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Thursday, 25 August 2011

It only got up to 92 yesterday, but here we are one o’clock Thursday, and it’s 95. Still, there’s a decent breeze, which helps. I just don’t envy the guys who are dropping in on Friday.
I was up at the ranch this morning, the dogs had stopped barking and I was busy online when a grader pulled into the yard. Out got a fellow I’ll call Clint. Works for the county, looks after 492 miles of highway. ‘How d’you mean, you look after it?’ I asked him. ‘Oh, I dump gravel, and level it, plough snow, that kinda thing.’ He’d dropped by to straighten out the road down to the red house, mainly because tomorrow he’s bringing the gang to put the new roof on the red house. ‘Didn’t Matt tell ya?’

The road is now a thing of beauty. I drove carefully down it just now. Soft in places, put looking good. I’ll drive back up to post this.

It seems that tomorrow Clint and two other guys are showing up to strip the twisted flaky shingles off the south roof, the one that gets all the sun – and damage.

Then on Saturday the rest of the guys will show up to fit the tin. They’re all staying overnight, so I’m going to have to straighten a few things out – tidy away my clothes, books, papers, tidy the kitchen table – even though right now it’s looking pretty tidy to my eye. I think I’ll make a virtue of necessity and put my tent up too, and let the lads take over the bunk-room.

I had a bit of excitement in the bedroom last night. First a large cricket in the bed with me, and, after I’d put out the light, a bat decided to join me. There’s scope for Any number of jokes there about England’s summer game, but I’m going to give them a swerve. I do have a further update on the grasshoppers, however: they’ve been trying to eat my hat.

The cheek of it. This one paid with his life.

News from the ranch: Matt took 179 of last year’s steers to market on Tuesday; I’m waiting to hear what kind of price they made.

Okay, I’m now going to test Mercy against the re-furbished road.

**** I made it; Mercy didn't.  Her slimline road tyres sliced through the softy, dry sand like a knife through butter. I started out at my usual sedate pace, feaerful of the clunking and clanking from amidships. Got stuck, walked home and got the spade, walked back, dug myself out... backed up and got stuck again. Dug myself out once more, backed up about three hundred yards to some firm ground, took a run at full revs, sailed towards the top and got bogged down twenty yards from safety.

Final tally: stuck 6 times, dug out 5. What did we say, best of 13?

So, it's been a bit of a trudge up here in 97 degrees - and soon I shall trudge back.

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