Watercress Line

Ropley 30th November 2016

06-40; my alarm is going off but it's still dark outside so I can't see just how frosty it is out there.. 40 minutes later I step into my car and the outside temperature says Minus 6! I thought briefly about turning around and going back to my nice warm bed. But, No, it's Wednesday and on Wednesday, I head for Ropley to see my chums... I was considering, on Tuesday evening, going in my newly acquired Dolly Sprint with a view to popping in to my Stag man at Medstead on the way home. But a known good heater and excellent heated seats, as well as wireless four to educate me swayed me to take the modern car; pretty quickly as it happens!

As we gathered for out first tea after signing in, we decided we all looked a bit like Michelin men with the multiple layers of fleeces and wooly hats in abundance. Several of us, me included, struggled to get our boiler suits on over the many layers; must treat myself to an XXL boiler suit for such occasions...

Andy called us to order at 08-30 and went through the jobs on the White Board, emphasising the ones he considered todays priority. These included finishing the "between the rails" timber repairs we started a couple of weeks ago which included fitting the 8 inch screws he'd sourced for us last week. Aussie John had brought in a suitable drill and long drill bit, as well as his chain saw so he and 5 or 6 others that worked on the task the last couple of weeks headed up the yard to finish it.

Another task we had skirted around for a couple of weeks involved assembling a donated Post Office bicycle shed alongside our woodshed for storage of some of our larger items including the steam cleaner.
Doesn't sound too difficult, does it? But the donated shed was in a large pile of, at a guess, 50 bits, out by the skips.. (I'll resist the obvious connection..) Many of the bits were numbered but a lot weren't which is why no-one had yet been brave enough (or mug enough) to have a go at putting it together.
Never mind, physical labour was the order of the day just to keep us warm and, anyway, apart from the cold, it was a glorious day to be working outside.

So, a few of us dragged all the bits out and tried to make some kind of sense of them.. Hmmm, Not easy..

Tea time came around quite quickly and after a bit of consultation we decided to move the 3 bits we'd identified as the 2 sides and the back up to their allotted destination. Followed by all the rest of the steel components with the idea of trying to put some kind of frame together and worry about cladding it later..
Lots of advice was forthcoming from our "mates" but we largely ignored them and with management permission decided it would be a damn sight simpler to construct a shed to suit the space we had with the bits we had without necessarily sticking to the original design.

So, by the end of play, that's where we'd got to. Enough work there to keep a few of us going for the next few weeks methinks, but we made a start.

So, that's about it for this week; I'm sorry if I have kept you from anxiously working out your "Black Friday" shopping lists (yawn..) Or was that last week? Who knows; who cares? Not me, that's for sure.

See y'all next week.

from Your Ropley Scribe.


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