Thursday, October 27, 2016

Blood, Glass and a New Riddle



That's wee Sparky in the photo, which I took whilst having a breather from tidying up the rediscovered path, and moving the pile of earth at the end of it. Soon afterwards, she cut her paw really quite badly, presumably on one of the plots innumerable shards of glass.

Emergency visit to the vet. No stitches, but a couple of metal staples to keep the flap of her pad on. That was 10 days ago, though it feels much longer because a slightly disabled dog becomes incredibly tying, and none of us are getting as much exercise as we'd like.

Cleo, too, cut her carpal pad a few weeks ago, though not entailing a visit to the vet. Long story short, I caught have my dogs getting injured like this, so they've been banished from the plot pending clearing of the glass.

This project got a major boost this morning when I was able to delegate domestic & canine duties for a few hours. I remembered Dad using a large riddle when we had a big Edwardian back garden in Hampshire which he restored.

So here's my Glasgow version, nearly 50 years on:


That's 2 large sheets of wire grid, on one top of the other, resting at 45 degrees or so on a pallet, with a 6in pipe propped at the back to help steady it. You can see the small heap of earth underneath.

The methodology is to throw a shovel full of glass, stone and root filled earth at the riddle. The earth falls through, and the unwanted heavy stuff rolls down the front and onto the ground, you can see a little heap of it, to the left of the contraption.

Wow. It certainly worked. I'd estimate 10x faster than using the hand riddle. I took this photo soon after getting started, and by the time I finished the heap was almost filling the triangle formed by palette, ground and grid. Which demonstrates one drawback: when that space is filled, it's necessary to dismantle the riddle and move it.

Another problem is that the mesh is quite wide, even with one superimposed on another, it still lets smaller stones and glass shards through. It might be that I need to hand riddle it, but that will be much easier after the big riddle has done the donkey work.

I left the plot with a song in my heart this afternoon. Providing the heap of earth waiting to be riddled, (including what I used to call the midden), doesn't get waterlogged by the rain forecast to fall soon, I can get this all done in 10 hours or so.