Tuesday, 30 April 2013

How to protect a Medieval bridge in the year 2013 Open Access to Stonehenge.

It seems strange to think in the year 2013 the only thing protecting our little Medieval bridge from damage by lorries with heavy loads passing over it, is a sign and a few bits of ply wood and paint.

So much for the hi tec world we live in.
The best thing about these plywood and painted boxes is that at the end of the day they can be taken off, I suppose that's just in case at the end of the day when all the work crew have gone home kids passing might just toss them into the stream  ??
Well, with such hi tec safety equipment you never know, it pays to be careful with such an expensive defence.

It's been noisy with traffic coming and going past Soggibottom cottage this week.

There is a pedestrian right of way that goes over the bridge past Soggibottom Cottage and around to a large park. Apart from the sign that tells heavy traffic to beware of damaging our little bridge, there are no signs warning anyone else of all the comings and goings of lorries or men at work building a new water channel.
The water channel has to be built because when the new road that is going to by pass our village is built there is going to be more water heading our way down the hill ....

There is a tourist attraction in the South West of England called "Digger Land". We have a digger land all of our own and we don't have to pay an entrance fee.
We could have spent all day watching one large mound of an old cob house being moved from one place to another.. One of my saying's.. "really interesting NOT.. " Why move it from one heap and build an exact one a few feet away ?

No signs saying beware of heavy vehicles or "MEN AT WORK", on the path on the park side either.

I suppose it's fair to say new machines and the new work force have only been back for four and a half days, so many other things to do rather than put up safety signs for Mr and Mrs Joe public. The half day was another story last Saturday morning.

At least we have an excellent distraction from all that has been going on around us over the last week. Karina came to stay for a few days. Karina has been painting new bird houses.

She also put her own humour and thoughts about the work that has been going on around here in art form. Rock painting.

For everyone who has asked in Soggibottom's last post.
This is a Bailey bridge. The tank underneath carrying it along is a Chieftain tank bridge layer. The Bailey bridge on top unfolds making a bridge crossing. I am told it's quite unbelievable to see it all unfold.
An Ex British army Sargent also told me the combined weight of tank and Bailey bridge in the photo above was probably about 60 tons.. hum, well past our bridge's 40 ton new weight limit. To think only a few short months ago our bridge weight limit was 7 and a half tons..

The wonders of new technology and new builds.

On Sunday morning we passed Stonehenge, it's one of our favorite stops on the way to see our kids. One of Freya's favorite stops too. A new visitors center is being built about a mile and a half from the Henge. The idea is to put all the surrounding land back to open space and close one of the roads that pass right beside the Henge. A land train will, in future take visitors to see the stones. At a price of cause.....Open Access to Stonehenge.

Time on this side of the bridge to put up defences and defend and look after the places we love.

Freya can be found over at the catflap cavalier.

I'll leave you with another of  Karina's master pieces... to dust and noise. See you all soon.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

They are back... Gary Cooper.... Birds and a Bailey Bridge................

Ah. Gary Cooper.. Wasn't he in cowboy films ?

Speechless !
But not so speechless when someone drove another vehicle over our little bridge like a bat out of hell when there were dog walkers and kids on their way to school taking a short cut at eight in the morning.

This isn't it by the way..... pics to follow :-)
Question.. ?
What happens if our little bridge gets hit and we can't get over it................ ?
Bailey Bridge.. hum.. we really, really need to go to anger management classes !
If anyone needs an explanation what a Bailey Bridge is........ I can do that........ 

Freya is over at the Cat flap Cavalier as usual.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

how do you stuff a Dartmoor Hare into a box .....Mel's TED

It's not easy to stuff one of Soggibottom's Dartmoor hares into anything... but a shoe box will do.

Long legged and fluffy tailed..

I tried hard... poor little guy ended up with his legs high in the air.  At least I know he got there.

This is a little guy I named Robin.
I don't often name bears, but Robin has a sad story, not one that I can share at the moment.
He is a bear that was made at Soggibottom.
Not all of the bears that travel over the bridge get named or blogged about.

