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Between Boats.com

A record of our adventures between Pipit and her successor...

Not all work and no play

2nd September 2018

Well not exactly play - reversing down a narrow, steep slope with 6 tonnes of rock needs to be taken seriously, and carefully, but there is no doubt Andy thoroughly enjoyed his two days at 'the office'. He moved the soil & rock loaded by John at the upper levels and made 'Himalayas' to go with our Great Wall of Cornwall, at the lower level, ready for John to re-load into the tractor trailers - double, in fact triple, handling as the farmers tipped their contents at a farm down the road for later collection by an eight-wheeler grab lorry, too large to fit on our site.

Gabions, or baboons as the spell checker would have it, level I - sounds like a computer game... We've progressed to level III now!

It has been very hard digging to get to the stage of the gabion retaining wall, now complete, but whatever 'challenge' the Cornish geology has presented, John Wicks and Salmon & Collett have overcome it although, like us, I'm sure they'll be glad to see the digging for the foundations finally finished.

It's really been a case, as I've said over the last few weeks, of 'rocks out and rocks in'.

We're still seeing lots of birds, both in number and variety, on our feeder and recently there have been many goldfinch fledglings with their tail and wing feathers colours as the adults but their heads not yet with the distinctive red faces. Just a few in the photo below, but we've seen up to a dozen of so at a time.

We also had quite a surprise visitor in the form of a green woodpecker. I'm really pleased with the results from the camera as the still and video below were shot through the glass of the kitchen window!

He or she was pecking away in the bank of the wall just a couple of metres away and was there for half an hour or more. He or she, or a relative, has been back briefly once so far and we hope we might get regular visits. We've also had two brief visits by a spotted woodpecker, but not managed to get a photo yet.

We had another lovely day in the sunshine at Stithians Showground for the annual Cornish Steam & Country Fair. There were traction engines, a rip saw and hay baler as well as a vast array of vintage and modern classic cars, motorcycles, buses, trucks and tractors, miniature traction engines built as scale replicas of originals and stationary steam engines demonstrating their many historic uses such as driving water pumps and mills.

There were also a number of other exhibitors, including one with birds of prey used for seagull control.

Eagle owl


A different green woodpecker from the one above!

A bit smaller than our neighbour's John Deere tractor & combine!

Even I'm not old enough to remember this model of Bristol...

Childhood memories, foreground & background

When I was a boy our neighbours & friends had a Citröen DS as on the left - my parents had the estate version of the Hillman Avenger on the right!

Stunning Bonneville and an older Triumph, plus a BSA

An earlier model of the Thwaites dumper Andy drove

Whistling Billy, a steam powered racing car, a previous Castle Coombe visitor

Back to the work then - the gabion wall, aka the Great Wall of Cornwall, is now complete and the footings have been dug in preparation for the first concrete pour tomorrow.

When we've been slightly disheartened by the amount of digging that's been necessary, and the expense of that, we need only look again at the view to remember how special the location is and how much we'll appreciate looking at that view every day.

One last photo from the Steam Fair - when it all gets too much, just lean on your friend...