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... the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves ...
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Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10983

PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 19 6:51 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

I find a lot of people have no idea how to drive on country lanes, and some of them drive vehicles far too large for them to manage. Round here we suffer from what we call 'Chelsea tractors'; 4 wheel drive vehicles being driven by people that don't want to get mud on them and wouldn't consider pulling up against the hedge in case they scratch the paintwork. Some people move out to what they think is 'country' but in fact is the edge of suburbia, and get one as they think they live out in the sticks and think if themselves as country land owners I suppose. The real country land owners have 4 wheel drives with real mud and dents.

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 4266
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 19 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

My neighbour asked me if I had changed the jeep,i told her I had washed it for the MOT,lol

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 2007
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 19 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

My Mitzi has its annual MoT wash soon Ty Gwyn, and its annual service! Chelsea tractor drivers come up to "the cottage" for the weekend here; they don't understand about Welsh roads and use the middle to avoid the twigs. I do dents too, Ty Gwyn, mainly on the rear corners! I also have to show them how to get through water all across the road, and told one lady how to do it and if she followed the instructions she would be ok, and I would wait to see she got to the other side, she did as told-2nd gear steady but a few revs! Success, I didn't have to wade in to help. We have the sheep thefts and butchering in fields and so on at our end too. I don't have a problem reversing with or without the trailer, but sometimes I just don't go back if it is a flash Harry wanting to get through! Sheep on the roads are fairly common and when I get onto the Berwyn Mountains they are everywhere at this time of the year complete with their adventurous offspring. Goats seem to be reserved for other parts of the country, very few this way.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10983

PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 19 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Our vans usually get washed by the garage so they can see the bits underneath. On one occasion we went to an APT meeting just after we had got the van back. The shame of having a perfectly clean van at the meeting... ruined our street cred.

Snow is something that gets a lot of people round here. We don't have it every year so some people never seem to get used to driving through it. I admit that modern car tyres don't help, but nor does the habit of slamming the brakes on to slow down at the last minute rather than driving slowly and sedately and anticipating slowing then using the gears.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 2007
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 19 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have normal road tyres for snow. My Mitzi goes well in it if we are going uphill, but not so much fun down hill for me. We do get a dollop of snow most years but our council workers are out early in the mornings with the ploughs, when needed and always follow with a salt and grit spreader attached at the back of the plough-2 jobs in one go! They are always out over night as they like the extra money! A pre-Christmas snowfall ensures a joyful Christmas for the boys! The trick in snow is to slow down slowly before the hazard appears. Always best to know your own ground, such as where others may be cutting the corners.

Home to chop firewood this afternoon as it is raining heavily. The local town council, Welshpool, is having the town centre altered to make it more pedestrian friendly and we now have traffic jams all over the place, much to the annoyance of locals and commuters like me. It took over an hour last week to get through the town centre from where I work. There are 2 main roads exiting the town to the coast and one bringing the traffic in from the Midlands-chaos. A set of traffic lights which had 2 lanes right for up the town and left lane for straight on has been changed to one lane so the back up is enormous and stresses others out on other routes, which become affected by the tail ends. The reason is to increase the safety of pedestrians. At the rate they are going they will have no shoppers to keep safe. All that was needed was a suitable bypass, which would have cost a lot less of my rates. I'll feel better tomorrow, I've done the shopping for this week.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35673
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 19 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

re driving in snow i got lucky, my first driving lessons were in snow and my instructor was the first woman to win the monte carlo rally.
amazing what can be done with a very basic datsun cherry

snow and ice are not the main problem that is folk who can't drive in snow and either get in the way or worse.

where i grew up there is a 90 degree sweeping bend with a bad camber that then goes up a hill, last time i was there in snow the road was empty apart from the chap who had failed to make the turn and slithered into a driveway

when they do it downhill is is less happy as that involves a very solid gritstone wall

once i discovered he was unhurt i skied off for a night trek

ps even in black ice that corner is drivable.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10983

PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 19 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We do a reasonable line in hills round our way; in fact we live near the top of one, and many people can't manage even the gentle hill down to the village that is fairly straight, and as for the right angle bend at the top of the hill and the fairly steep gradient down to the bottom..... I seem to be able to manage all right, but then I always tend to go easy and anticipate, and can use the gears.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 2007
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 19 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I am neither here nor there-I live halfway up or half way down a mountain. I go half way up and then all the way down the other side, with half a mile of flat to get to the town library. It feels more than a mountain when you walk up, and much less when you walk down. I don't have a head for heights and have difficulty driving up the Berwyn Mountains, 6 miles down the road, due to the sheer drop going up and the lack of 'things' to keep you on the road if it all goes wrong eg., punctures, wide loads and maniac drivers. A few have gone over the top and lived but not all. I have noticed that drivers are on roads they clearly don't know, but appear to cut corners as if they were rallying-you at least know with the Monte Carlo rally that nothing is coming the other way! (that's the theory anyway). I find black ice is no fun; where is it? Where you last left the road is the answer!