Most come here needing some TLC ... paws and claws.

Like this little Ted . Poor little soul.

This is an after pic. I gave Ted cinnamon colored paws to match his beautiful mohair.

Ted.. well obviously, his name was Ted.. came over the bridge a few weeks ago. No paws, no claws. I'm not a great believer in trying to mess around with something that could be changed. Sometimes Ted's should be left just the way they are. Ted's owner trusted me to get him back to her looking like her TED.. I could have taken his arms and turned them inside out putting in new paw pads, same with his feet. but why try and mess around with something that doesn't have to be fixed. Ted's owner wanted Ted back, looking slightly better than he was with paw pads and feet so he doesn't have to wear socks and mitts.

He also needed a slight nose job. Again, don't dabble and mess around ... Ted needed a bit of thread onto his existing nose. Nothing more.
I slightly pulling his nose and snout, the last bit of wood wool that he had left into a position that it would have been.
I see so many people on blogs that mess around with bears too much and ruin them.  I  have come to realise you don't have to fix something that is not broken, just a slight adjustments is all it takes to bring a ted back to life and give him or her a few more years.  At some point this little bear has been taken to bits, he still has his original cotter pin joints. please do not ask me how I know that :-) ....
I believe Ted to be a little Dean's 50's bear. If anyone knows different.. please let us all know.. without verification of a label an expert will hedge their bets.. I am not an expert and never say I am..
Ted also has a music box added, not original. I made slight repairs to his legs and back. 

Ted is a beautiful little cinnamon colored bear, I have given him new orange paws, sewn him up a little where he needed it, stuffed a bit on one of his arms.. I have tried to pull his eye's forward.... only slightly because Ted's owner would hate me if I were to alter him to much..At some point, Ted has had new eye's. Pulled too tightly, but I am not going to mess around with them because............ Ted's owner wouldn't thank me.
I would alter the eye's if Ted were mine, but he isn't my bear.

He has also been stuffed with cut knitting wool instead of wood wool that I found near his nose.
Ted on the whole I believe to be a little cutie because he has so much mohair and some of it in his original colour. He's a loveable little guy that has been in different rooms of the cottage over the last few days.......... HE IS LOVELY. I want him. Not going to get him.
His owner is coming tomorrow to pick him up.. I hope she is pleased with him.. It's been a strange week ref ted's here at the cottage. Some have gone out, some have come in.

You know the feeling of wanting what you can't have. In Freya's case it is a Dartmoor pony.
She is over at her own blog catflapcavalier.

I am so sorry I never had the camera when she met her best friends the demolition guys this week.
They were working on another part of the NEW ROAD... we saw them and stopped.
In the mean time ...

We hope that there is something we can put to rights, last year someone who will not be named...........

There was a bad deed.. a very bad deed.. one that has to be paid for.

Out of our kitchen window. LOW AND BEHOLD a different view.
The new Robin family are going to cost us heaps in mealy worms. ONE OF US...

Has a lot to answer for...

We have so many things going on around the cottage at the moment.. BEAR with us. .... thanks for all your comments on Soggibottom's blog. We have one more day of peace and quiet, we have had a week or two or respite, then it all starts again.. Ah, don't worry, we will let you all know.

 Better than a yellow wall any day.. the sand bags have now found a home. It's going to be covered in a red dust over the next few days, doesn't matter, as long as the Robin's can fly in and out. For all that has happened over the last few days, this is just a silly thing.
What was that.... storing tanks of fuel over this side of the bridge.. do not think so, a fire engine is too big to come over our bridge.. What makes you think your lorries can make it... ?
No fuel this side of our little bridge.......... 
Take care guys, thanks so much for all your comments,we will get back to you all. 
Have a restful peaceful Sunday.............  X X X

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Moody Dartmoor.

Nothing is ever dull around here.. There are times we wish it were dull, nothing happening and really boring, most of all quiet and peace rules !
IF ONLY................ 

