Thursday, 9 August 2012

Getting High Whilst at Work

It was a beautiful summer morning, and I felt like getting high. There are many ways, and none of mine involve burning weeds. I'm more addicted to hydraulic fluids.

Over a period of time, my notebook had been filling with high-level jobs, to be done when the weather was good, and access was possible. Since Steve-the-Painter fell from a ladder, broke both wrists, jaw, skull fracture collar bone and six ribs, one of which went through his lung, we've been kinda officially discouraged from using ladders if any other means of access can be utilised. So I borrowed the Green Machine for the morning.

There are no controls in the basket, unlike in a cherry-picker. It relies on hand signals to a skilled driver below.

It can get to places you couldn't reach with a ladder.

And up close to measure movement cracks. Way back  in the late 1800s, somebody got the footings wrong on this building. The rest of it rises and falls with variations in the ground water in the shale beneath. This end stays still, because it sits directly on rock. So filling the cracks, as someone did about six years ago, with sand/cement mortar, is doomed to fail. Flexible polymer mastics might be better, but I have a plan...

There's a new window to put in here, and a redundant stainless-steel flue to take down.

Another flue to remove.

Roofs to inspect and photograph, pending some alterations.
High level cables to clip, a cctv camera to clean and realign, yard lights to have new tubes, slates to refix, a zillion jobs, or as many as I can achieve in five hours.

Oh.  Earthlings below.
"Beam me down, Scotty"
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  1. Not something I could do, but what a view!

    Pity about the mistake in the footings.

    1. The warranty, it seems, has expired. As have all the builders.
      Hey, good to hear from you!

    2. good to read your postings!!

      Still getting better slowly-too slowly! back in Scotland for August.

  2. The last photo makes me weak in the knees...

    1. You pay good money at a fairground for less fun!

  3. I wonder if the Green Machine is a Hayter. I'd hate to see him drop you.

    1. Green machine's no hayter, the opposite , I suspect it's having an affair with the digger. Well, put it this way, there was a shiny new mini-digger in the store, a year or so back, cradled under the arm of the big digger. Its paint has green patches. And the green machine's tyre tracks show just where it goes on a night, after we go home.

  4. Five hours to work and you take pics? tsk!
    Lovely view, especially the last.

    Hope the guy who fell of the ladder is OK.

    1. Pics is part of the job. I keep records, take notes, drop the pics onto the computer, so a year or ten from now, we can check what was done and why. Pictures save a lot of words. I have a gazillion, of trenches, pipes, roof-spaces, stonework.
      I have to be able to explain what I do in the time I get paid for, if the chairman asks why we've spent three days on a roof, I can pretty much guarantee he won't be climbing up a ladder, so my pictures help me to explain what the problem was, and how it was solved, and the before and after pics show I did a proper repair.
      With other pictures, I document spaces before, during and after building work. They all go in the company archives, alongside the watercolour sketches from the 1800s onward.

      If at some time in the future, someone wants to know what's behind a wall panel, or beneath a floor in a specific building, that information is there. Yesterday, a tenant asked me if it would be safe to hang a sixty-inch flat-screen on the wall onchor boltf their office. Including the bracket, about a hundred pounds weight. 45Kg.
      My pictures of the build in there, six years ago show that the wall is single-skin plasterboard, on steel studding at 600mm centres. And the studding is 3.9 metres high. So the answer's no. But, as my pictures show, that wall is 5" in front of an 18" engineering brick wall, which will support any weight you can imagine. So the solution is to drill back into the brick, and insert threaded anchor bolts, and put a wooden pattress to bear on two of the vertical studs, that'll hold the tv without cracking the plaster-board.

      Pics aren't time wasted. ever.

      As for Steve the Painter, he's out of the Intensive Care Unit, and doing well. But, he was due to retire in only five months time. What a time to get injured.
      So now I'm taking extra care to secure ladders.


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