Trees and tools

Gary, the trompe l’oeil artist, is back in England and we’ve co-opted him into painting the Manchester flat because Monica’s shoulder is still poorly. He and I started a bird species list to try to catch up with Tony. We got up to seventeen without much trouble and today I added the first swallow of the Spring, clicking and twittering in the barn. The bird, not me. Hopefully, the sunshine is close behind the migrants. No robin to share my lunch yet, though.

The biggest machine is a Wadkin PK Dimension saw. When it’s up and running, it should be a cabinet-maker’s dream. I just hope the floor holds up under its 600kgs long enough for me to make a cabinet. The draw-bridges are all in operation now and I’m on to making a flap to close off the top, above them. Then some doors and the workshop will be secure and cozy. An added bonus is that the drawbridges, in “floor extension” mode, are the right height to work on. The two shown in the picture form a 2400 x 1800 bench that is unlikely to get drowned because it gets raised at night.

Fabulous news on the tree-line: Treesponsibility have been given the special grant they were hoping for, based on a bid that had Warland Farm as their poster project. After months of dithering about what density they can afford to plant in the coppices, it’s all systems go for full density plus some hedging plus some reimbursement for the fence they rushed us into. The woodland project is back up to 12,000 trees with the hedging as a real bonus; creating extra habitats, producing fruit, marking the boundaries, protecting the trees. I’m sure it’ll be a remarkable change to see.

A book arrived from Tony, “…Forgotten Crafts”, the same day that we visited a local gypsy caravan builder, so I had some wheel-building jargon from the first chapter. He is an actual gypsy and being sponsored to build the prototype for a production run. If that doesn’t work out, his skills would make him a candidate to occupy my workshop for a while.

Monica is sending me on a course: electrician. We have quite a bit of work for a sparky in the house and barns so it’d be a big saving if I could do and certify the work.

A tree-planter exclaimed, recently, that she’d only been on her college course since September. This threw into perspective the pace at which things are changing for us and Warland: I didn’t get here until late October; Monica not until mid-December. No wonder we have both gotten a bit sore in the joints!

Another week in the shed, then I can start to work on the forest garden. That’ll be fun.

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