After mowing the runway at Malbec on Saturday, I went back the following day and cleaned both the Savannah and the Weedhopper – again. Even though I cleaned them what feels like only a short time ago, they were both filthy, which is the problem with their being in an open-fronted barn. Both were covered in what looked like the ‘sand of the desert’ and to make things worse, the inner section of the Savannah’s left wing was covered in what I’d always thought were mouse droppings.
I used to have the same problem with the Weedhopper when that was in the back corner of the barn. But why would mice want to cavort on the wing – and how would they get up there – and why only on one section of it? The answer, surely, is that they wouldn’t, so I’ve come to the conclusion that the mess is coming down onto the wing from the roof. And what would mice be doing up that high in an asbestos sheeted roof with only a few narrow metal beams to run on?
While I was pondering that question I spotted a little bird flitting around in the roof and then flying out through a hole in the corner of the barn, so I’m maybe thinking that what I’m assuming to be mice droppings are in fact the waste being produced by this little bird and its family – ie bird poo. Luckily, it’s always dry and not difficult to get off as it’s not really sticky, but it’s an eyesore and a ruddy nuisance and it’s annoying having to keep spending time clearing it off.
Afterwards I shifted the aircraft around a bit and put the Weedhopper with its nose into the opposite back corner and the Savannah in tail-first. Aside from making more space in the barn, I’m hoping that there won’t now be a wing of either aircraft directly underneath the roof beam where the birds evidently like to perch and do their business, but I won’t know until I go back again and can check.
Since then it’s been too windy to fly. Today it was even tricky flying my little EG16 drone and I only ascended briefly above the tree line around my front garden. So yesterday I drilled the two ceramic plant-pots that needed holes in their bottoms and also put a drain hole into another vertical decorative concrete plant holder. So after bedding the plants properly into all three, that’s my plant work finished for this year. I’ve left two hanging baskets and three large pots on the south end of my house alone, apart from tidying them up a bit, as they’ve all burst back into life and I’m sure that I’d do more harm than good adding new soil and stuff like that.
There’s been little GA flying in the area since the easing of the lockdown. Our friend Patrick flew over my house yesterday in his autogire and another flew over while I was at Galinat earlier this evening checking on the state of the runway. The unfavourable winds have been the main reason – autogires are little affected by winds that would keep ULMs firmly on the ground.
I went to Galinat as if I am able to fly tomorrow, I would like to have landed there. But I was met by a depressing sight. Unlike Malbec, which is open for business and looking gorgeous after its runway had been mowed, as the photographs that I posted showed, Galinat hasn’t been touched for many a long week. You can hardly make out its runway from the long grass at either side of it and it will now take an agricultural grade mower to cut the grass down to a level where the runway’s usable.
Luckily that may well happen as this is the time when the farmers do the first cut of the hay for their animals and in previous years this has included the airfield at Galinat. I fear that if it doesn’t happen this year, we could well lose Galinat for good. It hasn’t had a proper windsock for at least the last three years and it’s possible that Christian, its owner, may have lost interest as there aren’t that many visitors nowadays and likely to be even fewer this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It would be a sad day if that were to happen. I must contact him and find out what his plans are.