Tuesday 26th. August, 2014 – Just working away 

This is actually a picture which I took yesterday in the late afternoon when Mix and I went for a walk along Bramble Avenue. The combine is cutting down the grain in the field diagonally opposite Mount Pleasant and is followed by another tractor (just out of shot) which is collecting up the straw. When I went out this morning (without my camera) I saw that all over the field there are round rolls of straw – looking in the other direction to the south of Bramble Avenue the field has big cubes of straw, I don’t know if there is any difference or if it just depends on what your machine does

Looking south from Bramble Avenue, the field is covered with cubes of straw. The next stage, I gather, is for the residue to be ploughed into the earth and then the farmer is ready to start the growing cycle all over again

Woke, walked Mix, breakfasted and then spent much of the morning with David who has been preparing cables for outside courtyard-lighting. I stripped out everything from the Bothy and sorted out the wood we have. At lunchtime, David and I drove to Berwick where we collected another four lamps which HomeBase had ordered in for us. Then we travelled to the electrical suppliers to buy some more cable and bits and pieces for David’s courtyard project. (HomeBase did us proud. Last week we tried to buy eight lamps but HomeBase only had four -- they said that they would have one other coming in the next day and that there were three at another store which we could reserve. Later that day I was telephoned to say that the store didn't have the three lamps but that if I would leave it with them they would get someone to bring lamps up from Newcastle for me. I discovered when I went to the store that one of the assistants collected the lamps while on a few days holiday -- at a Viking re-enactment -- and brought them to Scotland for me. Now that's service.)

Back at Mount Pleasant we met Tom and he and I went off to Pearsons to buy some more wood (shiplap) for the bargeboards of the Bothy roof. Everything is in place and we shall start tomorrow morning at 9.30 – the weather forecast is good.

We ate with the family in the farmhouse and then in the evening Rachel and I watched a Midsomer Murder before catching up on the news before walking the dogs and retiring to bed. I’m tired today and yet I didn’t do too much today – driving to collect materials is hardly tiring. Once we have completed the roof of the Bothy we are going to have a bit of a break (to go sailing). I think that we are all ready for it.

We had a very sad bit of news today as we learned that Elizabeth, my brother's wife's mum had died. She has struggled bravely and with great dignity with illness over recent times and her death will be a release from her suffering, but she will be very greatly missed. I know that there will be an opportunity to celebrate her life with the family but today my thoughts are with them and their sadness.


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