Strange old vehicles

I nearly lost all my bikes last week! We took off the far barn door to get a digger through, a month ago, and left it half open with new, boxed tools on view. Of course, with all the different folk we’ve had planting trees, someone talked to someone. The first I knew was finding a bike, still in its packing box, outside the barn. As usual, my brain tried to find a logical reason why it was there while I carried it back to join the others. You can imagine my horror at seeing all of the bike boxes, gone! Fortunately, all the boxed bikes were dumped in the field; even their Brooks saddles weren’t taken. Only the newest, the Surly Pugsley, was actually gone. Later, I found out that a dozen power tools were missing, too, all with “The Bike Works” and my Australian driving licence number engraved upon them plus an Aussie plug. Dumb steal. I’ve already replaced the 2nd-hand chainsaw with another from the same brilliant renovator; the bike order will go in soon. The other tools will be replaced as they’re needed. Not a bad outcome because everything that I value—hand-made tools and world-travelled bikes—were left alone. They didn’t recognise the big suitcase containing the all-carbon Specialized Roubaix, the most valuable and easiest to sell.

Was thinking of Kim yesterday and today as I’ve been emptying, cleaning and checking over The Pelican. She still has his hand-written label on her nameplate. The boat survived the export well and I’ve got someone lined up to mend the trailer which started to fail on the way to Adelaide. Soon, I’ll be looking for crew for its maiden voyages in the Lakes, the loughs and the lochs.

On Sunday, we’re having a family “beat-up” day. Not a therapy session but a day making sure the new trees are properly staked and mulched before we ignore them for the summer.

Warland Farm was split in two in the forties. The other half, the roughest half, is coming up for sale and we’re taking a look. We could invest our Australian super as long as we’re confident it will bring us a return in 10–15 years. Trees, grazing, hydro-power are all possibilities.

Monica’s finding the pressure of being near the family trying but is working out each relationship, slowly. For the last two days, she’s been trawling through her parents’ finances, at their request. Kevin is close by and we see him most weeks. Because he’s the other middle child, they have a lot in common and are working out their history together.

After the trees are happy, I’m moving on to gather folk who are interested in designing and planting up the forest garden around the farmhouse. We just saw the episode of Jamie Oliver At Home where I first saw his brick oven; that’ll be the next project.

So, lot’s of irons in the fire. In fact, I’m off to the Lake District to collect an anvil for the forge I’ll be re-instating in the workshop.

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