Man vs Sheep
I’ve just had ‘one of those’ weekends.
First, the felt blew off the shed during Friday’s storm. That meant that a journey into town was required to get some felt, some bitumen adhesive and some felt tacks. I did manage an hour on the turbo trainer followed by a quick run but I then spent Saturday afternoon clinging to the shed roof fixing it.
Measuring the Storm
Next, the anemometer on my weather station started working poorly. It seemed to be spinning fairly well most of the time and was recording 50+ knots during the winds that tore the felt off the shed. That’s probably fairly accurate, but then it would just stop and record 0 knots even though the wind was still clearly howling. Seconds later it would spin again only to suddenly stop again.
I’ve replaced the anemometer a few times over the years. They cost around £170. Fortunately the latest version of the Davis VP2 anemometer that I now have (part no. 7410) is more modular than the previous version. I can now replace just the ‘wind cartridge’ that contains the bearings. This only costs around £40, so I think that will be my first course of action.
Mind you they do now also make an ultrasonic anemometer which has no moving parts and is therefore more durable especially in harsh areas such as coastal locations. Apparently it’s more responsive to gusts as well. I don’t think I can quite stretch to one of these though as this anemometer costs £700. That’s nearly as much as the entire weather station! But then again, it is ultrasonic which sounds pretty cool to me. Apparently it works by by ‘measuring the transit characteristics of ultrasound pulses across its sensor transducers’. How long can I resist before needing one of those!
Sunday started with a run around Penglais Woods and Aberystwyth Golf Course in the pouring rain.
It stopped raining as soon as I’d finished of course and while I was in the swimming pool the sun came out. With my run and swim done I had a message from Anna saying ‘What am I supposed to do with these?’ It was accompanied with these photos.
Great, we had sheep in the garden. By the time I got home the sheep had moved into Dave and Sarah’s garden next door but they had already done plenty of damage.
Next, I had a frustrating windsurf session. The wind wasn’t quite strong enough and then to add insult to injury I snapped a fin bolt and. I couldn’t get the bolt out of the board so rather than change fins it was time to pack up and head back home. I did get it out in the end with the help of a drill, a screwdriver and a big hammer! My favourite board is looking quite old and tattered though. Not due to the hammer, screwdriver or drill, just the fact that it is actually pretty old. 14 years old I think as that’s my ‘newest’ board. I’m turning into one of those old man windsurfers with retro kit that thinks it is still cutting edge!
Next, I had a frustrating windsurf session on Sunday.
The wind wasn’t quite strong enough and then to add insult to injury I snapped a fin bolt and. I couldn’t get the bolt out of the board so rather than change fins it was time to pack up and head back home. I did get it out in the end with the help of a drill, a screwdriver and a big hammer! My favourite board is looking quite old and tattered though.
Finally, the garden had once again been invaded by the flock of sheep. There were loads of them now and they had destroyed everything. Loads of shrubs and other plants that I have been carefully nurturing over the years have been eaten, trampled, snapped off, uprooted, or all of the above. All of our pots were knocked over, some were smashed and the plants and bulbs in them were scattered far and wide. Garden furniture had been knocked over and trampled on. They’d even pulled up all of our lights and had obviously been getting tangled in the cable and dragging all over the place. I’m not sure if the lights will ever work again.
They’d got in over the little wall at the bottom of the garden. There was once a fence here on the field side as well but that had long been in need of repair. It had fallen over ages ago. Welsh Water cut down some of our trees while they were working on the drains and the branches from these were on top of the remnants of the fence which hadn’t helped matters.
On top of that (literally) I’d been piling garden waste on the wall to make it a little higher. Some of this had fallen over into the field and had now piled up on top of the fallen fence. Now there was a nice ramp for the sheep and they made the most of it. No doubt a trip out of their field to feast on my prized plants was the sheep equivalent of our trip to River Cottage last weekend.
Man vs Sheep
When I got back from windsurfing there were at least 40 sheep in the garden all tucking in to their gourmet treats. I chased them back into the field and assessed the situation. We tried to inform the farmer but couldn’t get hold of anyone and something had to be done right now. My afternoon was therefore spent digging out tonnes of earth, stones and rubble; battling with brambles; bashing fence posts and heaving bits of tree around. By the time I’d finished, the nice gently sloping bank that the sheep had fashioned into an easy access ramp to their favourite restaurant was now a vertical wall of earth. The fence was beyond saving but I extracted some barbed wire from it and fashioned a makeshift barrier by attaching it to the trees. I also cut down a whole load of large branches from some willow trees behind the compost bin. These I meshed together to form what will hopefully be an impenetrable fortress atop the bank. It was now man vs sheep. I’d made my move, let’s see what they think of that!