There’s a rock in front of our house that I have been looking at for 15 years so I decided I’d go find it the other day as quite a few guests have expressed a wish to go there. As it happens it only took an hour up and 50 minutes down but the weather was foul I just kept my head down and hiked so I had to go up again two days later when the weather was better to take some pics and map out the route. Not that the second day was much better but at least it wasn’t raining. Because this is work (though pleasurable) I was not dawdling or hanging about smiling at the robins and patting the trees, it was a hard pace to the top, a quick look around, very nice, and back down again. Twice. And I’m going to have to do it again to be able to continue it to make it longer. So apart from a moment I took on the second day to appreciate the views all the rest was a sweaty rush. This happens too often, hence the need for the helicopter. It’s the mountains that are a problem. All this up and down lark. Most inconvenient sometimes.
So what is new? Well we’ve been without computer for 10 days or so which has given me plenty of time to do some work and plenty more time to work out some more hardy expletives and alternatives to the jocular cajolings I usually reserve for computers and everything allied to them. I cannot understand (well I can really) why they can’t produce software that is a little less complicated to install. It’s madness. Programs which are, I would imagine extremely complicated to produce with all sorts of wizard graphics and totally useless but very interesting functions but they still have not managed to produce them so that you can install, say, a bleeding modem without running out of appropriate swear words before the end. Luckily today, Sunday, we had friends up again and again it was a sort of grilled boar, archery and firemaking day with a bit of computer shaking at the end of it, hence me being able to continue the blog. It was again a very pleasant day apart from the boar which frankly I am sick of. Give me tatties! I think we both enjoyed the firemaking as it was, for me anyway, the culmination of a long series of trials and we have now established that, in this region anyway, the best woods for firemaking would seem to be hazel on ivy. Hazel on hazel is just not as effective. I have literally tried everything here except box and oak as they are so rare they’re not worth bothering with. I’ve tried everything else. Quite a few, hazel on hazel and elder on elder for example smoke a lot and produce copious quantities of black powder but none actually produce an ember. The only one so far that has actually managed to produce a workable ember has been hazel on ivy and that with a bow. A hand drill is out of the question. I am now giving up trying to burst a vein in my neck and I'm going back to using a fire steel of a lighter. The rest of the afternoon we spent twanging arrows into a target. Most satisfying, though being left handed with bows and friend’s bow being a right-handed bow it was a bit odd but effective anyway.
The week without computer saw the fencing on the terraces in the courtyard finished hopefully preventing the howler from diving off the edge. We cleared all the old wood and bits of iron from the end of the courtyard and leveled it off and earthed it ready for some gravel and this has given us another parking place in case of emergencies and a nice place to have a fire and look out over the valley without actually having to sit in the middle of the fields or woods to do it (when you reach 50 you are allowed some comforts).We took the car in for a service and managed without any trouble to get ripped off with a radio. The Kangoo comes with CD with stalk control on the steering wheel which was excellent apart from the CD bit (woozles hates CDs) so I wanted an MP3 socket thingy. ‘Ah nah’, says the bloke at the garage ‘you want our latest offer’. When I pointed out that it didn’t have the relative socket he mjmbled that this was OK because there was another type of pin socket they all use and that the CD reads MP3 CDs. So we went ahead and had it fitted. Now 20 years ago I had a Renault four with a radio which had many features which this radio doesn’t have. Like the fact that you can’t listen to it with the engine switched off, or that when you switch it on you then have to choose what you want to listen to, radio, or cd and so on. And that there are no stalk control connections available. In short you would have to go a long, long way to find a less user friendly radio than this one. So yet again I have confirmed something that I have had to keep confirming time and time again over the years – never, ever, ever trust anyone trying to sell you something even more so if they are offering you a special offer. Mind you I’m not entirely unhappy about it as the MP3 CD holds 250 tracks of music which if you think about it is pretty amazing, considering I grew up on vinyl.