I have been looking for a long wheel base pickup with 2 seats and a small place for tools, but with the long back to carry timber. The Shogun takes a good length of wood, but at an angle from the back to the front passenger seat, so I have to tie wood to the front door to stop it trying to take over the wheel. Anyway a neighbour has found one in Oswestry which may suit the bill, it is a private sale. Hopefully I will be in touch later today and if all seems ok, I will buy it if it suits me, must have a manual gear lever!

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10983

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 19 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We have a standard size old style Ford Ranger that takes a reasonable length of timber, a good pile of birch tops, or when we put a back on it, all our stuff for a stall including stock including things like besoms, which are quite bulky. Good luck with getting a vehicle suitable for your needs. Most of the new ones seem to be designed for the 'Chelsea tractor' brigade rather than real country life.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 2007
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 19 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The reason I want a long back and two seats is there is only me to worry about and if I want to stay at a show I can sleep in the back with the cover on, which would have to be aluminium. It appears that the now old fashioned bench seat is banned on safety grounds. Mainly I want to be able to get a large amount of wood in the back and don't want to cover my seats in timber! If I have a lockable rear cover it would keep my stuff in the back safe. The new Ford Ranger is impressive, our big boss who calls once a week, has a new one every year, on some sort of contract, so as much as if I would like to buy one of his old ones, but it couldn't happen through him. His is also very high before you start to fill it!

Next thing is that I am being pushed to leave work, not really surprising in some ways, as all the "boys" see me do is sit at my desk and handle all the stuff coming in during the morning. They forget the filling shelves and the distribution which I do, usually before they get anywhere near the place in the morning. I start work officially at 7am., and I am there between 5am to 6am every morning, which suits my way of getting up-early! I also like to be there early as the lads who come in early get their stuff as soon as they arrive and can get into operational mode rather than having to wait or worse rip it all open and find what they want before I get time to find out what they have got and book it in. Trust me they are typical modern youth good at the job, but no time for the paper work! They forget that their correct paper work is what gets their money, and gives them a job.

Rant over for today and I feel better too!

Fire wood going well now I have got into the mood at home and doing 5 nets a day now. Once I hit the 500 mark I will relax a bit. The other shop keepers who sold kindling have retired, and so it is down to me to some extent to start the fires of the town. Luckily there is another doing the job too so that will save me trying to start all town's fires, ha-ha as if!

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10983

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 19 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We have greedy boards on our I think it is 'supercab' which has a slightly shorter back, so it gives the same measure as the long backed one. We have the old style Ranger, which has lower sides, so we can reach in for the loges easier. We also have a winding mechanism which has a sheet going under the logs and when you wind the handle the logs slide off on it. If you are going to have a fixed roof, you will need to think about how you are going to get the logs in and out.

Another thing to think about with firewood, if you are going to do much of it, is where you are going to source the timber, and how you are going to cut and split it. I don't think you are going to want to do more than about 1cu m a day; that is one load cutting and splitting by hand, even with a chainsaw. If our experience is anything to go by, it has a habit of growing out of control if you give good measure and service.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 2007
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 19 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have been chopping kindling for a couple of shops for around 20 years; I now only do one as the other retired. Basically I can chop 3 nets a day average after work, more at weekends, but the sales are averaged at around 500 a year. My stock is selling now, but standing around 300 nets; I will have to up the game soon as the one shop has retired and the kindling doesn't seem to have passed to another shop-none locally are really suitable. But a little girl has taken over a 2 small 'rooms' shop and is doing hardware. I will be approaching her to see if she would like to stock small bags of sticks in those bags that super markets use for fruit and veg., and hope she wants to do that from me! I will take a sample soon as it is getting to that time of year. My kindling really doesn't stop selling except in a very hot summer. All go in early September, then a dip after the heating goes on and full out then till late spring and the first warm weather. It is fun as I share a bunker with a log man, who comes in and fills my part if there is room, which gets me going. I am a grumpy old man, but nothing too serious!

