Monday, 1 September 2014

A walk on Beachy Head

Last Friday we went to visit Beachy Head - not sure why it took us so long, we've lived down here for some years now! We drove to the visitor centre and pub (which does a nice lunch) at the top, and walked over to the cliff:

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They're not joking about the cliff edge...

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Being 500ft above the sea, whilst also being almost at the edge of it, makes for some great views, to Eastbourne and beyond to the east:

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To the south, some weird ocean currents (see the diagonal line in the water, from bottom left to centre) and nice shadows of clouds on the sea:
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And the well-known lighthouse to the west:
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It's a stunning place to visit, shame it has a darker side as a suicide spot. But at least the Chaplaincy Team there is doing a good job.
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Going west along the coast from Beachy Head you come to Seven Sisters country park, which is also worth a visit - we walked along the west side of the Cuckmere river:
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Before long, the river reaches the sea...
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And you're rewarded with a nice shingle beach with a few houses perched on cliff tops:
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On the walk between the main road and the sea, we saw more Herons in half an hour than we ever have in one place before!
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There was also the bizarre sight of a Heron and several Little Egrets perched in trees, preening themselves! It's strange to see a bird usually found wading in water up a tree...
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We walked back along the other side of the trees, and I was able to get a closer shot of one of the Little Egrets:
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There were also lots of other birds, including dozens of Swallows - I was pleased to get a photo of one of them, though it took about 20 shots to get this one mediocre picture!
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If you've not been, the area is well worth a visit - there's more info here.

Mike

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Thursday, 7 August 2014

Winter firewood all prepared

The winter's firewood is now ready! It only took us 5-6 hours to fill the remaining half of our store at the woods, using the new equipment we now have. Step one was to load the seasoned wood into the arbor trolley:

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Next, wheel the trolley round to a suitable location and then the wood and be quickly transferred to the Truncator a few pieces at a time:

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Position a wheelbarrow and cut off any long bits poking off the end of the Truncator:

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Then move along and use the chainsaw to cut through the gaps in the Truncator:

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Push the wheelbarrow along and tip the logs in (in practice Tracy was pushing the barrow while I tipped them):

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Then take the wheelbarrow to the nearby log store and stack the logs - Tracy was doing this while I was loading the next batch of wood into the Truncator and sawing it - we had two wheelbarrows so we could both keep busy.


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We got most of it done in an afternoon, then popped up the next morning for a couple of hours to finish the job:

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There was still a bit of space in the log store at home, so after stowing the bench in the trailer, we mounted the Truncator on the side of it and loaded some more logs:

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Then followed exactly the same process as before, but with the logs ending up in the trailer:

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As the Truncator was securely strapped down, we were able to just drive off when we were done, and sort everything out when we got home. Nice to have that job finished! :-)

Mike

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Shelter building in the woods

Last weekend I went to help a friend build a shelter in his woods, so he has a space to store the basics when he visits to manage the woodland this coming winter. We started by using a post driver to bang in some stakes:

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Then attached cross-beams to these:
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Everything up to this point had been Sweet Chestnut, but at this point a bit of purchased sawn timber was used:
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The final step was to nail on some roof panels he'd bought, and use some recycled desk tops to make the walls:
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There's a plan to 'clad' it with some dead branches to improve the aesthetics, but at least there's something to keep the rain off a few odds and ends now!

After the work, we rewarded ourselves with a dinner round a camp fire...
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It was really good to be able to apply some of what I'd learned by building our own shelters in the past, of which there've been several versions...

Mike


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Monday, 21 July 2014

Ashden woodland camping trip 2014

This weekend I had friends from work come to camp in the woods, as happened about a year ago too. Fortunately the freak storm from the previous night had passed away, and we had mostly good weather!

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As you can see, I'd put a tarpaulin up just in case of rain, and it did get used briefly in the evening! I had a second one set up on our old shelter frame as well:
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There was the obligatory walk around the woods, which the sun came out for:
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During the walk we saw some windblow from the previous night's storm:
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Back at the camp there a couple had a go at chainsawing some logs, then there was the most impressive food preparation I've seen in the wood in a long time, perhaps ever!
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We had a bit of a tent village going on, which was good as there were ten of us sleeping over!
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The kids played on the rope swing until it went dark, then after they went to bed the rest of us went on the swing too - it's much more fun in the pitch black, and after a glass of wine! :-)

We finished up the next day with some target practice with the air rifle and a good breakfast cooked on the fire:
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Looking forward to next time!

Mike

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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Freak storm in Rye, and a first responder call!

On Friday a freak storm hit Rye, and while we were outside videoing it with my GoPro we got a first responder call to go and help people injured by the storm! Lots of wind and lightning, and the start of our drive to the incident, are in the video:



There's some photos of the damage on Rye News, and Knoops has a good photo of the storm before it hit.

First time we've done a first responder call in the middle of a large thunderstorm!

Mike

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