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Stretch of road is most presentable
Malton , July 24. A glorious summer’s day – phew – it does sap the energy. Well, that’s if you’re working in the garden.
However, much as I could think of better things to do, I put on my gardening hat and set off to trim hedges and bushes, which seems a never-ending chore. But nice when done. Doing very nicely, thank you, until I came to two large bushes close to one another.
Here, fate stepped in and the mains cable to my hedge trimmer got caught in some of the branches, and, for the first time, I cut through the electric cable. An awkward corner, if I must make an excuse, on a slight slope, and already a bit wobbly, the weight of the cutter and the slope combined added to the incident.
Ah, well, off with the garden hat and on with the electrician’s cap.
Before doing a repair, a quick look at the distribution board to see which switch had ‘tripped’. None! Don’t believe it, they’re so sensitive that they will trip off just with a lightbulb blowing, but my hedge cutter, no interest shown.
Hadn’t worked this one out until I came to look at the cutter lead and found the fuse had blown in the 13amp plug, which, incidentally, was a 3amp one. I had one or two line connectors in stock and trimmed the two mashed ends and fitted the lightest one I had, with the break being close to the machine. Test out, and okay.
So now about lunchtime, off with the cap and on with the chef’s hat, figuratively speaking, of course.
What shall it be today – not that there is ever much choice. A tin of mushroom soup would be nice, then I remembered I’d done a load of veg casserole about November, and hadn’t shifted many of the stuff I had in storage containers.
So that would be the menu of the day, to which I added some left-over baked beans. Well, it wasn’t all that exciting, but it was ‘food’, which I often tell myself. It was followed by a large slice of apple pie, bought in Pickering the other day, and some creamy stuff in lieu of custard.
So another hour or so with the now working cutter and so to the typewriter. A varied day, to say the least. Just hope the typewriter behaves itself.
One thing which puzzles me a little, though, is why the RCD didn’t trip off on the distribution board, rather than a plug fuse blowing – I would have thought the former was the more sensitive. Anyway, one of them worked.
- Have you had a ride to Pickering this week or last? It’s a delight. The road has been resurfaced with the grand old method of granite chippings – making a nonskid surface, although just a little noisier than tarmacadam.
Years gone by, and the same method was used, but with a difference.
The base coat was coal tar (what a lovely smell) on to which were thrown, or rather shovelled, by two chaps standing in the back of a lorry, the chippings, which, with some skill, and some luck, would be spread fairly evenly.
Then along followed the steam roller, which would hopefully press most of the chippings into the sticky tar solution, while at the front of the ‘system’ there’d be a couple of chaps with the tar boiler, sweeping the dust off the road and spraying the hot tar on ready for the grit wagon.
All this was a foolproof system, which was alright for its day, and was great entertainment to the young boys and girls who would stand on the verges and watch all that was going on. As well, most likely, as a couple of old gents keeping a knowing eye on the procedure.
Added to this luxury in Pickering Road appears to be the fact that no chippings seem to get thrown up, to chip car paint or crack screens, as always used to happen.
Modern methods and materials obviously have overcome this risky business of venturing out just after resurfacing, for it has already settled in, smooth, and doesn’t seem to get thrown up by the wheels of vehicles.
- As well as the road, starting at the Old Malton interchange, the verges have been very neatly cut – all the way to Pickering. There is a huge pile of grass cuttings somewhere, I guess. The environmental presentation is quite delightful – neat verges for the whole eight miles – I wonder – I hope – that everyone using the road appreciates the effort that has been put in to make this the most presentable stretch of highway that I’ve seen for a long time.
Cutting the hedgerows would be the icing on the cake, but who’s going to get the landowners enthusiastic about that?
The next luxury would be the development of the narrow footpath, which keeps appearing in odd stretches along the roadside – developed so that it could be a complete path, Malton to Pickering, for walkers and cyclists.
All my life I’ve hoped that one day we might be able to ride on a safe path to Pickering – it would certainly get many folk up and about, for ‘tis the traffic that frightens them off the roads. Maybe – one day!
However, at the moment we have a very delightful Yorkshire showpiece in the road and verges. Go take a look.
- Wonder how the new refuse collection scheme went. I set off dragging the brown bin out, up the slope to the road, then going back for the blue bag. No hope of carrying that – newsprint is heavy stuff – so a DIY pair of wheels has to be put to use.
Well, that was two trips – and no way did I feel able to get the other two boxes from the house to the road. The first offerings I came across I noticed were wrong refuse in wrong box – expect our bin men will have some ‘fun’, but I am sure it will settle down eventually.
- I see that Music on the Green at Thornton-le-Dale started on July 29 and is going on to August 26, each Sunday, 2pm to 4.40pm. Lovely. I’ll be there. A free band concert each week. The picture telling us this shows clarinet, sax, flugel horn and trumpet, which will be a delight after the never-ending plink-plonk on three chords or so on guitar, and bang bang on drums and often a screaming female.
- Smile! One of the many pleasures of age is looking back at the people one didn’t marry (Rodney Dangerfield).