Scaffolding West End

This morning Tony and Cole of Solent Scaffolding erected the scaffolding to the western gable end of our house in readiness for refurbishment that was even needed when we bought it.

They were very happy to be photographed at work, the intense concentration required for this precise and potentially dangerous task somewhat belying their friendliness and humour. It was a pleasure to watch them and to learn the intricacies of what I thought of as adult Meccano to which Cole added Lego.

There was so little room beside the house for their equipment that it

was necessary for their van to be parked next door in North Breeze’s drive, and for

Cole to carry the poles and pass them to Tony over the dividing fence, where the confined space was negotiated.

The couplings (probably not their technical term) were carefully attache to the poles at their required joins, every section carefully

measured with a tape measure and tightened by Tony.

The topmost level was managed by Tony,

who also set the signage in place.


walked the planks in a last examination.

Their labour was made more difficult by the extreme humidity of the day on which they had two more jobs to carry out.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s wholesome shepherd’s pie; firm broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots; tender runner beans, and tasty gravy, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Nerello Mascalese.

Turning The Decking

We received our mail-ordered present for Matthew’s birthday during the December lockdown and consequently were unable to give it to him until this morning. It was a professional electric drill kit.

While waiting for the equipment to charge up, our son sat on the decking working on a puzzle book.

He decided to try out the drill on the decking boards. He tells us that most people who fit this facility assume that the ridged sides should be uppermost because they think that the crevices are to provide a grip, when in fact they become slippery.

When the power was operative he set about lifting a section of the existing boards

and turning them over.

Here is the completed job. Note that the step has received the treatment.

Jackie in the meantime, having completed her work on the West Bed clearance,

carried on pruning beneath the Cryptomeria and elsewhere. I transferred some clippings to the compost bins.

After recording others’ work in progress, I scanned the next five of Charles Keeping’s faithfully detailed illustrations to ‘Our Mutual Friend’.

‘Mr Boffin closely tracked and observed by a man of genteel appearance’ gives the artist the opportunity to pack a street scene with detailed perspective.

A double page spread offers adequate room for ‘Mrs Boffin’s equipage’

‘Mr and Mrs Lammle walked in a moody humour’ uses the wind to indicate the cooling of their ardour.

‘ ‘Alfred, my love, here is my friend Georgiana’ ‘, displays Charles Keeping’s mastery of expression.

‘An ill-looking visitor with a squinting leer’

This afternoon Becky and Ian joined us. We enjoyed more delayed birthday present giving and all dined this evening at Lal Quilla. My main meal choice was a hot, sweet, and sour Chicken Jaljala which was excellent; poppadoms, nans, onion bhajis, and rices were shared; Kingfisher, white wine, fizzy water, and Diet Coke were quaffed. Service, as always, was friendly and efficient.