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In from the cold

The Met Offices prediction for the Beast from the East proved to be correct but I guess they’re bound to get things right sometimes. As expected the South and East got the lion’s share of the weather and my delivery which was coming from Felixstowe was delayed and didn’t arrive until Tuesday.

A friend with a fork lift helped to get the packages off the truck and on to my large trailer which is more suitable for the last part of the journey up our trackway. I was expecting to receive 3 large wooden crates with the different elements inside as that is what I had paid for but somewhere along the way the packing had been changed to six disparate items but hopefully everything is here. So at long last the two domes, in kit form are ready to be transported across the camping field to be erected.

With snow on the ground and a nice 15MPH sub-zero wind the surface of our yard was slippery so in the remains of Tuesday and Wednesday we slowly unpacked the items from the trailer and got stuff stored in the garage or outside as appropriate and finally returned the trailer to the storage yard.

The first element to building the dome is the frame work, same as any other tent which is technically what the domes are. To create a hemisphere from straight pieces of metal tube requires that the ends of the tubes have a bend of a specific angle. In addition the tubes are three different lengths which are used to create triangles of varying sizes. By combining these in the correct order the dome is gradually created.

By Thursday the wind was abating a bit and the quad and trailer were pushed into service to start getting the frame for Hafod across the field and make a start on the jigsaw puzzle of metal tubes. I have some drawings to follow but the wind kept trying to blow the plan back across the field whenever I took it out. All the joints are made with nuts and bolts which are tricky to assemble with gloves on and freeze to your fingers with gloves off. But we got the base feet in place and the first set of tubes in place creating non equilateral triangles.

One benefit of the frozen ground is that wheeled traffic doesn’t cut the field up, so today (Sunday) we set out to get the trailer with the flat pack bathroom building across the field. In the end we got it all loaded but decided to wait for a better day as the rain came down before lunch creating a slick surface on the icy ground and I do have to manoeuvre through quite a tight gateway on a bit of a slope and don’t want to jack knife the trailer and damage summat. Prudence that comes with age! Hope it stays cold but dry until tomorrow so the field stays semi firm for another 24 hours

On a domestic front I’ve started another brew of 5 gallons of premium bitter beer; strangely I seem to have made more in the last 12 months than in previous years. Can’t think why. Muffin has taken on a guardian role in the brewery, it seems to require he lays in front of the fire a lot with his eyes shut.

I’ve been revisiting the whitest man to play the blues this week with the late great Johnny Winter and also his brother Edgar both born albino and both pure genius musicians. I saw Johnny play at Bath festival in 1970 and he was mesmerising with speed and virtuosity on the guitar that is rarely seen. Mind blowing stuff.

Here Johnny shows the Stones how to play Jumping Jack Flash!

The week’s Easterly blow has had the wind turbine working steadily all week and with a bit of sun as well we have just about reached parity of supply and demand.

Renewable energy/Power generated this week.

PV power 15.76Kwhrs

W Turbine 72.347Kwhrs

Total renewable energy 88.107Kwhrs

House power consumption +/- 12Kw per day i.e. 84 Kw per week.

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