tension is all part of the excitement and there wouldn't be any point in churning out anything that has been edited.

You might also remember me a year ago posting a photo of a plant and asking if anyone could identify it.

It's back again this year. And back in spades too, and when Liz was here the other day she took away a cutting to show around her friends to see whether any of them could indentify it.

Clotilde seems to think that it's a plant called tansy. And if it is, then that's a surprise because I don't ever recall buying any. Clotilde says that it's useful as a companion plant as it has a high success rate in repelling Colorado beetle, and as an ant, mosquito and tick repellant.

Another use for tansy was to rub meat with the tansy leaves to repel worms and to prevent the meat from spoiling. And it seems that the first president of Harvard was buried in a coffin packed with tansy leaves, and when his coffin was opened 200 years later everything inside - the tansy leaves as well as his own corpse - was in an excellent state of preservation.

Another, less publicised, use is to dispel the occurrence of flatulence prevalent in vegans although it is highly toxic when eaten to excess. 

It seems that this tansy, if that is indeed what it is, is going to be a very useful plant.

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