|Rust free and oiled pump supports|
A sunny Saturday meant lots of progress. Chris G and I finished the Fernery stepping stones, the top terrace step and then moved on to spend some time cleaning rust off the metal bearers which support the old pump. This was probably the most awkward job undertaken - even more difficult than replacing the Hennery roof in the pouring rain. It meant leaning over the well wall with a vacuum in one hand and a dustpan in the other trying to catch all the big chunks of rust being chipped off by Chris and prevent them falling into the water below. The trouble was the sharp pieces of rust flew up into our faces and felt like shrapnel. It was difficult not to react and we were terrified of dropping tools down the well. It was impossible to distance our faces from these flying shards. The noise of an industrial vacuum cleaner and metal hammering on metal echoing around the well made ear defenders a must (for me!) Chris cleaned off all of the cast iron brilliantly; I was left having a final vacuum and clean up - stretching right over the wall oblivious to all. Suddenly the vacuum stopped. I looked up expecting Chris to be the culprit only to find an NGS publicity officer and his wife standing there wearing expressions of bemused disbelief! Caught - bum in the air, filthy dirty and hoovering out a well! It was an excuse to stop for tea and biscuits and a quick change of topic! At least it was warm enough to sit outside.
While all this was going on; Chris P was busy in the new 'H' border dividing up and planting Hostas and Heucherers - an altogether more dignified activity!!