Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Oh deer!

Oh deer indeed. And to the deer that ran out in front of Caliburn somewhere between St Gervais and Gouttieres on the way back from our group meeting, Caliburn and I are really sorry. But it's a good job that I'm a vegan otherwise you would be in the pot right now.

Caliburn has a slight mark on the front bumper, which shows that he's much more solidly built than the Chevy Malibu that I hired in Canada in 2003 (mind you, it was a stag that I hit back then) but I'm very much afraid that the deer went in all directions.

Ahh well :-(

So apart from that dramatic end to the evening, what else?

After the usual bits and pieces on the computer, I went out and attacked the wall again. But astonishingly, only 3 buckets of mortar went into the wall.

Firstly of course, I had to take down part of the scaffolding. That's major progress in itself but I had to move a pile of stuff first. Once that had gone, I had to hack down a pile of brambles and small trees to make some working space. Finally I had to clear away all of the sand and cement  that I've raked out of the wall and was piling up against the foot of the wall. That took ages, and I do mean ages but I did make two startling discoveries -
Firstly, I knew that I had another garden rake somewhere, a big heavy duty proper one with real metal prongs, and I would love to know what I was doing with it because it was under the stones that fell when the wall collapsed back all those years ago. The handle has long since rotted away but I'll buy a new one on Saturday at Cheze.
Secondly, I now know the secret of why the lean-to is collapsing. There's a whole network of tree roots from the walnut tree that has infiltrated into the wall below ground level. Much of the day was spent extracting them, and I need to think of a permanent solution to deal with that issue.

 Also, this is the bit where the wall is really bad. Rainwater has infiltrated and washed the old mortar away and many of the stones are loose. They need extracting where possible and replacing with larger stones, or else they need to be well packed in with other stones so that they can't move and the forces above them are spread out horizontally.

So that's why it's taking me ages.

Anyway, at 18:45 I had a solar shower and legged it to St Gervais where we had the biggest crowd for quite a while, which is always pleasant.



  1. Two possible solutions. Best one is to cut down the walnut tree = no roots. The next is to sink an aluminium shuttering collar into the ground around the wall. The drawback there is that the roots may go deeper than you can go. It's also a heck of a lot of work digging a trench and/or driving the collar in.

  2. not when you have a mimi-digger LOL

  3. You could just dig a trench by the tree between the tree an dthe house and fill it with concrete. That would reduce root growth tremendously for a good couple of decades.