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'A gaping silken dragon,/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God./We, not the City, are the Empire's soul:/A rotten tree lives only in its rind.'

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Slow flows the refurb

The story of the refurb so far. Looking through my various books on the Western Desert campaign, I realised that there are very few photographs of the Grant; the most frequently reproduced being the famous image of Monty in one. That is interesting in itself - does it mean that few photographs were taken, or that few Grants were in theatre, or that there were plenty of Grants, but with a short lifespan, or that picture editors don't like them? Anyway, the images I could find suggested that the turret hatches were split not fore and aft (as I had crudely split them nearly 40 years ago). This was a pain, as the holes that I had cut so long ago were rather hacked out of the thick plastic and if I re-aligned the hatches then I would be forced to make a new turret top. This is not the idea behind 'refurb'. Happily, I discovered images of hatches split fore and aft! So, that was sorted. The next stage in the refurb was new sandshields. These seem to have come in a wide variety of shapes, so much so that they must have been field applied. I am going with a simple, boxy, shape:

Just getting this far with the sandshields took a surprisingly long time. The idea that I had was that refurbing would be less stressful than building from new, but it isn't turning out that way - I've spent a good part of the day worrying about 'light stone' as opposed to 'desert sand'. But, at least the little project continues.

Plant of the moment: euphorbia (a large variety!). I love the flower heads, they look like something H G Wells dreamed up - aliens from another world. I had two clumps of the things in more suitable settings, but the 2010/11 winter killed them, so, at the moment, I only have these, self-seeded (another plus in my book) fellows in a rather odd spot. But I like them.

P.S. be careful of euphorbia sap - nasty stuff!


  1. Didn't grow them when the girls were small for that very reason but am tempted mightly by that acid green and yellow...
    I see a greenhouse lurking fertively in the background of the photo -d o you use it to grow seeds or what?

    1. Yes, they are very striking. There are also a number of varieties, including low growing ones that make jolly good ground cover. My budget greenhouse (the ultimate in flat packs!) is absolutely indispensible for the allotment - currently, I've got courgettes, French dwarf beans, cabbage, and tomatoes potted up in there, along with my small collection of cacti, and a few pots of Old Man's Beard/Traveller's Joy. These are seeds I took from a railwayside hedge and I hope that they will soon be in the hedge I have in progress (a replacement for a very old and annoying privet).

  2. I seem to have missed your last few posts, which is a shame. There is something wrong with my blog list so I am missing posts. Anyhow, this looks like Euphorbia wulfenii, which is a top seller at work. I have noticed too that it can be knocked back by cold weather, but then spring up somewhere else.

    1. Yes, the blogger thingy does seem to be temperamental - I often have problems trying to leave comments on other blogs. Thanks for the 'euphorbia wulfenii' - a brilliant name! I rather like this interaction - I post a picture of a plant whose name I only partly know, and, hey presto, I get the proper name by return!