Fitting A Circle Into A Square Hole? 27th April

Lock 46

A lull in the rain encouraged Mick to head out for a newspaper this morning. He first headed to the Co-op, but apparently they didn’t have juice that I’d like so he just had to head to Sainsburys, handily passing a bakers that sold pork pies. Sainsburys although small had my juice along with Mick’s favourites cheese twists! So I got healthy juice whilst he got an assortment of baked goods.

Rain came and went all day, we were glad not to be out in it. I tried but the wind was a touch too much and kept interrupting my calculations to climb the big branchless tree. On each attempt I would exit via the cratch, decide against it and arrive at the hatch just as She did. Perfectly timed on her part.

Service time

My drawing board was lifted out from it’s slot and I delved under the dinette for my tech drawing equipment and model making box. Time to make a start on Puss in Boots. To make way for me taking over the main cabin Mick headed into the engine bay to give Oleanna a 750hr service. New filters, oil etc.

Sketch elevation and plan

I spent the morning seeing if I could fit a very big circle onto the Chipping Norton stage. Leaving enough room for actors and dancers and it still reading as a circle through the square of the proscenium took a bit of time. A basic groundplan to show how much space there would be for each scene and highlighting things I’d need to solve as I design the show. I can now let John the director know that this version could work.

Mick carried on tinkering after lunch, Tilly carried on checking the outside and returning, helping to keep my steps up for the day! I stowed the drawing board and started to make a model box of the stage. Last year I was loaned a model box, but as they are producing a show in the autumn two will be needed, so I’m making my own.

Model detritus

I double checked the dimensions of my clothes cupboard to make sure I built the model to fit. Every time I finish working on the model it will be put away in the cupboard to stop Tilly from chewing parts of it, or even moving in, it is a box after all!

As the afternoon progressed Tilly learnt that jumping in onto the floor was a much better idea than straight onto the table! Last summers lack of rain helped in me keeping model bits paw print free, I wonder if I’ll succeed this year! I got all the main walls cut, stage and auditorium floor ready to be fixed together tomorrow. Whilst Mick tried to start Oleanna. This went on for a while.

Ratchet in hand

After several attempts where she started but then gradually slowed down till she stopped, Mick could be heard muttering ‘I don’t understand!’ Tilly and I kept quiet for a while, then asked if we could help, knowing that that was unlikely. Another half hour passed and then more attempts to start her up failed. ‘Should I start conserving electricity?’ ‘No not yet’.

A while longer and each time Oleanna was started up she lasted that bit longer before slowing to a stop. Then at last as Mick pumped the thing that bleeds the air from the diesel line she started and kept going. Phew! He’d already done this before starting her up, removed the filter he’d replaced and put the old one back on in case the filter was at fault. So tomorrow he’ll be putting the new filter back on and pumping the bleeding air thing again.

0 locks, 0 miles, 1.2 miles walked back and forth to open and close doors! 1 newspaper, 1 pork pie, 2 cheese twists (they only come in twos apparently), 1 carton juice, 4 soggy paws, 0 on my model yet, 0 on my drawings yet, 1 flat packed model box, 1 elevation, 1 groundplan, 2300 radius, 2 or 3 portals? 10.5 litres oil, 2 filters, 1 swapped out, 7 attempts, 8th successful, 1 very wet day.