Blue Flower

Thursday 16/5/24 It was raining heavily, so we had a cup of tea in the wagon and worked indoors most of the day. From the wagon we saw a Pied Wagtail on the back of a bench seat and a Red Legged Partridge on the carpets where model tanks were set up at the open days, we’ll wait for the carpets to dry before we roll them up.

We decided to clear out the shed, as it was very full and untidy. We literally threw out all the things we don’t need and bagged scrap wood for kindling. We took out everything under the bench and put it back tidily, then sorted out the shelving rack and discovered we have rather a lot of paintbrushes. There is much more space in the shed and on the shelves now. Ryan gave us a toolbox recently which we filled with tools we use regularly.

Eddie emptied the peanuts I brought today into our containers, we filled up the bird feeders when the rain eased off. We had to scrap some Peanut feeders today which were damaged beyond repair by Squirrels. We saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker on one of the peanut feeders.

Anne Marie walked down and checked all the plants, then planted another Bistort which I brought today. The Iron Cross which were planted recently on the river bank are now flowering.

I went up in the loft of the visitor centre and moved things around to make space for things from the shed which we don’t use very often, I put boards left over from making the diorama up there with some spare containers.

Eddie and Helen visited at the open days and Helen gave us two tubs of assorted hardware including washers and pieces of sheet metal which we often need. Today Eddie and I sorted out all the storage bins on the rack and put the things Helen gave us in the relevant bins.

The end panel of the diorama broke off when we were moving it after the open days, so I got some longer screws and re-fitted it. The visitor centre is full of displays from the open days so we will need to tidy it soon. On our way back along the river bank we saw a Swan in the river, Geese and Goslings beside the fishing lake and a Muntjac in a field near The Maltings.

Friday 24/5/24  It was a sunny day, so Eddie removed and rolled up the carpets where we had radio control tanks at the open days, at the end of the day we took the carpets back to the skip we got them from. Mick, Hazel and Ady crossed our footbridge and looked around the mill, they were walking the Nar Valley Way.

Our main job was clearing the visitor centre, as my wife, Jan brought the Wissey U3A Rambling group to visit the mill as part of their circular walk. I told them about the history of the mill while they sat outside, then they looked around the visitor centre before walking back and going for a pub meal.

I took the mower today and cut paths through the wildflower meadow which is starting to flower, there are Foxgloves, a few Poppies, Buttercups and Corn Chamomile. Lupins are flowering along our wall near the wagon. Eddie cut all the grass at the mill, then strimmed around the edges.

I put some wire netting around the cherries on one branch of the tree, as birds usually eat all the fruit before we get the chance, so we hope the wire will stop birds eating them all, so we can have some for a change. 

We adjusted the bolt on the visitor centre door as it was very stiff, it now opens and closes more easily. I brought a damaged insect hotel over to the shed from the wildflower meadow and found a block of wood to replace the broken butterfly compartment, I drilled holes in it for insects to nest in and replaced the missing canes with some I brought today which I cut to length. 

The Jackdaws have two chicks which have really grown, we saw them being fed and flapping their wings. The Great Tits have fledged, we saw the empty box. There was a Pied Wagtail on the water wheel again.

Today I brought suet balls, Mouse repellent, strimmer blades, spare card boxes and bird drinking bowls. I used the Mouse repellent spray to refresh the sachets in our box of camera cables and kitchen cupboard, as we had mice in the wagon a few months ago who chewed the camera cables and ate our tea bags.

I offered our D Day displays from the open days to Downham Market Town Council for their ‘Afternoon with Winston Churchill’ on 6 June, they have accepted and will make a donation to us. I took the displays back to my house today ready to be collected. After this event the displays will be offered to Narborough museum (who are not having a D Day event) for permanent display with their WWII exhibits, so they will not be wasted.

Graham Bartlett  

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