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Thursday, November 21, 2013

It's not just the the daily routine but there is the maintenance

After there heavy rain at the beginning of the week we went around and inspected the property for damage. Not a lot of issues but enough to add several items to the project plan.

One gutter on the hay shed had a pronounced bow in the centre. Being a distance from the nearest stored ladder it wasn't just a 5 minute job. Not just leaves weighing it down but a broken gutter bracket. Back to the workshop for a made up bracket and a power tool. All fixed but there's 30 minutes out of the day.

The wine cellar eventually drained. The solution is to slow down the ingress of water to enable the pump to keep up. This is a bit more than 30 minutes and requires mixing some cement. That will be next weeks job.

There was a small pool of water in the cave. This was tracked down to the water tank outside. the overflow volume was so severe that the water on the ground rose above the slab height and a little seeped in. A little filler will fix that.

The bitumen driveway is 300 metres long. Most of the neighbours have similar length driveways but they are gravel. Their driveways now have deep ruts and the main road is covered in gravel deposits. But ours is an aging bitumen covering and one particular area is in a wet spot and requires regular patching and keeping the gutter clear. The torrent of water had gouged out a few potholes which need attending to before they worsen. Regular maintenance keeps this task down to an hour or two at most rather than an all day job.

And that is the sum total of more than 250 mm of rain in a short period. It seems that by reviewing the outcomes every time there is an event and listing down the weak spots and then attending to those issues promptly you reduce the impact of future events. It is so easy to put off doing something and then the next time the impact is more severe. We always keep a list of repair jobs and their priorities to ensure that eventually we address any shortcomings.

It's not just about the regular mowing or weeding it is also about the ongoing maintenance of infrastructure and modifications to weak spots.

Mentioned in an earlier blog is the annual "what annoys me" list. These are all the things that are irritating and time consuming that would be great if they weren't there. We used to have a number of chook pens scattered about the orchard making evening lockup a long exercise. Now we have one pen and keep it to a 5 minute job. Some things on the list can't be addressed easily but we have reduced the list gradually and made life a little simpler and easier. It is a worthwhile task to sit over coffee and list the inefficiencies of your life and then apply some lateral thinking. What seems to be un-addressable can sometimes have a simple solution when two heads are put together.

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