If I get into logs, I have enough to start at home on trees that are being trimmed down to 10 feet, currently around the 40 to 60 feet mark, including some tall ash and sycamore. I have about 1 cu. m. of logs cut and seasoning now, aim being to supply a friend who lives up the road from me; she and her husband were very good to me when he was alive, fed and watered every Saturday), and I supply her with kindling and soon the logs as payback. She has reared 4 children and all under 14 when he went, 8 year gap between no1 and no4. I used to ferry the children about when needed, as Deb couldn't be in 2 places at once! Now the Kids are all over the place, The second child in Vietnam, the daughter is in uni. The eldest is still living at home and the 3rd is an engineer and travels the UK with major projects. Deb does playgroups, and doing a degree in something to do with kids.

Anyway, I think I have enough timber to start with enough ash coming along to see me out. I know it is a bit far fetched, but I have a small electric log splitter, not really suited to this job, but would do for a start-one shop at a time, I like to crawl before I can run! I don't want to get too big before I know if I want to do it and I will be looking to you for advice. I wonder if the private customers are best or the shops. Shops always pay, and my friend says he used to have trouble with private customers not paying, and to demand payment before starting to unload! I would think a cu metre is beyond me on a daily basis! If the job gets too big I would then get a pto driven machine for the back of the tractor! We will see I need to walk or even crawl first!

To get to the pickup, I want one where the roof is removable and aluminium and as long as possible-sleeping at a show!

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10983

PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 19 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you are talking about very small quantities of firewood, only 1cu m a day for only a few days a week, I would go with log sacks. The ones I sent you are a good size for about a 10" long log or less. We sell those mainly through shops, although we do occasionally have people that want them rather than loose as they don't have the storage capacity, or room for delivery for 1cu m. For log loads we make it plain when we take an order that we work cash or cheque on delivery. I think some people even take cash with order, but that is more the 'delivery on a pallet' sort. New customers have to be there to take the delivery so we can be sure that both they and us are real, we drop the firewood in the right place, and so we know we will get payed. After that, we will allow them to leave us a cheque or pay directly to the bank, but we want the latter done before the delivery unless we know them very well.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 2007
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 19 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I am a cash on delivery before I unload, unless I know them. The shop is credit and I collect when it is worth it. I loose a bit of interest that way, but it is not as if I am stuck for £20. I think you are right to get the money first, saves reloading if they can't pay!
When I said chop 3 nets a day after work' yesterday I sawed and chopped 5 nets when I got home, so short am I of ready cut wood for later on in the season I am getting close though to where I want to be to start the season. I can't sit for so long now when it is cold, even though chopping wood is quite vigorous, my feet get cold!

I would buy a kindling machine and a log splitter if I thought I was going to do the job for years to come. I have not yet seen a kindling machine that does a good job. When the friend who cuts the big cross section timber through his machine for me, I still have to go through it for peace of mind, to be sure that the wood looks presentable, is without splinters, and is clean. I usually have to deal with 70% to achieve my standards!

I have been to see the lady with the 'new' shop and she is keen, so I will do a few for her, for delivery on Saturday, tomorrow, when I get home... hopefully!

I have to fetch a couple of pallets tomorrow morning from a local chap who is happy to part with it and his wife cooks breakfast too at their agricultural machinery depot-they are competitors of where I work but a different brand of tractor, and in practise good friends.

My 8ft sycamores that were brought down to that size are growing really well only a month or so after being dealt with; I just wish he would do the other 20 trees in the line!

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2129
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 19 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I like to say that it is not a vegetable garden that I cultivate, but rather I cultivate friends with vegetable gardens.

Last Sunday I went to the local orchard where I buy fruit, only to learn that they had sold out of peaches in 45 minutes! They open at noon and silly me, I'd had lunch first. Come back tomorrow, they said. We'll put your quarter basket aside. And gave me three peaches, seconds, to tide me over.

Stopped at my friends with the exemplary vegetable garden to drop off some flower seeds. We're chatting. Another couple stopped by. We five are chatting, nibbling on cherry tomatoes, yellow-orange sweet as candy ones. The men had beer, I had lemonade, another woman had water.

Then we all went down to the vegetable garden. Which is bursting with produce. The other couple and I were each sent on our way with cantaloupes, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers in an array of colors.

Today, Monday, Mr Jam Lord and I ran some errands and went to the orchard place later in the afternoon. But they'd forgotten / not written down / other things on their mind (son's wife is in labor with their first grandchild.) So grandfather-to-be went up to the orchard to pick peaches for me. And while we were chatting someone came up with a huge sack of white corn, fresh and milky, sweet enough to eat raw. The orchard people didn't want all the 50+ ears in the sack so I bought a dozen for a very reasonable $5.

What a wonderful time of year!

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