Always jobs to do… for starters the small bales of hay had to be moved to make way for a container at Cobbs Wood Farm. Seem to be running out of secure storage space- not that the items going into the container are of any great value, it’s more so the rats and mice don’t destroy the tents, cables and more delicate indoor things like Christmas decorations etc. With a shortage of vehicles a little planning was required to usefully employ everyone. Paul went off to finish mowing where the scrub was growing in Victoria Avenue; Jim and Tom went felling up at the Folly and Sarah and I finished all those ‘just-a-jobs’ that are the tail end/ bits left over from the major works.
We had a few tree guards to erect in the front Park and a few to re-plant up which we had missed earlier. Don’t get on the wrong side of
Sarah- she wields the sledge hammer to great effect. Next was a small job for the office and then, with only the two door truck available for use, we took all the unwanted rubbish back to Cobbs Wood and recycled what we could.
Last guard to erect was at the Folly; lost a beech last year… just decided to turn its toes up, ‘brown bread’ it was…
Meanwhile Jim and Tom were getting along with great gusto; they had pretty much decimated the wood behind the Folly near the Folly ruins (mainly to help stabilise the north tower which has got some problems with subsidence).
Now that the Folly has been renovated and the scaffolding taken down, all that remains is to point the joints with lime mortar and tidy up the building rubble etc. Interestingly there is quite a lot of carved graffiti on the walls, some quite old, 1795 I think is the oldest. However, since I have been at Wimpole, the amount of graffiti has exploded and some of the modern scrawls are, well, typically modern and, one has to say, pretty poor compared to the clean-cut and eloquent examples. Still, in a hundred years, someone will be looking at the modern stuff and, err, think the stone age had better graffiti!
Back to the Folly… but with the chipper and John the horse as he could pull all the felled timber out so that we can remove it later with the timber trailer. Had to chip the brash to make a clear passage for John to pull the timber.
Meanwhile Tom had a little job digging around the main tower, mainly to see how much the rabbits had undermined the Folly. As it turned out the footings were huge and the rabbits had only scratched the surface.
T’was a cold, dank day and a little fire helped keep the damp out of the old bones at teatime.
Of course, instead of being miserable and cold, the forestry team plotted Cory’s fate while I was away. Mind you he looked like the wolf from Red Riding Hood pretending to be the grandmother.
Some more horse logging soon had most of the timber stacked up but we still had the big hole to deal with.
Had lunch and could not help but tease Sarah as she thought that, when we put the twigs into the centre hole of the kelly kettle, we were putting them into the water that was to be boiled (she had politely declined the offer of some tea thinking it would taste awful). So, here are the instructions for those that don’t know how to use a kelly kettle:
The Kelly Kettle® is easy to use.
To start with, remove the fire base from the bottom of the kettle and place the base on level ground – flat side down.
1. Remove protective cork/stopper from kettle and fill kettle with water. Do not replace the stopper/cork – the water spout must be free from ALL obstructions when the kettle is in use. (Note: If you do not need to carry water in the kettle, we recommend that the stopper/cork be removed entirely from the kettle as this will ensure that the kettle is not misused)
Then place the kettle securely on the base. Additional fuel (small sticks, pine cones, etc.) can now be dropped down the chimney of the kettle.
2. Fill the base with combustible material such as newspaper, dry grass or very small tinder. Add some kindling on top of the tinder.
3. Light fire through the hole(s) in side of the base and face the hole(s) into the wind for extra draft if required.
4. Insert additional fuel through the chimney top as required.
5. When the water boils, use both hands to hold the wire handle at a 90° angle to the body of the Kettle (the wire handle will be cool to touch), then lift the Kettle clear of the base. Once clear of the base, the kettle can be carried around camp like a bucket if needs be. To pour, simply hold the handle in one hand and lift gently on the chain with your other hand.
If additional water is required, simply refill the kettle with water and place it back on the base when the fire is still burning. Refill the chimney with fuel and you can look forward to a second kettle full of boiling water within a matter of minutes!
When you have finished using your kettle, empty it of all water and store it in a dry place. When in storage, the stopper should/cork should be left out of the spout to allow air circulate through the water chamber.
To finish the day we did some more horse logging but also chipped the remaining brash. There is a fair bit of work left to do but we’ll do that in a few weeks time.