From so many photo's over the last few days... this is it.. the one that has been chosen to start this post. An open road.. ah, not just any open road, this road is in Dartmoor National Park.

The place where you see a sign post.. that means nothing what so ever...

Sign posts lead you completely up the garden path.

Sign posts can lead you to Widdecome in the Moor........
Even the church tells you to use another door, so you go around in a circle and end up where you started.

Sign posts can lead you to places you have never been before. ....

Widdecome the heart of Dartmoor National Park. There really isn't much to see.

Although high on Dartmoor today there were similarities..... CAN YOU GUESS WHAT ?
It was 12 deg C this morning at Soggibottom a heatwave. On the moor it was 6 deg C.. Maybe we should have stayed at home. But there is always something to remind you of home on Dartmoor.

Er... could it be the chemical mobile thing that is slap bang in the center of this photo ?

We came back to Soggibottom to find little blue flags everywhere. This is the next stage of development. OUR NEW CULVERT has to be planned and a careful route taken.. WELL AWAY from the wall of the railway line.. Because British Rail or what ever they are called now will moan..

We have no idea what so ever why the little blue flags were replaced with sand castle flags late this afternoon.

This is our beloved neighbour.. THIS IS STILL HER LAND until someone pays her for it..
We haven't the slightest idea where Rosie got the little sand castle flags from........

Freya doesn't know either !

Our neighbour Rosie has such a forgiving heart and she is such a good sport.
We had a laugh..........

Rosie had to say goodby to one of her beloved four paws today.It's never an easy job when you take on a feral cat. Rosie's cat Georgie was 14... not old, but as always if you love your cat or dog you do the right thing when the time comes.

Our culvert is going to take FOUR MONTHS to build .. FOUR MONTHS !
That is an awfully long road.

New view from our kitchen window.. but hey, this fence has it's own story.. to be continued :-) x x x

Freya has her own Dartmoor pics over at her blog the CAT FLAP CAVALIER.................... See you all soon.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Ted, fence, repairs.

Ted isn't quite finished, but near enough to be to show you the mohair I dyed with red onions a few weeks ago. The mohair I used was white, beautifully soft and quite straight, after joining the red onions in the pot, it now has the perfect curl and the colour. I've wanted another bear like our bear in the cottage window for a long time. The only difference apart from the mohair is this one is slightly bigger, I've also shaped his face slightly and he has larger amber glass eye's. He is also very softly filled to give him a cuddle me look. I've not taken any mohair away from his face, I've left him with whiskers intact.

As you can see it's been a whirl of activity around here this week.

The old yellow cottage has gone. The new spoil heap is, however still there.

There has been a slight improvement on the view from the kitchen window this week.

Freya's joy, thinking her demolition friends were back was short lived.

It's not them Freya...

Instead we had a couple of guys who installed a new fence. Great, it hides the spoil heap.
What we can't see from our kitchen window we aren't going to worry about.The fence is great, not sure about the colour, but that can be fixed. Unfortunately the fence is a standard height and not as high as we had hoped. There are ongoing discussions about adding a strong trellis to go on the top.

Stone coveing goes on top of a part of our wall in the front of the cottage. At least it did and used to be in one piece.

After weeks of lorries coming and going it was only going to be a matter of time before someone knocked our small wall. WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE. The lorry came to collect some scaffolding poles. After being loaded, the driver then went to start the lorry and it promptly broke down. No quick getaway after all.

On the other side of the stream, new fences are going up in the park

Digging machines have appeared. Not a moment too soon because as soon as the children's playground has been moved, hopefully they will then start on building a new water course for when the stream starts to overflow.

We have flood warnings again. Out comes the flood gate.

Karina's felt art has now been properly framed. Fixed to the wall securely this time.

The framer was quite right, it looks so much better in a wider frame than the one I suggested.

Freya as always can be found over at the CATFLAP CAVALIER. 

 We are all making the most of a quieter week. See you all soon.