Sunday, 6 June 2021

Groundforce - an early June update

Blogging has taken something of a backseat, at the moment, with the majority of my free time being devoted to gardening.  Some might say I should be out there saving pubs, and whilst I agree – to a point, the gardening blitz is only a temporary situation and is very much a case of making hay whilst the sun shines.

The plan has been to add both colour and interest to the brand new, but rather dull-looking fencing panels between us and next door. In order to reach and replace the existing fencing, the wretched leylandii hedge had to be ripped out;  although there was no loss there, and in the process we gained a four foot stretch of garden. There were also umpteen tomato plants that were getting out of hand on the kitchen windowsill, and in dire need of a new home, outside, and so the list went on.

The other evening, I was outside until nearly 10pm, planting out some of these tomato plants and tying them in to bamboo canes, for support. It’s actually rather pleasant being outside whilst the light slowly fades, even though as time marches on, you eventually have to concede it’s getting too dark to see, and then scurry back indoors.

Friday brought some welcome rain, and seeing as I was at work, it had minimal impact on outdoor activities. It has cased both the grass and the weeds to grow, so there will be mowing and weeding to be done, but not for a few days, and I’m pleased to report that the weekend did allow time for socializing, and a brief pub visit.

Back to the subject of work for a few moments, the person who will be taking over my role, when I step down in a few months’ time, started with us on Tuesday and already seems to be making her mark. This is good news, as not only will it make the handover easier, and a lot smoother, it will benefit both the department and the company as a whole.

The downside, albeit temporary, is I am being kept extremely busy. It’s all in a good cause, and by the end of September I should have fully transitioned to my new, part-time role which involves looking after Health & Safety, along with site-related matters.

We really need this virus nonsense to have disappeared by then, so I can properly enjoy my new-found freedom, but it’s not looking particularly good on that front, at the moment. Still, with the self-serving buffoon who is running the country, waiting nearly three weeks before stopping flights from virus-hit India, it is perhaps not surprising. And all this for a dodgy trade-deal that won’t go anywhere near compensating for the loss to our economy, caused by a damaging hard-Brexit which, incidentally, did not feature on the ballot-paper.

So, two dark clouds on the horizon at the moment, as along with the effects of the pandemic, the mountain of extra paperwork caused by the UK’s exit from the Single Market & Customs Union, is creating all sorts of unwelcome problems with my company’s lucrative export business to Europe. Perhaps those idiots from the ERG (the group of disaster capitalists extreme free marketers, running the Tory party), would like to come and witness these difficulties at first hand, and then explain exactly why we are better off.

Rant over, and back to more positive things, we took a drive over to Gravesend on Saturday, to visit Eileen’s brother and his partner; both of whom we haven’t for nearly a year. They both looked fit and well and with the return of the sunny weather, following that rather damp end to the week we sat out in the garden enjoying a barbecue.

It was all very nice, but there was rather too much meat for my liking. Brother-in-law David had thoughtfully picked up a four-pint container of Best Bitter, from local brewery, Iron Pier. The beer was a pleasant, malty, brown bitter, and David told us about Iron Pier’s taproom and outdoor drinking area.

I had to do a fair amount of tidying up when we arrived home, as the plan was for us to have a barbecue of our own on Sunday (today), so yesterday evening I was frantically shifting the stack of logs, that has been on the far patio, since March. I’ve re-vamped our log store, so at least there is now a dry shelter where they can be stacked and left to dry out.  Woodsmen refer to this drying out process as “seasoning,” so as that sounds good to me, my large stack of logs is now seasoning nicely!

I woke up and got up quite early for me, on a Sunday, and after bringing Mrs PBT’s her morning cup of tea, I was straight out in the garden again, putting the finishing touches to the patio, moving a few more plants, and all this before breakfast.

If I thought being out late, the other evening, was good, it was even better being out in the garden, shortly after 8am, enjoying the cool freshness of early morning. Mid-morning, the lad and I took a drive over to my workplace in Chiddingstone Causeway, to carry out the monthly check of the site’s emergency lighting system.

I wouldn’t normally go into work on a weekend, but the lighting system comes under my new remit of health & safety, and because of his own experience in checking the emergency lights at the store where he works, son Matthew offered to accompany me, and show me the ropes. It was quite straight forward in the end, as I had already printed off a floor plan for each area, showing the position of these lights, along with the points for activating them. It still took us over an hour, and when we finished, we had another task to perform.

This was to pick-up our pre-ordered “click & collect” grocery shopping, from the Tesco superstore at Riverhead. You might remember we did the same thing, a couple of weeks ago, and on that occasion stopped off for a pint on the way home.

This seemed like a plan, so we decided to do the same today. However, a combination of warm weather, and the relaxing of restrictions affecting pubs, meant it was a case of the best laid plans going astray. Our pub of choice, was absolutely rammed, with nowhere to park and what looked like a queue just to get in.

Plan B was to continue driving and see where we ended up – preferably at a pub that was less busy. Our quest was successful, but you will have to wait for the next post, for me to reveal its identity, along with that of the pub where there was “no room at the inn.”


Matt said...

White Horse; Sundridge?

Paul Bailey said...

If I didn't know better Matt, I'd say you were tracking me via Untapped.

Talking of which, I haven't had a chance yet to respond to your comment on said site, but I do think this sparkler/head issue works both ways.

Unfortunately you're average Joe or Jo behind the bar, is not going to appreciate such subtleties, and neither is your average punter. 🙄

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