Today was announced hot, and - it was ! We're working out on an embankment here, and there is no shade, the sun is unrelenting, not a cloud in the sky. 29 degrees at lunchtime it was. Suncream factor 30, hats, high collars, two-litre bottles of water by your side. And more of the same is announced for tomorrow, with a slight increase in the temperature too. There is a slight rueing of the day I sat in my living room in January, complaining about the cost of heating it ...
So what did we do today?
After his adventures at Toddington yesterday, Steve was back on site with the JCB, to pursue the task of levelling the dumps of ballast.
Here is a picture of him attaching the receiver unit of the Laser level (actually a theodolite, I'm told) to the front of the JCB.
Just put the bucket down, and reverse away, keeping the indicators in the right field? It's more difficult than that. The trackbed falls away out of the cutting at Laverton, levels out, and then rises again at 1 in 440 up to the summit at Broadway. Where are the breaks in this then? And the existing trackbed, while of good quality, does undulate slightly, leading to thicker bits of ballast added, and then again thinner bits. How to stick to 8 ins of depth, without it getting too thin, or wasting money?
Andy spent a long time walking back and forth. Your lump hammer, tape measure, Stanley knife, water, coffee, sandwiches et al are always at the other end, 500yds away. It's like that. Or as a Polish engineman once explained to me: 'System.... !'
There's no argument with that.